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.
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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.
When it comes to mixing genres you're going to have to decide if this album is bluegrass with a country twang, or high and lonesome country. There is a fine line between good old-fashioned country music and traditional bluegrass, and this album does a great job in straddling it.
Lorraine has been fronting Carolina Road for 15 years now, and not only are all the parts working well together, but the awards and recognition are rolling in; the latest are SPBGMA's 2015 Female Traditional Vocalist of the Year for Lorraine, 2015 Song of the Year for "That's Kentucky," and 2015 Banjo Player of the Year for Ben Green. Besides Lorraine (lead vocals and mandolin) and Ben (bass vocals along with banjo) the band is the award winning Josh Goforth on fiddle and baritone vocals, Tommy Long on lead guitar and vocals, Jason Moore on bass and Brad Hudson on dobro and lead vocals. I have to note that in reading through the band's bios that the James King Band comes up more than once, and that's got to be a sign of the band having a great foundation in traditional bluegrass.
I’m pretty sure that the Hudson Valley has fewer Christian Bluegrass fans than other parts of the country, but I’m sure I’m not the only one here who loves gospel bluegrass songs. And if you’re on the fence – you like gospel or sacred harp but you’re worried about over the top bible-thumping or the kind of intolerant Christian lyrics that we all fear – this may be the album for you. While there’s plenty of old testament God-fearing lyrics, for the most part these are light, optimistic, loving lyrics sung to perfect old-time harmony.
I’ll be honest: before I heard this album I had never heard of Vern Williams and Ray Park. To me, it just sounded like Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick were singing the songs I heard while I was growing up. It was like finding an old Pete Seeger songbook on a high dusty shelf in the library of my new town: suddenly I can hear the soundtrack of my childhood. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience when you’ve heard “Little Birdie,” “Old Kentucky Home,” “Black-eyed Susie,” or “Oh, Susanna.” My 1960’s activist/folk music childhood came back in a (simple) rush.
We are sad to have to cancel this house concert. However, you can still catch this band on Saturday night at the Rosendale Cafe.
This bluegrass trio plays beautifully crafted and arranged songs... many of them being Abby's originals, along with some standards, and even one of her brother's. The songs are delivered with intricate three part harmonies, and the stellar musicianship of Ellery Marshall on the banjo and Jeff Picker on the bass.
You might Abby Hollander playing last year at the Cafe with another of her bands, The Boot Heel Drag. She's a singer, songwriter, and guitar player originally from Woodstock, NY. Coming from a family of musicians, she was raised on an eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, and jazz... which were played on the stereo a little and the back porch a lot. In her travels so far she's studied voice, violin, and theatre; absorbed some swing and blues from a stint in Austin; taught English to little kids in Spain; taught Spanish to little kids in Brooklyn; and moved a piano across the country twice to finally settle in New York and make music.