There is no experience as true to homegrown American country music as a Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys show. Their electrifying sound hits you like your favorite shot; the words shine through like your best friend recalling a favorite memory. The sheer energy brought by the Grizzlies live explodes into the audience like a dose of adrenalin.
Gunnar Nybald, who still farms the family apple and plum orchards he’s been working all his life, writes the band’s songs from the seat of a tractor. His songwriting partner, Joe Rood, has been a friend since high school in Kent City, MI, where they were co-captains of the football team.
While attending Michigan State University in the agricultural program, Gunnar and hometown pal Rob Mason (bass, harmony vocals) teamed up with guitar slinger Shane Grehan (Alpena, MI), drummer Joe Connolly (Rochester Hills, MI) and keyboard/guitarist Chris Newberg (Rockford, MI) and formed the band with Rood.
The group played their first show as an opening act to a sold out Justin Moore crowd. Since then they’ve won WBCT B93’s Honky Tonk Heroes battle of the bands contest, distinguishing them as the top new country band in Grand Rapids, and WYCD’s Detroit Hoedown. They’ve gone on to open for Colt Ford, Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore, David Allen Coe and others.
Staying true to their country roots, on July 23, 2010 Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys released their 12-song debut independent album. Last year they released a 5-song ep Country My Whole Life. GGB just recorded “Could Be Me” in Nashville with producer Ken Coomer (Will Hoge), former drummer of Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, and rerecorded “Sweet Tea” and “Guns”. Combining country and rock, Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys provide a dose of Michigan country built on good times and wanderlust. They transform from an outlaw telling the tale of his horseback journey across America to a genuine patriot giving thanks to our troops. These six young men may be finding their way in the world, but they have truly mastered the formula of simply entertaining their fans in a way that they let loose and dirty up their boots!
From the village of Kent City, Gunnar is a songwriter whose talent spans the length of his family’s apple orchards. Since age 13, he has been writing songs from the tractor. Growing up on the farm has given Gunnar a unique understanding of hard work. That same hard work shines through his songs and style. Become this dude’s friend on Facebook, listen to raw demos of new songs on Myspace, and follow on Twitter.
Joe is a true Michigander, and loves his home state dearly. In his spare time he hunts deer and waterfowl from Kent City, to the bridge, and dang near everywhere in between. He is also an avid fly angler, and proudly wears his favorite trout streams etched in the tattoo of Michigan on his lower leg. Check out his stuff on Youtube and Vimeo. Joe has co-written songs such as Do The Dip, and Devil Woman with Gunnar. Listen to Joe’s original songs on Myspace. and find him on Facebook.
Rob’s plays the bass guitar, sings, and looks sexy. Since the 8th grade Rob has been slappin that bass, and harmonizing Gunnar back on pitch. “He’s my right hand man” say’s front man. Rob keeps a trained ear on the music while keeping Grizzly Girls on fire with heart melting harmonies featured in songs like Simply Beautiful Girl. You can find him on Facebook or on a river.
All the way from Michigan’s north country, the Alpena native harnesses blues roots taking country to a level that drives John Mayer groupies to drop the city slicker and jump in this country boy’s truck. Since the day Gunnar met this modern day shredder they have been great friends discovering country from two very different backgrounds. A little Shane mixed with songs like Sweet Tea, Guns, and Devil Woman seals him as a Grizzly Boy who's not afraid to push the limits of country guitar. Follow Shanes Tweets, and be his friend on Facebook.
Rockford, MI native Chris Newberg is the Grizzly Boys’ secret weapon playing any instrument we put in front of him. You can normally find him on the keys or electric/slide guitar, however. Having a wide interest in all types of music has helped him bring influences ranging from twang-bangin' country to southern rock to blues. "Critter" is king of the keys with truly original style and hair that shines with the light that comes from within. Can’t get enough? Facebook him or follow him on Twitter.
Known as J-Conn to the band, Connolly controls live shows with his Detroit City roots. Giving the Grizzly Boys huge drums on songs such as Old Microphone and Cowgirls Make Some Noise. He’s a perfect fit between travis barker and a tambourine. The punk based drummer has what it takes to turn any crowd into free-for-all mode! He’s on Facebook and Twitter. J-Con endorses SS Custom Drums. Check out his blog for Modern Drummer Here!