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'Diamonds & Dynamite' in The Current studio

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Wednesday March 27, 2019

From The Current

Donna Grantis brings ‘Diamonds & Dynamite’ to The Current studio
By: Mark Wheat, Cecilia Johnson & Lydia Moran

Donna Grantis is the featured player in her new band, and she doesn’t even need a mic. Three years after playing guitar with 3RDEYEGIRL and Prince, Grantis has released her debut solo album, Diamonds & Dynamite.

After Prince’s death in 2016, Grantis spent time living in New York and Los Angeles before deciding to settle in Minneapolis and focus on her solo career. She found local bandmates to fit the project – Cody McKinney (bass), JT Bates (drums), Bryan Nichols (organ), and Suphala (tabla) – after “hanging out in Minneapolis for a couple months at First Avenue and Icehouse,” Grantis says.

Grantis and band started with “Mr Majestic,” an atmospheric jam peppered with tabla. “That song is just two chords,” she says, “but there’s something about playing them over and over again that I found really meditative.” After playing “Mr Majestic” with Suphala for the first time during a jam session at her house, Grantis decided it “solidified the vibe” of her project.

Between songs, she spoke with Mark Wheat about her time living in Chanhassen while recording and rehearsing “day and night” with Prince – intermittently “giving our ears a break” with a couple of games of ping pong. “At the time I wasn’t too familiar with the Minneapolis music scene,” Grantis said. “But I’m really glad to be here now, and I’m really glad to be playing with these amazing fellows.”

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