Dispatch from Gettysburg, Where Del McCoury and His Boys Kicked Things Off In Fine Fashion

Rich Winkleman has done it again folks. You might recall back in May Winkleman’s response to some covid related late holes in the lineup for the 82nd edition of the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival by filling those holes with a host of delightful surprises. Thursday he did it again. Needing to fill a slot in the workshops part of the schedule for the August edition of Gettysburg, Winkleman somehow talked the four Travelin’ McCourys who were[…]

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Get up close and personal with music, and nature, at Smoked Country Jam

We are always hesitant when we write about an event like Smoked Country Jam, the amazing little “roots to branches” bluegrass festival held each year near Cross Forks in the northern mountains part of Pennsylvania known as the “Pennsylvania Wilds.”  SCJ, which kicks off Thursday, is a relatively closely held secret as top notch bluegrass festivals go. That is sort of a part of its charm. It’s not just that smug satisfaction that some folks[…]

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Experience a menage-et-Keel at B Chord on Saturday

It will be all things Keel Saturday night at B Chord Brewing Company in Round Hill, Va., when Larry and Jenny Keel present a special triple set show. The show will open with Larry doing a solo set of his own material. Expect the set to include a lot of stuff from his most recent release, the solo American Dream project. “It will be sort of a unique thing playing solo like that,” says Keel.[…]

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Dispatch from DelFest: It was good to be back

And so, after three long, beyond difficult, years of waiting, it came to pass. Once again we gathered on the banks of the Potomac, a motley bunch of long-haired, unshaven, tie-dye swathed heathens hell bent on celebrating all things Americana and all things McCoury. Like Commissioner Gordon with the Bat signal, they shined Del’s image on the bluffs on the West Virginia side of the river. And like Batman, he came, as he always does.[…]

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Dispatch from Gettysburg, where festival season north of the Mason Dixon line had a surprising start

If you were to pick one song from the 82nd edition of the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival to serve as the soundtrack for a for the entire weekend, the choice would be easy. It came during Saturday night’s headlining set by Appalachian Road Show, who led the crowd in a raucous sing along on a cover of Pokey LaFarge’s “La La Blues.” When Barry Abernathy invited the audience to echo the chorus, there was no hesitation.[…]

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Greensky Bluegrass, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan among first wave announced for MerleFest 2022

Editor’s note: Occasionally we receive press release from artists’ representatives that we think would be of interest to our readers. This is such a release. December 6, 2021 – Wilkesboro, NC – MerleFest, presented by Window World, is proud to announce the first round of artists for MerleFest 2022, which will be held April 28-May 1, 2022. Emmylou Harris, Greensky Bluegrass, Rissi Palmer, and more will be joining the annual homecoming of musicians and music[…]

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Soggy Weather Doesn’t Dampen The Fun At Sultana Downrigging Festival

This is not the review we planned to write as we schemed over a plate of oysters and a beer while listening to Mile Twelve’s second set Saturday night at the Sultana Downrigging Festival. In our notebook we jotted down things like “emphasize all the bad things” and “play up the flooding.” “Emphasize the weather . . . High and Wides talked about playing here in a hurricane before” we noted. “line at beer stand[…]

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Bad Weather Day at Charm City a Grim Reminder Winter is Almost Back

Mother nature giveth. Mother nature taketh away. That, in a nutshell, is the story of last weekend’s Charm City Bluegrass Fall Throwdown. After a Friday that was just ideal for outdoor music, and a similar start to Saturday’s festivities, a cold front and a line of storms passed through the Baltimore area that changed everything. What followed was a lesson, or at least a reminder of the seasonality of, and the fragility of being able[…]

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David Bromberg Is Going To Give Charm City Fall Throwdown A Little Religion

Much has been made of the story of how David Bromberg used to take guitar lessons from legendary blind bluesman the Rev. Gary Davis. “I learned an awful lot from the reverend,” Bromberg says, retelling the tale of how he started out paying Davis $5 per lesson initially, later to get his lessons free in exchange for serving as Davis’ guide, driving him to gigs and to church to preach. What is less shared about[…]

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Dispatch from Gettysburg, where Thursday was a homecoming for pickers with Pa. roots

There was an interesting theme Thursday at the 81st Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, one that bodes promising for the kids who are taking part in the festival’s bluegrass academy this weekend. The two bands that bookended Thursday’s lineup were both bands with sort of roots at the Gettysburg festival. Members of Serene Green, which was appearing at Gettysburg for the first time, and the Travelin’ McCourys, who have graced the Starling Pavilion stage many times, both[…]

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