The Brewgrass Chronicle

Was Smoked Country Jam a Good Time? Does a Bear Pick in the Woods.

“We came to see the wildlife in Pennsylvania. We saw it,” said Mike Munford, pointing to the crowd on the rail for Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen’s Saturday night set at Smoked Country Jam. “And we saw a bear.” That, in a nutshell, is a pretty accurate description of Smoked Country Jam, which has been held since 2004 at Quiet Oaks Campground in the middle of a part of Pennsylvania often referred to as “God’s[…]

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There Is a Method to McCourys’ Album Release Madness

There was a time when it would be considered heresy for a band to release two albums on the same day. So to those brought up in times when the rules of the recording business were very different, it might have seemed unusual that both The Del McCoury Band and its jammier alter ego, The Travelin’ McCourys decided to both release their new LPs on May 25. Of course it is also usually the norm[…]

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Lesser Known Acts Make Mountain Ride’s Camp Bluegrass an Eye Opening Experience

We were sitting under the awning of “The Bommer,” hiding from the sun and enjoying the music and Lisa and Zig’s hospitality simultaneously when we met Bob Keel. He introduced himself. Pretty sure he complimented the site. And he made us feel terrible, because first time we meet the guy first thing we have to say is “sorry, got here late and missed your set.” It’s not bullshit. We were not just being polite. We[…]

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Mountain Ride Gets Off Festival Circuit Long Enough To Host Own Camp Bluegrass Event

After three straight weekends on the road playing major festivals, the folks of Mountain Ride get a rare festival season home game Saturday when they host their own festival — the fourth annual edition of Camp Bluegrass. A showcase for the band and their musical friends, the lineup is curated by band leader Eric Avey. “We like to have some sort of connection to the bands we have, or to have shared a bill with[…]

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Beautiful Venue, Solid Lineup. Much to Like About NEPA Bluegrass Festival

Editor’s Note: This festival “review” thing is an evolving notion. The “Brewskis” awards idea we trotted out at Gettysburg doesn’t work at places where you cannot see every act. We did sort of a “notebook” with our favorite sets after DelFest. We’re just going to sort of write about our impressions from NEPA Bluegrass Festival here. Eventually we will decide on a preferred style for festival recaps. Or not. If there is such a thing[…]

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Gimme Shelter, or Why the Progressive Stage Was the Place To Be Friday at the NEPA Bluegrass Festival

We never made it past the Progressive Stage Friday at the NEPA Bluegrass Festival. That was not the plan. It just happened that way. Blame promoter Danny Stewart. He’s the guy that booked all the fine bands who played the Progressive Stage. And blame it, in no small part, on the thunderstorm that rolled through the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania early in the evening. Truth be told, the weather was the major culprit in[…]

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Bluegrass Congress Lives Up to Hype, Highlighting a Great Weekend of Music at DelFest 11

Somewhere around 10:43 p.m. Sunday night, Del McCoury walked off the grandstand stage at DelFest 11, and what was an amazing weekend of eclectic music shifted into neutral. Yeah, Old Crow Medicine Show would play for another hour or so, but after they gathered around a single mic with the host of the party for a singing lesson on “Lost Highway,” Del left that stage, and we could coast. It was all downhill from there.[…]

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Call It What You Want, DelFest fans went nuts for Del McCoury’s “Soundcheck

“This is not a show. It’s just the soundcheck.” Del McCoury kept telling the fans that Thursday afternoon as he and his band opened the 11th Annual DelFest with what has become a tradition along the banks of the Potomac. And yes, technically it is labeled on the festival schedule as “The Del McCoury Band Soundcheck.” That mattered not to the DelFestarians who flocked the infield of the Allegany County Fairgrounds racetrack, aka the Music[…]

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Standing Test of Time, in its 5th Decade Seldom Scene Still Going Strong

There are few things in bluegrass that have stood the test of time the way the Seldom Scene has. What began as a weekly jam session in founding member Ben Eldridge’s basement made what current lead singer and guitarist Dudley Connell estimates was its 76th appearance at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival last weekend. Held twice each year — in May and in August — this was the 76th edition of the Gettysburg festival. It was[…]

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