Donna Grantis, the incredible Toronto-born guitarist who’s been based in Minnesota since Prince recruited her to the Gopher State in 2012, has released two new tracks recorded in collaboration with Mike McCready, Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist. “Trashformer” and “Violetta” are out now on digital services and 7″ vinyl; both tracks will appear on Grantis’s solo debut album, Diamonds & Dynamite, due out next year.
According to a press release, Grantis and McCready met in 2013, when Grantis was playing with Prince’s group 3RDEYEGIRL. Their mutual admiration led to Grantis joining Pearl Jam for a pair of Toronto shows, and now to these new tracks. “It has been an incredible honor to collaborate with Mike on these songs,” said Grantis in a statement. His playing has always been a huge inspiration — from the time I first picked up the guitar through to composing ‘Trashformer’ with this collaboration in mind. Mike adds a glorious solo on the outro of ‘Trashformer’ that is absolutely electrifying and ambient sound effects throughout the B-side, ‘Violetta,’ that are truly sublime.”
Diamonds & Dynamite features Grantis’s new group of Minnesota musicians, who gave local ax fans a taste of their jazzy fire last year at the Dakota. Reviewing one of Grantis’s shows there, The Current’s Cecilia Johnson wrote, “It’s nice to watch a Prince accomplice who doesn’t sound like Prince. Not that Grantis doesn’t excel at funk or downright shredding — in fact, she and 3RDEYEGIRL pushed Prince toward a more blazing rock energy during their tenure with him — but Grantis has her own sound to offer. She’s totally branched out, putting tried-and-true jazz instruments, ferocious guitar, and tabla (small drums often associated with Hindustani music) on the same stage.”