Reviews and Press


The Springfield News Sun
Local rockers Animal Grace to perform Farewell Show (October 19, 2018)

They’re about to bow out with Grace, in an Animal sort of way.
Animal Grace, a Springfield rock institution for 30 years, will play a farewell show concert with its original lineup at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Buckeye Sports Lodge.
Animal Grace has weathered numerous lineup changes and changing music tastes since forming in 1988, but stuck to its guitar-driven rock approach.
The journey has included four CDs and opening for national recording artists. Guitarist and lead vocalist Tony Powell said the time is right for several reasons. “We felt we couldn’t take it any further. We took a break and decided there was nowhere else to go, so let’s go out on a positive note,” he said. “For me, as much as I’ve loved playing in the band, but it’s time to move on to other things.”
The classic lineup of bassist Todd McKeever, drummer Pete Pemberton and guitarist/vocalist Denny James will join Powell. “We’ve come full circle since the spring of ’88,” Powell said. “We were four guys who couldn’t be more different, but when we put all four together the sparks fly. There is an unpredictable beauty about it.”
The set will include a lot of the ’80s and ’90s classic rock songs the band has been playing since its inception, along with some of its early originals. Also expect some guest musicians to sit in. The Buckeye is an ideal environment with its big room, lighting and PA system.
Animal Grace formed at a time when hair metal was big, followed by the rise of rap, country, grunge and other genres. The band experimented with grunge, which wasn’t far off from its roots. “I always liked that era, it was still guitar-driven,” Powell said. “Same stuff, different clothes. Every decade has its own things.” He confessed the late 1990s and early 2000s were Animal Grace’s toughest times, when screaming was a vocal style they wouldn’t follow. “I’ve always been proud to have two guitars driving us,” said Powell.
There’s been some animosity in the band, but he claims everybody’s currently good. If there is anything he’d like to do over, it’s having the technology available today to create music. Back in the day, it meant having to go to a studio, which cost big money.
Though it’s the end of Animal Grace — Powell says there won’t be any further reunions — the instruments won’t go silent. Powell said the members have other music projects. He has performed solo for the Summer Arts Festival’s Live on the Terrace and Live at Lunch events in downtown Springfield among other events, and is interested in maybe playing blues in the future.
“As much as I’ve loved playing in this band, I’ve had a hankering to do something fresh,” said Powell. “In the end, we were all Springfield guys and proud to be from Springfield.”
The concert is open to everyone, Buckeye Sports Lodge members and non-members. Admission costs $5.

What: Animal Grace Farewell Show
Where: Buckeye Sports Lodge, 126 West High St., Springfield
When: Saturday, Oct. 20, 8:30 p.m.
Admission: $5
More info:

Brett Turner. Contributing Writer. Community News
Springfield, Ohio - USA

The Springfield News Sun
Springfield’s Animal Grace bring hard rock to Arts Festival (June 28, 2019)

If the mantra “rock and roll will never die” needs a local defender, then Animal Grace has its back.
The Springfield-based band has rocked the area and Midwest for nearly 30 years with its straightforward two-guitar rock and no-bull approach.
It’s that drive that local audiences can hear at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 1, at the Summer Arts Festival during the first half of a local talent showcase with dance-rock group The Temps at Turner Pavilion in Veteran’s Park. The show is free and presented by the Springfield Arts Council.
“The band is really excited. We’ve been wanting to get back on that stage,” said Tony Powell, Animal Grace’s sole original member. “A lot of people have come up to me asking me when we may be getting back there.” Powell, the band’s lead and rhythm guitarist, played solo sets the previous two years at the festival’s Live on the Terrace pre-concert shows.
Occasionally experimenting into other musical areas over the years, Animal Grace has stuck to its hard-rock guns. “Everything comes back around,” said Powell. Mixing covers of classic rock staples and original tunes from its four CDs will be in Saturday’s hour long set. Animal Grace will also introduce a new song from some of the new material the band has been writing. Powell said the hardest thing about planning for the Arts Festival show is narrowing down its three to four hours worth of tunes into just one.
A guitar teacher in Springfield, Powell is pleased that some of his younger students who can’t see Animal Grace play in local bars can check out his live skills at the Arts Festival, as well as the chance to reach new fans.
While Animal Grace has gone through several incarnations over its nearly three decades, the current lineup, which also includes guitarist Mark Palmer, drummer Kenny Barnett and bassist Mike Neal, has been together for nearly 20. Don’t expect them to stop now.
“There’s a lot of good talent to showcase in Springfield,” Powell said. “We’re looking forward to rocking the Arts Festival.”

