About Me

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gibson Brothers at the Chocolate Church

The Chocolate Church Arts Center located in Bath, Maine produces live music, gallery exhibitions, theater, lectures, and workshops. For information click here

The Chocolate Church Arts Center

The Gibson Brothers Band had not even picked up their instruments when the audience let out a loud cheer and a rousing round of applause, this brought huge smiles to the faces of Leigh and Eric Gibson. If you're a performer there's no better way to kick off a set than to have all that love coming at you. It was clear this was a Gibson's crowd. As Eric mentioned he was happy to see his friends from Pemi Valley, Blistered Fingers, and Thomas Point Beach, a cheer went up with each mention. The theater was packed front to back as the band started the set with some of their older songs and then threw in a few of the songs from their upcoming album to be released early next year. One of the new songs, called "Frozen in Time" I think will be a chart topper, it received long and loud applause. Continuing with many of their recent hits, Leigh and Eric were in perfect voice and their harmony was superb. The guys were teasing one another between tunes and the audience loved it. And it appeared the brothers were having as much fun as the fans. Leigh and Eric are really good at entertaining an audience, that adds so much to the act, it's more than just good music, it's the good humor, the personality.

Eric Gibson

Leigh Gibson and Mike Barber

Joe Walsh

Clayton Campbell

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fred Etheridge Fund Raiser

Two fine bands got together Saturday evening to raise money for the family of Fred Etheridge, a local Bluegrass musician who recently passed away. Fred was a picker, a singer and songwriter who was much loved by the local Bluegrass community as evidenced by the packed house for this event.
The Nick Anderson Shady Creek band opened up the evenings performance with a blend of fine traditional music and some of their own original tunes. They're known for fine harmony and lead vocals and great pickin. Another well known CT. band, Grass Routes, followed with a set of music that ranged from traditional to progressive. The blend of voices was exceptional, whether two part or four part harmony, the sound was terrific. And all five members can and do sing lead, that produces a wide range of sound that stays interesting from start to finish.

The GrassRoutes Band

Dave "Tex" Orlomoski and Bill Reveley

Marilyn Toback-Reveley and Dave "Tex" Orlomoski

Dave "Tex" Orlomoski

Joe Delillo

Tex and Joe Lemeris

The ShadyCreek band is fronted by Nick Anderson, a veteran musician from Plainfield, CT., Nick and Fred Etheridge worked together to get some of Fred's music on disc before his untimely death and so Saturday's event was very special for him. Nick is a very humble and unassuming man which I think adds to his popularity. He's developed a loyal following thats come to expect a good show every fourth Saturday at the Killingly, CT. Grange

Nick Anderson

Monty McLanahan

Elise LaFlamme

William Trickett

Marc Doyle

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bluegrass at Scarecrow

Even though the skies were cloudy Saturday the Preston City, CT. "ScareCrow Festival" was wall to wall people and the parking lots were filled when I arrived, I found a spot about 1/4 mile from the gate and made it to the music tent in time to catch the opening song by "The John Stey and Sam Tidwell Band." The band was made up of seasoned veterans of the Bluegrass scene: John Stey singing lead and playing rhythm guitar, Sam Tidwell on the banjo and harmony vocals, Howie Tarnower playing mandolin and singing lead and harmony and Matt Bolles on bass and lead vocals as well as harmony. The guys played solid traditional grass with some fine solo's from Howie and Sam, they were tight and right and I hope the mostly non-Bluegrass audience was impressed by our music, judging from the smiles and foot stomping I'm guessing they were.

The John Stey and Sam Tidwell Band

John Stey

John has put together several bands both in Michigan and New England and now plays with the "Boston City Limits" group.

Sam Tidwell

Both Sam and his wife Edie are members of Bluegrass music's "First Generation," a group of 232 artists who contributed to the establishment and growth of this unique music. The International Bluegrass Music Museum's "Video Oral Project" which seeks to interview and film the members of this elite group has already completed Sam and Edie's interview and when the project is finished it will be available to members of the IBMM at their website and at some point to the general public.

