Southern Festivals News Service
DECATUR, GA — Conventionality is not a word that sits well with guitarist/singer/songwriter Todd Mack. In fact, Mack has spent most of the past ten years creating music and building his career in an increasingly unconventional manner. For the past two and a half years, he and multi-instrumentalist Beth Heidelberg have been taking that approach to new heights with THE GRISWOLDS (formerly called magnet).
“It’s not that I am entirely opposed to doing things in a conventional way,” explains Mack. “It just depends on the situation. In many cases I have tried to do things the way they were ‘supposed’ to be done and it just didn’t work.” After years of projects that all had a slightly “different” bent to them, Mack released a solo album in 1994 entitled “Looking for Leon” that got the ball rolling. Primarily an acoustic album, “Looking for Leon” employed the talents of a dozen other musicians and vocalists to help layer the record.
Mack’s next challenge was to figure out a way to recreate some of the CD’s thick tetures on the road without having to employ a dozen people. He found Heidelberg’s name in an Atlanta directory for music instructors. Mack was intrigued by Heidelberg’s long list of woodwinds which includes sax, flute, recorder, penny and tin whistle, oboe, clarinet, and melodica. She uses her instruments to creatively color the open spaces that is trademark of Mack’s writing style and her unique approach adds an exciting visual element to their live shows. incorporated into their sound are overtones of many styles of music including bluegrass, rock, blues, jazz, folk and country among others. The Griswolds create a multi-dimensional sound that is distinctly their own are able to add musician members easily for larger venues.
Over the course of the past two and half years, group has played hundreds of shows and performed for thousands of people throughout the East Coast from Florida to Maine. they have received rave reviews from critics and listeners alike and have nearly sold out of their first release “Texas Saved Her Soul” on Dog Driver Records.
In 1996, they became one of the hottest acts on the southeastern festival circuit having made dozens of appearances throughout the region. Mack and Heidelberg are convinced that it is because of their mix of styles and instrumentation that they have been able to open doors that are not normally open to original acts. In today's world of guitar-driven, grungy rock, it is refreshing to come across a band that takes such a different approach to music making. it may not seem conventional to some, but to most it is a welcomed change and it may just be the best thing The Griswolds have going for them. pO Box 15002, Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone/Fax (404) 373-8346.