Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen Turn Up the Heat With Latest Album

If you were fortunate enough to see Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen live in 2018, chances are a lot of the songs on the band’s recent release, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat,” might sound a little familiar. There is a good reason for that. The band recorded the album, released in January of this year, last March. A lot of the songs on it have been on FSDK’s set lists since then. Of course[…]

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Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen Cook Up a Smoking Hot Sunday Roast

FSDK delivers jammy set as they celebrate 10 years as a band with a two-day live recording run in Westminster, Md. Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen had just finished Lena (Leah By Permission), a song off of the new album, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat,” when bass player Jeremy Middletown launched into the very familiar bass riff of “Whipping Post.” The crowd, there for Solivan’s bluegrass stylings, thought it was a joke. Why not?[…]

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New Lineup Helps Make Jakobs Ferry Stragglers’ “Poison River” One of 2018’s Top New Releases

Officially, the Jakobs Ferry Stragglers 2018 release “Poison RIver” is the band’s third album. In a lot of ways, though, it feels like a debut effort. Originally formed in 2014, the Stragglers’ sound has always been built around the vocals of founding members Gary Antol and Libby Eddy. That does not change on “Poison River.” What does change on this release, and for the better, is the makeup of the rest of the band. With[…]

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Ben Somers’ First Studio Effort, “Poor Stuart,” Is Not Your Father’s Bluegrass

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review was originally published in the British Bluegrass News — BBN85. I hesitated in reviewing this album. Not because I didn’t like it. I did, very much. It’s just that I know how some folks react to anything that does not meet some mythical bluegrass purity test. I don’t want to upset those folks. I also don’t care to get drawn into that long-running debate. So I will make it very clear[…]

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Despite Venue Change, Philly Bluegrass Revival Was a Great Day of Fine Music

We were not quite sure what to expect when we rolled down the Pennsylvania Turnpike Sunday morning heading to what had once been one of the most highly anticipated events of festival season. When it was announced, the Philly Bluegrass Revival sounded like a very special event. Back then, folks talked about this as the possible start of something big. Comparisons were made to Baltimore and the wonderful Charm City Bluegrass Festival, which grew from[…]

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Special Moments In Abundance at 2018 Celebration of Cornstock

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the account of how Serene Green’s tribute to Anthony Hannigan came about. We have never had this happen before. Matter of fact, we are certain it has not actually happened now. Never have we, in 20+ years of reporting on everything from presidential campaigns to Little League baseball, come home from covering an event and not been able to find our notebook. There have been times[…]

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Travelin’ McCourys DELight the Friday night crowd at the Gettysburg Bluegrass festival

It might have been around 11 p.m. Or it might have been later. Or earlier. Probably later. The Travelin’ McCourys were supposed to take the stage at 10 p.m. Friday at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival. But when Russell Moore ran late in an earlier slot, then did an encore, too, things got backed up. So it was definitely later than 10 when they started. But why haggle over silly things like exact times. Let’s just[…]

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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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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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