How to go:
What: Animal Grace
Where: Turner Pavilion, Veteran’s Park, Springfield
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, July 1
Admission: Free
More info: 937-324-2712 or

Brett Turner. Contributing Writer. Community News
Springfield, Ohio - USA

The Springfield News Sun
Local Band Celebrates Two Decades Of Two Guitar Rock N Roll (August 14, 2008)
ANIMAL GRACE 20th Reunion Show

SPRINGFIELD — In 1988, a gallon of gas cost just 91 cents. But when he formed a band that summer, Tony Powell started perhaps the only thing impervious to change. In fact, the Middle East could be turned into a glass parking lot today, and Animal Grace would still be the same tomorrow.
"The music has always been straightforward classic rock," Powell explained. "Two-guitar rock 'n' roll. That's what I am." In 20 years, all that's changed — besides the stonewashed jeans — are the faces. Powell has led seven lineups of Animal Grace, but the local band has never strayed too far off the same road map. Even in the age of GPS, Animal Grace is still taking directions from Thin Lizzy and Kiss.
Now 42, Powell will celebrate the band's 20th anniversary Aug. 22-23 with a two-night stand at the Savoy Lounge that's sure to be live and dangerous — all seven lineups, past and present, will play. The current version of Animal Grace will open and close the show, with each lineup taking the stage in chronological order both nights to play originals and covers from their respective eras. The only constant? Powell.
"I wouldn't necessarily call it Tony Powell's band," he said. "Everybody's put in something or other. "I just like to play." Admittedly, getting all 11 guys to commit to the same weekend — not to mention rehearsals — has been a logistical nightmare. But worth it. "Once I get everyone in the same room, it's great," Powell said. "The old magic's there." That's saying a lot, too. One of the bass players hadn't played in a decade. "Everybody sounds good," Powell said. "The fire's still there." It could have something to do with the music — stripped-down hard rock that, after years of hype and gimmicks, feels like the best kick in the teeth you've ever had.
"It's come back around," said Powell, a longtime guitar teacher at Kincaid's is Music. "I had a student come in and want to learn an old Blue Oyster Cult song. I asked him where he heard it. He said 'Guitar Hero.' "It says a lot about that kind of music ... people get tired of B.S." In 20 years, about the only trend that worked its way into the band's set was grunge. "I liked it," Powell said, "because it was still guitar-oriented."
Powell also can reflect back on other things and just laugh. "Some of the arguments we used to have," he said, "it's hilarious." Guys left on good terms and bad. A couple of guys hated each other, Powell recalled, so they had to weigh the pros and cons of keeping either one. "One of the bass players," he said, "had to go."
But everybody will be back in the saddle again for the 20th anniversary. "We've renewed a lot of our friendships," Powell said. "I'm fortunate we're all still alive and able to do this." Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0352 or

How to go
What: Animal Grace's 20th anniversary bash, with all former members
When: 9 p.m. Aug. 22-23.
Where: Savoy Lounge, 36 N. Center St.
Cost: $5