Matt Bolles

Howie Tarnower

Howie is a well known multi-instrumentalist in the northeast, he's performed on a bunch of recording projects and with other bands in the region, he fronts the "Boston City Limits" band and has been an instructor with the Joe Val Kid's Academy and other organisations.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Lonesome River Band


To view this online, click here

September 14, 2010

Lonesome River Band Adds Barry Reed
Band Celebrating a #1 Album, "STILL LEARNING"

The award-winning Lonesome River Band is proud to announce a new band member.  “We are excited about the addition of Barry Reed to the Lonesome River Band.  He is a great acoustic bass player and singer and adds greatly to the LRB sound,” says band leader and this year’s IBMA Banjo Performer of the years nominee, Sammy Shelor.
Barry Reed, from Seymour, Tennessee, previously toured with Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper before taking some time off to start his family.  “I’m really exited about joining LRB.  These guys are great to work with and it has been a lot of fun already,” said Barry.  
The Lonesome River Band has numerous upcoming performances in the next few weeks including: September 17 at the Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival (Morehead, KY); Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival (Kodak, TN); Watermelon Park Fest (Berryville, VA); The Station Inn (Nashville, TN); IBMA Fan Fest (Nashville, TN); and Paluxy River Bluegrass Festival (Glen Rose, TX).  
The band is celebrating a their brand new album, “STILL LEARNING” (Rural Rhythm Records) that is #1 on this month’s Bluegrass Music Profiles (BMP) Top 10 National Bluegrass CDs chart, plus made its debut this month on the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s Top 15 Albums. The new single, “Record Time Machine” appears at #21 on the BMP Top 30 Hot Singles and moves up to #26 (from its debut last month) on the BU Top 30 Songs.
“STILL LEARNING” was just featured on CMT.com’s “Top 10 Indie Albums Worth a Listen,” reviewed in Country Weekly Magazine and numerous other publications.   LRB recently recorded a live performance and interview in Lousville, Kentucky with radio host, Bob Mitchell that will air on Bluegrass International in October.
The Lonesome River Band can also be heard on the upcoming new album, "RURAL RHYTHM ALL-STAR JAM - LIVE AT GRAVES MOUNTAIN" recorded in June at the Graves Mountain Festival of Music in Syria, Virginia celebrating Rural Rhythm Records 55th Anniversary. The album releases October 24, 2010.
For more information on the LRB please visit lease visit www.lonesomeriverband.com. For more information on these albums, please visit Rural Rhythm Records. Booking services for LRB is provided by Roe Entertainment with Media by Hope River Entertainment.
Photo Credit for above LRB stage shot provided by: Rhonda Maxey
Roe Entertainment, Jim Roe

Rural Rhythm Records
Radio Contact: Sammy Passamano, III Email
Hope River Entertainment
Penni McDaniel

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Band News

Sharps Chapel TN-   The multi-talented Commercial Bluegrass Gospel group, Lakeside, has reached a recording agreement with Chapel Valley. Lakeside has been signed on Chapel Valley's, Mercy Road Label, which is designated for Commercial Country Gospel artists.

In 1995, a group of guys from East Tennessee began singing and playing together. Their goal was to share their testimonies and minister to all that would listen. God has opened many doors these last several years and many lives have been touched as a result of their faithfulness. Lakeside's group consists of Greg Blankenship, Gary Woody, Andy Miller, Eddie Morgan, and Randy Taylor. Along with tight vocal harmonies and their ability to play their own instruments they have been turning heads everywhere they go.

Shane Roark, co-owner of Chapel Valley, is looking forward to working with Lakeside and knows that the listeners will really enjoy their new CD, which is scheduled for release early next year.

Chapel Valley's Marketing and Artist Director, Richard Hyssong, will be working on their radio promotions. Lakeside has already had several charting songs, including their latest release "His Love". Richard states, "Radio stations are going to love "Oh Lord, I Love You", the group's first release with Chapel Valley on disc #17".

For more information on Lakeside go to their website www.lakesidegospel.com. You can also check out Chapel Valley's site to find out more about the record company at www.chapelvalleystudio.com.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bluegrass for Food

Myrna Riquer is producing an all day Bluegrass Gospel Festival to raise food donations for St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Willimantic this coming Sunday the 13th of June. The Festival will be held at the Sterling Park Campground, Sterling CT and admission is free but non-perishable food donations will be accepted. There are some mighty fine bands offering their skills for free and it's hoped the Bluegrass community will come out and support Myrna's efforts.

Sterling Park Campground
177 Gibson Hill Road, Sterling CT 06377

Sunday, June 13, 2010
11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Gospel Bluegrass Music

CROSSOVER 3:00 p.m.

