Updated: Mar 2
"DG" A to Z
The journey from start to present.
Life Has Changed, Now What?
This project kind of started by accident. I have been a musician for 20+ years now, however in 2016 the game changed. My wife and I had twins!!! My sons were born prematurely. We spent the first 7 weeks of their lives in the NICU. Times were tough. We were stressed and there was ZERO time for anything extracurricular. Our main focus was on making sure we got those babies home healthy. So, that's what we did. It wasn't an easy road. But, we made it. I would go to work, then to the hospital, then home. For almost two months, that's what life was. The last thing on my mind was music or ANYTHING besides the well-being of our little dudes. Thankfully, they are happy and healthy now and I am grateful every day of my life for that.
Getting The Ball Rolling
Now that we had our new normal at the house and were getting a routine developed, I started to get the itch to play and write again. I knew a band was out of the question at that stage, so I picked up my acoustic and started learning, plucking and writing. If I was gonna do it, I had to do it according to what was even feasible at home. I wrote my first solo song, "This Longing Heart" during this time. My brother-in-law encouraged me to make a cell-phone video of it and post it on Facebook. I got a pretty good response from that and the rest is history. I called my buddy Jason Catlett (more on him later) who was opening a studio at the time, and I went to record it with absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing. But, it was a valuable learning experience, and propelled me forward. From there, I built on my experiences through trial-and-error. With lots of practice, I slowly got better at writing and recording my own original pieces. As I developed, I eventually hooked up with friend and producer Chris Dawson who has taught me a great deal and has helped me develop my sound and skills. To this day, I am still working with him and our relationship has been a very good one. I'm honored and humbled often by the people I am lucky enough to work with creating music.
Up until 2021, I was mostly playing solo acoustic. I booked my first show in September of 2017 at The Elbow Room in Wichita, KS. Since then, I have played 90 shows in 7 states, all of which I booked myself. Some of them were opening for National acts to huge crowds, some of them were playing to the bar staff for two PBRs. I wanted to gain experience traveling, playing, and building. I wanted to develop my chops. I wanted to be humbled knowing that if I wanted to build any kind of following that I would have to go out there and get them one-by-one. So, that's what I did. Trust me, I was humbled MANY TIMES.
My friend and mentor Kenny Ballinger (R.I.P.) encouraged me and mentored me throughout this process. When I felt like I was pissing in the wind, he wouldn't let me quit. He saw something in me before anyone else did (he always had a sixth-sense for this with artists), and I will be eternally indebted to him for that. I miss him. Every day of my life. And, I will continue to build this project keeping his voice in my head telling me to keep fucking pushing.
I am proud of what I have learned and accomplished on the stage, but I am not even remotely satisfied. I want more shows. I want bigger shows. I've had a lot of good ones and a lot of bad ones. But, each time I learn. Each time I grow. Each time I realize what I need to improve and what else I can do to make it count. The stage is where an artist truly finds and defines themselves. I will always strive to play more, and do more.
And Now, Here We Are
This Spring, I will be releasing my first full-band single. It's the best work I've ever done and it has an extremely deep meaning to me and my bandmates. It's the first song I've ever written with my brother and lead guitar player Jason Catlett. There is a lot on the line. But, that's how I want it. The fact that I even have a band at this point amazes me. I play with people I truly respect and admire. People that are truly ride-or-die and know what it means to have skin in the game. At this point, I understand now that things can be taken from you in an instant and you have to make every second count. That is the mentality I push forward with. I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing with the people I'm supposed to be doing it with and that gives me an unspoken freedom and pride that nobody will ever be able to touch. Let's see what happens...
Talk to y'all next week.
Wanna Get More Involved???
1. Become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/DustyGrant
There are various tiers, and for as little as $3/month, you will be more "in the know" than anyone else. For instance, people that signed up in the "Best Friends" tier have been shipped a personalized, special "thank-you" gift to show my appreciation. There is all kinds of cool stuff I'm planning to do on this platform. And, I promise you, every dollar I receive will go back into "DG" to make it bigger and better. I want you to feel like you're getting your money's worth. As much as I hate that this is a business, it is indeed that. It would be killer to have a few bucks coming in to soften the blow from time to time. Everything I do is out-of-pocket at this point.
2. Subscribe to my email list at https://www.dustygrant.com/sign-up
It's completely FREE and I plan to keep this up very regularly and give updates about the project, shows, new music, news, new merch offers, and everything else. I will also send you emails every time there is a new blog post (like the one you're reading now).
**Please consider doing one or both of the above. If you don't have the funds, I get it. At least sign up for the emails. They are gonna be solid, I promise. And, if you think they are weak sauce, you can always just unsubscribe. But, you won't, because they will be awesome.**
Until Next Time,
PS- Merch sales always help, take a look around...