Video Premiere: Graber Gryass celebrates healing with It Was Always You

The second album from Memphis, TN’s Graber Gryass, Spaceman’s Wonderbox, is set for release later this month with a dozen of Michael Graber’s songs performed in a funky, grassy, trippy sort of style. Interestingly, the record was tracked in 2020 at the same time as their first, Late Bloom, which we reviewed earlier this year. They recorded in an old church that had been converted into a studio, cutting everything live and completing both projects in two days!

Graber is a songwriter and storyteller first, depending on a number of Memphis-area grassers to bring his songs to life. And he has a very special story to share in the most recent single, It Was Always You, which we are delighted to premiere in video form today. Like most of his written output, the story comes from his own life, and the tragic story of his two daughters, their serious illnesses, and a hopeful and very encouraging recovery and healing.

Let’s let him tell the tale.

“My two adult daughter have Cystic Fibrosis. Their whole lives have been spent on IV antibiotics, coughing badly, having many other symptoms, and in and out of the hospital every season. As you can imagine, they felt just terrible all of the time. Paying the medical expenses was a Herculean labor for me on top of caring for them.

Music gave me an outlet to not think about their plight and pain, a healing retreat space of sorts. These worlds remained separate forever. As a progressive disease, my daughters’ health declined. Music always fed my pained heart and soul.

Then, thanks to the CF Foundation and their research efforts, Trikafta ®, a new drug, hit the market. Both daughters, ages 29 and 27, are now expected to live full lives instead of dying around age 40. Their quality of life improved immeasurably, too. May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.

The biggest surprise was when my daughter Rowan asked if she could sing ‘some old Carter family songs’ with Graber Gryass. I never knew she wanted to sing. She could never sing before without breaking into a painful coughing fit. I cried throughout the gig, sobbing like a baby on stage, then I went home a wrote a song for her to sing. Rowan had this voice inside of her all along, but no way to get it out until now.”


Michael’s Spaceman’s Wonderbox album is scheduled for release on May 21, at which time it will be available widely online.

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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.