GRASSHOPPER was formed in 1994 in Seattle, Washington. The original quartet began the band's explorations into an ever evolving variety of acoustic realms. In two years they had developed from an absolutely acoustic approach with harmony vocals, two minimally-amped acoustic guitars, and mostly hand percussion, to a driving mix of intuitive conga and drum/snare rhythms, crunchy guitars, and voices heavy from the heart. In the spring of 1995 they appeared on a nationally released compilation CD benefitting youth-at-risk entitled Angels Bleed, and later on the 1996 Seattle Peace Concerts CD Peace Wave. Touring the Northwest and British Columbia with songs from folk-blues and latin, to rock, psychedelia-pop and beyond, they were joined by Brian Couch on electric bass in the summer of 1996. As a quintet, they continued to evolve as a musical entity, playing pubs, fairs and festivals, releasing their first, self-titled cd in January, 1997. In early 1998, Skwerl, the band's pioneering percussionist, left the band to follow his muse. In March of that year Thad Taylor joined the group on drums and began to put his own stamp on the Grasshopper sound. His fluid and rollicking full kit approach powered the band out onto a new edge, and in 1999 they recorded their second cd, Force of Nature. After its release, sweetly-singing original vocalist Lael Kimble retired from the band, and Grasshopper continued to seek their vision as a quartet, with new harmony arrangements and strong songwriting by Couch to complement Evan Kimble's. Grasshopper's inspirations are the spirits - spirits of music, of nature, of life and sacred spaces, and the seeker's spirit of the undiscovered.

 

EVAN HAZEN KIMBLE writes many of Grasshopper's songs. He sings and plays acoustic guitar and bamboo flute. He hails from Oregon, where the valley and the ocean gave him the desire to sing. Before forming Grasshopper, Evan played with Prime Weirdz and Dr. Spanky's Weatherbed. He has won wide recognition for his songs and his solo CD, Wind Comes Down, was named one of the best acoustic albums of the year by Kobi Lucas (KLCC-FM, Oregon). His favorite book: The Lord of the Rings. Favorite Beatles record: Abbey Road. Best Dead show: 4/4/87. Life ambition: to live by the ocean long enough to figure out how the waves are so perfect.

LAEL sings, write songs, and plays percussion and bells. She is a poet, healer, and dancer. Her voice has been described as ethereal, beatnik, and other-worldly. She's been compared to Marianne Faithfull and Grace Slick. Her song "Stay Alive" appears on Angels Bleed. She loves to make primal sounds. She was a member of Grasshopper from inception until the second trimester of her second child, Susanna (Fall of 1999).

TED FORD plays lead guitar, sings, and writes an occasional song for Grasshopper. Ted has been performing in Seattle since 1992, originally with Dr. Spanky's Weatherbed. He credits the formative influences of Garcia, Page, and Metheny as major guitar figures. "I like to build a solo up to a point at which I hit just the right peak of musical epiphany - or else fly out of control like an overthrottled hydro boat, smashing to pieces - but hopefully lending some thrills in the process." He has also been known to do a bit of melodic noodling here and there. Ted is originally from Connecticut and now lives in charming Ballard, USA. He plays Taylor and Ovation acoustic guitars. Lately has been listening to: David Byrne - Look Into the Eyeball, O Brother Where Art Thou - Soundtrack, Roger Waters - In the Flesh, and the exuberant first sentences of his daughter Audrey.

Brian Couch sang, and played bass and guitar in Grasshopper. Raised in Hawaii, he brought his lighthearted and fanciful songs to add to the mix. 2002 finds him still playing acoustic sets throughout the Seattle area with Ted Ford in Last Call. He is also looking forward to getting out with his latest electric band, Wild Life, playing guitar and singing British rock of the 60s and 70s. Lately, his stereo has been turned up to the sounds of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, Mark Knopfler's Sailing To Philadelphia, the new David Gray album (with "Babylon"), and Badfinger's Straight Up. He thanks all the folks who supported Grasshopper through "our wonder years", and looks forward to seeing everyone again soon.

THAD TAYLOR joined Grasshopper in March of 1998. He appears on the albums Force of Nature and Garden of Delight. He is currently drumming, writing, gigging, and recording with r&b/funk/rock outfit TIGHT.He is a dedicated player who likes to practice, loves to play gigs, and absolutely LIVES to record! He's been fortunate enough to have been written up in Modern Drummer and DRUM! magazines.

Getting Started: "At age 10, I heard Keith Moon on the Live at Leeds and Who's Next albums." Other early influences include the Beatles and Buddy Rich. "I first saw Buddy in 1982 and was absolutely mesmerized."

Viewpoint: "The bands I strive to emulate are those where each member was an integral, highly recognizable personality."

Equipment: "I'm a total drum geek who scours E-Bay daily just to look at all the treasures for sale. But the last thing I need is MORE STUFF!"

His new main set is a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute (2001). His other sets are a Yamaha Recording Custom (1989) -- the kit behind Grasshopper -- and a Ludwig Classic (1983). "All three of my sets have unique characteristics and conjur up completely different feelings. My new Yamaha set is really fun. Very crisp and cutting. I love to brag about my Yamaha brand loyalty." His most recent snare drum acquisition and main axe these days is a Noble and Cooley Alloy Classic, along with a 1969 Ludwig SupraPhonic. "These two snares are just pure delights."

Cymbals: Mostly Zildjian. "I am a K. Zildjian guy."

In The Stereo: Blink 182 - Take Off Your Pants and Jacket and Enema of The State. "I never thought I would ever again connect with a 'new' rock band but these guys are unbelieveably tight and catchy. I love it!" Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind. "It took three years, but it finally sunk in. What an incredible, spooky record." Ozzy Osbourne - Down To Earth. "Surprisingly not that bad." Dave Matthews Band - The Lillywhite Sessions. "Too bad they bailed on this and put out 'Everyday' instead."