Oh Grandpa is a four-piece local rock band formed by Michael Aldrich, Paul Berger, Kevin Douds and Jared Thompson four years ago. They released their debut EP, Dagnabbit, in June 2015 and now their follow-up EP, Gadzooks!, will be released Thursday.
Some of the group met in high school, but formed Oh Grandpa while studying at MTSU. (Keyboardist and vocalist Michael Aldrich was even a member of Band of Blue.) They gained most of their studio experience through friends in the Recording Industry program and played their first shows at local houses while undergraduates. Now alums and more experienced musicians, the group is making moves, but are still gracious for their beginnings in Murfreesboro.
“The Murfreesboro community has been so inviting and has been so welcoming to us,” Aldrich said in a phone interview. “Though we’re trying to tiptoe into Nashville waters, we still know where we came from.”
Oh Grandpa’s music is hard to pin down. Based mostly on blues and funk, their sound is deeply soulful, full of high-energy piano and progressive guitar lines. One can easily pinpoint a Southern rock influence, but the versatility of the band is what makes them so great.
“We’ve been called a funky, piano-driven Red Hot Chili Peppers before … We’ve also been called a New Orleans jazz Rage Against the Machine,” Aldrich said.
It’s rare these days to find artists doing something that hasn’t been done before, but Oh Grandpa’s originality shines through all their work. Many of their songs are based on strong harmonies, something not typically found in funk.
All four members credit quite an array of musicians as their influences. They note Led Zeppelin as the group’s favorite, also mentioning Chris Thile of Punch Brothers/Nickel Creek, Radiohead, Tom Waits and even Katy Perry.
The release show for Gadzooks! is Thursday night at Mad Donna’s in Nashville, with Tame and the Strange and Dead Martinis opening. The show is at 9 p.m. and only costs $5.
If you miss the release show, you can see them again in Nashville at The Basement on Feb. 11 and in Murfreesboro at Wall Street with Chalaxy and fellow locals The Acorn People on Feb. 20. Also, keep an eye out for a joint tour with Oh Grandpa and Sunracer tour this summer.
Listen to our audio piece on Oh Grandpa’s Gadzooks! with an interview with Aldrich below:
Editor’s Note: The audio story incorrectly states the Gadzooks! release show will be on Friday night. The show is Thursday night, as is stated in the text.
To contact Lifestyles editor Tanner Dedmon email firstname.lastname@example.org.