Meet Merle Monroe
We formed this band to convey what we hear musically based off our collective experiences in the music business, a mix of vocally centered hard-driving bluegrass all the way to a tear at your heartstrings Merle Haggard style ballad. We feel like Bluegrass and Traditional Country music is America’s music, the stories of the common man and the sounds of the mountains. Our goal is to choose songs that relate to everyday life and go “back to the country”, be that with heartfelt vocals, a ballad, a hard driving banjo, or an upbeat song that takes your mind away from today’s current distractions. We have worked extremely hard looking for and writing songs we feel are different enough, yet reflective of our hero’s music from years past. Our debut album with Pinecastle Records will be released Spring of 2019!
“Real” is a word that comes to mind when a listener first hears Tim Raybon sing. A real talent with a real vocal ability which is natural and not masked by any smoke or mirrors. Tim’s musical journey began at the young age of 11 with his dad and brothers in their family band “The American Bluegrass Express” based out of Florida. With their success in the southern states, Tim and his family honed their skills playing festivals and stages alongside the most respected acts in bluegrass. The ability to learn first-hand from legends such as Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, and the Osborne Brothers is a gift for which Tim will forever be grateful.
The pure talent of Tim Raybon and his brother, Marty, would soon be recognized far beyond their Florida home. Marty, of course, went on to front a very successful band: the country music supergroup, Shenandoah. Not long after, Tim became the lead singer for one of the hottest night clubs in the country, The Barn. Many notable artists were part of the shows that Tim fronted at this venue, including a young artist by the name of Garth Brooks. With his music career on the rise, Tim made the move to Music City. In Nashville, Tim began a career as a demo singer, singing newly written songs, many of which would go on to become the next popular radio hit for artists such as Alan Jackson and George Strait.
Many career highlights began to amass during his career in Nashville. In 1994, Tim fronted one of the largest country music shows in Tokyo, Japan: a production put on by none other than Disneyland. 1997 found Tim reunited with his brother Marty as “The Raybon Brothers.” Recording an album for MCA records, Tim and Marty scored a certified Gold record for the ever-popular song “Butterfly Kisses.” That same year, Tim recorded alongside the legendary Olivia Newton-John and was also nominated for the CMA Country Duo of the Year.
Tim has been featured worldwide on the Ralph Emory Show, Prime Time Country, KET’s production of Jubilee, and the most significant stage in country music: the world-famous Grand Ole Opry. Throughout his career, Tim Raybon has played on thousands of stages all over the world, bringing his style of singing to countless fans of country, bluegrass and gospel music. As Tim embarks on his next musical journey creating the band MerleMonroe, with longtime friend and accomplished banjo man Daniel Grindstaff, time will tell what career accomplishments are ahead. But, rest assured the highlight for the listener and the audience will always be hearing a man sing with the gift of pure talent singing songs that relate to real life.
Daniel Grindstaff is an accomplished musician who is considered to be among the elite of today’s banjo players. Born and raised in Elizabethton, Tennessee, he has traveled all over the United States and Canada with some of the best in bluegrass, acoustic, and country music. Daniel began his professional music career at the young age of 18, performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, with bluegrass legends Jim and Jesse McReynolds. At the age of 21, Daniel was not only performing with McReynolds but had also been called upon to take the stage with the legendary Osborne Brothers, longtime members of the Grand Ole Opry and best known for their familiar hit and Tennessee state song “Rocky Top.”
In the fall of 2006, Daniel began touring with Grammy Award winning artist, Marty Raybon. For the next five years Daniel remained an important part of Raybon’s studio recordings and concerts.
2007 brought about the release of a well-received studio album from Grindstaff entitled “April’s Fool,” which included Grand Ole Opry members Jesse McReynolds, Sonny Osborne, and Bobby Osborne; ace Nashville bass player, Kent "Superman" Blanton; award winning mandolin player, Adam Steffy; and legendary fiddlers Buddy Spicher and Steve Thomas.
With a musical career that covers hundreds of appearances on the coveted stage of the Grand Ole Opry, national television’s Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends,” Smithsonian Folklife Festival, CMA Music Fest in Nashville, hundreds of live concerts, and many studio recordings, Daniel Grindstaff’s musical career and accomplishments speak for themselves. Building on the past accomplishments, Grindstaff has teamed up with the pristine vocals of Tim Raybon to create one of the best sounds to hit the bluegrass and acoustic country scene in many years with the band “MerleMonroe”.
“Among our finest young banjoists, East Tennessee’s Daniel Grindstaff looks to the past for his inspiration but brings personality and a fresh approach to bluegrass. He’s popping the strings one moment, coaxing out an emotive turn the next. Grindstaff demonstrates that he’s a player of determination and character.” -Bluegrass Now Magazine- November 2007
Jayd Raines is a lifelong Eastern Kentucky native. Surrounded by music growing up, it didn't take long for him to develop an interest in learning an instrument, with his first being the banjo and then learning the bass and guitar. Over the last several years, music fans have likely seen Jayd on tour with several award-winning acts including Marty Raybon, Don Rigsby and Ralph Stanley II.
Both Tim and Daniel were very familiar with the talent Jayd would bring to the band and credits Jayd for being a talented musician and vocalist- “Jayd and myself had sang harmony parts for several years while out on tour with Tim’s brother Marty. I knew that Jayd could play and sing the parts we need to make Merle Monroe what Tim and myself envisioned, so naturally he was one of the first phone calls. Tim has said many times this band is centered around vocals, and all of us involved believe that. We have been friends for many years now and I’m proud to be creating music with Jayd in this setting”.
Jayd is enthusiastic to join good friends in the creation of Merle Monroe and looks forward to where this musical journey will lead. Continuing to make his home in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky, Jayd resides in Morehead with his wife and two children, and when not playing music works as a wildlife educator and biologist.
Josh is from Bluff City, Tennessee, a small community nestled in the heart of Appalachia and rich in the music from the mountains. Inspired by his guitar picking Uncle Lester Parks, he began playing the guitar at the young age of 4. While shaping his own distinctive style Josh studied guitar masters Kenny Smith, Tony Rice and Jimmy Martin.
Daniel has known of Josh Doss from the time he picked up a guitar. “I have been friends with Josh and his family for many years now and knew that he had shaped into a fine guitar player. When thinking of guys to audition for Guitar with Merle Monroe, Josh was at the top of my list. Not only for his fine guitar playing, but his overall great attitude and priorities. All of us are proud to have him on board and look forward to folks not only hearing a great guitar player but meeting a good man”.
Josh is looking forward to the wonderful opportunity of creating high quality music with Merle Monroe. Outside of his love for music, and most important, Josh is a devoted Husband to his wife Laura and Daddy to his wonderful children Khloee and Jeremiah and always gives thanks to his Lord and Savior for saving his soul and giving him the talent to play the music he loves.