"Oh young Grasshoppah you must concentrate and practice for the discipline to achieve string picking enlightenment." Although they do not practice the ancient art of Kung-Fu (yet), Grasshoppah does use some of the same techniques. Their success stems from their high level of musicianship and vocal ability to the undeniable, one-of-a-kind physical srtucture of the group. From just hearing their unique eclectic sound, it is hard to envision a trio. Acoustic guitarist and lead vocalist Glenn House has perfected the ability to play drums with his feet using a series of pedals and contraptions, while simultaneously playing guitar and adding improvised harmonica solos, which requires somewhat of a meditative level of concentration. Brian Oberlin enlightens the higher octave of their sound with his ecstatic mandolin solos and rhythmic chug, in addition to lead/tenor vocals. Never to settle for a mediocre show Brian uses highly progressive effects on the mandolin creating new atmospheres. Shane Bullis provides the lower frequencies by playing electric and stand up bass adding insightful solos and a solid lead/baritone vocal creating incredible three part harmonies. Shane also throws in an occasional freestyle rhyme, putting the hip-hop in Grasshoppah. THeir large repertoire of folk-rock, traditional jass, swing, and foot stompin' bluegrass. They also have what they call "novelty tunes," which are innovative bluegrass versions of existing rock and roll. All of these characteristics ensure an impressive performance to the young student as well as their master.
Starting in 2001, Grasshoppah has steadily increased their schedule of live shows, including all of Michigan and the midwest, Colorado, even frequesntly touring Alaska almost every six months.
In 2002 Grasshoppah put out their first studio album titled Oh So Young. Later that year, to no one's surprise, they walked away with the coveted 2002 Folk Album of the Year and well as the 2002 Album of the Year for the annual Jammie Awards sponsored by radio station 88.1 FM WYCE in Grand Rapids, MI. Their consistent performances have also earned them a growing reputation of a great band to see.
Grasshoppah's original material consists of diverse influences from folk, rock, funk, blues, island, and bluegrass, sometimes staying in a certain style for a song, sometimes changing styles within the composition. This mixture of catchy lyrics and intense instrumental jams lends to remembrance. Grasshoppah's main musical influences would be Bluegrass with an injection of pure Funk mingled with classic traditionalism. Throw in a bit of Reggae, Folk, and Blues and you've got it. The set lists never fail to diversify even if some of their songs have roots so deep the original artist isn't known. Musicians that especially lie heavily on the brains of Grasshoppah might include Jethro Burns, Jerry Garcia, Stevie Wonder, John Hartford, David Grisman and even David Lee Roth!
While Grasshoppah has been the headliner many times they also have been honored to share the stage with some great musicians. In July of 2004 they got the opportunity to back up one of the bluegrass worlds most famous fiddle players, Vassar Clements, in an improv grass jam. This took place to an attentive crowd at Bliss Fest in northern Michigan. Some other homors include, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffulo, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Mammals, Meri Saunders, The Duhks, John Cowan Band, The Brave Combo, Ekoostic Hookah, Tim O'Brien, and Norman Blake. Ever changing and always entertaining, witnessing what they do is a great way to truly know what is Grasshoppah.