Evolution of a local band
• Animal Grace No. 1, 1988-89: Tony Powell (guitar), Denny James (guitar, vocals) Todd McKeever (bass), Pete Pemberton (drums)
• Animal Grace No. 2, 1989-91: Steve Weller replaces Pemberton.
• Animal Grace No. 3, 1991-93: Doug Collins replaces McKeever on bass.
• Animal Grace No. 4, 1993-95: Collins out, Dan Reck in.
• Animal Grace No. 5, 1995-97: Mark Palmer replaces guitarist-vocalist James, leaving Powell the sole remaining original.
• Animal Grace No. 6, 1998-2004: Bassist Chris McConnell and drummer Kenny Barnett are in; Reck and Weller are out.
• Animal Grace No. 7, 2005-present: Powell (guitar, vocals), Palmer (guitar, vocals), Rob Myers (bass, vocals), Barnett (drums)

Andrew McGinn - Staff Writer..........The Springfield News Sun

The Music Lair
CD Reviews - May 2003
ANIMAL GRACE - Dayton, Ohio - ACT OF GOD (2001)

In 2001, Animal Grace released their record "Act of God" to a music scene in the Dayton area where the bands were layered with down tuned guitars, youthful angst and heavily pierced listener's. Some may have said that the style of Animal Grace had died along with the wild and crazy times of the original formation of Van Halen. But back at the Refraze studio's on 2001, Animal Grace recorded an album so strong that it has people still talking and listening to it today.

Animal Grace was originally formed back in 1988 by Lead Vocalist/Lead Guitarist Tony Powell. After several line up changes through the years they have meshed into a very solid rhythmic powerhouse with some flare from the 1980s and the sound of a decapitating sonic switchblade.

The four members of Animal Grace have blended many styles and influences of Rock and Blues alike that span the 1970's, 80's and 90's into what has become the signature Animal Grace sound. "Act of God" is the best of both world's....Raw and with a flavor for finesse.

The eye of the storm approaches rapidly with track one , "Act of God". The title track is decorated with intensity and a pounding low end from Bassist Chris McConnell.

"I think I'm Fallin' " shows off the ever expanding architecture that proves a limitless direction in the Animal Grace songwriting process. The band comes together with their personal influences to pull the trigger on this track. All the eclecticism is woven with a naked quality that shakes the conscious until it quivers. In a time when bands have lost the ability to play songs like "I think I'm Fallin' ", Animal Grace orchestrates it masterfully. The graphic guitar illustrations of Powell and guitarist Mark Palmer are colorfully enhanced by the tragic tones of Tony Powell's vocal melodies.

The track is a fantastic journey from start to finish. Animal Grace close out the ride with "Livin' Alone ". The classic harmonies we've come to expect from Animal Grace are poured over this track. The hitman behind the kit, Kenny Barnett lays thundering machine like precision drumming on "Livin' alone". This is a good note to end the album on. It definitely goes out with a Bang!

The band seems to have no limits in the recording studio or performing live on a stage. Animal Grace can pull off the heavy hitting hard stuff with just as much fluidity as the ballads and bluesy numbers.

" I think I'm Fallin' " breathes the albums lighter, more translucent moments, while the soothing calm is shattered by the more heavy-handed "Time in he sun ".

" Act of God "has crisp and clear production while still allowing the music to breathe and keep it's edge. With the recording of "Act of God " , Animal Grace have crafted a disc that should elevate them to the next level, a step above the bands that are fighting to last, and placing them as peers with the artist who has proven they got what it takes to make a lasting mark. Animal Grace has been blurring the lines between an abrasive sonic assault and softly cascading songwriting intricacies. The results are curious, distancing them from the hordes of modern rock outfits, teenage mall punk bands and the dwindling rap/rock acts that are scampering for their last 15 minutes.

" Act of God " has landed Animal Grace in a class where songwriters settle into career mode.
I am sure we haven't heard the last howl from Animal Grace.

