Grits & Soul
/ɡrits/ \ən(d) \ˈsōl\
n. An Americana duo who fuse roots country with Southern soul and blues.
v. Anna Kline: vocals and guitar. John Looney: vocals, mandolin, and guitar.
adj. Hillbilly R&B
At the heart of Grits & Soul are Anna Kline and John Looney.
For eight years now, the duo has traveled the globe spreading the gospel of Southern sound.
Directly influenced by the redemptive strains of gospel, the drawling tremolo of rhythm and blues, and the raw twang of rural American life, the duo conjures up the pain and the pleasure of calloused hands, tilled earth and the groove of a steel needle digging into a wax 45.
Anna and John lend their voices to the rich tradition of Southern songwriters who constantly explore and push the boundaries of American roots music. Their seamless harmonies and stirring melodies will tear your heart in two.
John was born in Southwest Virginia and raised in Kentucky. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist whose accompaniment on mandolin and guitar gives each song its own personality and distinct groove.
Anna’s Mississippi roots ring clear in her songwriting as well as her capabilities as a vocalist. "[Anna's] voice is a marvel, powerful and expressive, with a keening, gorgeous vibrato that brings forth images of a displaced Depression-era farmer's wife, mourning the loss of her land to the dust. And yet, Grits & Soul is much more than a traditional music retread." (DeSoto Magazine)
Their connection is a powerful one, at once both Southern and deeply universal, inspired by daring, unapologetic songwriters who smash stereotypes by giving voice to our questions, our longings, and speaking to the experience and celebration of life.
Grits & Soul released their first album, Flood Waters, to rave reviews in 2013. Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine called it “intriguing and enveloping.” The recording highlights the collaboration of a gifted songwriter with a talented arranger, who share a mutual sensibility of powerful melodies and compelling storylines. "The listener will hear a different side of them on each and every song." (Prescription Bluegrass)
They are currently working on a material for a new album, returning to their country and Southern soul roots for inspiration.
When they aren’t performing as Grits & Soul, you can find them huddled in a group of late-night pickers, onstage with Don Rogers and The Apostlebillies, or playing square dances with The Local Honeys.