Dispatch from Gettysburg: Only thing better than Thursday’s weather was the music

Seems like it was just last year. Probably because it was. It seemed to rain every weekend in the spring and summer of 2018. We called it “Festival Season,” but truth be told, it was more like monsoon season. Looking back, it seemed like there was only one truly perfect weather day — the Saturday of Grey Fox, when it was bright, sunny, dry, and perfect shirtsleeves weather. It was a Goldilocks day — not[…]

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OK We’ll Say It: We Really, Really like Mile Twelve’s new album

When you review an album, you need to listen to it a number of times. So it is not necessarily unusual that we’ve listened to Mile Twelve’s upcoming release, “City on a Hill,” enough in the past few weeks that we can sing along to all the songs. But we’ve listened to this one far more than we do for most reviews. Yes, because it is that good, though that was not exactly our motivation.[…]

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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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