Admission to this all-day Gospel Bluegrass Music event is FREE, but attendees
are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items to the concert for the
Food Pantry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Willimantic. A truck will be on site at
the festival to receive your donation.

Rain or shine – bring a chair.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Traditional Bluegrass

Recently some long time bluegrass fans spoke of how it sometimes grows tiresome listening to traditional songs and tunes done over and over by band after band and how their interest and excitement grow only when they hear original music or when a band puts a purely different spin on older material, changing it, making it their own or even playing it in such a way as to make it a stretch to call it bluegrass. Well that’s all right with me. If it’s played well and shows off a band’s talents and abilities I find it all enjoyable.
But don’t think that if you sing and pick the old tunes in the way it was done in the early days of bluegrass that you can’t find an audience. Indeed, last night at the Killingly Grange Hall the opposite was true, a packed house heard two of the genuinely traditional bluegrass bands, Nick Anderson and Shady Creek and the Hemingway Brothers give it their all. Judging from the crowd reaction, the loud cheers, and generous applause and calls for “one more” I’d say traditional bluegrass is still in demand if it is delivered in an honest, heartfelt way.
And that was the case at the Grange in Killingly, CT. The Hemingway Brothers performed the old tunes in the style of the first generation bluegrassers, high energy, fast tempo, good harmony and great instrumental breaks. Add some "downeast humor" and it resulted in a fine set by the band from central Maine.

Kip Hemingway

Dale Hemingway

Bruce Hobart, Kip and Dale Hemingway

Bruce Hobart

Hunter Webber

Hunter Webber, at seventeen, has become a proficient picker on both banjo and guitar, his crosspicking guitar playing adds interest to the band sound.

John Sparrow

The Shady Creek Band, fronted by Nick Anderson is the host band for the Killingly,Ct. Grange concert series and play a large part in the popularity of the series. Always hard core bluegrass and high energy presentation. With three young people in the lineup it's added freshness and the audience has been able to watch them grow as musicians and performers. They have progressed dramatically in the short time they've been together, they seem real comfortable in their roles and their music has benefited from that.

Monty, Mark, William, and Nick

Mark Doyle

Monty McLanahan

Elise Laflamme

William Trickett

Fred Etheridge and Nick

Fred Etheridge joined Nick for a gospel duet. Fred has played with "Sam Tidwell and Friends" as well as the PineCreek Band.

Hunter Webber and William Trickett

After three hours of music the audience clamored for more, so the two bands combined for another set and had the place jumping till the lights went out.

Elise Laflamme and Bruce Hobart

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stillwaters and Shady Creek

The 100 year old Grange concert hall filled up quickly with people obviously hungry for chili and Bluegrass music, throw away the cell phones and it could easily be the middle of last century down in the southern Appalachians. The hall had a good mix of young and old, many enjoying the company of old friends seen only once a month here at the Killingly, CT. Grange Concert Series, at least four states were represented and some folks were here for the first time and eager to hear some good old time music. Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters gave them what they came to hear, a mix of old ballads, some swing style numbers and pure Bluegrass with three and four part harmony. Roger Williams playing resophonic guitar like the master he is certainly impressed everyone in the hall and his son J.D. Williams played the mandolin and guitar so well one wonders if he was born with a pick in his hand. Bass player John Urbanic was solid in both rhythm and harmony vocals in what was a totally enjoyable performance.

Roger Williams and Amy Gallatin

Roger, John, and Amy

John Urbanik

At one point Amy called upon her friend Nick Anderson to join her in singing the soulful ballad "Just Someone I Used to Know," and they did it beautifully.

Nick and Amy

J D Williams

Nick Anderson and Shady Creek had it together as usual as they offered up the traditional Bluegrass we all like to hear, with new fiddler Elise Laflamme adding considerable new energy to the mix and bassist Mark Doyle and banjoist William Trickett adding fine harmony vocals and instrumentals. It was clear the band was cooking off the energy that comes with playing to a full house.

Monty, Elise, and Nick

Nick and William Trickett

Monty McLanahan

Elise Laflamme

Mark Doyle

As part of the Kids at the Grange program any young person who plays a bluegrass instrument is invited on stage to perform a short set, usually three tunes, but Sarah Piette did so well playing some difficult fiddle tunes like Temperence Reel and Beaumont Rag that the audience yelled "one more" and Sarah obliged by playing a blues solo to hearty applause.

Sarah Piette