The Phantom Reviewer


If you have been following the CD reviews posted on the website, you may have scratched your head at those written by Glen Herbert, wondering, do I know him? Is he that quiet guy who shows up occasionally at jams? Am I getting worse at recognizing names?

Relax; it’s not you. Glen, who has written reviews for our newsletter of The Grascals, James King, and—in the current edition—Blue Highway’s The Game, resides not in the Hudson Valley but in Burlington, Ontario with his wife Laura and their three children. His path to the HVBA is a circuitous one. A teacher, textbook editor, and writer, he is also a talented musician, playing piano, guitar, mandolin, violin and banjo. His interest in bluegrass led him to attend his first Merlefest in 2002. Through Merlefest, he became friends with the Kruger Brothers, who eventually hired him to produce their promotional material. In that capacity, he came across the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association, where he spotted a request for reviewers.

Glen tells his writing students that one of their goals should be “to find a way to write about something important to them, something they know intimately about, and to do it frequently. Best is to find someone who can use your writing, which gives you a purpose.” For Glen, writing for the HVBA website fits that goal perfectly. If you check out the article links mentioned above, you will see the fruits of that advice; here is someone writing about a subject he knows well and loves.

If you visit Folk Alley‘s website, you can get a taste of Glen’s own song writing and playing, recorded in the Kruger Brothers’ studio in Wilkesboro, NC. Another sample can be heard here; it’s a rendition of the Stanley Brothers’ “Darkest Hour.” It is always a pleasure to see evidence of HVBA’s influence extending beyond our own region. Here’s hoping that at some point, Glen will pass through the Valley and perhaps sit in on a jam. Maybe then we’ll be better at connecting a name with its owner.

For more of his writing, see Glen’s website here.

Mike Foley

Mike Foley is currently on the Board of the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association. A retired educator, he has filled up some of his new-found time trying to learn the banjo and mandolin. His mandolin work, in particular, has been compared to lightning, in that he never strikes twice in the same place. He occasionally writes reviews of CD’s by groups of which he is particularly fond as a means of building up his music library. Mike enjoys evening walks by the seashore, candle-light dinners, and quilting.

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