Some people just know how to make friends. With stories in her soul, a dash of courage, and a smile that melts walls, GRACE PETTIS is busy doing what she was born to do. Of course, the life of an independent touring artist is tons of hard work. Somehow she makes it look easy.
In her short career, she has built a reputation as a respected songwriter among artists, industry, and fans. While a senior in college, in 2009, Grace released her self-titled debut album recorded at the renowned Blue Rock Studio in Wimberley, TX. After releasing her album she splashed onto the music scene winning NPR’s Mountain Stage NewSong Contest, where her, "Nine to Five Girl" was selected for the Best Song award.
Grace carried this momentum when she performed as an Official Showcase Artist, at the 2010 International Folk Alliance conference, where she captured the attention of presenters and radio programmers as a young standout. Later that spring Grace won the Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest Grand Prize, and the People's Choice award.
Grace went on to join the Storyville Coffee "Freedom Tour" across the US with Willie Porter, David Wilcox, and Pierce Pettis. She then continued to tour in various formats from solo shows, performances with her legendary songwriting father Pierce Pettis, to trio performances with her producer Billy Crockett and cellist Dirje Smith.
Grace’s recent successes include a win at the 2011 Kerrville New Folk Contest, an Official Show Case at the 2012 New Music Seminar and a hugely successful fundraising campaign in which her fans contributed $32k toward the making of her new album, currently in production at Blue Rock Studio.
Grace brings with her some very special guests. THE HIGHLANDERS are Brian Bristow - Guitar, Billy Holmes - Vocals/ Mandolin/ Guitar/Harmonica/Accordion, Andrew Hyra - Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica, Robert Henson - Bass
When The Highlanders began work on their follow up album to “Cullowhee Time”, they wanted to capture both the feel and vibe of their first release while also preparing to take the band out on the road to new found fans. Originally conceived as a studio project by Brian Bristow and Billy Holmes, they quickly learned there was a strong demand for the music to be heard live and soon reached out to veteran singer/songwriter Andrew Hyra and bassist Robert Henson to join them in the band.
Their sound is a mix of contemporary folk, Americana, and bluegrass with elements of traditional Appalachian thrown in for good measure. They combine rich musicality with lush vocals to create a sound unique and engaging for their audiences.
All four veterans of the Atlanta/Athens music scenes: Brian was a founding member of regional club favorites The Tastemakers who released three independent albums in ‘90s. Billy was lending his talents to Capricorn recording artists Vigilantes of Love and working as a studio musician extraordinaire with the “who’s who” in Athens, GA and Andrew was a founding member of Atlantic recording artists Billy Pilgrim, a folk/rock duo based in Decatur, GA and Robert as a touring member with Corey Smith.