Finnland from Daniel Grindstaff, with Andy Leftwich

Bonfire Music Group has released a new single for east Tennessee banjo man Daniel Grindstaff, another track from his upcoming Heroes & Friends album, due to drop next year.

Daniel earned his bones playing banjo with Jim & Jesse, starting when he was 18 years old, and has gone on to play with Bobby Osborne, Marty Raybon, and Tim Raybon. Now running his own business in Elizabethton, TN, he keeps his chops up for recording and touring when he can fit it into his busy schedule as an insurance agent, husband, and father.

This next Bonfire project finds him paired with artists he has long admired, the Heroes part of the equation, and Friends he has made in the industry.

On this new single, Finnland, he has brought in fiddle phenom Andy Leftwich to start the tune off in an old time banjo/fiddle duet. But before you question whether Daniel spelled the name improperly, you should know it’s written for his son, Finn.

“I wrote Finnland with the goal of representing my love for how a banjo and fiddle have paired together through the history of string music to what we now consider modern day bluegrass. It’s an honor to have the great Andy Leftwich join in and bring his superb fiddle work to make this song what I envisioned while writing it.

The title and upbeat tempo of Finnland is inspired by the sweet, innocent spirit of my oldest boy, Finn. The intricate patterns between banjo and fiddle reflect the beautiful mind of his that’s always thinking, always spinning, and always inspiring.”

Andy says he had fun playing this one, in an unexpected key.

“It’s not very often you hear banjo/fiddle tunes in the key of B, but in this case, Finnland offers a fun and exciting melody that makes for a perfect bluegrass instrumental! Backed by phenomenal players and a great arrangement, I’m honored to have the role playing fiddle on this one!”

Rounding out the ensemble are Trey Hensley on guitar, Jesse Brock on mandolin, and Kent Blanton on bass. Together they turn in a memorable performance of this rollicking tune.

Check it out…

Finnland is available now from popular download and streaming services online, and to radio programers via AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.