HVBA December Concert: Redwood Hill Bluegrass Band

Unitarian Fellowship
67 South Randolph Avenue
Saturday, December 14 @ 7:30pm
Tickets $15 at the door.

A tribute band is a group that captures the musical mood, feeling and intent of a band that it honors–not by slavish copying but by playing that group’s melodies in ways that enhance and perpetuate them, often by applying their techniques to new musical themes.

Redwood Hill is a tribute band that pays homage to one of the greatest and most influential bluegrass groups of all time–The Country Gentlemen, originally formed in the 1950s in the Washington, DC area and active until 2004. Even the band’s name is an acknowledgement of one of The Country Gentlemen’s best-known tunes, a Gordon Lightfoot staple. Like The Country Gentlemen, Redwood Hill is a joyous, cohesive quartet that obviously takes delight in what it’s doing. And Redwood Hill is also a progressive crossover band that enjoys linking bluegrass, folk and country music.

The Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association will be bringing Redwood Hill to its favored, intimate venue, the Poughkeepsie Unitarian Fellowship, on December 14 at 7:30 p.m. It’s the second Poughkeepsie appearance for the band, one of the HVBA’s favorites.

Keith Edwards leads Redwood Hill on guitar and vocals. Raised on a diary farm in the Catskills, he took to bluegrass as a kid and has never looked back. Styling himself after much-admired Charlie Waller, the lead singer and guitarist for The Country Gentlemen, Edwards has also played and recorded with a wide variety of bluegrass greats.

Lillian Fraker plays bass fiddle for Redwood Hill, and the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association has called her “simply the best bluegrass bass fiddle player in New England bluegrass circles.” Rather than simply backing up the band, Fraker’s fingerwork is a powerful part of the group’s melodies.

Mandolinist Dave Orlomoski is the founder of Tex’s Troubadours, is currently a member of the Seth Sawyer Band and performs as half of the Bear Minimum duo. Orlomski grew up in Connecticut, where he met a young mandolinist, Jimmy Gaudreau, who went on to join The Country Gentlemen. This was an inspiration for Dave, who became a huge fan of the band.

Another New Englander, Dave Shaw, is Redwood Hill’s banjoist. A founding member of the Bear Bridge Band, Shaw currently plays with the Seth Sawyer Band and NewFound Grass. He is also the other half of the Bear Minimum duo.

Redwood Hill will appear at the Unitarian Fellowship, 67 South Randolph Avenue in Poughkeepsie at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 14. Tickets $15 at the door.

Stephan Wilkinson

Stephan Wilkinson, the former Editor of Car and Driver Magazine and a long-time contributor to Conde Nast Traveler, is currently a freelance magazine writer. He is a member of the HVBA thanks to his friend and fellow pilot Fred Robbins, and he lives in Cornwall-on-Hudson.

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