Mitch Grainger

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Mitch Grainger
Mitch Grainger performing at The Basement, Sydney in 2008.jpg
Grainger Performing in 2008
Background information
Birth name Mitchell Grainger
Born (1974-02-12)12 February 1974
Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Blues, rock, roots
Occupation(s) Musician, educator, producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Years active 1988–present
Labels Albert Productions, Flashpoint Music, Festival Records
Associated acts The Lovers, The Easybeats, AC/DC, Rick Price

Mitchell Grainger (born 12 February 1974) professionally Mitch Grainger, is an Australian-born blues and roots rock-musician and producer based in Los Angeles, who is best known for his harmonica playing and education thereof through his successful YouTube channel. In his 26-year music career he has worked with a long list of iconic Australian rock musicians such as Harry Vanda, Malcolm Young and Rick Price as well as Californian band The Lovers

Early life and music career[edit]

Mitch Grainger grew up in Balmain, Sydney, and by age 13 was playing the harmonica and guitar professionally in local venues, emulating American blues artists Little Walter and Muddy Waters in "The Beefs", a band he formed with fellow high school students, singer-songwriter Alex Lloyd and Declan Kelly.

Despite all members of the band being under 18 years of age, The Beefs performed in pubs and clubs across Sydney's inner west 5 nights a week for a period of 4 years, before disbanding in 1992 when Alex Lloyd left to form new group Mother Hubbard. During this period The Beefs met Malcolm Young of AC/DC who took Mitch Grainger and the band into Albert's studios to record.

In 1992 after The Beefs disbanded Mitch Grainger (now 19 years old) was hired by the Bondi Cigars to play guitar and harmonica across Australia as a part of their touring show. The Bondi Cigars were on the road for 3 weeks out of every 5 during this period of their career. Mitch Grainger stayed with the band for 2 years in which time he recorded on The Bondi Cigars album "After Closing Time".

Bands: Papa Lips and Grainger[edit]

After leaving The Bondi Cigars Mitch Grainger formed Papa Lips a five-piece Blues & Roots band that he fronted with his sister Kara Grainger. Through Mitch Grainger's connections with Malcolm Young and Albert Productions, the band was introduced to John Brewster of The Angels who managed the band along with Mitch.

Papa Lips recorded and released one EP (Harmony – 1996) and one album (High Time Now – 1998) distributed by Festival Records. They toured extensively on Australia's east coast, and played major Australian music festivals such as the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival and Woodford. In 1998 Papa Lips were awarded, "Best New Band" at the Australian Blues Music Awards.[1]

In 1998 the band was introduced to the producer Harry Vanda of The Easybeats and AC/DC fame and signed by Albert Productions. The band changed their name to "Grainger" and were in the studio for a period of two years recording an unreleased album and an EP, Sky Is Falling. In September 2001 Mitch Grainger traveled along with his sister Kara Grainger to New York to meet with American record labels, Atlantic Records, Sony BMG, Virgin Records and Elektra Records. The pair arrived in Manhattan on 9 September and were witness to the 11 September attacks. This brought on a period of reflection and the band was soon to be disbanded with Mitch and his sister Kara deciding to take separate musical paths.

Love and Demons album[edit]

In 2004 Mitch Grainger was signed by Harry Vanda's new production company Flashpoint Music and Mitch began work on his debut solo album, entitled "Love & Demons".

In early 2006 the first single "Insane" was released to radio with the full-length album released later the same year. Harry Vanda was impressed with Mitch Grainger's production skills and Mitch started working as a recording engineer at Flashpoint while simultaneously promoting his music career in Australia. During this period Mitch Grainger worked as a recording engineer with established Australian acts such as The Wrights and John Paul Young.

2UP with Rick Price[edit]

Also during this period Mitch Grainger was introduced to Australian pop star Rick Price and the two quickly formed a strong working relationship that saw Mitch Grainger perform "Nobody Knows my Name" for the soundtrack of the feature film December Boys, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jack Thompson.

