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Gritz
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Artist or Band

Artist or Band

1975_Caroline Smith Head and David Michael Head Wedding. (L-R) Kenny Camp, Rick Lowe, Coart Johnson, wedding guest, and Leesa Nanney.

Artist or Band

Artist or Band

1976_Gritz at the Andiron Spartanburg, SC. (L-R) John Culbreath, Rick Lowe, Coart Johnson, and Leesa Nanney.

Artist or Band

Artist or Band

1976_Rick Lowe

Artist or Band

Artist or Band

Leesa Nanney

Artist or Band

Artist or Band

Gritz live. (L-R) John Culbreath, Rick Lowe, Coart Johnson, and Leesa Nanney.

Artist or Band

Artist or Band

Gritz live. (L-R) Rick Lowe, Coart Johnson, and Leesa Nanney.

Artist or Band

Artist or Band

Gritz live. (L-R) Coart Johnson, and Leesa Nanney.

Promo Materials

Promo Materials

1976_Gritz business card.

Promo Materials

Promo Materials

1976_Gritz business card.

Promo Materials

Promo Materials

1987_Gritz Band Reunion ticket.

Promo Materials

Promo Materials

1987_Gritz Band Reunion T-Shirt.

Articles and Write-ups

Articles and Write-ups

1973_The Greenville News article.

Articles and Write-ups

Articles and Write-ups

1975_Gritz on the porch at 2040 Reidville Road house.

Articles and Write-ups

Articles and Write-ups

Gritz on stage article.

Articles and Write-ups

Articles and Write-ups

1987_Rising Stars reunion article.

Releases

Releases

1977 LP release "Quick Gritz" front cover.

Releases

Releases

1977 LP release "Quick Gritz" rear cover.

Releases

Releases

1977 LP release "Quick Gritz" side 1.

Releases

Releases

1977 LP release "Quick Gritz" side 2.

As mentioned before on the Stoney Creek String Band showcase page, you can’t have one of these wonderful bands without the other. Gritz and Stoney Creek are intertwined at the root, born from each other and both containing a wealth of talented individuals and musicians. It is a gift that one complete recording came from each band and more so that I am allowed to present these in their entirety.

 

Much thanks goes to Danny Griggs for taking the time to talk with me about the history and story behind Gritz and to Gaille Cook for all the work she did gathering items to use on these pages, information on both bands, and helping to put names to faces throughout the photo albums.

Bio from interview with Danny Griggs and album rear cover:

Gritz was formed in 1973 by Danny Griggs, Coart Johnson, Rick Lowe, and Leesa Nanney, all students at Furman University in Greenville, SC. Although their collective backgrounds included classical, folk, rock, and religious music, it was the first experience with bluegrass music for all. The first practice session, held at a professor’s home, was snowed in and became an all night affair. A midnight breakfast revealed a common liking for grits which was a reflection of personality as well as appetite, (after all anyone who eats grits’ must be a little “down home”), hence, the name Gritz.

 

The band’s original intention was to play only traditional music, but after a couple of years, Gritz began to play anything that could be converted to bluegrass and reached the point of playing all styles of music, restricted only by the framework of traditional accoustic instrumentation. The essence of the band however remained traditional. Gritz members studied the history of bluegrass, they put on lecture – demonstration seminars for colleges and other interest groups, tracing the development of bluegrass from its earliest roots up to newgrass.

 

In 1977 Gritz traveled to Atlanta, Ga. to record their only album release titled “Quick Gritz” at Lefevre Studios. The band lineup for this was Coart Johnson (vocals and guitar), John Culbreath (vocals, banjo and guitar), Rick Lowe (vocals, fiddle, and mandolin), Leesa Nanney (vocals and upright bass). The project was engineered by Chip Allen and the cover art was provided by renowned Mad Magazine artist/illustrator, Jack Davis with lettering by Jim Campbell.

 

Recorded on eight track tape each vocal and each instrument were placed on separate tracks recorded simultaneously with the band standing in a circle. No additional musicians, instruments, or vocals were added by Gritz the result being near identical to a Gritz live performance.

 

Members through the years:

Danny Griggs – Banjo, Guitar

Kenny Camp – Banjo

Bill Onesty – Guitar

Coart Johnson - Guitar

John Culbreath - Banjo, Fiddle, and Guitar

Rick Lowe - Fiddle

Leesa Nanney – Bass (upright)

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