Winter Italian Tour Dates Announced

// October 15th, 2013 // No Comments » // Cool Stuff, Music, News, Performances

I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Italy for a few weeks of shows this December – and not just because it will be a welcome break from Berlin Winter!

Many thanks to the incredible Rocketta Booking crew for organizing another amazing tour.

Keep an ear out – we may be adding some more shows to this run in the coming days, almost certainly one in Rome at the end of the tour…

December 1: Palermo, Italy – Palazzo de Gregorio (11 AM)
December 1: Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Italy – Parco Jalari (9 PM)
December 3: Capo d’Orlando, Italy – Virtuoso, Biblioteca Communale
December 4: Modica, Italy – Hometowns
December 5: Messina, Italy – Retronouveau
December 6: Marsala, Italy – Baluardo Velasco
December 7: San Cataldo, Italy – Muddy Waters @ Planet Underground
December 8: Catania, Italy – La Chiave
December 9: Giarre, Italy – GRU
December 10: Enna, Italy – Al Kenisa
December 11: Reggio C, Italy – Caffè Letterario AL BAR
December 12: Catanzaro, Italy – Paddy’s Irish Pub
December 13: Cava dei Tirreni, Italy – Mediateca Marte
December 14: Cassino, Italy – Nuove Officine Generali

Photo credit: Neal Santos, 2013

Marrow Video from Grounds Oranges TV

// June 11th, 2013 // No Comments » // Cool Stuff, Music, Performances, Travel, Videos

Check out this new video of “Marrow” recorded in Sicily!

The Ground’s Oranges crew did a beautiful job on a spontaneous and last-minute shoot in the countryside outside of Catania.

There was a lot of drama surrounding how to mount this little camera to my harp. Worth it for the extra cool angle though, right?

Thanks to the Ground’s Oranges crew and to Radio Rocketta for putting this together!

You can also listen to the full taping of a live-performance and in-studio interview I did with MAPS radio in Bologna here.

Italian Tour Dates Announced

// March 26th, 2013 // Comments Off // Music, News, Performances, Travel

Italian Tour Dates Announced!


Gillian will be completing a month-long tour of Italy and Sicily in March and April for RockettaBooking. See below for the complete tour schedule:

giovedì 28 marzo: IL CONVIVIO, Modica (RG)
venerdì 29 marzo: PIZZAPEPPER, Siracusa
sabato 30 marzo: AL KENISA, Enna
domenica 31 marzo: LA CHIAVE, Catania
mercoledì 3 aprile: BIRRERIA 34, Taurianova (RC)
giovedì 4 aprile: MOLLY MALONE, Lecce
venerdì 5 aprile: KEY DRUM, Sarno (SA)
sabato 6 aprile: BAR PINO, Campagna (SA)
domenica 7 aprile: GODOT ART BISTROT, Avellino
lunedì 8 aprile: LE MURA, Roma
martedì 9 aprile: FAT, Terni
mercoledì 10 aprile: “InModoAcustico” @ BAR MODO INFOSHOP, Bologna
giovedì 11 aprile: LENINGRAD CAFÉ, Pisa
venerdì 12 aprile: LA MELA DI NEWTON, Padova
sabato 13 aprile: BAGNO SOLO SOLE, Cervia (RA)
domenica 14 aprile: LOCANDA SAN ROCCO, Fermo (AP)
lunedì 15 aprile: CIRCOLO ARCI LEBOWSKI, Gioia del Colle (BA)
April 16: Foggia, Italy: Tolleranzazero
April 17: Reggio Calabria, Italy: Circolo 79
April 18: Castellemmare Del Golfo, Sicily: Picolit
April 19: Caltanissetta, Sicily: Sale & Pepe
April 20: Catania, Sicily: TBA
April 23: Rovereto, Italy: TBA
April 27: Berlin, Germany: Sofa Salon

Nantucket Project Performance

// February 20th, 2013 // No Comments » // Cool Stuff, Press, Videos

Sorry I can’t embed, but check out this really lovely article and video from The Big Think about my performance at The Nantucket Project!

Happy Birthday to The Hinterhaus!

// January 29th, 2013 // No Comments » // Cool Stuff, Music, News

I am so, SO excited to announce that The Hinterhaus has finally arrived. It’s been a long journey across countries and continents to bring you these songs, and I couldn’t be prouder to share them with you. This album has been a labor of love for myself, Todd Sickafoose, the over 180 kickstarter backers in more than 10 countries who financed the CD, and the incredible line-up of musicians who have lent their many talents to bring these songs to life.

