Hailing from the river town of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, HHG plays something like progressive high-energy old-time folk music. With strong roots in old-time and bluegrass, the band has formed it’s own unique style born from the diverse musical backgrounds and interests of the five friends who make up the band. All born and raised in the great state of Wisconsin, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades began playing music and their earliest shows in the spring of 2010. Since then, the band has shared the stage with the Travelin McCourys, Railroad Earth, Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Charlie Parr, .357 String Band, and many more. Being mostly inspired by rivers, valleys, good friends, good drink, and life’s never-ending adventures, this five piece is as sturdy as any midwest riverbed and will make your toes tape from sundown to sunrise.
Adam Greuel (guitar, dobro, vocals):
Like his hometown pride Point Beer, Adam was born in the waters of the Wisconsin River. Growing up on the backwaters north of Stevens Point, his early days were filled with fishing river monsters, building forts of sticks n’ stones, and living and learning about just about anything he could get his curious nose in to. At a county fair in Central Wisconsin, Adam would sniff his way into the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s tour bus, a happening that would spark further curiosity in young Adam. Not long after, his Mom and Dad, having seen a sparkle in their sons eyes, purchased a 3/4 size guitar for him, an endeavor that would immediately render little to no results, but ultimately would be the foundation for the journey he finds himself on today. After a failed attempt at guitar lessons, he began to teach himself, strumming everything from Amazing Grace to Take Me Home, Country Roads to Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Adam’s siblings, Ben and Marissa, sparked his curiosity through their interest and involvement in music. Marissa was a performer in musicals and largely influenced Adam to explore theatricals, choir, and folk singing. Eventually his brother Ben, a huge music fan and influence on Adam’s early exposure to music, would bring his young brother to a Grateful Dead concert at the legendary Alpine Valley. The show marked a significant shift in Adam’s life as he became intensly interested and excited about live music. In his hometown, Adam flocked to shows at the Clark Place and Mission Coffeehouse, mezmorized by acts such as Art Stevenson and Highwater, Cornmeal, Sloppy Joe, and Trampled By Turtles. By mid-high school, Adam was regularly playing with the Stevens Point-based americana band Loose Strings and often attending the local bluegrass jam at the Northland Ballroom, the location where Horseshoes & Hand Grenades would ultimately play their first notes as a band. Although already performing publicly by the age of 14, Adam’s main focus was on the gridiron as a middle linebacker. By his junior year of high school he was being recruited to play college football. Late in his senior season, he broke his arm in two places, ultimately deciding to play through the injury during the playoffs, a decision that led to permanent damage. None the less, he played a short stint of college football at UWSP before ultimately deciding to shift his focus in a different direction. Not long thereafter, Adam would meet HHG bass player Sam Odin who would introduce him to the rest of the guys that would eventually become Horseshoes & Hand Grenades. Adam loves backpacking, fishing of any kind, exploring, and Pale Ale. He loves the community associated with live music and the boundaries that it tends to dissolve.
Collin Mettelka (Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals):
In Northeast Wisconsin where the hardworking Fox River erupts into the imposing Green Bay you’ll find the frozen tundra that Collin Mettelka proudly calls home. In one late summer during the early spring of his life, Collin received a fiddle from his Uncle Joel, a gift that would prove to be worth its weight in gold. This fiddle shone as brilliant as the sun in the eyes of the young Wisconsin fiddler and sang as beautifully as a burlap sack full of stray cats being tossed down a rocky hill. However, after nearly a decade and a half of domesticating those feral felines, Collin has gotten all but a few of them ready for show. A small part of this process was hard work and dedication to the music but another large part was the love, support and tolerance offered by his family. These days you can either find Collin roaming through the beautiful forest lands north of Highway 8 with his little brown dog or wetting his line in one of the countless pristine lakes that the Wisconsin landscape has to offer.
