A conversation with Travelin’ McCourys bass player Alan Bartram

It was August 2016, and the Travelin’ McCourys were appearing at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival. We’ve written about that festival before. It is a fantastic event, and it is only 45 minutes from my home. Bonus points for very reasonably priced one-day tickets and a habitually strong Thursday night lineup. It’s great to be able to make a quick after work run down Route 15 for a night of music, often a great warmup for[…]

Read more

Serene Green shines on debut CD “To Whom It Pertains”

This review was originally published in August 2017 in Issue 82 of the British Bluegrass News To Whom It Pertains is the debut CD by Pennsylvania bluegrass outfit Serene Green It’s been a whirlwind summer for the eastern Pennsylvania based quartet Serene Green. The long-running project of guitarist Michael Johnson and mandolin picker Quentin Fisher evolved to its current lineup about two years ago, solidifying as a strictly bluegrass string band with the addition of[…]

Read more

50 years later, Bluegrass Boy Peter Rowan still likes his bluegrass ‘hardcore’

This piece originally was published in Nov. 2017 in The British Bluegrass News, the member publication of the British Bluegrass Music Association.     By Chris A. Courogen When Peter Rowan’s new, yet-to-be-titled, album is released, most likely early next year, Rowan will be returning to his bluegrass roots. Inspired by a sort of pilgrimage he made years ago with the legendary Bill Monroe, Rowan’s new album will pay homage to the late Carter Stanley.[…]

Read more

Out of our element, and loving it at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival

Originally posted on courogen.com, August 21, 2016 The usual tricks to get to the front of the stage go out the window at the Gettsyburg Bluegrass Festival. You can’t hope to snake your way through gaps in the crowd, patiently surveying the sways and shifts in the human sea, looking for an opening, like a slow motion game of human frogger. And you can’t time your move for the end of the opening act’s set,[…]

Read more

What is the difference between a fiddle and a violin?

A conversation with Mountain Ride’s classically trained fiddle player extraordinaire, Scott Matlock It’s an old joke, with multiple punchlines. What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin? Some say it is that nobody minds if you spill beer on a fiddle. Others say it is the number of teeth the guy playing it has. 

My personal favorite — about $10,000. Or as a similar version goes, when you are buying one it is a[…]

Read more

Working hard to wet our whistle

Back in 2009 or 2010, I first got the idea in my head of starting a beer site. I made a road trip to Milheim, Pa. to do a story that was supposed to be the start of the project. This is that story: Tim Yarrington makes beer. Good beer. If he didn’t, people would probably only stop in Milheim if they caught the red light. Yarrington is the head brewer for Elk Creek Cafe[…]

Read more

Welcome

Welcome to The Brewgrass Chronicle, my new “project” focused mostly on the interconnected worlds of good beer and good bluegrass. If you should come to like this site, credit (or if you don’t like it, blame) for this coming to be goes at least in part to the folks at the company where this, and other sites I have run, are hosted. Had they not sent me an e-mail promoting a Cyber-Monday sale, offering new[…]

Read more