Grew up in Crozet and Bath County Virginia. Zeek 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 has returned to his Bluegrass roots. He has developed his own style of picking, building off of inspiration from Tony Rice, Dan Tyminski, and Dan Crary. He placed first in the guitar competition at the VFMA in Chesterfield, VA . 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.
From Crozet, Virginia. Fred began playing the guitar at the age of fourteen, and picked up the mandolin when he was twenty and the dobro a few years later. Although he started out playing folk and rock music, he has since developed an obsession for Bluegrass. For the past decade, he has been playing consistently with several Bluegrass bands in Connecticut and Central Virginia. In 2005, Fred and Zeek began putting together the original lineup for Grit City Grass. Fred is a multi-instrumentalist who can play smoking breaks on mandolin, guitar, and dobro. He contributes a strong baritone to most Grit City Grass songs, and sings lead on some songs. In 2008, 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 and French. He lives in Charlottesville, Va with his wife Vari and son Julian. Vari recently received her master’s degree in counseling.
Raised in Dyke, VA, and Brandon 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.
Came to Grit City Grass as a triple threat: J.W. 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 in Crozet, Virginia.