Michael Greer..........freelance writer for The Music Lair
Dayton, Ohio - USA

The H.M.D. Music Resource Guide
Album Reviews - October 2002
ANIMAL GRACE - Dayton, Ohio - ACT OF GOD (2001)

ACT OF GOD - This is one album review that I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you! The long awaited follow-up to ANIMAL GRACE’s 1999 release, FINALLY. This is not only far superior in some aspects to their debut album, but it solidify’s their reputation as one of southwestern Ohio’s best musical acts! The album may be called ACT OF GOD but this album was recorded by 4 mortals who are accomplished musicians who are on a mission, to not only entertain but to simply kick ass w/ good hard rock music! With the 2-fisted twin guitar rock assault, they are a major arena contender! ANIMAL GRACE consists of Tony Powell / Lead, rhythm & slide guitars - vocals; Mark Palmer/ Lead & rhythm guitars- vocals; Chris McConnell/ bass – backing vocals; and Kenny Barnett/ drums and backing vocals.

The layout of this disc is virtually the same as their debut. Yet the cover seems to fit the title very well. Simple and effective, this cover will catch your eye in a jukebox. The theme of using the elements is perfect. On the main cover itself; you see all hell breaking loose w/ thunder & lightning and water. On the back cover you see branches covered in ice. This fits the theme of the title and the title track as well.

“There’s a storm a’comin’!” The album opens w/ one of the best sounding storm sequences I’ve heard in a long time. When the volume is cranked, it’s sounds almost like the real thing! Too many times I hear a band open w/ a storm intro and it sounds janky as hell. But this is just an example of the quality to expect from ANIMAL GRACE. The title track, “Act Of God”, is about the power and unpredictability of Mother Nature. The opening lyrics, ”The wind whips up and the sky goes black. I’m on the road again and I can’t get back. A perfect day has just gone bad, worst swollen rain than we’ve ever had.”, say it all. The thick-chorded riffs of this heavy song instantly make you want to bang your head. W/ Tony Powell on vocals, he’s got a good voice for rock, that’s for sure. You’ll respect the forces of nature after hearing this song.

Following the opening cut is “Dirty Woman”. A straight balls-out rocker about a cold-hearted woman that has no shame. Does there ever seem to be an end to these wicked women? Powell’s guitar solos are superbly done throughout this whole album and this track is no exception.

Track 3 consists of “Quasimoto Love”. From the opening bass lines and fade-in guitar, you know you’re in for a treat. Mark Palmer takes over the vocal duties on this one. His range is a bit on the higher end than Powell’s but compliments the overall sound of the band very well. “Get My Guns…” is the next ball-busting track. This song has a lot of angst in it! Made to be played at maximum volume! Reminds me of THIN LIZZY’s “Thunder and Lightning”. The song is about a loud-mouthed drunken redneck that tries to start shit. No need for more explanation here. I think the title of the track will do nicely. The lyrics that stand out for me are: “The redneck tough-guy is starin’ me down, he doesn’t like the length of my hair. He says he’s gonna kick MY ASS. Man, I don’t even care!” The guitars and the solos on this cut just fuckin’ smoke!! You’ve just got to hear this for yourself.

Track 5, contains the cut, “I Think I’m Fallin’ ”. Now what would a good hard rocking album be with out the ‘ballad’? Seems to be obligatory in some respects. But this is a well-written one, no doubt on that. Powell’s love of THIN LIZZY shows on this. The guitar solos are very tastefully done. The only bad point is the opening drum beats kind of drops it a little too slow on the tempo till the guitar comes in. But, nonetheless, it is a very good radio worthy song.

Palmer’s “Woman” continues his drive for hard rock perfection. His voice sounds particularly strong. Powell’s solos again resonate all over this song with a little slide in for good measure. If we were still in the old days of two sided recordings, this is good opener for side 2 without a doubt. “Time In The Sun” is just an overall kick ass rock song. Period. Has a slight ting of classic RATT sound coming from it in the opening chords. Powell sings on how he’s on the up side of the relationship. It’s his time to shine and that she’s left behind for the obvious reasons.

The next cut is a real treat! When you fist listen to it, without knowing what it is, you instantly go, “Where the hell have I heard this before….” By the time you say that, you realize it is a cover of Devo’s classic, “Whip It”. Slowed down and made a little dirtier, it fits well into their set. Kudos for adding a killer version of an already classic tune!

