Wednesday, August 1 - Saturday, August 4, 2018

2018 Performers

Earls of Leicester (Fri)

Earls

The Earls of Leicester have discovered a kind of magic that, when harnessed, allows moments once relegated to memories to roar back to life. Old sounds rattle loose chains of space and time that have kept us from forgotten joys and who we once were. Suddenly, as we listen to and watch the Earls pick, saw, and croon, instead of contemplating once upon a time, we are living it.

"Many audience members have come up to me after a show and said, 'I thought that sound was gone,'" says Dobro master Jerry Douglas, the group's founder. "And that's just how it struck me when the band rehearsed the first time. I hadn't heard that sound since Flatt and Scruggs–– experienced that meeting in the air of those notes in that particular way. It's an emotional experience."

Every audience member who approaches the band after a show to reminisce or marvel is an integral part of the Earls' very existence. "That's part of what drives us to want to be close to the old style––just to see that excitement in those old people's eyes," Camp says. But as much as the Earls are a reincarnation of a sound that older generations have missed––an unexpected Proustian take on bluegrass––the band is especially interested in reaching new ears. "I hope people who don't know Flatt and Scruggs hear this and think it's totally new music," Douglas says. "Then, I hope they find out what we're doing and go out and buy every Flatt and Scruggs record they can find."

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The Gibson Brothers (Sat)

Gibson

The Gibson Brothers' brand of bluegrass is a visceral mix of heritage and soaring harmony, making them the premiere brother duet of the genre, following in the footsteps of legendary brother acts such as the Stanley Brothers, Jim & Jesse, and the Osborne Brothers. Their first-ever album of entirely original songs, In the Ground sees the Gibson Brothers taking on their own roots as the sixth generation of Gibsons to grow up on their family farm. The two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainers of the Year follow up their stellar, 5-times nominated tribute to brother harmonies, Brotherhood, with this latest effort, which digs even deeper into their commitment to family and their history. The themes come from the farm, their childhood, and the region in which they were raised. One can hear their dedication to the songs, from the lighthearted to the profound; in the modernity of the lyrics, matched with a virtuosity that feels somehow both traditional and revelatory. Featuring celebrated, award-winning Dobro player Rob Ickes, In the Ground reaches into new territory for the Gibson Brothers as they reflect on their past.

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Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (Thu)

Flamekeeper

The world tends to look at accomplishments in the form of accolades and although only in his mid-30's, Michael Cleveland has plenty to his credit. After picking up the fiddle at age 4, Michael's musical momentum began to propel him forward towards early success. "When I started taking lessons at age 4," he remembers, "I told the teacher right up front that I wanted to learn how to play bluegrass and I wanted to play 'Orange Blossom Special.'" Reluctant as they were, his teachers quickly found reason to his rhyme, helping him progress to the point when, at age 9, Michael was invited to sit in with the legendary Bill Monroe at the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Soon after, he was hand picked for the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Bluegrass Youth Allstars which led to an invitation by Alison Krauss to bring his virtuosic style to the Grand Ole Opry, all before he was 14 years old.

His blistering prowess and technical fluency have since marked him as a sought-after musician, leading to performances with Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Tim O'Brien, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Andy Statman, and The Kruger Brothers in recent years. However, it wasn't until 2006, when Michael formed his own band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, that he found the right vehicle for his musical vision, and he hasn't rested since, constantly looking for new ways to push himself and his music forward. "He plays fearless and it's intoxicating to play with him because he makes you play fearless," says Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill. "He takes no prisoners but he plays with a restraint and a soul. He plays without abandon."

Clearly, the IBMA agrees as he's their most awarded Fiddle Player of the Year with 10 wins, has won Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year six times, and fronts their 5-Time Instrumental Group of the Year. Together with Flamekeeper members Josh Richards (guitar), Nathan Livers (mandolin), Jasiah Shrode (banjo) and Tyler Griffith (bass), Cleveland makes his way around the country performing festivals, clubs, and performing arts centers, delighting audiences, leaving them with jaws dropped in complete amazement." It's wicked to see how much music he pulls out of a bow," continues Vince. "He's untouchable." In 2017, Michael received a Grammy Nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for his CD entitled Fiddler's Dream!

