Wednesday, October 1, 2014


If all is fair in love and war, add music to that mix and Tony White might just agree.  A few years back, in the world of Nashville he calls home, he spied a pretty "real cool girl" who played a mean banjo with a bluegrass flavor and invited her "to strum and jam with me."  With her banjo and mandolin, he knew he was on to "something good. I already had a crush on her."  Her name was Grace and their paths crossed and contacted, his punk heavy metal band met her softer, gentler bluegrass and together they took their music in a different direction.

Tony describes their sound as Punkgrass and you'll have the opportunity to hear this husband and wife duo and sample their uniqueness on Wednesday, October 8 at  7:30 p.m. at the Ballroom at the Outer Space, 295 Treadwell Street, Hamden. For tickets ($10-12), call 203-288-6400 or go online to Tony and Grace will be the opening act for Dom Flemons, who founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops and is known as an American songster.  Flemons is a multi-instrumentalist and is likely to play guitar, banjo, harmonica, fife, bones and jug as he travels along a path of old time music, rhythm and blues, early jazz and some original tunes.  With his vintage hat and strumming his 1920's banjo, he will project a sound that screams  of its "old time roots."

As for Tony and Grace, Tony describes Punkgrass as a combination of his punk rock background melding and merging with Grace's southern Gospel and bluegrass background.  As a fusion of old and new, Tony brags "We play whatever pops into our heads, from classic rock to southern Gospel, we scratch every itch.  It's dark, yet happy; silly, yet serious.  Plus it's a whole lot of fun to play."

Their new album "November" is termed "emotionally connective music," embracing "lyrical tales of murder, addiction and lost love wrapped up with a happy twist."  To say dark themes intrigue Tony and Grace is an understatement and how they surround them with a Tootsie Roll covering of fun is just plain original.

As for touring, Tony calls it "surreal.  People care about us and overwhelm us with kindness.  It's great to perform with Grace.  It's funny.  She's always nervous before a show, no matter the size or venue.  I'm not nervous but I'm not good under pressure, whereas she is.  She's a rock and always on her mark, and somehow together we work, our vibrations hit."  Their fourteen city tour will take them through the Midwest and Northeast.

Between gigs, they spend a lot of time in the car, riding, where they work on the band and the business, almost 24/7.  As for working with Dom Flemons, that's "wonderful.  He's a Grammy Award winning solo artist who is so talented and we are floored by him.  We hang on to every breathe."

Tony and Grace have nothing to be apologetic about as they've had an "amazing and awesome" engagement at The Kennedy Center and opening for acts like Lyle Lovett, Ricky Scaggs  and Kris Kristofferson.  For Tony, as far as mentors are concerned, "I feel Peter Gabriel is God."

Come to the Outer Space on October 8 and experience an evening of great vibrations with Tony and Grace and Dom Flemons.

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