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[…]

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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.[…]

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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[…]

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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[…]

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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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Music and more on tap this weekend as Northeast Pa. celebrates Cornstock

You would think after six years of holding a festival at the same location, you’d have the preparation part of things would be pretty much routine by now. It’s not. At least not for Anthony Hannigan as he scrambles to get everything in place for this weekend’s Sixth Annual Cornstock Folk Festival at Lazy Brook Park, near Tunkhannock, Pa. “We though that would be the case, but we have learned there is no cookie cutter.[…]

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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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We keep it in the family for Day 7 of the 12 Days of Bluegrass

Family. It’s what the holidays are all about. So it is exciting to have a second generation carrying on the 12 Days of Bluegrass tradition. Shane McGeehan, who holds down the bass in this beautiful instrumental version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Serene Green, is the son of Patrick McGeehan, who, along with his band Coal County Express, were our featured artists on Day 5. The younger McGeehan has been doing this since[…]

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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[…]

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