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Kathy Kallick Band (Fri/Sat)

Flamekeeper

Kathy Kallick continues to evolve as one of the music's extraordinary vocalists, bandleaders, and composers. In 2015, she released her 20th album, recordings which include nearly 150 of her original songs, and has been among the elite of contemporary songwriters and singers since co-founding the internationally-acclaimed band, Good Ol' Persons. Along the way, she has: won a Grammy and two IBMA Awards for her part on True Life Blues: The Songs Of Bill Monroe ...had five title tracks and albums… performed and recorded with the Frank Wakefield Band ...written and recorded award- winning music for children and families ...toured throughout North America, Europe, and Japan …received a Lifetime Membership award from the California Bluegrass Association ... and ...collaborated with the country's top acoustic musicians – including her fabulous current band: Annie Staninec, Cary Black, Greg Booth and Tom Bekeny.

The Kathy Kallick Band is based along the west coast — Kathy and Tom are from the SF Bay Area, Annie's from Portland, Cary from Seattle, and Greg from Anchorage — but their powerful mixture of original and classic material, mirroring their distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary sensibilities, has great appeal everywhere. The band has nearly as much fun as the audience when performing. The material is compelling, the tone ranges from humorous to bittersweet to soulful, the instrumental playing is dazzling, the vocals luminous, the presentation inclusive. It's hot bluegrass and Originals.

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Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands (Fri)

Lewis

Grammy Award-winning musician Laurie Lewis is internationally renowned as a singer, songwriter, fiddler, bandleader, producer and educator. She was a founding member of the Good Ol' Persons and the Grant Street String Band and has performed and recorded since 1986 with her musical partner, mandolinist Tom Rozum. Laurie has twice been voted "Female Vocalist of the Year" by the International Bluegrass Music Association and has won the respect and admiration of her peers.

Linda Ronstadt speaks for many when she says of Laurie: "Her voice is a rare combination of grit and grace, strength and delicacy. Her stories are always true." A pioneering woman in bluegrass, Laurie has paved the way for many young women today, always guided by her own love of traditional music and the styles of her heroes that came before. At the same time, she has steadfastly followed her personal muse and remained open to new influences.

The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Nashville has bestowed several awards upon Laurie, including Female Vocalist of the Year (twice); Song of the Year for her recording of "Who Will Watch the Home Place"; and shared awards for Album of the Year for True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe and Recorded Event of the Year for True Life Blues and Follow Me Back to the Fold: A Tribute to Women in Bluegrass.

Though her music transcends the formal limitations of style and genre, Laurie Lewis still sees herself as a bluegrass musician. "I've always thought that bluegrass was basically a singer-songwriter with string band," she explains. "Think Bill Monroe, Carter Stanley, Lester Flatt, etc. I like to think that I fit that description and trajectory of the music rather well. I'm able to express myself in a way that sounds like me, and people either like it or not. I like to do what I do, and it fits comfortably in the bluegrass camp in my head. I don't care what other people call it."

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The Lonely Heartstring Band (Sat)

heartstring

Nourished by deep roots in the expansive canon of traditional American music, The Lonely Heartstring Band embodies the modern American condition—an understanding and reverence for the past that informs a push into the future. This multi-talented group of musicians is a classic Bluegrass quintet—always far greater than the sum of its parts.

Combining soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies, their growing repertoire of original songs and compositions showcases not only their considerable talents, but a dedication to meaningful roots-conscious music.

Since their beginnings in 2012, The Lonely Heartstring Band has been on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. With their 2015 IBMA Momentum Award and their 2016 release of their debut full-length album on the legendary Rounder Records label, there is every reason to hope that they are at the front edge of a significant career.

Already they have generated a devoted following of music-lovers across North America, performing and headlining at major music festivals and historic venues from Western Canada to California, from Kentucky to New Hampshire. Whether it's a festival stage, theatre, or intimate listening room, The Lonely Heartstring Band always delivers a dynamic, diverse, and heartfelt performance. Over the last three years of touring, the band has crafted shows that generate a genuine connection and bring crowds to their feet.

Eager to hit the road again in 2017, The Lonely Heartstring Band will continue bringing thoughtful, energetic, and memorable performances to audiences across the country and around the world.

"Topnotch instrumentation and a beautiful vocal blend are the cursory reasons to begin forming an allegiance to this band. Their music is addicting, and just like viewing the Grand Canyon, you can't begin to find the words to describe the wonder witnessed." - Bluegrass Unlimited

"The Lonely Heartstring Band, may well be a precursor of what bluegrass music will sound like in the future." - John Lawless, Bluegrass Today

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Nothin' Fancy (Thu)

Nothin' Fancy

From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, comes one of the most entertaining bands in the bluegrass genre, Nothin' Fancy. As a matter of fact, they've won SPBGMA's award for Entertaining Group of the Year six times!

Nothin' Fancy was formed as a bluegrass band in 1994 to compete in a bluegrass competition. Ever since then, they have grown in popularity, released 11 full length albums, and continue to perform at festivals all across the United States, Canada and Norway including the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, the Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. They have successfully hosted their own Nothin' Fancy Bluegrass Festival every year since 2001 in Buena Vista, Virginia.

