About Me

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

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mineral Springs Footstompin Festival 2009

My first thought on arriving at the Mineral Spring Campground in Stafford, CT. was how fortunate it was to have such a perfect day to hang out with friends and hear Bluegrass music. And it was perfect, deep blue sky, a few puffy white clouds and temperature around 75. The music could be heard from the day parking lot as the bands had already started hours before I arrived. Fortunately there were several bands yet to play. Acoustic Blue was on when I got to the stage and as expected they were in top form playing one of the many Cory Zink originals,"Mountain Memories," with Zink singing lead in a deep baritone. Much of the material this band does is their own, Zink is a prolific writer and T. Shaun Batho writes for the band as well. And you know, this band always looks tack sharp, I'm always impressed with their appearance, it sets you up for a great performance, and that's what you get.

Corey Zink

T.Shaun Batho

Batho plays guitar and sings lead vocals and warms up the audience with a few tall tales.

"Bear" Aker and Mike VanAlstyne

Bear, provides rhythm and sings lead and baritone vocals, Mike is at home on banjo and resophonic guitar and contributes lead and tenor vocals.


Harry Paden

The band "NorthernBound" has performed together around New England for two decades, it consists of three brothers, Ray, Harry and Steve Paden and good friend Mike LaRocque. Mostly traditional Bluegrass, although, some time ago I heard them do some "Beatles" music in a Bluegrass style. Whatever they do its always a fun set with some good three and four part harmony and the sharing of lead vocals

Mike LaRocque

Ray Paden

Steve Paden

Nick Anderson and William Trickett of ShadyCreek

Nick Anderson and Shady Creek performed two fine sets on Saturday with Nick and mandolin player Jim Plecan sharing lead vocals. They're backed by Roger Diebel on bass and a talented young player, William Trickett on dobro and banjo

Roger Diebel

Jim Plecan

Gail Wade and Turning Point

Gail and her band of virtuosos delighted the crowd with a mix of jazz, folk and bluegrass served up by a highly talented group of musicians, Gail's smooth vocals spaced with amazing solo breaks of banjo, sax, harmonica and bass were a treat that the fans loved.

Gail Wade and Peggy Harvey

Dan Menzone

Rob Rainwater

The GrassRoutes Band

GrassRoutes is noted for fine vocals and tight harmony, they do mostly traditional grass and in their set Saturday they did some covers from Alison Krauss' album "100 Miles or More which were well done and a nice break from the routine stuff. The band consists of: Joe Delillo on bass, Joe Lemeris on banjo, Jack Jolie lead guitar and vocals, Marilyn Toback-Reveley on rhythm guitar and vocals and Bill Reveley singing lead and playing fiddle.


Jack Jolie

The Ole Time Bluegrass Singers

This band always satisfies in their delivery of the early music and they appear to enjoy performing together, they have a lot of fun on stage and that allows the audience to join in and feel a part of all that's happening, they're a talented bunch and always a treat

Dick Bowden

Herb Applin,Dick Bowden and Lillian Fraker

Terry McGill and Bob Fraker

Promoter and MC Bill Goodale had the misfortune of severing his achilles tendon but it didn't stop him from putting on a fine Festival

Bill Goodale

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CLaire Lynch Band plays East Hartford's Town Green

Claire Lynch

If you're in the area next week and want to see one of the finest Bluegrass bands in the country get yourself over to the East Hartford CT Town Green at 6 pm, thursday the 2nd of July, and you'll see the fabulous Claire Lynch and her band in concert. One of the finest voices in Bluegrass, Claire surrounds herself with some of the best pickers in the business, Jim Hurst on guitar, Mark Schatz on bass and Jason Thomas on mandolin and fiddle. This should be a wonderful musical event and there's no charge so come on out and enjoy yourself.
For directions and other information click on the link above

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sam Tidwell Tribute Day

After a night of heavy rain and thunder the Sam Tidwell Tribute Day at Sterling Park Campground in Sterling, CT was blessed by a clearing sky and as hundreds of fans and friends quickly filled all the spaces in front of the stage, the promoters, Myrna Riquier and Fred Etheridge breathed a big sigh of relief, how many times have festivals been ruined by bad weather, all that effort for naught. I bet they were surprised and pleased by the large turnout, by my guess, about 400 people, I know the food vendor was as the lines for food seemed to never end. Well, anyway the event was a huge success and Sam was thrilled by the honor as so many of the folks he found time to mentor and encourage, especially in the early years, had returned to say Thanks! Sam and his wife Edie were instrumental in the creation and growth of Bluegrass and have been honored for same by the International Bluegrass Music Museum where they're included in the list of the "200 Pioneers of Bluegrass." The museum is currently working on a video oral history project that when released will include a segment about the Tidwells.We are all indebted to them for what they've accomplished and for the pleasure of their music and of course for Sam's famous "Maine jokes." Thanks to Myrna and Fred, it was quite and undertaking putting this all together.

