Todd Grebe and Cold Country
Long time fixture in the Alaska bluegrass community, Todd Grebe and Cold Country has come full circle from being a string quartet to a five piece electric country band, having recently added drums and electric telecaster guitar to their sound. Todd, Angela Oudean- fiddle (Bearfoot Bluegrass), and Nathan May- telecaster, just finished recording their first electric country album down in Nashville, TN, scheduled for a release in the spring 2015. Todd and his wife, Angela have recently moved back to Anchorage, AK and will be touring around Alaska with Cold Country in 2015 with a CD release tour in the works for summer of 2015. The live Alaska band also features Conor McManamin on electric bass, and Andy King on drums.
You may have first heard Todd Grebe playing around Alaska starting back in 2003 with his bluegrass band Well Strung. They were known to show up in little Alaskan towns with their college buddies stuffed into a school bus, and filling the venues with a bunch of friends and good times. They toured all around Alaska this way until 2008 with a few personell changes along the way including Angela Oudean on fiddle joining the band in 2006, and Dan Booth on bass (now grammy nominated!) in 2005. Some career highlights for this freshman effort were headlining a Bear Tooth First Tap in 2006, and winning 3rd place overall in the prestigious Rockygrass Bluegrass Band competition in Lyons, CO in 2007.
In 2008, Todd created a band to feature his original songwriting called Cold Country. They quickly put together an album of material and recorded Cold Country's first self titled CD in 2008 featuring all original songs by Todd Grebe, and an acoustic quartet of fiddle, mandolin, guitar and upright bass to complete the acoustic honky tonk sound. Even though the songs were written in an obvious country style, the band still had a bluegrass touch, and was complemented by the rowdy slap bass style of Nate Williamson. Angela Oudean on fiddle, and Nate May on mandolin would be a constant feature of Cold Country's lineup through to it's current formation, with Nate May switching to telecasted in 2014.
In 2009, Todd moved to Nashville to further his musical career. Shortly thereafter he joined longtime friends as a full time member in the newgrass group Bearfoot, yet continued to write material in the stylistic vein of Cold County. Influenced by the musical landscape of his adoptive hometown and inspired by the many talented musicians of the area, he soon had enough material to complete another album. This resulted in the acoustic bluegrassy release of 2010, "Until Tomorrow." Featuring Angela Oudean (fiddle), David Long (mandolin) and Mike Bub (bass-Del McCoury Band) to form the nucleus of a new Cold Country band, Todd bunkered down in a Nashville studio during the winter of 2010 to record a second album. Co-produced by Bub, engineered by industry stalwart David Ferguson (Johhny Cash American Recordings) and featuring performances by renowned session drummer Larry Atamanuik (Alison Krauss) and banjo master Rob McCoury (Del McCoury Band), the resultant album- entitled Until Tomorrow- is an exceptional sophomore effort. Seamlessly incorporating elements of bluegrass, swing jazz, and country, Until Tomorrow is strikingly reminiscent of music made in Nashville circa 1950’s and 60’s. In fact, if the Grand Ole Opry was anything today like it was then, one might assume that Todd Grebe & Cold Country would be a weekly guest. Todd had certainly made a case for himself to be included in conversations regarding upcoming Nashville songwriters while his band, Cold Country, were poised to make their mark on an unsuspecting American roots music scene. Although Todd's time in Nashville was largely taken up by touring full time with national touring act "Bearfoot," through Todd's stand out songwriting and great lineup of musicians, his Cold Country band managed to effortlessly make a strong impression of their own with highlights such as Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival, Bluegrass Underground, Music City Roots, and regular performances at Nashville's bluegrass showroom, The Station Inn.
From 2010-2013 Todd had been committed full time to the successful Americana band Bearfoot, with some career highlights being: performances at Grey Fox, La Roche Bluegrass Festival, Red Ants Pants Festival, ROMP, Shakori Hills, and more; having the #2 music video on CMT pure music video channel for 3 weeks straight; and getting to #16 on the Americana Radio Charts. Bearfoot went on permanent hiatus in March 2013 after band members found themselves wanting to go in different directions.
In 2013, Todd and Angela got married and moved back to Alaska, and decided to focus on Cold Country as their main touring act. Cold Country spent the rest of 2013 and 2014 developing their new honky tonk country sound playing special events and touring around Alaska with Nate May switching over to telecaster guitar, Conor switching to electric bass and adding Andy King on drums. In November 2014, Todd, Nate and Angela went back to David Feguson's studio in Nashville (Johnny Cash American Recordings) and got Mike Bub (Del McCoury Band) back on board as co-producer and bass player for the recording of Todd's 3rd album which is not yet titled. This is Todd's first electric country album and features guests on pedal steel Steve Hinson (George Jones), piano - Jimmy Wallace (renowned nashville session player), and guitars - Megan McCormick (Jenny Lewis). A CD radio and promotional release is planned for Spring of 2015, and CD Release Tour planned for Summer of 2015. In the meantime, you will be able to see Todd Grebe and Cold Country touring around Alaska, and playing local shows around Anchorage, including hosting the Americana Roots Open Mic at the Taproot every wednesday from 7-9pm. Todd and Angela are also teaching private guitar and fiddle lessons in the Anchorage and Girdwood areas.