Horseshoes & Hand Grenades to bring hard-charging bluegrass to MaumeeWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bluegrass fans, you’re in luck: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades offer an explosion of old-timey music.
“This Old Town,” the 2013 disc by the band from Stevens Point, Wis., is filled with songs about the Badger State.
Country living is the subject of “City Lights,” where “moonlight’s the only streetlight on the block” and “fireflies my favorite memory.”
“That’s definitely one of my favorite songs to perform because I identify with the lyrics really strongly,” Adam Greuel, guitarist and vocalist, said. “Russell [Pedersen, banjoist and fiddler] who wrote it was born in Osceola way up in northern Wisconsin on the St. Croix River, definitely away from the city lights. And that’s the same story for me. The whole band identifies with the outdoors.”
Mandolin and fiddle player Collin Mettelka pays tribute to his roots with “The Vilas Hilton,” which is sung in rounds.
“Collin had gotten an old-school songbook, and many of the songs in there were round, and it was right around the time he was writing that song, ” Greuel said. “That’s actually about another spot up in northern Wisconsin, a spot that’s been in Collin’s family for a while. Up there is Vilas County. And the name of the cabin on the property is affectionately called the Vilas Hilton.”
Fishing and love of the water are evident with “Wisconsin Water,” “River Rat,” “Rivers High” and the rollicking instrumental “5-Foot Sturgeon.”
“I was out the past three evenings on the Wisconsin River walleye fishing,” Greuel said.
The singer-songwriter was chatting en route to a show in Bangor, Wis.
“We’re coming from Stevens Point, kind of through cranberry country, over to the beautiful Coulée Region,” Greuel said.
No, the guys don’t get kickbacks for promoting their home state.
“We should be,” he said and laughed. “That’s a great business notion.”
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades — Greuel, Pedersen, Mettelka, harmonica and accordian player Davey Lynch and bassist Samuel Odin — will play an 8 p.m. show May 20 at Martini & Nuzzi’s in Maumee. Tickets are $5 for those 21 and older.
“When you’re listening to bluegrass, you can’t help but grin or smile or dance a little, kick up some dirt,” Greuel said. “I think that our world just seems to continue to get more and more complicated, and there’s something about bluegrass and folk music that’s simple and sweet and real and honest in a world that sometimes doesn’t feel like any of that.”