The "Granati Brothers" are classic rock artists whose rich harmonies have been compared to Jellyfish, Queen, and Supertramp. They rocked the nation at 78 sold out concerts with Van Halen in the 80s. David Granati's soaring melodic guitar riffs earned him a nomination for player of the year by Guitar Player Magazine in 1981. They released two recordings on A&M Records; the "G-Force" album (1979) and the opening cut "Go Crazy" on the A&M sampler "Propaganda" (1979). Their independent CD "G-The Continuing Adventures of the Granati Brothers" was released in 2002. They have also performed with Bruce Springsteen, J. Geils, Ian Hunter, the Doobie Brothers, Sammy Haggar, Heart, Peter Frampton, Boston, Def Leppard, Southside Johnny, Gentle Giant, Dionne Warwick, and many others at venues across America.
The Granati Brothers Herman, Rick, Joey, David, and their cousin Tony Lee Bonomo began their rock adventure in Beaver Falls, Pa. Hermie began playing piano at age 3 and was writing music at age 5. After graduating high school he performed with several popular Pittsburgh and Youngstown area bands including Coconut with B.E. Taylor, Phweet Phwew with future concert promoter Rich Engler, and in the Jaggerz with Donnie Iris. The Jaggerz recorded Hermie song "I'll be Okay In the Morning" on the Jaggerz 1975 "Coming Home" album. Back home in Beaver Falls Rick, David, and Joey formed their own band called Salt and Pepper and began playing Pittsburgh area clubs including the original Fat City in Swissvale. In 1976 Hermie left the Jaggerz and joined forces with his brothers and cousin Tony Lee to form the Granati Broters. They became regulars at Morry's Speakeasy in Rochester packing the place every week, playing their original songs along with jazz fusion, funk, reggae, and Beatles classics.
Discovered by Gentle Giant
In 1977 Derek and Ray Shulman of the band "Gentle Giant" discovered the Granati Brothers playing at Morry's and signed them to a management deal and to A&M Records. Rock Hall of Fame agent Frank Baracelona signed them to the Premiere Talent roster and put them on tour. In 1979 A&M Records released the "G-Force” Album. Major rock FM stations throughout America, including WMMS, WMMR, KROQ, WNEW, and WDVE gave rotation airplay to the songs: "Nite", "You Looked So Good", "What in the World", and "It was You". Fans purchased over 50,000 copies. The Granati Brothers song "Go Crazy" was featured as the opening cut of A&M Records "Propaganda" compilation album that includes the Police, Squeeze, and Joe Jackson.
On the Road with Van Halen
During a seven-month national tour in 1979 the G's performed for 250,000 fans appearing with Van Halen, Heart, Peter Frampton, Boston, J Geils, Ian Hunter, the Doobie Brothers, and others. The highlight of the tour was an appearance before 62,000 fans at the Superdome in New Orleans. In 1981 the Granati Brothers, also known as G-Force toured with Van Halen and performed for over 500,000 fans in 39 cities in the U.S. and Canada appearing at 46 sold out concerts. It was the third largest tour of 1981. Concert fans nominated David Granati for Guitar Player of the Year in the 1981 Guitar Player Magazines Readers Poll. The band signed a second record deal with Atlantic Records in 1986 and recorded the unreleased album "Enter: G-Force. They continued to perform throughout the 1980's and until the mid 1990's.
Steel Workers Benefit Concert
Day of the Dead
In 1985 the Granati Brothers appeared as Zombies in George Romero's Day of the Dead Movie. In the climatic scene in the movie, they killed the evil villain Captain Rhodes and dined on his intestines. Ricky Granati played percussion on one the the soundtrack cuts.
