The Whiskey Grins are an upbeat Alt-country rock quintet featuring guitarist and vocalist Kelly Hannah, mandolin/guitar player and vocalist Richard Barrett, bass player Sean McFee, drummer Patrick Stacey and violinist Ellie Schwarz.
Ellie and Kelly began jamming together several years ago on back porches and in the living rooms of friends. Sometimes Ellie would sit in with Kelly & Sean's rock band, Kung Fu Dynamite. Eventually the duo was hired to perform a wedding ceremony that was to consist of all Widespread Panic cover tunes. A motivation to get together and rehearse turned into a weekly event, and Kelly and Ellie started to jam more and more.
In the fall of 2009 Luella's BBQ in Asheville, NC invited Ellie and Kelly to play a casual set once a month, and because their food is so good, the pair took the job. They began to notice that most of their rehearsals and the Luella's gigs happened to fall on Thursday nights. And the name of their first band was born...Little Friday.
When Richard Barrett and Ellie reconnected an old friendship from their high school days in Georgia, Ellie knew he would be a great addition to the duo, and so he came on board. Richard comes from a musical family, specializing in bluegrass, gospel and jam band music, Richard rips on the mandolin!
As the sound progressed, so did the style of music the band was writing and performing. With many original songs by Barrett and Hannah the band felt the need to kick things up a notch and so they brought in their buddies Sean McFee on electric bass and Patrick Stacey on drums. The addition of these rockers helped fill out the sound and turn this once bluegrass acoustic duo into a powerhouse alternative Country band with a bluegrass feel, a rockin' soul and a lot of smiles!
Get out your shot glasses, put on your dancing shoes and fill up your heart with The Whiskey Grins!