Merle Monroe

L to R: Derek Deakins, Tim Raybon, Eli Johnston, Daniel Grindstaff and Josh Doss

L to R: Derek Deakins, Tim Raybon, Eli Johnston, Daniel Grindstaff and Josh Doss

Combining the musical styles of the Father of Bluegrass with the Okie from Muskogee is an exciting proposition. Feeling that “Bluegrass and Traditional Country music is America’s music, the stories of the common man and the sounds of the mountains,” Tim Raybon and Daniel Grindstaff have formed the new band Merle Monroe. 

With the goal of choosing songs that relate to everyday life and go “back to the country,” they, along with bandmates Derek Deakins, Eli Johnston and Josh Doss, hope to take your mind away from today’s current distractions on their new self-titled project for Pinecastle Records. They have worked extremely hard looking for and writing songs they feel will be different, yet still reflect their heroes’ music from years past. 

Tim and Daniel first met in the mid 2000’s when Daniel was performing with Marty Raybon at IBMA Fan Fest. They had only a short time to rehearse before they performed their set, but Tim will always remember his first impression of Daniel: “He was the best banjo player I had ever heard and an adamant professional.” Daniel recalls that since first hearing Tim Raybon, “I have held his vocal abilities as being one of the best-kept secrets in the music business.” From the beginning they held a common bond in their love of the Osborne Brothers, Jim and Jesse, and Bill Monroe; they hit it off and have remained friends ever since. 

Supported by career experiences that range from various TV and festival appearances to studio recordings to the stage of the Opry, Daniel Grindstaff and Tim Raybon have teamed up to create one of the best sounds to emerge on the bluegrass and country scene in years as the band Merle Monroe. Supported by the pristine talents of Derek Deakins, Josh Doss and Eli Johnston, their debut album “Back to the Country” on Pinecastle Records has been widely received as one of the best releases in many years!

Stay tuned to Merle Monroe as their momentum continues to soar! 


 Since its release in June of 2019, BACK TO THE COUNTRY remains in the top albums on The Roots Music report for the months since its release on June 21 - and is now the #1 Album in Country/Alt. AirPlay Direct Radio Downloaded project and was the #1 Album in February 2020 with the Roots Music Report


 “This Town” released as first single from “Back to the Country.” Video Premiers with Vents Magazine- charting at #3 on Roots Music Report, #6 on Bluegrass Today, #2 on AirPlay Direct, #1 on World Wide Bluegrass and  top 20 on the Bluegrass Unlimited Inc. national charts  

Tim Raybon appears on WSM Radio all-nighter with Marcia Campbell.  

He Will Roll You Over the Tide” debuts at #6 on Bluegrass today and #1 on WWB Mountain Bluegrass. Remaining on the charts for 6 months and is named by Bluegrass Today as one of the top 20 Bluegrass Gospel songs for 2019 - Bluegrass Online Radio ! -Artist of the month (June 2019)  

Blessed City” charts at #4 on the Bluegrass Today and is named as one of Singing News favorites songs of the Summer!  

Dad” is released as the second single from “Back to the Country” and is premiered on The Bluegrass Situation. Charting at #9 on Bluegrass Today, and #7 on the Roots Music Report.  The official music video also featured on Country Rebel online to over 8 million viewers. 

Movin’ Ondebuts at #1 on the Roots Music Report, #1 on Mountain Bluegrass with David M. Pugh and #2 on Bluegrass Today.  

Tim Raybon, Daniel Grindstaff along with Michael Rogers appear on WSM Radio’s popular morning show Coffee, Country and Cody 

“Back to the Country” is #1 Country/Alt album on Airplay Direct for the month of July.  

Daniel Grindstaff appears on the August cover of national publication of Banjo Newsletter.

Tim Raybon, Daniel Grindstaff and Eli Johnston join legendary DJ Kyle Cantrell  for a featured interview on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction January 2020. 

About the band

Tim Raybon

Tim Raybon has a natural vocal ability that has been described as “real” – so real that it needs no electronic masking of any sort.

Tim's musical trek began with his dad and brothers in the family band The American Bluegrass Express when Tim was only eleven. Based in Florida, the band met with great success throughout the South and afforded Tim the opportunity to sharpen his skills by playing festivals and concerts that were shared by some of the greatest legends in Bluegrass music. Tim will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have played with the likes of Bill Monroe, the McReynolds, and the Osbornes. 

Tim’s talent would soon be recognized far beyond his Florida home as the lead singer for one of the hottest nightclubs in the country, The Barn. Tim fronted many shows that featured the premier acts in Country music. From there he moved on to Nashville and began a career as a demo singer singing newly written songs many of which would eventually become the latest hit for the biggest stars in Nashville.  

Daniel Grindstaff

Eli Johnston

Derek Deakins

Josh Doss