The band went their separate ways in 1995 and the members pursued independent projects. Joey and David Granati, along with Gary Carolla and Sputzy Sparacino co-wrote Aaron Carter's song "Tell Me How to Make You Smile" featured on his million selling debut in 2000. David Granati founded Maple Wood recording studios and produced CDs for many Pittsburgh area bands including The Motorpsychos, The Spuds, Soda Jerk, Wil E. Tri, Chizmo Charles, THe Jaggerz, Love Child, Cherlyann Hawk and more. David also became a recording and guitar instructor at the Lincoln Park School for the performing arts and the University of Pittsburgh.
Hermie Granati has performed and recorded with numerous artists including Joe Grushechy, B.E. Taylor, Wil E Tri., the Jaggerz and Norman Nardini. Hermie wrote two songs on the Jaggerz 1998 release "And the Band Played On", which he co-produced. He performs with B.E. Taylor each year as a vocalist and keyboard player on his annual Christmas concert series.
Joey Granati has become one of the most recognized performers nationwide in the burgeoning world of Dueling Pianos. He performs at Sing Sing, Jelly Rolls, and other piano bars throughout the country. Joey teaches private lessons in piano and bass guitar. Joey has also been commissioned to write and record compositions for the JFK Lancer organization and performs at the national conferences.
Rick Granati went into business but keeps his hand in the music business producing and promoting benefit concerts for numerous charitable organizations. He produced a show with Denny Laine of Wings, the Beatles/Stones promotion man Pete Bennett, and the Granati Brothers for the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in 2009.
Continuing Adventures Reunited the G's
The Granati Brothers reunited in 2002 to release their independently produced CD, "G-The Continuing Adventures of The Granati Brothers". The CD was recorded at David Granati's Maple Wood Studios and was mastered by Brian Foraker, who has worked with Moby, Heart, Yes, and others. The album featured members of the Pittsburgh Symphony on the orchestral backed song "Resolution" and other tracks. XM Radio featured "Resolution" on its Unsigned Channel and its a top seller in the classic rock genre on Amazon.com. Gene Godfrey named the CD "the best of 2003" it featured tracks on hist internationally syndicated show "Classic FM".
Reviewer George Thatcher of the Australian ezine Glory Daze wrote: "For those looking for a return to the heyday of retro and classic rock with a traditional 'steel-town' attitude, then 'G' are right up your alphabet. Admittedly there's a power of listening to be had, but to the average melodic rocker, there is definitely something for everyone, and not only is it good value, it's a good replacement therapy for the poor excuse that is todays popular music."
Phil Harris wrote in Pittsburgh Magazine: "G is melodic rock with nods to Journey, Queen, Jellyfish, early Van Halen and the Beatles (they do a cover of keyboardist Hermie's show-stopping "Oh Darling" with a rockin' solo that Paul could only dream about). The harmonies are fantastic, and the playing professional and never self-indulgent. David Granati's guitar-playing brings new life to the cliched world of rock guitar, at times ripping, at times riffing, at times even sounding like bagpipes. Content to be who they are, and comfortable with where they've come from, they've never sounded better."
In 2006, Hermie, Joey, and David Granati wrote the Theme Song "Reach For The Light" for a TV Documentary "The Actors Journey Project". This ultimate guide to entering show business was written and produced by Stanley Livingston, a child TV Star who portrayed the character "Chip" on the hit '60's TV show "My Three Sons".
For Those Who Are About to Rock
Joey and David Granati founded the “For Those About to Rock” Academy. Originally based at Lincoln Park High School in Midland, Beaver County, the brothers now run the program at Maplewood Studios in Ambridge. Musician Cathy Stewart, a graduate of Duquesne University music education program is also a staff member. The program was inspired partially by the 2003 film "School of Rock". Joey, David, and Cathy work with the students to develop their performing skills and teach them the nuts-and-bolt of the music industry. The students put their skills to practice performance at venues and outdoor concerts. Student Brandon Walsh says "There's more to music than just playing the right notes They've showed us how to play with other people. How to not only play the right notes, but to feel it. To play songs with emotion, because music is an entertainment business. You can play the right notes all you want, but it doesn't mean you're going to be entertaining."