On a particularly frigid evening a few years ago, Robert and Lillian Fraker came here to my house in Amherst for our usual festive dinner and a few hours of music making. Robert came through the door, eyes beaming. As we were sharing our first pour of red wine, he practically purred as he spoke of the glory of a deep cold night, the stars clear above and the snow glistening below.

Ah, memories. Where do we keep them? How many do we have? Thankfully, when I think of Robert, I know I’ll have quite a few of them. Perhaps more importantly, all the ones that rush to me, like that very first one above, leave me with the same warm feeling. This is, of course, exactly what Robert wanted to leave to us, his friends and family. A more erudite gentleman and compassionate soul you will never meet.

Two reviews, two CDs, two bands, and twice the great music!

The Colton House Sessionsband is Chris Brashear (vocals, guitar), Peter McLaughlin (vocals, guitar), Todd Phillips (harmony vocals and bass), Guests: Charlie McCoy, Al Perkins, Charlie Cushman.

The Piedmont Melody Makers band is Chris Brashear (vocals, fiddle, mandolin, guitar), Alice Gerrard (vocals, guitar, banjo, piano), Cliff Hale (vocals, guitar, bass), Jim Watson (vocals, guitar, bass, mandolin).

First, you'll notice Chris Brashear in common between the two bands, and if the name sounds familiar he's one of the HVBA's hardest working music reviewers. (Chris, I've read some of your great reviews, with all their attention to musical details - I'm just a music lover with no musical talent, so I can't give your bands the detailed attention they deserve, but I can tell everybody what I like!).

$15 at The Door

Friday, May 26, 2017
Unitarian Fellowship: 67 S. Randolph Avenue - Poughkeepsie, NY

The Hayrollers play a stomp'in, soulful bounce of bluegrass, old-timey-swing-i-fied-country-music pick'in and sing'in. Hailing from the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires, The Hayrollers are heavily influenced by the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Buzz Busby and the golden age of bluegrass and country music. With its twang and soulful vocals from Virginia native Cowboy Jim and the swingy-stomp from Hunger Mountain Boys Kip Beacco and Matt Downing, The Hayrollers offer unique yet classic interpretations of traditional & original tunes with tight harmonies and spirited picking!

A two-time nominee for the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association Event of the Year, the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival’s 17th annual edition takes place June 22 – 25, 2017 at the Tunbridge World’s Fairgrounds in Tunbridge, VT! Welcoming bluegrass legends like Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, the Gibson Brothers and Dale Ann Bradley, Jenny Brook is an opportunity to get away from the hassles of everyday life and enjoy good, honest traditional music in a beautiful rustic setting (lineup). We wanted to give a quick look at all of the things that make Jenny Brook such a special place for the whole family to enjoy the sounds while camping out among some of the friendliest people from the Northeast and miles around!

The Artists’ Stage
The festival is a world to itself, featuring great music and communal fun from morning to night. Besides the outdoor Main Stage, we’re pleased to announce the return of the intimate Artists’ Stage on Friday and Saturday (June 24 – 25). On the Artists’ Stage, some of the top bluegrass musicians in the country, including Eric Gibson and David Parmley, give talks and demonstrations about their instruments and craft. Each showcase is an opportunity to absorb their musical insights and enjoy one-of-a-kind up-close performances.


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