Grits & Soul

Spreading the Gospel of Southern Sound

A New Chapter

A new chapter for us...

At the first of the year, we began slowing things down so that we could have more time to write new material and concentrate on what we want musically. As we began considering all the possiblities for a new album, John and I couldn't deny that it was time for a big (and maybe a little scary...) step forward.

It's a bittersweet decision to move from Asheville, though we are very hopeful and excited to see what this next chapter will bring our way.

We are going to relocate to John’s hometown outside of Lexington to take advantage of well-earned downtime to stretch and challenge ourselves musically. We plan on doing something a little different for this next recording!

As you know, we have been traveling far & wide over the past few years promoting our Flood Waters album, from which we have learned and grown both personally and professionally -- I’m not so sure it would have worked as well for us anywhere else, except for Asheville. We are excited about the possibilities and know that the musical traditions of Western North Carolina we've absorbed in the past four years directly compliment Kentucky's own musical heritage, where they say everyone is issued a mandolin at birth...

We cannot say enough about the quality and character of the musicians and industry professionals in Western North Carolina. We became students of the rich regional culture and have loved promoting the state as we travel all over the world playing our music. We consider you family and we will miss everyone so much, though you will continue to see us often! 

So, thank you: thank you for your support, the opportunity to learn from you, and the friendship we will continue to carry with us. We'll be back often until the end of the year and beyond. 

Please continue to check back with us as we add shows in the area and have more news on our upcoming album. 

Look forward to seeing you! 

Oh, hello, 2016...!

It's February already?!

After such a busy, whirlwind of a 2015, like a pair of bears, we've been mostly hibernating through the cold, snowy (sometimes rainy) winter. We caught up with family and friends, played a few shows here and there, and reflected on the year -- as you do. We’ve emerged at last and are looking at what 2016 will bring!

2015…all we can say is WOW. You blew our minds! We can’t be more thankful for our friends in the music community for their overwhelming support and friendship! It literally took us all over the world last year.

What do you do after that?! Start working on a long-overdue new album, that's what.

But first…how 'bout a quick retrospective?

This past year, we had the honor and pleasure to open for: our talented friends, The Honeycutters in Lexington, Kentucky; the man himself, Jim Lauderdale, at the Ingles 4th of July Celebration in Downtown Asheville; the Hackensaw Boys at Riverlink River Music series (along with our friends the Jon Stickley Trio); and, another one of our favorite songwriters Cahalen Morrison and Country Hammer. Yeah!

In March, we were invited to play at Suwannee Springfest in Live Oak, Florida headlined by The Wood Brothers.  This is a festival we’ve heard so much about so, getting the opportunity to perform (even though John got sick and lost his voice) was awesome! That is one magical place…held in a forest of live oak trees and hanging moss by the Suwannee River…and the music. Shew. It was epic.  We came back to Spirit of Suwannee Park in October to play Magnolia Fest, headlined by the Tedeschi Trucks Band. What a weekend. In between spring and fall, we covered some Southern ground, traversing all over Tennessee, Mississippi (with our pals Honeyboy & Boots), West Virginia, Georgia, as well as North and South Carolina.

Speaking of experiences: EUROPE. WOW. CountryFest in Belgium was so much fun and the Belgian people are really cool. John & I packed as much as we could in to two weeks – traipsing around Belgium, France, and Italy. It was an incredible trip and we were so fortunate to have such awesome friends over there to help us get around! From Sint-Truiden to Bruges to Paris to Milan to Venice – whoa... We played in Belgium, had a show in Paris, and another one in Ravenna, Italy. During the in-between times, we saw so many beautiful places, met so many wonderful people, and ate amazing food (let’s be honest, that IS the priority…), we are still remembering bits and pieces from our journey and recalling (in honest amazement) all the things we did! 

Now that 2016 is upon us, we’ve decided it’s time to slow things down so that we can have some creative down time to work on more new songs and put together a brand new album for you this fall!

We’ll still be playing some festivals (Suwannee Springfest is coming up in March!!) and shows here and there, but for right now our focus is to write, write, write! We’re going down into the rabbit hole and can’t wait to see what comes from our period of hibernation!

As always, take care, stay in touch, and we'll see you soon --

Much Love, 

Anna + John

Summertime: You Gonna Rise Up Singing

Friends -- 

We hope y'all are having a great summer so far! In this part of the world, everyone is getting outside as much as possible to enjoy the warmer months in the mountains (I've got the sunburn to prove it).

We have had a great and busy time of it ourselves: June took us to West Virginia to play a few shows, visited with our friend, songwriter Andrew Adkins who helped us tremendously on that leg (THANK YOU, ANDREW!), and made lots of new friends. West Virginia is a gorgeous place. The only thing we missed seeing was the Mystery Hole.  I'm still disappointed about that...

Blackwater Falls. Davis, West Virginia. Many thanks to Viola for taking the photo!

Blackwater Falls. Davis, West Virginia. Many thanks to Viola for taking the photo!

As for July, we've stayed close to home. We felt so fortunate to be asked to open for Jim Lauderdale at the Ingles 4th of July Independence Day Celebration in downtown Asheville. That was a fun one! Then we -- along with our friends The Jon Stickley Trio -- were on the bill supporting the Hackensaw Boys for Asheville's RiverMusic concert series. Those were both great events and we appreciate everyone who worked so hard to put them on.

August. Now, here's where it really starts to get interesting! Shows in AshevilleLexington, and Nashville -- then we're heading back to Mississippi! One of many reasons we're looking forward to this trip is we are meeting up with friends at the Mississippi state line: the husband/wife duo Honeyboy and Boots!  Drew & Courtney met in Mississippi just like John & I did. We heard about them through mutual Mississippi friends and finally got to hang out with them a few months ago. They are great musicians and their music is funky, bluesy, and damn good! So, why not do a little tour together?!

When we hit our old stompin' grounds in Jackson, we will team up with Muscle Shoals band The Valley Roots for a show at Hal & Mal's Red Room (Many thanks to Ardenland!). Now THAT is gonna be a homecoming. We got to play with The Valley Roots in Nashville in April and were blown away. So much soul! Good company to keep, right?

After our Mississippi adventures -- pinch us -- we're headed to EUROPE!!

Country Festival, outside of Brussels, Belgium, is happening the weekend of August 28 and has invited us over to be a part of their festival line-up...Grits & Soul will be sooooo continental, dahlin'.  (Maybe more like country mouse goes to town...) We are still working out details on other shows while we're over there -- Belgium, France, and Northern Italy (check the calendar for updates) -- needless to say, we are THRILLED to have this opportunity.

Right after we get back in September, we're going to head up the East Coast and play a few shows! A highlight of the tour is being able to play Michael Daves' bluegrass night at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. More details to come on that trip as well. There's more great stuff coming up in the fall, but I don't want your head to explode ;) ...mine has already...messy process.

Here's the full listing of our summer rambles below!

We look forward to seeing you this summer -- until then, happy trails & don't waste an opportunity to have some fun :)

Anna + John

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