You can download a digital copy of the album on iTunes or order a physical copy of the CD through my online store, along with gorgeous supersoft Hinterhaus T-shirts, stickers, and other goodies. All preorders of the album were post-marked today.

In other great news, The Big Think just posted a wonderful article about (and video of) my performance at The Nantucket Project. That’s the conference where I got to meet Senator John Kerry! A very nice birthday surprise for The Hinterhaus indeed.

I am indebted to you for making my career and, by extension, this music possible. As an independent artist, I don’t have the backing of major label resources, but I have something even better – I have your support. And now I’m going to ask for your assistance in ringing every metaphorical bell tower around the world to spread the word about this record.

The following is a list of things you can do to help The Hinterhaus get up and start taking its first wobbly steps in the world:

1) The Gift of Gab

The single most important thing you can do is simply talk. Talk about The Hinterhaus with your friends, family, and coworkers. Play the record for them when you’re driving your car or are in for the night with a bottle of wine (or freshly mixed manhattan. Did you know there’s a cocktail recipe in my new album? that’s right). Include your favorite harp cover next time you and your buddies are having a YouTube binge session, like this video of me singing Yo La Tengo. Choose a song from The Hinterhaus for your next mix tape (or CD, or dropbox file, or…whatever). If you’re the extroverted type and go up to talk to your favorite performer after their next concert at, say, The Mann Center, suggest me as an opening act next time they come through town. Likewise, if you bump into the owner or booking agent of your favorite local venue, drop my name. Use that button on the upper right hand side of my mailing blasts to forward the newsletter to someone you think might be interested. Every little bit has a ripple effect.

Bottom line? If you’re digging The Hinterhaus, tell someone.

2) Social Media Firestorms and the Digital Frontier

Do you use facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, Google+, YouTube, Reddit, livejournal, lastfm, bloggr, diaspora, Pandora, or even [shudder] Myspace? AWESOME. Share a link, post a status update, like my BandPage, include @gilliangrassie and #TheHinterhaus in your next tweet, put something on Reddit and up, up, up it (did you know I was a darling for a hot second because of a Morrowind Theme cover on YouTube?). Write a review on iTunes and rate the album. Write a blog post if you feel so inspired (oh my gosh, I’d be so flattered!). If you’re a regular reader of a music blog (coughPASTEcoughPitchforkcough) and hear something that reminds you of Rob Reich’s accordion on Marrow, or think that The Canonization of Margot Price would be relevant listening for the next article about eating disorders and body image on, mention it in a comment. It all makes a HUGE difference.

If you’re not a varsity-level internet fiend and didn’t understand any of the previous paragraph, it’s totally fine. Don’t worry. We’ll go back to analog activities right…now.

3) Call your local Radio Station

Radio, especially AAA radio stations are still extremely important in getting the word out about new albums and turning on new listeners to their next favorite artist. Radio stations, especially public, member-supported stations like WXPN are also VERY responsive to their listeners. If you call your local NPR affiliate station and request a song from The Hinterhaus, and a handful of other people in your area do too, the station will notice. And they might just start spinning a track off The Hinterhaus or have me in for an interview or in-studio performance or Tiny Desk Concert. XPN has been very supportive of me in the past, but I’ve never had a track on “regular rotation,” (meaning, for AAA, 6-7 times a week, rather than once a week). Requesting your favorite song off the new Gillian Grassie album by phone or station website makes a BIG difference.

4) Buy the record

Ok, I know this seems obvious. But seriously. Come to a show and buy the album. Get a friend and go in on a CD bundle together. Download The Hinterhaus on iTunes… and then write a review. You’d be shocked by how few full digital album sales it takes to make it into the top 100 chart for iTunes singer-songwriter genre… and by how big of a deal it is to be on that list, even for a day. If just 1/4 of the people on my mailing list bought The Hinterhaus on iTunes on the same day, we’d be there. No joke.

5) Buy (or make!) a T shirt… and wear it.

Eric created a totally gorgeous design that pairs with the album artwork, and then local wunderpress Camden Printworks silkscreened them onto supersoft, designer T shirts with a special ink that’s also very, very soft. This is not your average college sports jersey, I promise. They’re really, really nice. You can pick one up at any show or order them online here.

