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Off The Charts: Grits & Greens

Bud Gambrell

May 1, 2024

Grits & Greens are on a mission to spread their signature sound in support of their new album.

Before I begin this article, there is something that I want to say. When we announced the launch of Off the Charts last week, I was so taken aback by the support that we received. I could have guessed that there would be a few likes and the sort, but the sheer number of encouraging comments was simply overwhelming! I want to thank every one of you for your support!

Now, on with the show. In our first edition of Off the Charts, I am going to take you down to South Mississippi. Down to Hattiesburg, to be exact.

Grits & Greens is a four-piece band led by husband-and-wife team Ryann and Jesse McGhee. I had a chance to sit down with Ryann and had a great conversation. I will let Ryann Introduce the band and tell you more, so read on below.

Grits & Greens
Credit: Photo provided by band


OTC: Ryann, tell me who Grits & Greens are.

RM: So that would be me. My name is Ryan McGhee. I am the lead singer and I also play rhythm guitar and a little bit of keyboard. My husband is Jesse McGhee. He is the lead guitar player, and he also does some background vocals for us. Jackson Bounds is on the drums, and he also does some background vocals for us, too. Jake Noble plays the bass guitar.

Grits & Greens
Credit: Bud Gambrell

OTC: For our readers who are not familiar with you, tell us what your main influences are.

RM: Man, we are full of a lot of influences. We all kind of come from different musical backgrounds. Jesse and I have a lot in common as far as music goes. We both like the jam band sort of element. We both like bluegrass, too. My mother was a huge Norah Jones fan, so Norah Jones is a big influence on me vocally. But for my and Jesse's influences, we both are huge Tedeschi Trucks band fans. And the guys have varying influences that we all can kind of meet in the middle. You know, bands like Black Sabbath and things like that. We all kind of like the heavier side of things too. And I can't speak too much for Jackson and Jake's influences, but I know there's a good bit of Alice in Chains and Gorillaz, even RUSH. We all like RUSH and YES, the band YES. So yeah, there's a lot of influences that kind of all come together. It's sort of genre-bending. We don't fit into any one genre. We're just sort of like a melting pot of influences.

Ryan McGee of Grits & Greens
Credit: Bud Gambrell

OTC: You mentioned Tedeschi Trucks Band. I see the possible influence of a band led by a married couple.

RM: For more reasons than one. The slide guitar. Jesse is influenced by Derek Trucks and the slide guitar and myself with Susan Tedeschi and the vocals and everything, but also just the fact that they're married, and I love the way they handle themselves. I love the way they act in the public eye. I think we’re fans in more ways than one.

OTC: With the mention of all your influences, how would you describe the sound of Grits & Greens?

RM: Someone said to us the other day, and it was the perfect statement that we had never really considered, but it's like The Allman Brothers meets Prog Rock, and they brought Bonnie Raitt along for the ride.

Grits & Greens
Credit: Bud Gambrell

OTC: I understand you have your debut album coming out. Tell me a little bit about that.

RM: Yeah, that'll be coming out on May 2nd. And we're excited. This album has been a little bit of a piecemeal for us. It has been several years in the making of the recording. I think we've learned a lot about ourselves and our sound and we're very excited to put it out and in some ways sort of be done with it and move on to the next project. I think that's natural for most artists to feel by the time you get to the album release, so we're just looking at the future. We're excited to share this album with everybody and kind of close this chapter on some of the first sounds this band ever made. We certainly have evolved a lot and we're looking forward to getting it out and looking forward to sharing it with everybody.

OTC: Who did the writing for this new album?

RM: This album was primarily written by me and Jesse, both lyrically and musically. Instrumentally, it was written by the two of us as well, so we look forward to the next album. It will have a lot more of a collaborative feel and it will have a little bit of a different sound. We like to call this album kind of like Grits & Greens 1.0 and kind of just what we were doing at the time. Like any album, it is just sort of a snapshot in time of what the band is doing at that time and what their sound is. But people have been asking us when we will be selling tangible copies of our music for a while, so we're excited to have it done and be able to sell it at shows.


OTC: Are there any songs on the new album that are particularly special to you?

RM: Yeah, there's a couple of them. I would say “Wind and Sea”. That one has already been released as a single, but it's on the album and has always been special to me. There's just something about it musically that I love. Of the previously unreleased tunes, there's a song called “The Fall” and it’s special to me, too. I think “The Fall” is lyrically some of my best work, but I did have some help from some other band members with writing it.


OTC: In support of the new album, you have a tour coming up. Are there any exciting stops on this tour?

RM: Yeah, we're excited about this first week! We're excited about the whole tour honestly. There are a lot of new venues this go around and some repeat venues. A venue that I've been watching since I was a kid, Proud Larry's in Oxford. We're excited to have that on the tour this year. I've never played there, and I've never been there, but I've heard a lot of really great things about it. I would say I'm most excited for this first week of the tour cause it's hitting some of our biggest cities as far as followers go. A lot of people have been waiting years for us to put out this album. We are just excited to be able to give the people what they want.

OTC: As you are preparing to hit the road, are there any challenges that you face as a band on the road fighting for notoriety?

RM: Man, you called me on a day that is full of challenges, so I can say a lot about this, but I'll keep it brief. I would say currently being “off the charts”, as you say, can be great. There are ups and downs and there are people that are like you who care and then there are people that don't care. I would say that in the wake of social media, it can be difficult to keep your head above water. I would also say the biggest challenge for me is just booking shows and dealing with venues. There are a million things that are difficult about this and there are a lot that are very rewarding.

Grits & Greens
Credit: Bud Gambrell

OTC: What’s next? What can we expect for the future of Grits & Greens?

RM: I can't give any sort of timeline on this, but after we get home from the tour, we will be going back in the studio to record our next album, which is pretty much written. There's a lot that's going to go into this album. It's going to be bigger and better than this first album for sure. And as I said, I can't give a timeline on that. We have somewhat of a timeline in mind, but all I can say is the second album may be coming sooner than you think.

OTC: So, you've got new songs that are written for the next album. Can fans who come to your shows on this tour expect to hear any of those new songs?

RM: Absolutely! They're going to hear songs from the first album, but it's going to be, I'd say, about a 50-50 split of new songs that will be on the second album, and I guess old songs are not super old but old songs that are on the first album.

Grits & Greens
Credit: Bud Gambrell

OTC: Are there any parting words that you would like to say to old fans and new fans?

RM: Yeah, I would say come check us out at a show. Live shows are really where we thrive. We love the studio, but live shows are indicative of who we are and everything we can do. So, I would say check out our website, check out our social media, and come find us at a show near you. We're constantly touring and constantly spreading the net and we love to meet our new fans and put on a show for them.



I hope you enjoyed the first interview for Off the Charts. I have a couple more interviews in the works, so be on the lookout for those. For now, send me an email and let me know your thoughts. Feel free to tell me what you liked or disliked. Tell me about any bands that you know and love and think others will too.

Go see a Grits & Greens show. Grab the new album while you are there, and by all means, stop by and say hello to them. Trust me on this one. They are all wonderful people!

Until next time,

Keep your diamond in the groove!

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