Grit City Grass
Grit City Grass has been playing in the Charlottesville, VA area since 2005 and has acquired a strong fan base. Their original songs have powerful lyrics, soaring harmonies, and unique musical arrangements. Their self-published CD titled "Rumble of the Rails" has consistently sold well at performances. They get regular radio play on "Bluegrass Sunday Morning", broadcasting out of Charlottesville.
Grit City Grass has won first place in two band competitions including the Maury River Fiddler’s Convention in Buena Vista, Va in 2009 and the VFMA Festival in Chesterfield Va in 2008. At both competitions, they also came home with multiple individual awards including male vocal, guitar, dobro, and judge's awards.
The members of Grit City Grass are currently working hard self-producing their second CD. They are of course interested in signing with a record label, and they are planning a European tour for the summer of 2012. They have been keeping their music around central Virginia. Now, they are ready to take it to the next level--to travel and show the world what they are all about!
Zeek Shifflett-guitar, lead vocal
Fred Anderson- mandolin, lead and backup vocal
J.W. Brown- upright bass, lead and tenor vocal
Liza Flood- fiddle, backup vocal
Brandon Johnson- banjo, lead and backup vocal
!!Listen ~ Bluegrass_Growing_In_My_Strings ~ Icy_Mountain_Backstep ~ Rumble_Of_The_Rails ~ Listen!!
Sample Song List
|These Old Blues
||Icy Mountain Backstep
|Is your Love on Vacation
||Where Corn Don't Grow
|Wait a Minute
||One Way Track
||Talking to Myself
|If I Only Had a Dime
||Rumble of the Rails
|Thanks a Lot
||Walking Through my Memory
|Breaking New Ground
|Will that Whistle Ever Blow
||Broken Bluegrass Boy
|I Forget About the world
||Carolina In the Pines
|Love of the Mountains
||Cold Sheets of Rain
|Bluegrass Growing in My Strings
|West Virginia Girl
||Them Damn Jeans
||Road to Columbus
|Why You Been Gone So Long
||You Better Kiss Me
|Too Much Mtn Dew
||Just Wondering Why
||Phone Call Away
|Things I Left Behind
Zeek Shifflett grew up in Crozet and Bath County Virginia. He has been surrounded by Bluegrass music since he was born and began playing bass before he was ten. His parents, uncles, sisters, and cousins all played music, so he was destined to join this family tradition. In his teens, Zeek began playing Country and Rock'n'roll guitar. During this time, he crafted a high-energy vocal style and a driving rhythmic sensibility. Zeek has performed with a number of groups, including The Barn Dogs, Backroads, and Saddle Back. Though he has an extensive performance history playing blues and rock, Zeek became hooked on bluegrass when he heard Tony Rice play the guitar. He has since developed his own style of picking. He placed first in the guitar competition at the Maury River Fiddler’s Convention in 2009. Zeek’s vocals add a unique and energetic sound to Grit City Grass. He owns a painting business and lives in Crozet, Va. with his wife Renee, a talented horse trainer and huge supporter of Grit City Grass.
Fred Anderson is from Crozet, Virginia. He has played the guitar since the age of fourteen, and the mandolin since he was twenty. Although he started out playing folk and rock music, he has since developed an obsession for Bluegrass. For the past six years, he has been playing consistently with several Bluegrass bands including Middletown, Valley Road, Backroads, and Saddle Back. He is a multi-instrumentalist who can play smoking breaks on mandolin, guitar, and dobro. Fred contributes a strong baritone to most Grit City Grass songs, and sings lead on some songs. He won first place at VFMA in Chesterfield, VA for dobro. He writes great instumentals for the band and has a talent for arranging songs--an important ingredient in the unique sound of Grit City Grass. He has two bachelor's degrees and teaches high school Spanish. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and French. He lives in Charlottesville, Va with his wife Vari and son Julian. Vari recently received her master’s degree in counseling.
J.W. Brown came to Grit City Grass as a triple threat: he writes many of the songs for the band, anchors the low end with precision and feeling, and owns a clear, smooth tenor lead voice that’s a high lonesome head-turner. J.W.’s soulful songwriting draws from both his life experiences and his creativity, and remains firmly anchored in the best of the bluegrass tradition. He plays upright bass in the band, although he is also a gifted guitar picker. J.W. won first place in the male vocal category at the VFMA festival in Chesterfield, VA and the judge's award two years in a row at the Maury River Fiddler's Convention. His father gave him a guitar on his twelfth birthday and he has been playing and writing ever since. In addition to his musical parents, he has been inspired by John Duffey, John Starling, and Russell Moore. He has two grown children and lives with his wife Pam in Culpeper, VA, where they own a barber shop.
Liza Flood is from Charlottesville VA. She grew up playing classical violin, but found her true calling in bluegrass fiddle during college. While living in Asheville, NC Liza played with a number of bands, including Blue Roan, Big Life, the Red Eye Ramblers, and River Ford. Important musical guides along the way have included Ray Cadle and Junior McCumbers (both from Calhoun County, WV), James Anderson, and Nicky Sanders. Her favorite fiddle players are Stuart Duncan, Ron Stewart, Casey Dreissen, and Bruce Molsky. Liza adds a contagious energy to the band with her amazing fiddle playing and backup vocals, and she writes beautiful songs rooted in traditonal bluegrass. In 2006, she won the Rocky Grass Bluegrass Festival fiddle contest. She has a master's degree in counseling, and is currently pursuing her PhD in ethnomusicology. She hopes someday to write her dissertation on women in bluegrass. She lives in Charlottesville, VA with her husband David, a talented bluegrass guitar and old-time banjo player.
Brandon Johnson was raised in Dyke, VA, and he began playing guitar at the age of eight. Wanting to emulate his guitarist grandfather, his first musical aspiration was to play alongside him at their church. He studied music in school, playing tuba, string bass, and electric guitar. He was a member of multiple band ensembles, sang with the school choir, and did a summer-long stint in a hand bell choir. He took an interest in the banjo at the age of fifteen, and has since spread his talents to mandolin and dobro. Brandon’s strong and emotive voice tops off his long list of musical gifts. He has played with the Precious Memories, The Joy Makers, Backroads, Lisa Roberson, and Norman Wright. He cites his grandfather, Earl Scruggs, Tony Rice, Charlie Waller, and Norman Wright as being his most powerful musical influences. Brandon lives in Clifton Forge, VA and his girlfriend Summer--one of Grit City Grass’s biggest fans--is working her way through college and is currently eligible for multiple degrees.