Grascals garners success creating ‘American Pickers’ new theme song

Jan 06 2014

Grascals garners success creating ‘American Pickers’ new theme song

It’s hard to believe 10 years ago Dolly Parton would take note of a band called The Grascals and invite them as an opening act on her bluegrass tour.

Now fast forward to present day 2014. The Grascals have garnered three Grammy Award nominations for Best Bluegrass album and television appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Marie Osmond Show” and “The CBS Early Show.” The band recently released a new album “When I Get My Pay” through Mountain Home Music Company.

The new album includes the hit “American Pickers” a song written by The Grascals for pal Mike Wolfe of History Channel’s popular TV show “American Pickers.” The song highlights the travels of Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz and their adventures around the globe looking for rusty gold in the form of antiques and vintage collectibles with the aid of their beloved assistant Danielle Colby.

I interviewed mandolin player Danny Roberts, a founding member of The Grascals and the two-time winner of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music America’s Mandolin Performer of the Year.

Q: Tell us what is in store for 2014?

A: We got a lot of exciting things to keep the year rolling. The newest thing that is really exciting is our song “American Pickers,” which is the new theme song for the TV show. A lot of touring with theaters and festivals. The new CD “When I Get My Pay” just came out and it has already went to number one on the Bluegrass Today charts.

Q: Do you think the new album will get a Grammy this year?

A: Ha! I don’t know. We were all hoping for it last year, thinking third time might be a charm, but it is just really awesome to be thought of and be nominated. But I do hope to have a Grammy award sitting on the mantel one day. We are just really excited that are fans like our music enough for us to get nominated.

Q: Is there a gospel album in the works?

A: We went in the studio initially to record two albums, but time and other various schedules got in the way and we haven’t started yet. We have all the material for a gospel album, so expect to get one from us soon in the future.

Q: Kristen Scott Benson (banjo) sings for the first time on this album She is a great banjo picker how is she as a vocalist?

A: She is great. She has always sang harmony and is a great harmony singer backing up Larry Stevenson when she performed with him. Jamie Johnson (vocals, guitar) and his wife had written this tune called “Are You Up For Getting Down Tonight?” and then she started singing the song as a duo with Jamie, and we all decided she needed to do it, and it has done really well, and people seem to really enjoy it.

Q: Do you think bluegrass as a genre is becoming more mainstream with appearances like The Grascals on “The Tonight Show?”

A: Anytime you can get a bluegrass band, whether its us or anybody on major television like that, it is always a positive thing. I think the genre will continue to grow in a positive direction. From Flatt &Scruggs on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” to “Oh, Brother Were Art Thou” with Allison Krauss and Union Station, and even somebody like Alan Jackson recording a bluegrass album, there has to be something to it for this stuff to be happening.


Josh Belcher is a Columbia resident, a freelance writer, a drummer, a stand-up comic and a single dad.

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