“No Touch Love” has some really amazing tightness to it. The rhythm section of Barnett and McConnell has a “stop on a dime quality” timing to it. This really shows the prowess of their craft. Powell’s break before the solo is just dirty as hell! Tasty little morsels too!

And the closer to this magnificent opus is, “Livin’ Alone”. One listen to this makes living alone not sounding so bad after all. With it’s fast paced riffs and big sound; it marks the spot for a climatic ending. My favorite line is, “I’m moving out, and the cat is comin’ with me.” Oh yeah! Take that honey!!

The overall potential of this album is phenomenal! I just don’t see it gracefully reaching the confines of my CD rack anytime soon. I can only wonder if this band was out and recording albums for a label “back in the day”, how huge they would have become. The bottom line is as true as the title of the album; Never Under Estimate an ACT OF GOD! Not for mere mortals. Look for this album to be nominated for Album of the Year for 2002 for sure!

Sonny Thomas
The H.M.D. Music Resource Guide

The H.M.D. Music Resource Guide
Album Reviews in brief: (Oct- Nov 2001)
ANIMAL GRACE - Springfield,Ohio - FINALLY (1999)

Released in 1999. If you are one of those who are really starting to miss GOOD guitar rock, then ANIMAL GRACE is the band for you. Hailing from Springfield, Oh and heavily influenced by THIN LIZZY and the like that seem to be a dying breed these days. Not for this band. Their debut is as much nostalgic as it is refreshing! With songs like "Red Rover"; "B-Movie"; "Headed West" and the kick-ass track "Words", ANIMAL GRACE can deliver the goods for sure. Contains bonus track. Was nominated for The H.M.D. Music Resource Guide's Album Of The Year in 2000. It's no wonder that your mouth is watering for their follow up disc, ACT OF GOD.

Sonny Thomas..........The HMD Music Resource Guide

Animal Grace builds on rock Phenomena (8-26-01)
New CD a gust of straightforward sound

Springfield – If you get a chance to chat with Springfield rockers Animal Grace about their music, try to stay away from (Deep Purple) ‘70s comparisions. It’s not that the guys aren’t flattered by the suggested similarities, it’s just that (Kiss) they would like to have their straight-up, two-guitar rock sound (Aerosmith) represent the methods of their craft, not to be subjected to (Ted Nugent) cheap comparisions. With that said, we can get to the point. Namely, a new CD titled Act of God, which was released in June.

Founded in 1988 by front man Tony Powell, Animal Grace has seen its share of ups and downs, not to mention several personnel changes. The group recorded the last CD as a trio before the most recent lineup was introduced. “This is our first effort in the studio with all of us as a band. It’s a little bit more edgy, a little more focused,” says lead and rhythm guitarist Mark Palmer, who also contributes vocals.

The disc contains 10 tracks of no-frills rock ‘n’ roll with the title track acting as the hard-core introduction, leading up to what Palmer refers to as the band’s crowning achievement, a number titled Livin Alone. A big surprise is a hard-rock cover of an ‘80s nugget, Devo’s Whip It. Palmer says the band contacted Devo leader Mark Mothersbaugh, who is now at Nickelodeon Studios, for permission to reproduce the track. Palmer and drummer Kenny Barnett tripped over the tune, goofing around with a riff that they knew was familiar but which they couldn’t quite place. Powell walked in on the impromptu jam and quickly identified the track, permission was granted, and the end result is something you have to hear to believe. “We tried it out at some shows, and people loved it. It was only natural we put it on the CD”, said Palmer.

As far as the new disc’s title is concerned, it was a string of those unpredictable “Acts of God” that made it seem appropriate. Once completely snowed in at Twisters, they thought the door was locked. It ended up being a freak storm that put a huge drift against the door. Then there was the time a Palmer’s New Carlisle home when they were loading equipment for a show a tornado popped up two blocks away. Officials would later say it was hard winds, but try telling that to a guy lugging a 100-pound amp with no time to take cover. “When we played at the Plaza Party in Springfield, we had another act of God. Not a cloud in the sky,” Palmer says, See? There is a first for everything.”

