JOHN TIDWELL – Lead Vocals, Bass
JIM MAYBERRY – Guitar, Backing Vocals
DREEM – Drums, Backing Vocals
Powerhouse trio Whiskey Grin was founded by local rock veterans John Tidwell and Jim Mayberry, who share an unparalleled chemistry based on a friendship that spans over three decades. Growing up in the little town of Browns Mills, NJ, the boys started honing their musical talents and performing in local venues as Exodus A.D. before they even entered their teenage years. Remaining close friends, they played in several bands together throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, as well as embarking on a few solo projects until they formed Whiskey Grin in the fall of 2011. Now, add to the mix drummer extraordinaire Dreem, who has been a driving force in multiple local rock bands over the past two decades, and you have the incomparable Whiskey Grin.
Guitarist Jim Mayberry is best known for recording and touring with his original heavy metal band Sanctum throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, showcasing his intricate and uncompromising progressive guitar stylings, while headlining venues up and down the east coast and opening for heavy metal legends such as Pantera and Savatage (whose founding members are now a part of the multiplatinum Transiberian Orchestra). Sanctum’s debut album, Believers, is still one of the most sought-after underground metal CDs of all-time.
While Jim was on the road shredding with Sanctum, Dreem was making his mark in the tri-state area as one of the most versatile, in demand drummers on the local rock scene. After developing his hard rock and R&B chops in a few different bands throughout high school, Dreem tried his hand at country music and landed his first professional gig in Lloyd Lee and the Rebels. Throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s, Dreem was a staple in the hard rock club circuit, and in the mid-‘90s, he joined original hard rock band Now where he had the opportunity to open for national acts such as Blue Oyster Cult, Pretenders and .38 Special. Over the past decade, Dreem has been working as a freelance drummer, playing everything from jazz, gospel and R&B to hard rock, Top 40 and country. With an amazing ability to transcend his musical style into any genre imaginable, Dreem is one of the most creative and eclectic drummers around.
Taking a bit of a different route after leaving Exodus A.D., singer/bassist John Tidwell temporarily left the rock n’ roll scene for a few years to start a family and serve as a worship leader and children’s pastor. During that time, he had the opportunity to sing and perform in places as far away as Madagascar and the former Soviet Republic with members from his church. To date, he still does a form of “musical community service,” playing at nursing homes and retirement communities with the band Breaking Bread.
As Whiskey Grin, the trio’s rough-and-tumble hard rock backbone is infused with heavy, bluesy rhythms and soulful, powerful vocals. With its defiant, signature style, Whiskey Grin packs a punch that most four or five-piece bands couldn’t even begin to touch. The band’s full sound, rich textures and spot-on, carefully crafted harmonies can only be attributed to the members’ close friendship, years of experience and genuine passion for the music. When Jim picks up his guitar, it becomes an extension of his soul. Listening to him play, you don’t just hear the music…you feel it. John’s tight, blues-tinged bass riffs and heartfelt vocals coupled with Dreem’s heavy, groove-laden, rock solid drumming make even the most jaded club goer stand up and take notice.
The band is making its rounds at clubs and bars in the tri-state area performing both original showcases and cover gigs, as well as spending time in the studio writing and recording its first original EP. If you haven’t yet experienced the rock n’ roll powerhouse that is Whiskey Grin, come out to a show near you to get your Grin on with the hottest rock trio this area has to offer.