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A Grand Ole Night with Grand Funk Railroad at the Nashville Symphony

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Good, Fun, Rock & Roll is one way to describe a Grand Funk Railroad concert. We had the pleasure of seeing this legendary band perform at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee on August 05, 2022. They presented a career spanning, concise set that was energized and much appreciated by Music City.


Rock legend Don Brewer is still the driving force behind GFR.

Founded in Flint, Michigan in 1969, Grand Funk Railroad was the soundtrack of the 1970's charting multiple times with songs such as "We're An American Band", "I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home", "Loco-Motion" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful" that are still in heavy rotation on Classic Rock radio. Referred to as "The American Band" this high-octane five-piece will be on the road through 2023 as a headliner and they have also been on the bill with Kid Rock.

The current lineup consists of original founding members Don Brewer (drums, songwriter, vocalist) and bassist Mel Schacher aka The God Of Thunder. Joining them is singer Max Carl from 38 Special and Bruce Kulick (guitar) who has worked with KISS, Meatloaf and more. Keyboardist Tim Cashion has a Masters in Music and has performed with Bob Seger and Robert Palmer. So, fans attending the Some Kind Of Wonderful Tour will hear a quality group of players presenting a classic catalogue.


Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick came onboard in the late 90's.

The crowd at the Nashville Symphony erupted in cheers as the band took the stage declaring "we're having a party" as they played the peppy and popular "Rock & Roll Soul" flowing into the up-tempo "Footstompin' Music". Multi-part harmonies and quick flavorful jams added punch to songs such as "Shinin' On" and "Heartbreaker" which was a harder hitting piece that was well received by the Nashville faithful.

Folks were encouraged to clap and sing along to "The Loco-Motion" followed by a winning "Walk Like a Man" and "Sky High". Max Carl took center stage to perform "Second Chance" a hit song that he had penned for 38 Special. Max moved to a bass drum while other band members shifted to percussion instruments to form a drum circle for an impressive "Lighting and Thunder". Later Carl showed off his blues prowess with his considerable chops on harmonica taking the spotlight. Bruce put the tambourine down to return his guitar for a rocking version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and a flag was placed center stage for the anthem.


Founding member Mel Schacher along with Max Carl and Tim Cashion helped providea memorable GFR experience in Nashville.

The next two tracks "Inside Looking Out" (The Animals) and the wonderful "Some Kind Of Wonderful" (Soul Brothers Six) are covers that Grand Funk Railroad has effectively made their own over the years and are still crowd pleasers. Of course this group has their own classics. They concluded with a captivating "I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home)" and then ended the way they began with an ode to partying and the road with "We're an American Band". Grand Funk Railroad has inspired plenty of others like Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Journey and Van Halen with their signature sound that combines hard driving instrumentation with soulful vocals in pop melodies. After over 50 years they still are a good, fun, rock and roll outfit!

Named in honor of the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, who led the GRAMMY Award-winning Nashville Symphony for 22 years, Schermerhorn Symphony Center is home of the Nashville Symphony. Located in the heart of the downtown, this stunning venue which opened in 2006 hosts a wide range of acts such as Grand Fund Railroad and features music from classical, jazz, pop, rock and world artists. Please check their website for a complete list of upcoming events.

SETLIST: Rock & Roll Soul | Footstompin' Music | Shinin' On | Heartbreaker | The Loco-Motion | Walk Like a Man | Sky High | Second Chance | Percussion Circle / Lightning and Thunder | The Star-Spangled Banner | Inside Looking Out | Some Kind of Wonderful | I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home) | We're an American Band


The Nashville Symphony in downtown Music City.

Related Links: For more information on GRAND FUNK RAILROAD and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Grand Funk Railroad | Nashville Symphony


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