The classic bluegrass and American acoustic string band:
In addition to the founding duo Paul Stowe (Salt Lake City, USA) on guitars, mouth harp and vocals and Trevor Morriss(London, GB) on mandolin, Irish bouzouki, guitar and vocals joining Grass Root Tiesas a quartet are former regulars, now guest musicians in Matching Ties virtuoso fiddler and multi-instrumen- talist (mandolin, banjo, guitar) Georg Baehr and upright bass player, multi-instrumentalist Thomas Kaerner. To complete the classic bluegrass instrumentation Grass Root Ties is joined by veteran banjo player, guitarist and singer Thilo Hain as quintet.
Grass Root Ties also performs as a trio with Thomas Kaerner or Georg Baehr.
Their show and their repertoire: up-tempo standard and original bluegrass songs, slow ballads and gospel songs, fiddle tunes and breakdowns (instrumentals), country blues from the Mississippi Delta and other folk blues traditions on resophonic steel guitar (slide) and mouth harp, western swing songs and tunes from the repertoire of Bob Wills and other greats, standard swing from the 20s to 40s, bluegrass and acoustic country arrangements of 1950s to 1970s folk and country classics i.e. from Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Band, The Byrds, Little Feat, Hank Williams, The Eagles, Johnny Cash, Creedence Clearwater Revival and many more as well as newgrass (rocking bluegrass songs) in the style of “Newgrass Revival” and other famous newgrass bands. Among the best players on their respective instruments in the European bluegrass and country scene, lead singers Paul and Trevor (mother language English) are joined by the others in exact and expressive 2-4 part harmony vocals making them a band as versed vocally as they are instrumentally. Their show is loosened up by spontaneous, slap-stick situation comedy creating a positive and fun atmosphere, instructive about the music, but never boring or dry.
What is bluegrass?
*Bluegrass is a form of American folk music typically played on acoustic stringed instruments such as guitar, fiddle (violin), mandolin, 5-string banjo and bass. Though usually played without percussion instruments, it is full of intrinsic driving rhythms, highly technical yet harmonically appealing solos and expressive 3 to 4 part vocal harmonies. Bluegrass takes its roots from the music of the British Isles and Ireland as well as from Black American, gospel and country music. Grass Root Ties adds elements of rock and swing music on many of their numbers playing a more progressive style of bluegrass known as newgrass.
Paul Stowe (Utah, USA) acoustic and resophonic steel-bodied guitars, mouth harp and vocals
Trevor Morriss (London, GB) mandolin, Irish bouzouki, guitar and vocals
Georg Bähr (Berlin & Aschaffenburg, Germany) fiddle (violin), mandolin, banjo and vocals
Thomas Kärner (Bayreuth, Germany) upright bass, mandolin, dobro, vocals
Thilo Hain (in the quintet, Hessen, Germany) 5-string banjo, guitar, vocals
Roots and History
As the sister group of the well established folk band Matching Ties, Grass Root Ties includes 3 present and 1 former or occasional guest Matching Ties member plus veteran 5-string banjo player and guitarist Thilo Hain from the excellent gospel bluegrass group Sacred Sounds of Grass.
Matching Ties began in the year 1986 as an American style band establishing themselves already in their early years as one of the leading bluegrass and American acoustic music acts in Europe appearing in many major club and theater venues and festivals in the bluegrass, country, folk and cultural scenes throughout the Continent as well as several tours in the U.S. Paul Stowe and Trevor Morriss have played over 3000 concerts together as a duo or with the many fine musicians who have come and gone over the years in their trio to quintet line-ups. In the last years, however Matching Ties became more of an Irish and British folk band. Due to Trevor and Pauls increasing interest in Irish and Celtic music, and the economic realities that the music sells well in Europe, Matching Ties became engaged more and more in folk venues. New Matching Ties members from Ireland further defined the Irish/Celtic direction of the band. Paul and Trevor however never lost their love for bluegrass and American acoustic music, and always included several numbers in these styles in the show. In the last years Matching Ties continued to appear occasionally at bluegrass and country venues, but most of the shows were in the Irish and Celtic folk scene. It was felt that a separation of the two musical directions was necessary. Grass Root Ties was born in 2012. With this new exciting project Grass Root Ties returns to the European bluegrass and country scenes, but also to a wide variety of audiences in other scenes and venues. This multi-stylistic approach has always been their trademark, to present a wide variety, appealing to many different audiences.