Bob Grover's Biography

                                                                                                    A journey from then to now

        

      

Hey Buckaroos, 

Well this is where all the artist put their info about starting, influences, philosophies and other related bullshit so people can get to know them and why they're doing what they're doing. Ah, but this is where the problem lies. Nobody is going to write my story because for the most part no one knows my story. I've never been asked " hey Grover, who are you, and why do you do what you do?" It's always been more like "Why do you do that?". With the emphasis on that. So here goes. Just remember that since I am telling my own story that makes this autobiographical. Wow, talk about a completely independent production. 

Anyway, it all started back in 1951 when I was born into a poor black family (oh yeh, that's Steve Martin, sorry). Actually I was born and raised to two loving parents in a small town in southern New Jersey. Amongst the pinelands and farms where the prevalent music of the area was country and bluegrass. And I found that as I was growing up I actually liked it. But of course, as with all rebellious youth at the time, rock and roll also crept into my musical foray.

Now it was around the time I turned 15yrs old that I actually became interested in learning how to play the guitar. Most notably the bass guitar, which was the instrument of my choice at that time. So I started playing in the dance band at school and backing up budding rock stars of the time.

At the same time I started picking up the six string acoustic guitar and delved into the world of country and bluegrass. Which was a natural progression being that this was the most prevalent genre of music as mentioned earlier.

And at this time , folk music was making a rise in the music world. Especially the singer/songwriters. This intrigued me as I could write my own songs and play them solo. The period being the late 60's early 70's, coffeehouses were in abundance. In church basements, college campuses, and even store fronts in stripmalls. I started to get bookings in these clubs and a small following. Then while attending one of the local colleges I meet another guitar player with the same interest and formed a duo, (Girtrude Hawk).  Things began to take off.

We even appeared on public TV in New Jersey, on a show called the Wireless anything goes notebook that was hosted by a former Miss New Jersey.

I was also president of the Camden County Folksong Society and a member of the Philadelphia Folksong Society, so we were making some good contacts. It was a good time of packing our instruments and equipment and rolling on down the road to various gigs, like two gypsy songmen. We also spent some time playing with a Bluegrass band. 

But like most good duos, (Simon and Garfunkle, Loggins and Messina, etc) it eventually came time to part ways for reasons that even today I don't understand. So in 1973, I once again journeyed into the solo realm. Then in 1980, I ran into a fellow who basically was really into jazz, and he would play those fancy, fast riffs behind my steady honky tonk rhythms. A style we affectionately called cowjazz. Off on the road again, with someone to at least talk to on those long rides. Ah but it too would dissipate into some far away memory, as one day I just sort of lost track of him.

The year was 1985, and I was again going it alone. Now I'm beginning to wonder why don't people stay around long enough to take it to the highest level that it could go. 

Well what ever the reason, it seemed that everyone I tried to hook up with either didn't really want to play what I was playing or didn't really care to help develop it into something that would stand out amongst all the other singer/songwriter material that was being presented. Hell I was beginning to get a complex.

 

So for the next 16yrs I delved heavily into the Austin sound. The musical style that was originated by those that became disillusioned with the Nashvile country scene. Guys like Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Walon Jennings, etc. A style more suited to the singer/songwriter aspect of country music. The likes of Guy Clark, Townes Van Sandt, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and a whole lot of others. So Texas Country Music was now the direction I was going in. A mixture of honky tonkin, rockabilly, western swing, and story telling kind of music. I began writing more

Now came the next glitch in what I thought was a great plan. Well actually it was couple of stumbling blocks and hurdles that I had to struggle to get over. First off the other musicians either didn't want to play this kind of music or they couldn't grasp the concept of what I was going for. And the venue owners weren't sure of this kind of music playing in their place. So I played the sporadic gig here and there, making a few followers along the way, that even today I view as friends.  

So if your keeping score, and have done the math, yep this year I'll be 61yrs old. An old guy still having fun and doing what he likes and wants to do. Making people smile and maybe giving them some respite from their stressful lives. And playing my music to best of my ability. At small clubs, open mics, jam circles, and any place I can. With no awards, no bullshit, just good kickass Texas country music.

 And when people do ask "Grover, why do you do THAT ?". I can say because I can and want to, with no regrets.

Because that is THE SPIRIT OF TEXAS. 

                home