David GrismanDavid Grisman
David Grisman (born March 23, 1945 in Hackensack, New Jersey) is a noted Jewish bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist and composer of acoustic music. In the early 1990s, he started the Acoustic Disc record label in an effort to preserve and spread acoustic or instrumental music.
David Grisman started his musical career in 1963 as a member of Even Dozen Jug Band. His nickname, "Dawg" was affectionately assigned by his close friend Jerry Garcia in 1973 (the two met in 1964 at a Bill Monroe show at Sunset Park in West Grove, PA). "Dawg Music" is what he calls his mixture of bluegrass and Django Reinhardt-Stéphane Grappelli-influenced jazz, as highlighted on his 1977 album "Hot Dawg". Stephane Grappelli played on a couple of tracks on the Hot Dawg album and then the 1981 recording "Stephane Grappelli and David Grisman Live". It was Grisman's combination of Reinhardt-era Jazz, bluegrass, folk, Old World Mediterranean string band music, as well as modern Jazz fusion that came to embody "Dawg" music.
Grisman's father had been a professional trombonist at one time, and he had young David take piano lessons at the age of seven. In the early 1950s, Grisman heard the beginnings of rock 'n' roll, and was influenced by pop music and everything he heard. Grisman's father died when he was 10, and David drifted away from the piano. He took it up again when he was about 13 or 14, but then discovered folk music through the Kingston Trio; a group that became popular during the American folk music revival.
David, and three friends from his school, then met folklorist and musician Ralph Rinzler in Passaic, New Jersey, and became greatly influenced by Rinzler's vast knowledge on the subject of traditional music. After that, David knew what he wanted to do with his life; and Greenwich Village in New York City was bustling with folk musicians by this time. In 1963, Grisman was in the Even Dozen Jug Band, and they recorded an album that year on Elektra Records.
Grisman did a Red Allen and Frank Wakefield session for Folkways Records in 1963, but didn't play with Red Allen and the Kentuckians until 1966. Grisman played mandocello on Tom Paxton's album "Morning Again" (Elektra, 1967).
In 1967, Grisman was in a psychedelic rock group called Earth Opera with Peter Rowan. In 1973, Grisman joined Rowan, Vassar Clements, Jerry Garcia and John Kahn to form the bluegrass group Old and in the Way. In 1974, Grisman, Rowan, Greene, and Kahn joined Bill Keith, Clarence White, and John Guerin in the group Muleskinner. In 1974, Grisman was also in the The Great American Music Band. Then in 1975, he started his own band; the David Grisman Quintet.
In addition to performing with the DGQ (David Grisman Quintet), David Grisman also performs with his bluegrass group, the DGBX (David Grisman Bluegrass Experience). Other members of the DGBX are Keith Little on banjo, Chad Manning on fiddle, Jim Nunally on guitar, Samson Grisman on upright bass.
Some of the musicians that have played with David Grisman, or have been part of the DGQ (David Grisman Quintet), include: Rob Wasserman, Denny Zeitlin, Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Peter Rowan, John Carlini, Mark O'Connor, Béla Fleck, Clarence White, Bob Brozman, Mike Auldridge, Mike Seeger, David Bromberg, Stephane Grappelli, Martin Taylor, Del McCoury, Ralph Stanley, Jon Sholle, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, Beppe Gambetta, Vassar Clements, Richard Greene, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger (Turtle Island String Quartet), Sam Bush, Stephane Wrembel, Joe Craven, Todd Phillips, Jim Kerwin, Enrique Coria, Frank Vignola, George Marsh, Matt Eakle, Grant Gordy and the Kronos Quartet.
- Grisman, along with New Grass Revival are generally considered the modern day interpreters of the new bluegrass-influenced fusion sound, sometimes called newgrass.
- The documentary Grateful Dawg (2000) chronicles the deep friendship between Jerry Garcia and David Grisman.
- David Grisman appeared on the Grateful Dead's American Beauty 1970 album. To this day, Grisman complains (jokingly) of how Jerry Garcia vetoed the length of the mandolin part featured on the studio version of "Ripple".
- "Dawggy Mountain Breakdown" is NPR's Car Talk's theme music.
- David Grisman sued YouTube in May 2007, complaining in federal court that YouTube should be required to prevent individuals from posting recordings of Grisman's music (rather than that Grisman should be responsible for licensing and policing his own copyrights).
- With Even Dozen Jug Band
- With Old and in the Way
- Garcia & Grisman
- Solo, with others, and with DGQ (David Grisman Quintet)
- Soundtrack for Roger Corman's EAT MY DUST starring Ron Howard
- The David Grisman Quintet - 1977
- Hot Dawg - 1978
- Quintet '80 - 1980
- Early Dawg - 1980
- Mondo Mando - 1981
- Dawg Jazz/Dawg Grass - 1982
- Here Today - 1982
- David Grisman's Acoustic Christmas - 1983
- David Grisman - 1983
- Mandolin Abstractions [live] - 1983
- Acousticity - 1984
- High Country Snows - 1985
- Svingin' with Svend - 1986
- Home Is Where the Heart Is - 1988
- Dawg '90 - 1990
- Common Chord - 1993
- David Grisman Rounder Compact Disc - 1993
- Dawgwood - 1993
- Tone Poems - 1994
- Tone Poems 2 - 1995
- Dawganova - 1995
- DGQ-20 - 1996
- Retrograss - 1999
- Dawg Duos - 1999
- Tone Poems 3: The Sounds of the Great Slide & Resophonic Instruments - 2000
- New River - 2001
- Traversata [live] - 2001
- Dawgnation - 2002
- Life of Sorrow - 2003
- New Shabbos Waltz - 2006
- Dawg's Groove [live] - 2006
- DGBX - 2006
- Classic Dawg [DVD] [live] - 2006
- Satisfied - 2007
- Acoustic Disc official website
- David Grisman at The Music Box - An extensive collection of reviews
- Grateful Dawg at the Internet Movie Database
- Illustrated Even Dozen Jug Band discography
- Internet Radio Interview w/ David Grisman David talks about his roots in 1960's Greenwich Village and his ideas about acoustic music.
- Digital Interviews: David Grisman
- David Grisman sits in with The Frank Wakefield Band at the Freight and Salvage 4-19-1998
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