If there’s one thing that has always helped to lift The Grascals above the bluegrass crowd, it’s the award-winning sextet’s way with a ballad. Now, for their first single of 2021, the group burnishes its reputation with a love song that seems almost destined to become a wedding day classic.
Co-written by 2016’s IBMA Songwriter of the Year, Donna Ulisse, the glistening “Flowers And Lace” receives a lush, guitar-centered arrangement that puts the spotlight squarely on John Bryan’s silvery tenor. “‘Flowers and Lace’ tells such a great story,” Bryan enthuses. “And it’s also a reminder of how strong love can be even after the years pass by.” Indeed, with its polished harmonies, the chorus of the song is heartfelt profession of love all the more powerful for its simple, direct language:
“You’re my endless view, when I close my eyes
And I see you just as clear as the day you walked the aisle
And in my waking hours you’re still my wildest dream
I see lace and flowers every time you smile at me”
The group’s award-winning banjo player, Kristin Scott Benson, fills in the song’s background and offers her own take on its strength. “‘Flowers and Lace’ was written by one of my banjo students, Ernie Welch,” she notes, “and the great writer, Donna Ulisse. It's nice to hear positive love songs. I love how John sang it and personally, playing banjo on this sort of tune is really enjoyable. The track felt nice and airy, which suits the message.”
With sparkling touches of mandolin, fiddle and lead guitar, The Grascals have put their trademark sound in service of a song that seems sure to find favor not just with bluegrass listeners, but almost anyone who’s familiar with the emotions of an enduring love.