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Grand Marquis - Hold On To Me


Are you ready to be Hip? How Cool are You?! Ask yourself those two questions before you listen to Grand Marquis’ Hold On To Me because these cats ‘is’ jumpin’! Baby, carry me home to that time when all cats and kittens knew what is was and how to swing. Back to a time when a band was everything of the time musically. Blues, Jump, Swing, Band Stand and sounding, rockin’ and boppin’ like there was never going to be a tomorrow.

Now ask yourself once again, “What does he mean?” Let me sum up all that energy, all the cool hip-ness beyond compare with the saying of these two words, “Grand Marquis! Allow me to introduce you to the soon to be household names of the band: Bryan Redmond/lead vocals & saxes, Chad Boydston/trumpet & vocals, Ryan Wurtz/guitar & vocals, Ben Ruth/upright bass, sousaphone ( sousaphone? Yes Sousaphone! ) & vocals and Lisa McKenzie/percussion & vocals. Man, these cats is jumping! Now if you have your parachute strapped on and are buckled up nice and tight, then lets jump in head first!

This first track, "Night is for Lovers", leaps upon you like an arch bodied guitarcat. Sleek, fast, cunning and a true form of beauty. If you live for that old school sound of Count Basie’s style setting guitarist, Mr. Freddie Green, played today, then welcome to the driving fat bodied chords of Mr. Ryan Wurtz. Solid Jackson, solid.

Bryan Redmond’s vocals are the kind and style that make you want to listen all night long, never wanting to join in as you would never mess with perfection. Now quick take a breath as Chad’s trumpet is about to blow the walls down. Swinging with a Kansas City flavor that now-a-days one has to look far and wide to find and hear. You just can’t do anything but smile and go with the beat. Hold the phone! Look out man, hear comes Bryan’s sax. All you could ever ask for. And it all starts again. What a great track. Solid bass and rhythm foundations by Ben & Lisa.

Do you want good music? Do you want to feel good all over? These are the Cats to dig! Let ‘em take you back in their musical time machine. Not often do I hear a group combine yesterdays with todays so well. Second track, The Spider and the Fly, solid as the first. How much soul does one band have? This band has PLENTY!

Next is "Topsy", one of my classic favorites, now who in the world even knows Topsy let alone play it these days?! I can just see Cozy Cole standing off stage diggin’ these cats. There’s 13 tracks on the CD and it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t spend a moment at the St. James Infirmary. Now take it from me when I say, “ I KNOW St. James, I was born there. True. Tuba, trumpet, sax the whole band ‘bleeding’ the blues.

Do you really want the Blues? I mean the REAL blues? American Blues? Sorry English invasion but you are just a step behind when it comes to true American Blues. Open your dictionary, look up fine ass blues, make you cry blues, blues for one enough blues for two and there they are, Grand Marquis pictured at St. James. What a night it would be at a club with this band.

Run, don’t walk, get this CD, check out these cats and tell me true if its not one of the most current bands out there doing historic tunes and styles that set the tone for all others to follow. I Love this Band!!

EDITORS NOTE: Grand Marquis were one of the eight  finalists in the 2011 International Blues Challenge.

Reviewer Chuck Gomez worked out of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events for over a decade back at the start of the Chicago Blues Fest, plays sax and tours with many leading Blues musicians/Chicago style. He is Columbia College’s special events producer and owns/produces/promotes the Watseka Theatre, Iroquois Performing Arts Center. The Watseka Theatre BLUES. BBQ & Arts Fest, 4th annual is June 4th, 2011. 13 hours 9 bands, all day all night long BLUES! Go to: for more information.

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