Hailing from Jacksonville, Fla., Grandpa’s Cough Medicine is in the midst of a run of shows in North Carolina that will include Boone.
After playing gigs in Asheville and Winston-Salem, the band will perform here at Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub on Friday Nov. 21, at the special start time of 9:30 p.m. Usually a headlining band will take the stage after midnight, but this earlier start time will give music lovers a chance to have some fun without having to stick around to the wee hours of the evening.
The cover charge for the show is $5, and following Grandpa’s Cough Medicine will be the local band, From Bears.
Grandpa’s Cough Medicine describes itself as “an outlaw bluegrass trio that ignores certain traditions of the genre, such as gospel themes and Blue Ridge mountain cabins, and instead focuses on frenetic picking, blazing tempos and dark subject matter.”
The group is made up of Brett Bass on guitar and vocals, Mike Coker on banjo and Jon Murphy on bass and vocals. The band just finished recording its soon-to-be-released third album, which will follow its previous recordings, “The Murder Chord” and “Jailbird Blues.”
The band has worked hard to spread its wings in this part of the country, creating a buzz while playing festivals, such as FloydFest and Suwanee Springfest. Grandpa’s will make its fifth appearance at the latter event this coming March in Live Oak, Fla.
The members of Grandpa’s Cough Medicine have never traveled to Boone. It is a highly-anticipated destination, especially for Bass, who has long been an admirer of the late local guitar legend Doc Watson.
“We’re excited because we haven’t been to Boone before, and I’m a Doc Watson fan, so it will be good to be in his hometown,” Bass said. “To me, Doc is the Earl Scruggs of the flatpick guitar world. Doc’s way of doing it is the way it’s supposed to go, as far as I’m concerned. He always just played the melody, and he always played it awesomely and fast and clean. That was always what impressed me about bluegrass to begin with, which was the speed of it.
“Also, (Western North Carolina native) Bryan Sutton is my favorite guitarist, man. He is one of the deepest influences on my playing, for sure. That guy is amazing on the guitar. I’m friends with Larry Keel and Jeff Autry, who are also great bluegrass flatpickers.”
The trio values its time onstage and appreciates an audience that is attentive and ready to have some fun.
“I like it when the guys and I are really in synch and having a good time and the people are responsive to it,” Bass said. “Anytime the people are actually listening and paying attention to it and responding, that’s a fun time onstage to me. The only time when it feels like drudgery is when you are in a flipping sports bar and there are all of these TVs on and no one gives a darn. You’re just background music, and that is when it feels like work.”
Bass and company look forward to seeing a bit of the High Country as they motor their way towards Boone.
“We’re playing in Asheville at the Isis Music Hall’s Tuesday bluegrass session, and we’re going to be the host band for that,” Bass said. “Then we’re going to play in Winston-Salem and then drive back to Asheville after the gig. We have friends in Asheville who will let us stay at their house. Part of the plan is to take the scenic route to Boone. I definitely want to go down and check out that Doc Watson statue that you have there.”
By Derek Halsey
Original article: http://www.wataugademocrat.com/mountaintimes/entertainment/grandpa-s-cough-medicine/article_be138dd0-70ce-11e4-a2e9-bf55a5e42fef.html