If you need more evidence that Boston is one of the cutting edges of the new string band sound, you only need to drop Cold Chocolate's self-titled new album onto your choice of media player for confirmation. Billing themselves as a fusion of roots and bluegrass with a touch of funk, a couple of listens to the album finds the emphasis on old-time and even a touch of jazz to go along with some of the 'grass. "Roots" is indeed an apt description. If rock hadn't already grabbed "Americana" as a genre, I would surely have applied it for this band.

Mary Doub Accepting "Event of The Year" Award at IBMA

You’re a producer. What does the producer do for a big festival such as Grey Fox?

I used to have to do it all myself. I started in ’85 by doing everything but sell tickets. I booked it, I got the volunteers and I got the vendors, but I slowly realized that it takes a lot of people to make something like this work. Now, as a producer, I oversee everything that happens. It’s like putting together a mosaic where I’m the only person who can see how all the pieces fit together.

How did you come to this job? What’s your background?

It was serendipitous. I had a good friend who was a musician who I used to go see play. At one show, where they were the second act, the first act had cancelled and the owner asked them if they had enough material to play the whole show. They said “sure” - and I found myself saying: “not for second act money!” The owner agreed, so, after that night, they wanted me to manage them. I didn’t know too much about managing, but I quickly realized that there was a lot of good music and a shortage of good venues. So I got interested in finding good venues and jobs for this band, which in turn led me to become involved with the Berkshire Mountain Bluegrass Festival. The producer of that festival asked me to help raise some capital and I was able to see what needed to be done. I didn’t have a great deal of control, but I saw all the moving parts. When the opportunity (with Winterhawk-now Grey Fox) came in 1985, I thought, “I’m ready to try this.”

When I heard that Smithsonian Folkways was releasing a collection of classic American ballads, I was intrigued, maybe a bit excited, and also assumed that I would love it. Given that I’ve just said that, I guess it’s clear that the album is, at least in some ways, a disappointment.

The Smithsonian Folkways collection is vast in ways that we likely can’t even fathom. Its collections include, for example, all of the field recordings that John Lomax made beginning in 1907. Those recordings alone are astonishing, again in more ways than we can reasonably appreciate, though the collection also includes everything—the entire archive—of Moses Asch and Folkways records. Huge. And there’s lots more, too. If there is a Mount Rushmore of American song, the Smithsonian collection is it.

When: Friday, April 24 @ 7:30pm
Where: Christ Church - 20 Carroll Street, Poughkeepsie
Adults: $15
Students: $5
Children Under 12:     Free

So, “Who’s is playing what?,” you ask inquisitively? Enter your answers into the form below and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. See if you can figure it out. Dick Bowden's Flying Circus is the band of bands! And revealing the names of the band members is the equivalent of Snowden's leak of the NSA spying...of Julian Assange's Wikileaks. Fortunately, HVBA has been contacted by the master whistle blower within the bluegrass community.

Just as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Deep Throat are among the famous "leakers" in history. We are pleased to able to add one of own to the list.

And just as Deep Throat's identity remained secret for many years, our source, too, needs to have his/her identify protected. As you can imagine, HVBA members have been sworn to secrecy in order to protect the safety of this valuable source. If necessary, the editor of our website may simply have to serve a long prison term for the sake of protecting the First Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right ……).

So … what exactly WAS Dick Bowden's response when he was informed of the leak? It is no surprise that Dick firmly pleaded with us to not to use REAL names, stating: “We're sensitive about that. Tell [the editor] it's Witness Protection kind of stuff... "

Are you kidding, Dick? There is simply NO way that the HVBA wants to keep this news from the public. Our members need to know these kinds of secrets. Some day, maybe a movie will even be written called the “Inside the Mind of an HVBA Leaker” or “Citizen Five” and, by then, we’re sure that even Dick will understand.

Ah, seriously, it is too early to leak the names and so we’ve gone ahead and warned our own "Deep Throat" to be prepared to head for Russia. In the meantime, see if you can name the band’s members.

Dick Bowden's Flying Circus

  1. ________________________ (Mandolin)
  2. ________________________ (Guitar)
  3. ________________________ (Bass)
  4. ________________________ (Banjo)

The well-known bluegrass musician and band leader, Dick Bowden, having learnt the hard way that there is more money in booking bluegrass than playing it, has formed a Light Entertainment Squadron (detached) known as Dick Bowden’s Flying Circus. Without a doubt, it is something completely different in the bluegrass field! (Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more, say no more.)

Mr. Bowden, as impresario, has combed the ranks of the services of the Allies and gathered together a number of the finest talents in bluegrass music and military aeronautical science. (Total number currently approaching reinforced battalion strength.) Due to the exacting and exhausting nature of the Flying Circus programme, show assignments are rotated among these many brave volunteers.

Honey from a black locust tree is sweeter than average and sometimes so clear it barely colors the glass that holds it. The music of the Ashville-based Locust Honey String Band's newest CD, Never Let Me Cross Your MInd, has that same cast of semi- transparent purity. Georgia-born singer and fiddler Chloe Edmonstone, joined by guitarist and singer Meredith Watson, seem to be heart of the group. The album has a profoundly old time feel, from Edmonstone’s hard-driving fiddle breakdowns ( see “Boogerman” and “Logan County Blues”) to the piney-sounding vocal duet of “I’ve Forgotten More Than You’ll Ever Know About Her.”

Nominated as IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year: 2013


Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

C & L Restorations

Gale & Howard Foster
Lynn & Steve Lipton
Jim & Debi Tyger

From the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada, the Spinney Brothers are comprised of Allan Spinney , Rick Spinney, Gary Dalrymple and Terry Poirier.

Brothers Allan and Rick debuted their band in 1992, showcasing a tight brother duet vocal style that was immediately recognized for it’s energetic and distinctive sound.

Glen Herbert wrote a review about the Spinney Brothers CD not too long ago and it's well worth reading again. Here's a piece of it:

The Spinney’s are bluegrass, through and through, almost to their detriment. And that’s what makes them so great. The know that they are at their peak, and have been for some time, and yet they keep going simply because they can’t stop. Rick Spinney has said that they first came across bluegrass when logging with their father in rural British Columbia and the only tapes he had in the cab of the truck were by Flatt and Scruggs. “You may not know it at the time,” says Rick, “but that music really sticks with you.” Clearly, it really does.


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