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Pomfret, CT, United States
I use this blog to maintain and promote bluegrass and to showcase artists and festivals.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Grange Concert Series

The Killingly, CT. Grange kicked off its new season last Saturday with two fine area bands, Pine Creek and host band Shady Creek. Pine Creek, features Nanette Addesso on lead vocals and fiddle, Joe Mellet, who shares lead vocal, on mandolin, Mike Volatile on bass and vocals, Fred Etheridge on lead guitar and Jim Beaver on banjo and harmony vocals. Jim Beaver is also the knowledgeable cohost of the Bluegrass Cafe which airs on WHUS 91.7 at the University of Connecticut. This band proved to be quite talented and I especially enjoyed the choice of music, tunes like "Jenny Mule","Midnite Train" and "Waves of the Sea" played at top speed with good timing and rhythm. Harmony was tight and right, and Nanette and Joe provided fine vocals. Nanette throws her head back and launches some strong, emotional versions of songs about lost love and homeplace, Joe sings the lyrics with passion. I'll be sure to look for this band down the road.

Pine Creek

Mike Volatile, Nanette Addesso and Joe Mellet

Nanette, Jim Beaver and Joe

The Pine Creek Band with Fred Etheridge on guitar

The Shady Creek Band is the host band of the series and always give a fine performance. Lead singer Nick Anderson combines with mandolin player Monty McLanahan to sing traditional and gospel tunes such as "Rose of Kentucky", "Another Night", "Lonesome Road Blues" and many more of the good old songs. Their special guest of the night was Danny Menzone a highly talented banjo player, songwriter and former member of the "Traver Hollow" band that toured the national and international bluegrass circuit for over twenty years. Dan recently put together an album titled "Menzone Drive", it has eight original tunes along with covers of Flatt and Scruggs and Peggy Harvey, former bandmate at "Traver Hollow". The album has an impressive lineup of musicians, "Rickie Simpkins" on fiddle and mando, "Wyatt Rice" on guitar, "Ronnie Simpkins" on bass and "Roger Williams" on dobro. This album is a good listen, its melodies grab you right from the start and Danny is one of the best at playing both straight ahead bluegrass and more edgy material. All in all I'd say the "Grange Concert Series" got off to a wonderful start.

The Shady Creek Band

Nick Anderson

Dan Menzone

Monty McClanahan and Roger Diebel

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