For WV’s Fletcher’s Grove, it’s All Good
For a group of guys, all West Virginia University students, who started out as just another band “paying their dues,” the chance for Fletcher’s Grove to play this year’s All Good Music Festival is the cherry on top of a career that has been a sweet ride to this point.
As one of only two West Virginia bands invited to the four day festival atop Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, Fletcher’s Grove promises a great set and a rockin’ good time for all.
A couple guys from the band — vocalist and guitarist, Ryan Krofcheck, and bassist Taylor Pratt — took some time recently to talk about the road to All Good, the future of the band and … grilled cheese?
Graffiti: So how did this invitation to play All Good come about? What was the band’s reaction?
Pratt: All of us have attended All Good before and my first experience was perhaps one of the best weekends of my life. We were all playing music at the time, but not necessarily together. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that once we were exposed to the ‘festival’ scene, we wanted to be a part of it. Over the years we have met numerous people and everything just fell into place this year. Being added to All Good, along with some of my favorite bands, was simply amazing, a great feeling.
Krofcheck: We’ve had a big grassroots push from our fans who were determined to talk to the right guy. I think just being from the region and making a name for ourselves around the state was what got us there. I personally didn’t think it was going to happen this year.
I got the phone call a few hours before we played with Ekoostic Hookah at 123 Pleasant Street. I wanted to tell the guys in person all at once. So I told them I needed to talk to them after sound check. Immediately Wes asked, ‘What did I do?’
I figured they wouldn’t believe it at first. We all were stunned, but it felt good that all of our hard work over the past few years had finally paid off. The best part was telling all of our fans at the end of our set. I honestly think this means more to our fans then it did to us.
Graffiti: Where does playing All Good rank in the list of things Fletcher’s Grove wants to accomplish?
Pratt: Playing All Good is something we’ve wanted to do for a while now. We also have another album in the works and are spreading our tour to more states and bigger crowds. It all takes time, but I feel confident that is something we have, and we’re going to take advantage of it.
Krofcheck: Playing All Good had been our goal since we entered college. It was definitely attainable and it would give us a stamp of approval to play a lot more festivals and venues in the region.
Graffiti: Are there any bands that you guys are really psyched to see at All Good?
Pratt: I’m not just going to All Good to play. I’m going as a fellow festivarian. You’ll see me holding the rail for Primus and Umphrey’s McGee … also can’t wait to see moe. … again. This will be my first Furthur (with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh) show so I’m pretty stoked about that. Overall, I’m just happy to be back on the mountain with my friends and enjoy some of the best live music in the world under the sun.
Krofcheck: Yonder (Mountain String Band) and Furthur are what I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m sure there’s isn’t a band that I don’t want to see this year. This has to be one of the best years for All Good.
Graffiti: You guys have been together, playing and traveling, for a few years now … how has the band changed over the years? What were some of the first gigs like?
Pratt: We’ve become more mature as a whole. We’re understanding logistics of tours and the practicality of traveling a lot better. Playing-wise, we’ve all improved. Every person in the band is my best friend and each year our relationships grow for the better. I’m real fortunate to be in a band with my friends and the future seems to be holding great things for us. Some of our first gigs were playing in barns, small bars, and at house parties. We had some real great times.
Krofcheck: You’ve always gotta pay your dues. We definitely are still paying our dues in some places, but in others our hard work has paid off. I always tell people … for example at 123 Pleasant Street … it was impossible to even get a response from the venue. It took us two years before we played there. Then one day I got a random message saying a band dropped out and we could have the date. Now we sell the place out every time we play.
Graffiti: What can people attending the Fletcher’s Grove show at All Good expect?
Pratt: At All Good, anyone who comes to our show will not be disappointed. Hell, you might even get a free grilled cheese (no guarantees).
Krofcheck: You can see what and who the people are from this state. We are one of two bands from West Virginia, and I’ve stressed how important it is for people to get an understanding of who we are while they come to our state for four days and have some of the best times in their life.
Graffiti: I think I read somewhere that you guys are getting ready to graduate college. So what’s next for the band? Are you going to keep on truckin’ or hang it up for a while?
Pratt: Wes and Matt have graduated. Congrats to those guys. The rest of us are still working and going to school but what’s different now is that we will be living in the same town. Expect higher levels of productivity and musicianship to surface in the following months.
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