Latest album from Songs From the Road Band offers a fine musical ride

When Charles Humphrey II left Steep Canyon Rangers and took up with his buddies in Songs From the Road Band, some folks speculated he had grown weary of SCR’s heavy touring schedule. Suffice to say nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, Humphrey went from the frying pan into the fire when it comes to touring. After starting as a side project with a rotating cast of whatever Asheville musicians were in town[…]

Read more

Chris Luquette Does Some Cookin’ On His Own With Solo Debut

We first met Chris Luquette at a house show in Virginia’s horse country. We immediately became a fan. We were blown away by this picker’s chops. The kid can play guitar with the best of them. Our DelFest wish list is for a Billy Strings-Luquette pairing. Doesn’t matter who sits in with whose band. Just be sure it is somewhere with nothing flammable nearby. Anyhow, after that show, we sat and talked a bit over[…]

Read more

Colebrook Road’s “On Time” blends contemporary bluegrass with traditional roots

Review by Chris A. Courogen The Central Pennsylvania bluegrass band Colebrook Road’s name references a two-lane country road that winds through the countryside sort of in between the cities of Harrisburg and Lancaster. It’s a fitting moniker in a number of ways. For starters, it sort of represents the connection between the bands’ five members, some of whom live near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s state capital, and some of whom live close to Lancaster, about an hour[…]

Read more

Dispatch from Smoked Country Jam: Another fine adventure in the mountains

Our Smoked Country Jam experience was a little different in a number of ways this year. Last year, our first visit to Ron Kodish’s sweet little hootenanny in the hills, we just made a day trip out of it. We decided before we even started our drive home that night that this year’s stay would be longer. Our plan was to go for all three days of the event. Outside factors, like the need to[…]

Read more

Dispatch from NEPA, where mountain music and the Endless Mountains combined for a fine weekend

You know you are headed the right way for good bluegrass music when you pass a sign like we did a few miles from the site of the NEPA Bluegrass Festival. The sign was an advertisement for the local volunteer fire company’s big summer fundraising event. Some fire companies hold a carnival. Not these folks. The sign advertised their upcoming “Rattlesnake Roundup.” You see a sign like that, you know you are in the mountains.[…]

Read more

Dispatch from DelFest: Nobody was resting on Sunday, including the rain

The emcee was on his way. He was doing double duty, covering two stages, so he may have been tied up over at the Potomac when Serene Green was ready to hit the stage in the Music Hall next door. Or maybe his watch was slow, or whomever’s Serene was going by was fast. For sure they were not in sync. We didn’t bother to check to see what time it was when the boys[…]

Read more

Dispatch from DelFest, where, for some, dreams came true on Saturday

A lot of folks got up festival early to come out and see The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers and The Plate Scrapers on Saturday morning. Festival early is a term we think we just made up. It is inspired by the phrase “hiker midnight,” which Appalachian Trail hikers will tell you is 9 p.m. That is late at night if you walked 10 miles the day before and plan to do it again the next day.[…]

Read more

Dispatch from DelFest, where Bloody Mary mornings turn into red hot Friday nights

Even though he is a Grand Ole Opry member, enshrined in every hall of fame that exists for the music he plays, and widely acknowledged as the reigning king of bluegrass, it seems like Del McCoury is still surprised by his success. Friday evening he stepped on to the stage and his eyes got wide as he looked out and saw the crowd gathered for the festival he hosts. His smile got wide, too. It[…]

Read more

Dispatch from DelFest: 2019 edition of Memorial Day weekend classic off to fine start

DelFest 2019 started a day early this year, at least for us. We rolled into Cumberland on Wednesday in time to get to DelFest Academy in time for Bluegrass Karaoke, one of the highlights of the three-day, pre-festival, music camp for all ages that Rob McCoury’s wife, Lisa, runs each year. Bluegrass Karaoke is the final event of the academy, save the Thursday night opportunity for the Academy’s band scramble winners to play a song[…]

Read more