Jack Grelle (pronounced Grell-ee) is a proud Missouri boy who sings his personal stories of the road and the people he has met along the way. A country and folk singer-songwriter, Jack joins a new wave of young transient musicians who play America’s music on street corners and bar stools across the country. His songs provide a glimpse into the life of a modern day traveling guitar man who endures the same hardship and heartaches as the greats did before him. With a poetic country charm that characterizes his singsongs, Jack continues to build on the rich patchwork of the American music tradition.
The new album, “Jack Grelle and the Johnson Family,” out now on Big Muddy Records, features twelve original songs that cross the spectrum of folk and country. From truckin’ country to Cajun waltzes and barroom sing-alongs, “Jack Grelle and the Johnson Family” is a carefully crafted album that has all the Americana you could ever wish for. A slang term from the early 1900’s, William S. Burroughs defines the “Johnson Family” as a collection of “good bums” who can be trusted and relied upon. Appropriately, the album features a backing band that includes everything from a professional, world-class multi-instrumentalist to a rookie ace pedal steel player. Piano, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, washboard, upright bass, some twang-y electric guitar and even a Cajun triangle all join together in a barroom symphony behind Jack’s honest and vibrant take on folk Americana.
After immersing himself in DIY punk scene in Middle Missouri, touring with the likes of Bookmobile and Nature Walk, Jack found himself being pulled toward the framework of country music and the freedom of the open road. Sticking true to his hardworking DIY ethos, Jack sacrificed electricity for an acoustic guitar and swapped his punk anthems for country boogies. He has rambled the country from coast to coast sharing his music. Though he is still young, his voice has been aged by his travels. Like a tarp beaten and weathered from years of exposure to the elements, Jack’s voice can sound worn. Yet his music provides warmth for any wayfarer or lost-soul seeking some solace. His laid-back attitude and good nature has opened doors for him in every town he has visited. In return, Jack leaves behind the haunting echoes of his music in the hearts and memories of the people he meets.