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  • Award wining bluegrass-country band—emerged as strong break-out artists in 2010
  • Cracker Barrel exclusive album launch on January 10th.
  • Portion of the proceeds of the album go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
  • Nationally breaking video featuring Dolly Parton.
  • Album features major artists—Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Darryl Worley, Oak Ridge Boys, Charlie Daniels, and more.

THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG—JAMIE JOHNSON OF THE GRASCALS–WRITER OF “I Am Strong”… “Back in February of 2010 I made a trip with The Grascals to present a check to St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee from funds raised at the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer® Festival held annually in Columbus, Ohio.   Little did I know that my life would change forever with this visit.

I was nervous and a bit scared from the moment I walked through the front doors of the hospital—afraid of what I might see there. I knew that St. Jude was a hospital where children are fighting cancer.  Having my own beautiful son Cole Train, who is now 2 years old, thoughts were constantly running through my head as a watched young parents and their little boy or girl fighting for their lives.  Many times I fought back tears and I wanted to give them a hug of encouragement.

There in a corridor of the hospital, I came face-to-face with a wall where children with cancer had filled in the blank to a sentence beginning with two words:  “I Am…” They had written:  “I am homesick.”  “I am tired.” And there tucked in the midst:  “I Am Strong.”  

“I Am Strong.” It hit me like a ton of bricks!  I was so moved and so blessed to have the inspiration for the song I ultimately wrote with my beautiful wife Susanne Mumpower-Johnson and our great friend Jenee Fleenor..

To the children of St. Jude and any child fighting cancer anywhere in the world—The Grascals love you and pray for you everyday! Thanks for showing us the real meaning of “strong!”


HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.


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Employed to Serve

Forward Under a Dying Sun

Most of these days, the sun rises and sets on a world that feels like it's dying. Across the pond, where Employed to Serve calls home, they're learning how to support their latest record a year into its release. HM contributor Andrew Voigt recently sat down with Justine Jones to learn more about the band, marrying your bandmates, and their outside shot at touring with Rammstein.


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Comrades 2020

Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.


Photo by Quinsey Sablan

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