Photo courtesy of so much MOORE Media
The Grascals are going to make some kids' wishes come true when they release their new duets album 'The Grascals + Friends: Country Classics With a Bluegrass Spin,' on January 10.
That's because proceeds from the album will go to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital to help desperately ill pediatric patients. One original song on the collection, 'I Am Strong,' was inspired by patients' writings and includes the voices of some of the patients. The album is part of the exclusive music series by Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores.
"We feel really good about it," Terry Smith, upright bassist for the group tells The Boot of the new album. "We had a lot of fun making the album, too.
Just as the title suggests, the duets album puts a bluegrass spin on classic country tunes including 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia,' with Charlie Daniels, 'Tiger by the Tail' with Brad Paisley, 'Folsom Prison Blues' with Dierks Bentley, and 'The Year That Clayton Delaney Died' with that classic song's writer, Tom T. Hall.
All the performers who recorded a song with the Grascals for the album --along with Terri Clark and Alabama's Randy Owen -- lent their voices to 'I Am Strong,' written by guitarist/vocalist Jamie Johnson, his wife Susanne Mumpower-Johnson and fiddler Jenee Fleenor who plays with Martina McBride and others. The trio wrote the song after Jamie saw a wall at St. Jude's with a big "I Am" on top. Beneath it are the words of young patients filling in the "blanks." There in the middle of the wall were the words that inspired Jamie to co-write the song.
Other guests on the album include Dolly Parton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Darryl Worley, Joe Nichols, and actor Steven Seagal, who's currently starring on the A&E TV show 'Lawman.'
"Steven heard us [a few years ago] on satellite radio and fell in love with the Grascals," says Jamie, noting the Grascals have played at two of the action star's birthday parties. "When we decided we wanted to record the song we sent him the song to see if he wanted to be a part. He's a huge supporter of St. Jude's.
Seagal was so taken with the song that he wrote two additional verses for the song.
"I couldn't have more respect and gratitude for that hospital," Seagal says of St. Jude's in a promotional video for the project. "That song meant more to me than I could say to anybody. I am very, very grateful to be a part of it and to be friends with the Grascals and a lot of those other people. Thank you for having me be a part of this because it means so much to me."
Track Listing for 'The Grascals + Friends'
'Tiger By The Tail' (with Brad Paisley)
'Folsom Prison Blues' (with Dierks Bentley)
'Pain of Lovin' You' (with Dolly Parton)
'I Am Strong' (with Dolly Parton)
'Louisiana Saturday Night'
'The Year That Clayton Delaney Died' (with Tom T. Hall)
White Lightning (with Darryl Worley)
'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' (with Charlie Daniels)
'Leavin' Louisiana In Broad Daylight' (with the Oak Ridge Boys)
'Mr. Bojangles' (with Joe Nichols)
Hank Williams Jr. Medley-'Born To Boogie' / 'All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight'
'Cracker Barrel Swing' (Instrumental)
'I Am Strong' (bonus track) Featuring guest appearances by Dolly Parton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Darryl Worley, Charlie Daniels, Terri Clark, Randy Owen, Steven Seagal, Tom T. Hall, Joe Nichols and Ansley McLaurin
For more information about the album, visit the Cracker Barrel website.