By Aaron Davis (for JHWeekly.com)
Growlers invade the UKingdom
Across England, Ireland and Scotland, Jackson’s own Random Canyon Growlers are among a growing sector of local bands that are broadening their scope and going big with their own music. This time, it’s across the pond.
The grizzly Growlers are a high-powered, hard-driving bluegrass machine with breakneck traditional chops. They have been an elastic unit over the last couple of years with a rotating cast of pickers that has settled into the current quintet—singer/songwriter/guitarist Jamie Drysdale, bassist Matt Donovan, fiddler Matt Herron, guitarist/mandolinist Jon DeGroot, and banjoist Brock Benjamin.
In the end, the recent United Kingdom tour was a grind of twenty-eight shows in twenty-six days, including six radio spots and a few moments of busking on the streets. Venues ranged from old barns and churches to pubs and living rooms. Shortly after the tour came to a close, I caught up with Donovan in England.
Aaron Davis: Have there been aspects of the shows or culture that you didn’t expect?
Matt Donovan: This was unchartered territory in many respects, so I tried to abandon expectations on the premise they can be restricting. One unexpected reaction we heard consistently was that this style of music isn’t readily available to the people. That reinforced our decision greatly and