National flatpicking champion Tyler Grant leads his four-piece North American roots band Grant Farm to John’s Alley Friday night in Moscow.The band is in the midst of preparing its third full-length album, “Kiss the Ground,” a concept work outlining the struggles of working people, Grant said in a phone interview from a tour stop in Missoula, Mont.
“We’re going through all the same stuff as everyone else trying to make a living,” Grant said.
New music and lyrics touch on “the triumph of spirit over obstacles, some of which are real and some of which are imagined,” he said. “The music is a lot more on the rock end of the spectrum than the twang, which is kind of what we’re known for.”
Grant, who turns 40 in May, took to flatpicking later in life. He earned a degree in classical performance guitar but living on the Colorado Front Range he realized the sound that connects his spirit to the Earth was more akin to Johnny Cash or Bill Monroe than Mozart. In flatpicking a musician uses a pick to strike the strings of a guitar, common in bluegrass. In 2008 he won the “holy grail of flatpicking achievement,” taking first at the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship held annually since 1972 in Winfield, Kan.
Grant Farm, based in Boulder, Colo., formed in 2011. Its second album, “Plowin’ Time,” reached No. 2 on the JamBand Radio Charts. In 2014 the band collaborated with Fruition on the EP “Meeting on the Mountain,” which reached No. 8 on the JamBand Radio charts.
The group hopes to fund “Kiss the Ground” with a Kickstarter campaign that ends Saturday. The band is Grant on electric guitar and vocals; Adrian Engfer on bass and vocals; Sean Macaulay on drums; and Kevin McHugh on keyboards and vocals. In its fourth stop at John’s Alley the group will be playing its latest music.
What: Grant Farm
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 4
Where: John’s Alley, 114 E. Sixth St., Moscow