Brooklyn, New York duo Grant Gordy and Ross Martin’s new recording “Year of the Dog” brings together two of acoustic music’s most forward-thinking virtuoso guitarists, both of whom have deep backgrounds in the American musical vernacular. The album combines originals from each with well-chosen covers from the bluegrass and jazz worlds in which they’ve made their homes. The duo, born of impromptu musical meetings and jams, honors its birth in spontaneity with plenty of seat-of-the-pants soloing as well as some elaborate two-guitar arrangements that recall other great guitar pairings: Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson, John Scofield and Bill Frisell, Lennon and Harrison, Rice and Blake, to name a handful.
Improvisation, fluency in different styles, and thoughtful arranging are also hallmarks of some of the bands in which Grant and Ross have previously made their marks.
Grant Gordy has been a major voice on the American acoustic music scene, and one of the most highly regarded young instrumentalists of his generation. Having held the guitar chair in the legendary David Grisman Quintet for six years, he’s also worked alongside such musical luminaries as Edgar Meyer, Steve Martin, Aoife O’Donovan and Darol Anger. Grant has performed all over North America and Europe, everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Montreal Jazz Festival; Jazz at Lincoln Center to Bonnaroo. His music has been heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered” and “Tiny Desk Concerts,” and he’s received attention from international music periodicals such as Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Japanese bluegrass publication Moonshiner, Just Jazz Guitar and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.
Ross Martin has performed in concert halls, honky-tonks, theaters, rock clubs, living rooms, on festival stages, television programs and everywhere in between. His musical path has covered as much territory as his physical one. Reflecting his love of diverse genres like jazz, bluegrass, country, folk, experimental, and classical music, Ross has always felt at home with fellow musicians who seek to reconcile, through their music, the incredible wealth of styles available to listeners in this global and digital age. He has toured and performed with a wide range of artists including Matt Flinner, Tony Furtado, Ron Miles, Mollie O’Brien, The Motet, Caroline Herring, Dwele, Sonya Kitchell, and many others. Ross, along with bassist Eric Thorin, has been a member of the Matt Flinner Trio for the past eleven years. Music education plays an important role in Ross’s professional life. He maintains a private guitar studio, is a sought-after instructor at workshops and music camps, such as Rockygrass Academy and Alabama Folk Life School, and regularly facilitates clinics and teaches master classes at educational institutions across the United States.
Gordy and Martin have assimilated all their influences and created their own styles which perfectly complement each other. While obviously a must-have for guitarists looking for the latest in six-string virtuosity, their new CD “Year of the Dog,” as well as any upcoming live shows by the prodigious duo, will appeal to any music lover interested in new sounds and spontaneous musical sport.