The Killingly Grange Concert Series continued its monthly presentations of Bluegrass music featuring the western Maine band, "The Hemingway Brothers" and the house band "Shady Creek" on Saturday night. This is a special venue in that it brings live bluegrass to people in an area of CT. that otherwise would go without. Many of the faces I saw there I do not see at other venues in New England, but it was obvious by their enthusiasm, they love the music. Indeed, It felt to me like a church supper, lots of socialization and good inexpensive food followed by wonderful entertainment. The "Hemingway Brothers," Kip and Dale, are joined by John Sparrow on bass, Bruce Hobart, fiddle and harmony vocals, and 16 year old Hunter Webber on banjo and guitar. Covers of the Stanley Bros., Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, and other first generation bands are the meat of this group. The vocals are heartfelt and delivered with conviction, the musicianship is good and clean, they put together a fine set.
Hunter is a talented player, and he's only been playing for four years. In fact, in order to get in the time he felt needed to progress rapidly he would sneak out of the house after his parents went to sleep, slide into the family vehicle and play all night.
"Nick Anderson and the Shady Creek Band" are a mainstay at the Grange, having put on these concerts for years, Nick always brings in good bands to fill out the bill. His music is traditional as well and he possesses a powerful voice perfectly suited for bluegrass. His mandolinist, Monty McLanahan can sing fine lead vocals as well and is a songwriter of note with his own project, "The Road Less Traveled," featuring eight original songs already in circulation. William Trickett, another young banjo player who at 14 can play a mighty fine banjo and dobro sat in with the band and was well received. Roger Diebel, as always put a solid bass groove. At the close of the show both bands joined together on stage and played for another hour and would have continued all night but the building had to be closed by midnite.