Born down on the Bayou of Southeast Louisiana, music and dancing were always a sizable part of life for Gracie’s family- something she always assumed was “normal.” At the age of four, she and her family moved (back) to Arkansas to be near her mother’s folks. It was there that Gracie eventually realized her need to create music.
A wonderful, centrally located melting pot, this middle-of-nowhere existence served as the perfect blank canvas upon which to mold her style. Building upon the foundation her parents laid, from which Gracie took favorites such as Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, and The Band, she found herself deeply drawn to the works of Texas singer- songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Delta Bluesmen Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson, Americana heavy hitters Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch, and sweet soul music, the likes of Sam Cooke, Etta James, and Otis Redding.
At age 19, after an encouraging read of Jill Andrews’ biography, Gracie decided it wasn’t too late to pick up an instrument. She bought her first acoustic guitar and taught herself to play, thereby turning her poems into songs and breathing new life into the words she’d been writing for years.
Despite an almost complete lack of a music scene in the small town where she lived, Gracie was able to find a few like-minded folks at sparse open mics and gatherings. This eventually led to the formation of The Jaypan Fans- a three piece comprised of Gracie on rhythm guitar and vocals, Amanda Rodriguez-Olivo on rhythm guitar, bass, and vocals, and Ryan Dickerson on lead guitar. The trio played as many events and music nights at the locals bars as they could get their hands on, focusing heavily on harmonies and a southern sound. The trio occasionally rounded out their sound with Matthew Beavers on drums and Amy Leigh on dobro.
Eventually, joined by a desire to do more with their music, Gracie and Amy started working on a sound as a duo, with an initial focus on Gracie’s songwriting and Amy’s trinkly dobro accompaniment. The duo grew exponentially together, building a fan base across the Midwest and relationships with many other musicians. The Ozark Mountain Maybelles were only able to record one self titled, six track EP.
Now living in Asheville, North Carolina, Gracie is enjoying the challenges and triumphs of being a solo musician, and allowing this decompression time garner more focus on her songwriting. She does enjoy striking up a hot band, though.
Covering the music of the Grateful Dead w/ “twang” of the slide guitar.
originally focusing on the Dead’s rich catalog of acoustic and country-inspired material, Ton of Hay’s repertoire now includes every era of the band’s history, complete album tributes, and no shortage of rare gems from the vast GD/JGB songbook.