The Grascals perform at MCCC

When you think of celebrities coming to Monroe, you often think of the big name tickets that float through during one of the summer events, like the Jazz Festival or the Monroe County Fair.

But on Nov. 19, MCCC played host to The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s 2010 band of the year, The Grascals.

The Grascals, founded in 2004, gained a level of notability by playing on the Grand Ole Opry and bluegrass festivals across the country.

The Grascals are Terry Eldredge (guitar/vocals), Jamie Johnson (guitar/vocals), Danny Roberts (mandolin), Terry Smith (upright bass/vocals), Kristin Scott Benson (banjo), and Jeremy Abshire (fiddle).

They have produced seven albums to date, and have had three albums peak at number one on the United States Bluegrass charts: “Long List of Heartaches (2006),” “Keep on Walkin (2008),” and “Country Classics with a Bluegrass Spin (2011).”

Approximately 250 guests filled Meyer Theater for a two hour performance by The Grascals, with a local band named Flatland Grass opening.

The Grascals are a Nashville based sextet, and their instruments and voices blended to create a great introduction to the historic and rural genre of bluegrass.

They graced the stage with only two guitars, an upright bass, a fiddle, a banjo and a mandolin and performed songs from their latest album. Their song, “I Am Strong” brought tears to many in the audience.

The song is a dedication to children who are sick (St Jude’s patients); it is their words to the world.

“Know in your heart, when you see me, I am strong. I wear a mask, I have no hair, I may be sick, I may be scared, but I know God, he answers prayers, and I am strong.”

They also sang their rendition of Louisiana Saturday Night (original by Bob McDill, 1981), which can also be found on their current album.