Animal Grace has kept a loyal following over the years and continues to be a popular draw around the Springfield and New Carlisle areas, but its rock muscle has been flexed in many a club in Dayton – not to mention it growing presence on the internet. With CD sales, reviews, and fans as far away as Holland and Germany, the band shows no signs of slowing down.

Jennica Stout..........Dayton Daily News

Graceful Animals
Animal Grace is celebrating the fruits of a finished project. Animal Grace is a Springfield band formed in 1988 by guitarists and co-writers Tony Powell and Mark Palmer. Act of God is only the bands second release, but shows the significant progress the band has experienced since Powell and Palmer reinvented it in 1998, when they added bassist Chris McConnell and drummer Kenny Barnett.

Powell detailed what the band has been up to lately: “The release party was June 15 at Ringside Café in Springfield. It went well. We put a nice little dent in the merchandise and everybody seemed to like the new material.

Much of new material is on Act of God, a floor moving disc of hard rock done in the classic style with a bit of modern “chugga-chugga” flair. The band is especially proud of the new CD because it was recorded in a basement studio, then mastered at Refraze Studios. Unlike the lo-fi style so many Dayton bands are nationally noted for, this recording is clean and professional, benefiting from the time and experience of Animal Grace’s members.

Originally a cover band that played a few originals back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Animal Grace went on hiatus and contemplated directions in 1997. When Powell and Palmer pieced a new band together, they decided to concentrate on writing more original material in the meat-and-potatoes, hard-rock style the members had all grown up listening to. Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, Kiss and Van Halen are a few of the influences Powell mentioned. Much of the public turned its back on metal in the mid-‘90s at the apex of grunge, and the anti-rock star mentality, but recently, this style of in-your-face hard rock has been making a comeback, and Animal Grace has been there all along.

“We stuck to our guns and still do what we do best – straight-forward, hard rock. We’re not jumpin’ on the bandwagon to be the next Godsmack or Marilyn Manson. We’re happy with our style and we’re gonna keep doing it” Powell said.

Xtian Spencer
Senior Music Writer – Impact Weekly

Animal Grace enjoys Kiss of local success: (7/5/01)
Tony Powell was the student. Kiss’ “Destroyer” was the teacher. But two decades after the demon, the star child, the spaceman and the catman stomped into Powell’s heart; the Springfield native is worthy of the podium. His band, Animal Grace, is - dare we say it? -just as good as his old idols. The local band’s two-axe attack can knock the greasepaint right off Ace Frehley. You’ll be able to see for yourself when the band plays the Plaza Party on July 13.

Unfortunately for Animal Grace - guitarist-vocalist Powell, guitarist Mark Palmer, bassist Chris McConnell and drummer Kenny Barnett - it’s not 1976. If it was, these guys would be huge. Action-figure, comic book, lunch box huge. But for hard rockers to get signed, they now need two turntables and a microphone. Rap-rock is all the rage. Powell could care less. He’s sticking to his guns. And his home.

“We’re a straight forward, two-guitar rock ‘n’ roll band,” Powell explained from his studio at Kincaid’s is Music, where he’s taught guitar for nine years. As a guitar teacher, Powell listens to it all, but it’s the music of Kiss, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy and Aerosmith - no frills rock - he keeps coming back to. “When it comes to vocals, I like melody,” he said. His sense of melody is apparent on Animal Grace’s new “Act of God” disc. The guitars wail, and Powell and Palmer come across as meatier Paul Stanleys. If the Pontiac Silverdome is all booked up, then City Hall Plaza will have to do.

But as the United States shovels out more rap-rock onto the radio and MTV, the rest of the world likes its vocals manic and its amps cranked to 11. Through its own Web site - and, Animal Grace has been picked up by radio stations as far away as Italy and Germany.

Powell formed the band in 1988. The longevity is equated with hero status amid the local music scene, most of which remembers the band growing up. But with that said, Animal Grace is admittedly less active than it was 13 years ago. There are now families to deal with. Steady jobs, too. For Powell, the aging Animal Grace has become “a second part-time job.”