Davey Lynch (Harmonica, Accordian, Vocals):
Davey received his first harmonica when he was 14. It was a Honor marine band, though his harp of choice is Honor’s special 20. Being raised in the city of Milwaukee, blues music is his biggest influence when playing harmonica. David Learned by ear by repeating licks and riffs of Paul Butterfield and other 60s Chicago blues artists, as well as earlier country blues artists of the 1920s. It wasn’t until he started playing music with Russell Pedersen in Stevens Point that his talents were applied to old-time and bluegrass music. With years of piano lessons and improvisation classes, this transition was not difficult. Although harmonica is Dave’s main instrument, accordion tracks may be found on two of Horseshoes and Hand Grenade’s albums. Accordion was also a self-taught instrument which is fueled by the southern sounds of zydeco and alternative country rock. David has graduated the University of Stevens Point with a natural resource degree, however he prefers to make a living cooking and playing high energy old-time music. If sitting on the river catching catfish payed as much as his other two jobs, he would work a 112 hour week and still be the happiest man east of the Mississippi. When on stage Davey prefers three drinks at his feet. One; a cold beer from a can, anything that represents is two home towns of Milwaukee or Stevens Point. Two; a can of coke or any soda that can give the saliva consistency needed to perform. Three; water from a pitcher to lighten the hangover after playing a rowdy show. Off the stage Daves drink of choice varies on three simple rules; bourbon in the spring and summer, scotch in the fall, and brandy when one has to drill holes in order to fish.
Samuel Odin (Bass, Vocals):
In between farming and community organizing in his hometown on the northeast side of Milwaukee Wisconsin, Sam’s either scheming to save the world or pickin’ tunes with Horseshoes. He began playing the electric bass way back in grade school and eventually picked up the upright not long there after. Since falling in love with the synergetic effects of pickin’ with buds ‘til dawn in his parent’s basement, Sam has endeavored to play music with folks from all sorts of musical back-groundings. Footsloggin’ through a diverse set of musical terrain, Sam has pieced together one hell of a delicious concoction of musical juices. Sam is continuously inspired and tickled by just about every genre he stumbles into. As a youngin he began a mostly healthy obsession for Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and the Temptations. After picking up the upright, Sammy was then consensually lured to the lip-biting “uh” of the jazz world; with it’s huge playground of upside-down chords and melodic voices, Sam would not be separated from his beloved bass from that point forward. With a passion in music to be answered, Sam was eventually led to the study and performance of classical music. Somewhere along the way thereafter Sam hopped onto yet another musical path, oddly enough, this one was with a knee-jerkin old-time, folk-grass band, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. Now, he can be found dealin’ out his own wacky (and, at times, over-the-top) arrangements of the butt-stirrin’ rhythms and tonascoius runs, which he hopes will mostly rub ya’ right.
Russell Pedersen (Banjo, Fiddle, Vocals):
Russ-bus calls the northwestern part of Wisconsin home. Just southeast of St. Croix Falls, WI is where he grew up catching frogs, tadpoles, and playing in the woods. This is where he still spends good portions of his summers fishing and paddling the St. Croix River. As a child Russell tried and failed to learn guitar twice, and finally got the hang of it in early high school. He has since experimented with many instruments. Notable musical disappointments have been the sitar and harp. In the summer of 2008 Russell acquired his first banjo through a spur of the moment decision and has been enjoying a loving relationship ever since. In addition to playing the banjo Russell can be heard thumping on a bass or sawing away on old time fiddle tunes. His songwriting happens most often in the car and on the river and has been shaped by traditional American folk music and the words and melodies of songwriters such as John Hartford and Old Man Luedecke. His songs aim to transport the listener to an idyllic setting under which one can enjoy the simpler things and find rest from the pains of the day to day. Outside of music he enjoys the adrenaline rush of skateboarding and the calming meditation of simple woodworking. His ideal day is sitting on the banks of a Midwest river with good friends, picking good tunes, and hoping to catch the big one.