6) Study Buddies

Are you in college? I would LOVE to play at your school. Or do an interview for your student paper. Or be a guest on your college’s radio station. Or all of the above. Let’s talk. E-mail me.

7) Have a House Concert

First off, house concerts are one of my all-time favorite ways to perform. They are fun, and casual, and intimate, and always very, very special. If you’ve never hosted a house concert before, but are curious, shoot me an e-mail. I promise it’s a lot less intimidating than you might be imagining, and totally worth the effort of throwing a low-key party.


If you have other great ideas for grassroots promotion, I would love to hear about them! My e-mail address is Please don’t hesitate to use it.

Okay, like I said, I don’t have the major label rolodex or bankroll to expect the kind of coverage Teagan and Sara have had about their new album release (Heartthrob came out today too! have you heard it? It’s awesome!!!), which is part of why I decided to release this album in January. That gives us ALL of 2013 to start rolling a tiny snowball down the hill in the hopes of it becoming an enormous hinterhaus igloo by next winter (there’s probably some problems with that metaphor. work with me).

Here’s to the strength of our collective nudges.

Thank you so much for everything.


join the mailing list and get free music at

MTV Scratch Video

// November 29th, 2012 // No Comments » // Cool Stuff, News, Uncategorized, Videos

I was invited to perform at the MTV offices at the Viacom building for a special pop-up event put together by the wonderful folks over at MTV Scratch. They had me surprise executives and staff with a concert as they walked through the stairwell.. Check it out below.

Gillian Grassie @ Scratch from Scratch Vimeo on Vimeo.

You can also read their blog post about the event. Here’s an excerpt:

“We recently invited singer-songwriter and virtuoso harpist Gillian Grassie, just back from a five-week tour of the US, to perform for us here at Scratch. Gillian was kind enough to play the role of “surprise musician,” positioning herself in the cavernous stairwell linking all the floors of Viacom’s fifty-three story Times Square headquarters. Her haunting voice and seraphic accompaniment echoed throughout the vertical space, slipping into foyers and offices through cracked doors and usually quiet air ducts.”

NERFA, New England, & New Ts

// November 15th, 2012 // No Comments » // Music, News, Performances, Travel

I just spent a whirlwind weekend at the North East Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference in Kerhonksen, NY, hanging out with a wonderful bunch of folk DJs, concert presenters, venues, festivals, and very talented musicians. Saw some old friends, and made many, many new ones. This was my first time attending NERFA and let me tell you, when you’re at a hotel with 800 folks in the industry and the music starts at 9 AM and doesn’t quit till 6 AM the next morning, you can wear yourself out a little. But hey, if Gene Shay can do it, so can I.

I earned myself these blisters, which I consider to be little badges of honor for jam sessions well-had.

Feet Dry and Fancy Free

I had a couple days off right after the conference and spent them hiking and camping on the Appalachian Trail near Bennington, VT. Sunday night I lay out under the night sky on and listened to the wind gust up the valley and over the ridge all night and lost count of all the shooting stars. I woke up the second morning in the Melville Nauheim Lean-to to find the forest transformed by snow! Sometimes taking time to get myself a little lost in nature is just the medicine the doctor’s ordered.

On Wednesday it was back to civilization for my first show at the legendary Caffe Lena! I taped a performance and interview with WEXT’s Chris Wienk that aired the same day – he was a real treat to work with. Also, if you missed it, here’s the little piece where I tell some stories about my very first band…

Looking forward, I’ll be up in Middlebury playing at 51 Main this Friday night. Send your friends, it’s free entry, great food and drink. I’ll be playing from 9-11 PM. I’m back in NYC on December 8th to perform for the 10th Annual Advent Hope Benefit Concert, proceeds to assist Hurrican Sandy relief efforts. That starts off at 7 PM at 111 E 87th St. The Winter Solstice will find me performing a special holiday show at The Tin Angel in Philadelphia on Friday, December 21st, with an as-yet un-named special guest. Get your tickets early folks! In the New Year, I’ll be down in the D.C. area for a house concert on January 5th, and up at the Acoustic Long Island series on February 6th. And Keep your ears peeled for news about The Hinterhaus release this winter!

TEDxEast Video Posted!

// July 11th, 2012 // No Comments » // Cool Stuff, Uncategorized, Videos

Check out this video of my performance of “Borrowed or Begged” at The Times Center in New York for TEDxEast!

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