At one time, he was eager to get in a van and bring the noise to unknown lands. The band did that in the early 1990s. Now, it’s easier to stay home, play a couple gigs and fool around in the studio. “Part of me would like to do it again,” Powell said. “But eating ramen noodles? “Nah.”
Andrew McGinn....Springfield News-Sun Staff Writer

Animal Grace "Finally":
The title refers to the fact that these guys disappeared for a couple years and "finally" emerge with their first CD. Tight harmonies, good-time lyrics and fiery guitar solos show that Animal Grace has one foot planted in last decade. But that's a compliment. "Godless" shows that these guys can do the "nineties" thing if they want, but I like it better when their having fun, like their best cut "B-Movie" or the nursery rhyme-laden "Red Rover". And with "Bayberry Dunes", it's about damn time someone wrote another song about partying on the beach.
Tony Peters……WINGFM Local Music Show 102.9 WINGFM

Animal Grace "Finally" - 6.5 out of 10
Animal Grace are from OHIO, USA. They play hard rock in the style of vintage Van Halen, the trouble is this is one of those awkward albums that you can't make your mind up over. Sure, there is a lot of diversity throughout this 14 track CD, but at times it does become a bit tiresome and you ending wishing the album would hurry up and end. That's the bad point. The good points are that listening to this album makes me feel very excited of the fact that I bet Animal Grace is a killer live band. They have some great songs on this album. But they should have cut it down to size and then perhaps I wouldn't be so judgemental towards them. "Do It To You" is a great rock song a'la Van Halen, Bulletboys, White Lion "Shout it out loud" type of anthem song. I really like the drumming by Kenny Barnett and Tony Powell's vocal delivery is very similar to David Lee Roth. The song speeds up and is very punchy and solid. I also like the balladish "So Far Away". Tony does a fine vocal workout here. Also cool is the bluesy and dreamy "The Best Of Me" which is stunning. I must mention the funky crunching opening track "B-Movie" which is very much in the tradition of Extreme's debut album. Overall not a lot to shout about. But, it's a good start. The band plays tight and live they should be quite awesome.
Nick Baldrain......Sound Barrier Magazine and Hard Rock And Metal on the internet,
Swansea Wales, UK

Animal Grace "Finally" - 7.0 out of 10
ANIMAL GRACE comes out of Springfield, Ohio, USA. They have just released a CD titled 'Finally' and on this disc we can find 14 songs. Musically ANIMAL GRACE is playing pure Rock. It's a bit 70s inspired and sounds a little raw in places not unlike BAD COMPANY or MOXY. My favourite tracks are "Words" (melodic rocker in 70s style), "The best of me" (calmer bluesy rockballad with a very melodic chorus), "Do it to you" (uptempo melodic rocker), "Downtown" (70s sounding melodic rocker) and "Bayberry dunes" (KISS styled 70s rocker). If you wanna hear the raw 70s rock like MOXY, APRIL WINE all over again, yet with an updated 90s sound, you should check out this ANIMAL GRACE. (Points: 7.0 out of 10)
Gabor Glakenstein………Strutter'zine magazine and website, Holland

Twisters says thanks.......
I'd like to thank Animal Grace for letting me put LUXX on the bill with them Saturday March 11th for the show. They really helped me establish a solid relationship with a high profile booking agency. The booking agency is also showing their gratitude and has promised Animal Grace an opening spot as a supporting act for W.A.S.P. or Quiet Riot on a Cinci or Columbus date.
Tony Hurley.......Dayton Band Resource Page & Twisters booking

Animal Grace took long road to "Finally"
Band produces CD after years of change
Twelve years. Several lineup changes. One CD. Sixty to 70 years' combined playing experience. All of these descriptions match Animal Grace, a Springfield-area rock band that is the musical home of Tony Powell (vocals/guitar), Kenny Barnett (drums/vocals), Chris McConnell (bass/vocals) and Mark Palmer (guitar/vocals). The group started out in 1988 on the Springfield-Dayton circuit as a cover band, playing clubs such as the now-defunct McGuffeys. After about 10 years, Powell and Palmer decided to give it a break. "In 1997, Mark and I needed a hiatus,", Powell says. "We were burned out. There were personnel changes, and then we built a recording studio. We'd done a lot of different things, but we never had a finished product, so we stopped, and decided that was what we should do."

