Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jonny Grave & the Tombstones at the Silver Spring Blues Festival

Jonny Grave is a guitarist, songwriter, singer, bandleader, teacher, musical historian, and Bluesman from Washington DC. Growing up in a very musical family, Grave was introduced to the sounds of American traditional folk music early on. At age fifteen he found himself learning slide guitar techniques from old Blues records, and by seventeen he was performing them live.

The distinct sound that Jonny Grave’s music conjures is a resurrection of sorts—The music of R. L. Burnside, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson and Bukka White all find a way into Grave’s playing style. His repertoire of sound is made up of new arrangements of older Blues tunes, and deeply rooted solid originals.

In 2009, after years of performing as a solo/acoustic act, he formed a band, and took the DC area by storm with an electrified, blues-rock sound. Billed as Jonny Grave and the Tombstones, they have played a steady string of shows at local DC clubs. They maintained a 6-month residency at the Quarry House Tavern, performing every first Friday of the month. They are also currently a part of the student band program at Omega Studios, serving as a model band for the students to record.

Staying true to his acoustic roots, though, Grave still performs solo on a regular basis. He has an ongoing residency at Nanny O’Brien’s in Cleveland Park of Washington DC. He is an active participant in the local folk community, teaching slide guitar and Blues lessons. He is also the youngest member of the Washington Folk Festival Committee.
With three recorded releases being sold online, the music of Jonny Grave has reached Blues enthusiasts around the world. There is a fourth release presently in the works—an album that begins with a solo/acoustic sound, and moves gradually, track by track into a full-band. The new album, called The Bluesmaker, was released in January 2011.

See Jonny Grave and the Tombstones at the Silver Spring Blues Festival at Downtown Silver Spring, Saturday, June 18, 2011.

For more festival information, visit

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