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.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Joe Val Sunday

Josh Williams

Only 28 years old, Josh Williams is already a seasoned veteran, he's spent years on the road with Special Consensus and later, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, he's a songwriter, singer and award winning picker having won SPBGMA's Guitar Performer of the Year for 5 consecutive years and he also was chosen the IBMA's Guitar Player of the Year award in 2008. His vocals are deep toned and smoothly delivered, he's completely at ease before an audience and he surrounds himself with high quality musicians. His repertoire is basically traditional and gospel with some of his own material as well. He's backed by: Randy Barnes on bass, Jason McKendree on banjo, Chase Johner on mandolin and Greg Blaylock on the resophonic guitar

Randy Barnes

Jason McKendree

Chase Johner

Greg Blaylock

Greg Cahill and Jason McKendree

Josh toured with Greg Cahill and Special Consensus for four of five years, so it was a special moment when he invited Greg up on stage to play a tune with the band

Bobby Osborne and Daryl Mosley

It was wonderful to see Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top X-press live, many in the audience, including myself hadn't had the oppurtunity. He sang many of his iconic hits in the high tenor that so identifies him, "Ruby" and of course, "Rocky Top" were my favorites. His delivery was as good as ever and he regaled the audience with road stories of him and Bill Monroe. The fans loved him and the flash of the camera's lit up the place.

Daryl Mosley

Daryl Mosley contributed some fine vocals and harmony to the set

Dana Cupp and Bobby Osborne Jr.

Bobby Osborne Jr. stepped up to the mic a time or two and did a fine job

Tim Graves

Friday, February 20, 2009

Joe Val Saturday

The Oldtime Bluegrass Singers

Dick Bowden

The Oldtime Bluegrass Singers are known for "Traditional" bluegrass delivered with high energy and style. Tunes from the Monroe Brothers, Carter Family and other first generation musicians, sprinkled with some originals from the band. Dick Bowden is known to tell a few tall tales in between songs which makes for an enjoyable set.

Terry McGill, Herb Applin and Robert Fraker

Herb Applin,Dick Bowden and Lillian Fraker

New Found Road earned SPGMA's 2009 Contemporary Gospel Group of the Year award and rightly so, this group is put together tight and offers up hot picking and wonderful vocals. I've never been disappointed by Tim Shelton and his fine band

Tim Shelton

Jamey Booher

Joe Booher

Jr. Williams

Justin Moses

Dry Branch's leader Ron Thomason's political satire is a huge part of this bands popularity and the solid musicianship and vocals don't hurt either. Bluegrass fans love them

Dry Branch Fire Squad

Ron Thomason

Dan Russell and Brian Aldridge

Dan Russell and Tom Boyd

Brian Aldridge and Ron Thomason

Greg Cahill

In over 30 years of performing Greg Cahill has always been able to put together a sterling band and this configuration is no exception with Ashby Frank on mandolin and vocals, Justin Carbone guitar and vocals and David Thomas on bass and harmony vocals

Ashby Frank

Justin Carbone

David Thomas

The Claire Lynch band always thrills the audience. Claire's beautiful voice mesmerizes all and Jim Hurst's guitar pickin just can't be beat. Add Mark Schatz's phenominal bass and Jason Thomas's hot fiddle and mandolin and you got your monies worth in fifteen minutes and the rest is free.

Claire Lynch

Jim Hurst

Jason Thomas

Claire's having some fun watching Mark perform "Hambone" as only he can, Claire's always eager to showcase the many talents of her band

Claire and Mark Schatz

The Kruger Brothers set stands out in my mind as one of the highlights of a super Festival, they played well into Sunday morning, I think it was pushing 2 a.m. when they finally quit. It was an emotional experience with Uwe telling about his dreams of coming to America to play music and how much it means to him and his brother Jens. Of course they're fabulous musicians and they were joined by equally talented musicians, Adam Steffey on mandolin and Bobby Hicks on fiddle. Bobby and Adam looked to be having the time of their lives playing with the brothers. Later in the set Michael Cleveland came on stage to join in with spectalular solo's that could take off and soar for several minutes. Seeing this group of legendary musicians was, as Phil Zimmerman pointed out, a once in a lifetime experience.

Adam Steffey and Uwe Kruger

Jens, Bobby, Adam and Uwe

Jens Kruger, Bobby Hicks and Joel Landsberg

Joel Landsberg, Adam Steffey and Uwe Kruger

Due to other commitments I missed taking pics of some of Saturdays fine bands.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Joe Val Festival Friday

The Main Ballroom of the Sheraton Framingham Hotel was full of excited fans for the kickoff of the 24th annual Boston Bluegrass Union's "Joe Val Festival" last Friday evening and they were treated to a night of fabulous bluegrass from some of the finest bands in the country. All of the bands received rounds of enthusiastic applause and were asked for encores time and again.

Woody Platt

The "Steep Canyon Rangers" led by Woody Platt gave one of their best performances ever and their record sales table was swamped.

Graham Sharp

Nicky Sanders

Charles Humphrey

Charles Humphrey writes much of the band's material and acts as the bands MC

Mike Guggino and Graham Sharp

Alecia Nugent

Alecia Nugent and her band filled in for an ailing Bradley Walker, she put on a fine performance and at one point called Bradley Walker on her cell phone and asked the audience to wish him a speedy recovery, and of course they did, in unison, and very loudly. Bradley seemed to enjoy that and apologized to the audience for having to miss the show

Tony Watt

Chris Wade, Ashby Frank and Alecia

Ron Feinberg and Jen Larson

Straight Drive's music is just that, powerful first generation music, fast instrumental breaks, good rhythm and beautiful vocals by Jen Larson

Keith Edwards

Ben Fraker and Dave Hampton

Joe Singleton

Joe Singleton has been a fan of New England bluegrass icon "Joe Val" for a long time and put his group, "Joe Sings Joe" together as a way to honor and pay tribute to the great tenor and he did just that with his wonderful high tenor voice on the songs that Joe Val made special years ago. By the audience's reaction I'd say he was a huge hit of Friday night. The band was made up of two members of the Joe Val band, Dave Dillon on guitar and Eric Levenson on bass and joining them was John Roc on mandolin, Rich Stillman on banjo and Mike Barnett on fiddle

Dave Dillon

Mike Barnett and John Roc

John Roc, Rich Stillman and Joe Singleton

The Berklee Bluegrass Band

This group really impressed, not only did they play and sing like seasoned professionals, their demeanor on stage was cool and confident, completely sure of their abilities and the bluegrass fans loved them.

Eric Robertson and Sam Grisman

Mike Barnett and Lucas Pool

Dominick Leslie

Mike Barnett and Hannah Read

I'll be posting again tomorrow with pics of Bobby Osborne, The Kruger Brothers with Adam Steffey and Bobby Hicks, Special Consensus, Josh Williams, Claire Lynch, Dry Branch Fire Squad and others.