Sam Tidwell

Sam Tidwell Family and Friends

The band gathered together here is: David Tidwell, Bill Thibodeau playing guitar, John Stey also on guitar and lead vocals, Billy Kimball, guitar and vocals, Bob Denoncourt on bass, Sam Tidwell on the banjo, Marcel Huguenin, vocals and guitar and Carl Rebello playing fiddle. There were different configurations during the set as old friends and picking buddies were invited up to do a tune.

Jimmy Gaudreau

Jimmy and Moondi dazzled the crowd with powerful picking and vocals ranging from bluegrass to swing, they played mandolin, guitar and mandola equally well and were really sizzling when they chose to play fiddle tunes.

Moondi Klein

Smokey Greene

Smokey was there to offer up a song for his old friend Sam and it was a pleasure to hear him, he's one of a kind, his voice just gets better with time

Anna Mae Mitchell

Anna Mae and Rising Tide are a high energy group offering up traditional grass and gospel and a little bit of folk, Anna Mae has a powerful country style delivery and her band is loaded with fine pickers

Anna Mae Mitchell and Rising Tide

The rest of the band: Kadee Reynolds, percussion; Richard Silver on mandolin, Anna Mae, Bill Thibodeau playing the guitar and mandolin, Nancy Merrill on bass and Steve Peterson on the banjo

Pine Creek Bluegrass

Pine Creek calls Ct. its home, they're known for solid traditional bluegrass highlighted by tight harmony and solid vocals. This group can serve up three lead vocalists which is a plus for them and for the audience. Lead guitarist Fred Etheridge has played with Sam Tidwell and was honored to perform here today as well as co-produce this event. The rest of the band consists of Jim Beaver on banjo and lead vocal, Joe Mellet on mandolin and lead vocals, Nannette Addesso playing fiddle and singing lead and Mike Volatile providing steady bass rhythm

Rocky Hollow Bluegrass

This band has been perfoming for more than twenty years in the southern New England area with its mix of traditional and progressive style bluegrass. Members are Monty Mclanahan, vocals and mandolin, Dan Parker on bass, Nancy Hutchins, vocals and guitar, Dick Hutchins,banjo, Gary Hutchins providing lead guitar and Dan Gannon playing fiddle.

Back Porch Bluegrass

Out of Maine, this band features Fred Pike Jr. guitar and bass,Quentin Yattaw playing mandolin, Debbie Burdin on guitar and bass and Bruce Bjork on the resophonic guitar

No Spare Parts

A fine traditional band from Rhode Island. Nelson Hiller on mandolin, Mike Robino on bass, Rowland Mehlanbacher on guitar and vocals and Vince Peitte an banjo.

John Stey and Rich Guilbault

John and Rich served as soundmen for the event. Sam invited them up to showcase their musical skills.

Amy Orlomoski

Amy split the MC's duty with Marcel Huguenin, Amy is also a popular DJ at WHUS, Storrs, CT and promoter of Bluegrass shows in the area.

Marcel "The Ole Bluegrass Coyote" Huguenin

Marcel's the former host of the "Magic of Bluegrass" at WHUS-FM and a fine singer and picker. He worked as MC for the tribute and also performed on stage with Sam and the band

Dave Orlomoski

Dave has been a friend of Sam's for a long time and was happy to respond to a request to "come on up and sing one"

Roger Moss and Jim Beaver

Roger Moss is the promoter of the "Podunk Bluegrass Festival" in East Hartford CT as well as the "Winter Concert Series" held at the East Hartford Cultural Community Center. Jim Beaver leads the Pine Creek Band and is a DJ at the Bluegrass Cafe at WHUS, Storrs, CT.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sam Tidwell Tribute

The Sam and Edie Tidwell Tribute Day is happening this Sunday, the 14th of June at the Sterling Park Campground Sterling, CT. The Tidwell's are among the elite of early bluegrass and are members of the IBMM's "200 Pioneers of Bluegrass," artists who were instrumental in the creation and growth of the Bluegrass genre. The event, will feature eight bluegrass bands over a six hour period and is free and open to the public. Show starts at noon and runs to six. The Sterling Park Campground is located in Sterling CT on Gibson Hill Rd. Some of the bands scheduled to perform are pictured below.

Pine Creek Bluegrass

Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Kline

Anna Mae Mitchell and Rising Tide

Rocky Hollow Bluegrass

No Spare Parts

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Relay For Life

With thousands present the 2009 American Cancer Society "Relay For Life" kicked off Saturday the 16th of May at the Woodstock Fairgrounds in Connecticut. It was a perfect day with full sun and moderate temperatures.
The walkers release hundreds of balloons to start the Survivor Lap, each balloon was marked with the number of years of survial celebrated since the initial bout with Cancer, this proved to be an very emotional moment for the survivor and her or his family

Various forms of entertainment could be found at locations around the track for the walkers and the folks just hanging out.

Bogdanski Martial Arts

Singer, Songwriter Ray Cooke

Celtic fiddler John Cornwell