In 2007 Rick Price and Mitch Grainger recorded and album of acoustic duets. The album was named 2UP, borrowing from the Australian gambling game Two-up of the same name.

Relocation to the US[edit]

In 2011 Mitch Grainger relocated to Los Angeles and started collaborating with a group of artists and musicians known as [[The Beachwood Rocke. This group of actors and musicians, all living around the Beachwood Canyon area of Hollywood consisted of people like James Michael Tyler of Friends, musician Lissie, John Hawkes and Rosa Pullman of The Lovers.

The Lovers - with Rosa Pullman[edit]

Mitch Grainger and Rosa Pullman started making music together very soon after they met in 2011, and by 2012 had formed a band called 'The in From out of Towners' an acoustic duo that performed 2 to 3 nights a week across Los Angeles, and held a weekly residency at The Piano Bar, a well known Hollywood venue, where a diverse group of celebrity musicians including Billy Gibbons and Kamasi Washington played on a regular basis.[2]

In the process of recording their debut album "The in From Out of Towners" took on a rhythm section and changed the band name to The Lovers.

The Lovers self-titled debut was released in 2013 at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood and has been featured in American national TV shows, such as Nashville, Killer Women (ABC) and Rake (Fox) as well as in the feature film 'Is That a Gun in Your pocket', released September 2016.

The Blues album[edit]

In 2015 Mitch Grainger recorded and released The Blues, an acoustic blues album, and the first album under his own name in 9 years. After its Australian release the album spent five months in the Australian Blues & Roots Radio Chart, debuting at number 16 before reaching as high as number 6.[3] Its success on Australian blues radio saw Grainger return to tour Australia twice in six months, playing over 40 dates across the east coast of Australia as a part of "The Blues Tour".[4]

In February 2016 Grainger was officially invited to showcase for the American Folk Alliance National Conference in Kansas City,[5] which was followed in September 2016 by his first tour of Scandinavia.


YouTube success[edit]

Before relocating to America, Mitch Grainger taught Harmonica privately in Sydney for over 20 years. After one of his students recommended Mitch look into posting some videos on YouTube, In March 2012 Mitch Grainger uploaded the first lesson in his Step-by-Step Harmonica Course to YouTube, "Step by Step Harmonica Lessons – Lesson 1".

This first video now has over 1.4 million hits, and along with his other videos has seen his YouTube channel grow to currently receive 2,500 – 3,000 hits a day and have over 42,000 subscribers.[6]



Year Title Artist Label Credits
2006 Love and Demons Mitch Grainger Flashpoint Music Vocals, Guitars, Harmonicas, engineer, Producer.
2015 The Blues Mitch Grainger GENT Vocals, Guitars, Harmonicas, engineer, Producer.


Year Title Artist Label Credits
1995 After Closing Time The Bondi Cigars Larrikin/Festival Guitars, Harmonicas
1996 Harmony (EP) Papa Lips LipSync Records, FIDO/Festival Vocals, Guitars, Harmonicas
1998 High Time Now Papa Lips LipSync Records, FIDO/Festival Vocals, Guitars, Harmonicas
2002 Sky Is Falling Grainger Coady Music, MGM Distribution Vocals, Guitars, Harmonicas
2007 2 Up Rick Price & Mitch Grainger Clarice Records/MGM Vocals, Guitars, Harmonicas.
2013 The Lovers The Lovers (Californian band) GENT Vocals, Guitars, Harmonicas, engineer, Producer.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Debra Morris (30 November 1999). "1994 – 98 Australian Blues Music Award Winners". Australian Blues. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ Crystal Coser (22 September 2016). "Hollywood's Iconic Piano Bar Sings Its Last Tune". La Eats. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  3. ^ A.B.A.R.A.C. "Australian Chart 2015". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Mitch Grainger Tour Dates2015". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  5. ^ International Folk Alliance. "2016 Official Showcase Artists". Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  6. ^ Youtube. "Mitch Grainger's YouTube Channel". Retrieved 21 October 2016.