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, 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

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Upcoming Shows

On Saturday February 27 the Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters band will be appearing at the Killingly Grange along with Nick Anderson and Shady Creek. Amy and her band offer up a blend of early country and straight-ahead Bluegrass with some fine harmony singing throughout the set, always good listening. Nick Anderson and Shady Creek will give you some fine traditional Bluegrass and Gospel tunes. This should be a night of good entertainment in an old time setting with home made foods prepared by the Grange members. The Grange is located in Killingly CT. on Route 101, just three minutes from exit 93, I-395 east on 101. Show starts at 7pm, doors open at 6pm.

Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters

Amy Gallatin

Roger Williams

Nick Anderson

National Touring band Blue Highway will be at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Mass. on March 20 at 7:30 pm. The show, sponsored by the Boston Bluegrass Union will also close out an instrument raffle started at the Joe Val Festival in February. Martin Guitars donated a D-28 with a Joe Val inlay on the neck and Eastman Strings donated a hand carved mandolin. For information about the show and the auction click here

Blue Highway

Musicians Hall of Fame Founder Joe Chambers to Appear on Fox and Friends Monday Morning - Inbox - 'att.net Mail'


Musicians Hall of Fame Founder Joe Chambers to Appear on Fox and Friends Monday Morning

NASHVILLE, TN - Joe Chambers, founder of the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, will appear on Fox News NY's Fox and Friends on Monday morning, February 22 at 6:50 a.m. CST, 7:50 EST to discuss the Museum's recent plight with the city of Nashville and the eminent domain ruling that resulted in the loss of their physical location.

The museum closed its doors on Saturday, February 13th after Judge Barbara Haynes ruled in favor of the Metro Development and Housing Authority (MDHA), ordering Chambers and company to be out of The Musicians Hall of Fame within seven days.

The museum represented a key piece of property that the MDHA needed in order to move forward with the construction of the new Music City Center.

Although the museum's new physical location is currently undecided, The Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Awards Show will take place once again in Nashville in the fall of 2010.  Further details will be announced at a press conference in late spring.

Musicians Hall of Fame Founder Joe Chambers to Appear on Fox and Friends Monday Morning - Inbox - 'att.net Mail'

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Weekend at Joe Val

The 25th. Annual Joe Val had everything a first class festival needs, a top rate lineup, a clean well layed out space, organized, knowledgeable, and courteous volunteers, good dining services, plenty of work shops, (50) covering all aspects of the genre, a good assortment of vendors, and plenty of space to jam. It's easy to understand why it was named Bluegrass event of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2006. Moreover, the artists I talked to were very impressed with the accommodations and general treatment they received.
Pictured below are some of the bands that performed over the weekend. I missed several because of attending workshops and jamming but from what I saw personally and what I heard from those who saw all the bands they all exceeded expectations.

Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out showed how wonderful harmony vocals can be as they did several a capella in their set and Steve Dilling (banjo) filled the spots between songs with hilarious "down home" humor.

Russell Moore

Justen Haynes,Steve Dilling, and Russell

Rabbit in a Log, the duet of Skip Gorman and Richard Starkey performed old time Bluegrass and showed their pickin skills as well.

Skip Gorman and Richard Starkey

The Gibson Brothers have three songs on the Top 30 Songs list published by Bluegrass Unlimited and their hit album "Ring the Bell" is currently number one and has been for three months running, always a hit when they come to the Joe Val.

Joe Walsh


Eric Gibson

Leigh Gibson

Ryan Roberts is another fine vocalist from Canada, doing much of the lead singing with Special Consensus.

Ryan Roberts

Greg Cahill

The Spinney Brothers put on a fine set of traditional Bluegrass and received well deserved applause throughout the set. They announced they would be touring full time now as they've sold their mink farm and have decided to live their dream.

Rick Spinney and Gary Dalrymple

Gary and Allen Spinney

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Joe Val Friday

Dan Paisley and Southern Grass performed as expected, just Great, even though missing regular fiddler T.J.Lundy who injured his hand and had to miss the trip north, fortunately Dan's friend, Scott Eager filled in wonderfully. Dan sang crowd favorites like "The Room Over Mine" and IBMA Song of the Year, "Don't Throw Mama's Flowers Away," and was asked back for more, they just love him.

Michael and Danny Paisley

Scott Eager

Bobby Lundy

The Josh Williams Band with the deep resonant voice of its leader was another hit of the night. Really top shelf musicians and singers.

Josh Williams

Randy and Ashby Frank

Randy Barnes

Jason McKendree

Buddy Merriam and Back Roads gave us some driving traditional grass and the highlight of the set was Buddy teaming up with Mike Sassano for some harmony mandolin tunes that really entertained, they were sensational.

Mike Sassano and Buddy Merriam

Jerry Oland

Ernie Sykes Jr.

Buddy Merriam

Kathy DeVine

Bob Harris

Acoustic Blue always brings energy to the stage, strong vocals, tight harmony, and a desire to entertain is the trademark of this band, they hit a homerun tonight.

Corey Zink

T. Shaun Batho

Bear Aker and Mike VanAlstyne

The Berklee Bluegrass Allstars kicked off the weekend of music at the 25th.annual Joe Val Festival held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel this weekend. This group of talented musicians really got the audience in a positive mood. Completely at ease on stage they poured out some fine vocals and superb pickin and Dr. Hollander looked to be very pleased with his charges.

Duncan Wickle

Melissa Wright

Lucas Poole

Courtney Hartmann

Trent Freeman and Sierra Hull

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Joe Val Thursday

A bunch of Bluegrassers are here a day early to take advantage of the Master Classes offered on Friday before the main event kicks off at 5 p.m. with a welcoming reception. They're jamming in the lower lobby this evening. Harry Grant and crew are setting up the stage and sound system at this very moment. Things are coming together.