When I was asked to review this book, "High Lonesome Below Sea Level," by Marieke Odenkerken & Loes van Schaijk, I quickly agreed. Having been a bluegrass musician (fiddler for Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys 1965-66), an author ("I Hear A Voice Calling," shameless self-promotion) and photographer, I am acutely aware of the difficulty in producing a book about musicians that balances the writing and photographs to allow each to provide character and insight.

The photos in this book are all portraits of the musicians. But rather than the plastic and contrived album cover shots we so often see coming out of the Nashville music establishment, these images are shot with natural light with a white background and are all in black & white which, to my eye, is perfect for capturing the colorful characters in this book.

Well, it takes some kind of hubris to review an album from a band as successful as the Lonesome River Band, but here goes: this is an album well worth a listen. The band (Sammy Shelor on banjo and vocals, Brandon Rickman on guitar and vocals, Mike Hartgrove on fiddle, Barry Reed on bass, and Randy Jones on mandolin and vocals) is really everything you want in a bluegrass band – sharp, tight picking, lovely vocals and harmony, and great taste in songs.

It's not for nothing that this band is playing for us once again. They keep filling the house and they keep delighting the audience (and the hostess). 

The Lonely Heartstring Band is about to release their newest album, Deep Waters, and has just completed a successful weekend at Grey Fox. They are really hot now and we are delighted to have them return to play for us once again. 

You really can't get enough of a good thing!

Send your nominations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It's Nomination Time for the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association 

This is your time to get involved in the HVBA by nominating the people you think would best represent your bluegrass interests and would best carry out the duties of the officers.

  • Elections for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of the HVBA are held at a general meeting in November every two years. 
  • Elected officers serve a term of two years beginning December 1 and ending November 30.
  • There will be no election for at-large members of the board.
  • The length of time at-large members serve is at their pleasure.

The gracious banjo maestro, Bill Keith, shaking hands with Jonny Cody after playing ‘Devil’s Dream’ together at a campsite during Grey Fox 2013—fifty years from the day that Bill first played it with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys

Surely a highlight of this year’s Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival will be a very special Keith-Style Banjo Summit hosted by Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, and Tony Trischka. As if this “Triple Crown of Banjo” wasn’t enough, joining them on stage to honor the music and enormous influence of Bill Keith will be the award-winning Noam Pikelny, Eric Weissberg, Mike Munford, Marc Horowitz, Mike Kropp, and Ryan Cavanaugh, along with Bill Keith himself. The 90-minute Keith-style banjo gathering will be on Friday, July 17 beginning at 7:00pm at the Creekside Stage.

Where: The Crafted Kup: 44 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY
When: Tuesday, July 21 @ 7:30pm
For info: 845.475.8830

It isn't required, but If you want to ensure your seats, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. that you will be there.

Yes, you did read it right. How lucky can we get? Well, lucky enough to have James King and his band land in Poughkeepsie on Tuesday, July 21. And lucky enough to find the perfect spot to hear The Bluegrass Storyteller.

The band consists of James King (vocals, guitar), Eddie Lovelace (bass), Adam Poindexter (banjo), Merl Johnson (fiddle), and Nick Novia, (mandolin).


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