The group recorded the album Finally in a little over 18 months, mainly as a trio. McConnell, the newest member of the group, did not join until, the recording was complete. "This lineup is still is its infancy," says McConnell, of Urbana. "The CD was a collaboration between the three of them, and now we're seeing where to go from there. Live, the songs are really taking on a personality of their own...."

"Finally" incorporates elements of traditional two-guitar rock 'n' roll, blues, contemplative ballads and harder music. It was self-produced, mastered at Refraze Recording Studio in Kettering and duplicated in Canada.

All agree the CD is representative of the band, but say the live show is a strong point.

"(The band-crowd dynamic is) bi-directionally associative," says Barnett, of Springfield. "Live, we're like a raging fire. It's not better or worse, but we don't want to be Steely Dan - the world's greatest studio band. You know the feeling you get after you eat a really good steak dinner? Well, that's the feeling I get from the band. "
Sara Farr - at Dayton Daily News

New Carlisle Sun - Wednesday June 21, 2000
Animal Grace Filling in the music void
If I told you there was a really great rock band practicing a few nights a week right around the corner from me you might say, “Big deal”. “Doesn't every neighborhood have a few guys with some musical ambition?” But what if I told you their debut CD entitled 'Finally' has sold 400 copies since its release last August with only six shows to promote it.Animal Grace has done exactly that, and the band's list of accomplishments doesn't stop there.

Founded in 1988 by guitarist and singer Tony Powell, Animal Grace was a prominent player in the Springfield club scene. But by the mid 90s some 'burnout' had set in and Powell just needed a break. He soon found out though, that music was something he couldn't stay away from. “When you're a musician, it's something that's just in you,” he said. "And after all of the hard work and time he had spent with the band, there was still something missing: a finished product."

Enter Mark Palmer, a local singer and guitarist that Powell had asked to fill in for a gig when the band's singer couldn't be there. The two had known each other for several years, but they were about to find out that they had a knack for writing original music together.In 1997 the two added drummer Kenny Barnett, another long time friend of Powell, and the reinvented Animal Grace soon had enough original material to hit the studio to record their first CD. Upon its completion in August of 1999, the group signed on bass guitarist Chris McConnell and the stage was set to promote the new disk.

The classic and 80s rock influenced band quickly grabbed a following, staying in guitar style of rock-and-roll they grew up listening to and avoiding any present trends.“We try to fill in what’s missing, fill in the void," said Palmer referring to the present music scene. There are so many bands out there who try to do what everyone else is doing, we like to be original." The quality of originality caught the attention of WING FM DJ and new music show host, Tony Peters. The band was recently featured on Peters' show, which included interviews and tracks from 'Finally."In his on-line review Peters said, "Tight harmonies, good-time lyrics and fiery guitar solos show that Animal Grace has one foot planted in the last decade. And that's a compliment."

Peters is equally impressed with the group's live shows, and he says he has seen them play to large crowds and small ones but the level of professionalism stays the same. Professional doesn't mean boring though, as Peters says, “It's nice that a band is still having fun. So many bands stand up there and stare at their shoelaces, and that's definitely not Animal Grace.” Tony's review can be found at or you can visit The site's 4200 hits since it was launched in January of last year is virtual testimony to the band’s growing popularity.

One might think with all the attention that problems could arise or heads could swell, but not with these four guys who have managed to stay grounded with their jobs and families. And with only a few live shows left before they head back to the recording studio, Tony Powell’s “finished product” has exceeded his expectations.
Jennica Stout.......Sun Special writer....New Carlisle Sun