County Line Bluegrass – February 9, 2024

County Line Bluegrass is a group of seasoned musicians who share a love for early bluegrass and country music. With a focus on good songs, tight harmonies and fiery instrumentals, we strive to entertain and amaze.

We first heard this band last summer in Big Indian, NY. They were outstanding and we immediately asked them if they would play for the HVBA so that all of you could hear how great they were. We were able to fit them into our busy concert season and we hope you enjoy this concert as much as we think you will!!!

Friday – February 9, 2024 @ 7:30pm
Unitarian Fellowship
67 S. Randolph Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY

Tickets at the Door

Terry McGill is one of the most well known banjo players in the Northeast and has released two recordings for Cabinwood Music. He has been highlighted in Banjo Newsletter and has authored a book of banjo tunes played in alternate tunings for Mel Bay Publications. Terry’s 2001 solo recording “Straight Drive” has received airplay nationwide.

David Chernack is a lifelong multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Hyde Park, New York. He grew up primarily playing classical violin and viola, David now primarily plays bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. While he is not a professional musician, David has won several awards—including at Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the Lowell Fiddle and Banjo Contest—for his instrumental skill. He also performs in several Hudson Valley- and NYC-based bluegrass acts. David is also the president of the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association and is committed to expanding the reach of bluegrass to reach as many ears as possible in the Hudson Valley and beyond.

Dick Bowden is one of the leading traditional bluegrass banjo pickers in New England. Starting in 1966 with The Bowden Family and The Fort Knox Volunteers, Dick helped establish bluegrass in his home state of Maine. He was a bench member of Joe Val’s New England Bluegrass Boys, and played five years with Herb Applin’s Berkshire Mountain Boys. Moving to New York in 1989, Dick played guitar with The Case Brothers – Martin & Gibson (two recordings) for 10 years, and played banjo on fiddler Joe Meadows’ final CD in 2001. With his encyclopedic knowledge of bluegrass styles and lyrics, Dick is the go-to guy to lead high-level bluegrass jam sessions or emcee concerts and festivals. He’s a frequent contributor to online (including the HVBA website) and print publications and currently serves as Ringmaster of Dick Bowden’s Flying Circus, a high-energy revue of seriousness and silliness.

David Gandin was a fixture of the New York City bluegrass and honkytonk scene before relocating to the Hudson Valley. He plays with a solid, yet simple style influenced by the classic sounds of 1950’s country, rockabilly and swing recordings. His love of bluegrass is evident in his playing and has led him to perform with the likes of Marty Stuart, Leigh Gibson, Tony Trishka, Greg Garing, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, the Demolition String Band, Straight Drive, Big Appalchia, Reckin So and other bands too numerous to mention. He currently performs and teaches bass and guitar in the Hudson Valley where he lives with his wife and four children.

Mandolinist Ben Fraker hails from the rolling hills of western Massachusetts, where he grew up in a family of bluegrass musicians. He honed his Monroe style playing in the Brooklyn scene, then joined regional favorites Straight Drive and Big Appalachia, performing at festivals and clubs throughout the Northeast. He has played alongside legends such as Charlie Louvin, John Herald, and Andy Statman, and is now excited to be joining with the other talented members of County Line to bring more hard driving traditional bluegrass to the public.

Bonus Performance by The Strawberry Fiddlers

The Strawberry Hill Fiddlers will open the concert for County Line Bluegrass next Friday night. The Strawberry Hill Fiddlers are a part of the Stringendo, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been active in the Hudson Valley for over two decades. Stringendo—a musical term meaning “gradually get faster and more intense”—is composed of six chamber string orchestras at varying skill levels, including elementary students all the way up to high school students. Its sister program, the Strawberry Hill Fiddlers, are structured in much the same way, from the entry-level Boysenberries to the most advanced Strawberries. Compared to Stringendo’s orchestras which focus on classical music learned from the page, the “Berries” instead focus on learning world fiddling styles by ear—such as Scottish, Flamenco, Swedish, French Canadian, and of course, bluegrass fiddling.

This past October, the HVBA met with the Fiddlers for an incredible evening of music. You can watch the video here but, do yourself a favor, and come to see them play before County Line begins their concert. You will be totally uplifted to see the future of fiddling.


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