Their strong vocals, powerful instrumentation, and energetic stage presence, along with their friendly down-to-earth charm keeps people coming back for more. Nothin' Fancy is not just carrying on the tradition of bluegrass music; they are contributing to the creation of a new tradition within the acoustic music genre.

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Remington Ryde (Fri)

Remington Ryde

Bluegrass crowd-pleasers, Remington Ryde has been together for 12 years. The band has been performing over 100 shows each year all throughout the United States and Canada. The group just released their sixth studio album "live at the bluegrass ramble." the album features a one hour live show from Bill Knowton's 41st bluegrass ramble picnic at dyer memorial park in little york, new york and is packed full of laughs and great traditional bluegrass. Be sure to get your copy at the Remington ride store. The band's distinct sound and old time flair can be attributed to the bluegrass-rich area of Pennsylvania from which they hail and borrow their name.

As the founding member and leader of Remington Ryde, Ryan Frankhouser's showmanship and chemistry with the audience turns fans into family. Billy Lee's humor, wit, and ever encouraging and uplifting approach to life clearly shows through on stage and off. Whether tears of laughter or of renewed joy, Billy Lee will touch your heart and leave you smiling every time. Add to that Richard's and Warren's unending love to get out and jam with anyone and everyone, to get to know and make friends of each and every one of you, and their overall down home good time boys love of bluegrass and bluegrass fans everywhere. This combination makes Remington Ryde one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today. The group, led by Ryan Frankhouser on guitar and lead vocals also featuring Billy Lee Cox on banjo and bass vocals, Richard Egolf on bass and tenor vocals, and Warren bBair on fiddle and baritone vocals.

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Colebrook Road

Colebrook Road

Winners of the 2016 D.C. Bluegrass Union's Mid Atlantic Bluegrass band contest in Washington D.C., winners of the 2015 Podunk Bluegrass Festival band contest in Hebron, CT, winners of the 2014 Watermelon Park Fest band contest in Berryville, VA, and winners of the 2011 Pickin' In The Panhandle Bluegrass Festival band contest in Martinsburg, WV, Colebrook Road has become a standout string band, a bluegrass powerhouse made up of five individuals whose sum is more than the total of their talents.

From modest beginnings as a four-piece band, Colebrook Road now plays as a five-piece ensemble and has become a familiar name throughout the Mid Atlantic region. The band is composed of lead singer, guitar player, and songwriter Jesse Eisenbise, mandolinist and winner of the 2014 Watermelon Park Fest mandolin contest Wade Yankey, upright bassist and tenor vocalist Jeff Campbell, banjoist, bass vocalist, dobro player, and winner of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival banjo contest Mark Rast, and fiddler, baritone vocalist, and winner of the 2015 Deer Creek Fiddler's Convention bluegrass fiddle contest Joe McAnulty.

In addition to award-winning members from an array of backgrounds, the songs performed are almost exclusively original compositions with varying themes. The band writes intricate and dynamic arrangements filled with both vocal and instrumental harmony that creates an interestingly modern, complex, and varied sound while still adhering to the larger bluegrass genre. Colebrook Road is a standout string band.

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Cane Mill Road

cane mill rd

Growing up just down the road from Doc Watson, the Billboard charting artists Cane Mill Road rock the traditional bluegrass standards they grew up on, yet they boldly tackle progressive interpretations of Dylan, the Beatles, Gordon Lightfoot, and more. Audiences love Cane Mill Road's high-energy performances, easy going rapport both on and off stage, and the eclectic mix of originals and standards in the show. Honoring the past, the band looks to the future with a blended set of traditional and progressive music that walks the lines between Bluegrass, Old-time, Americana, and Folk leaving audiences glad they stopped on Cane Mill Road!

The band's debut album hit #9 on Billboard's Bluegrass Album chart. Cane Mill Road's new album, Five Speed, was produced by 2-time GRAMMY award winner Cathy Fink, and by Tom Mindte of Patuxent Studios in Maryland. The band goes back into the studio in January to begin recording a second album of mostly original music with a few classic covers.

IBMA selected Cane Mill Road from hundreds of applicants as one of 30 bands to showcase during its 2017 conference/festival as the future of bluegrass. The honor put Cane Mill Road in the spotlight at the biggest events of the year for bluegrass.

You've heard the band twice on National Public Radio's Woodsongs Oldtime Radio Hour and at major festivals including MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Doc Watson MusicFest at Sugar Grove, Bluegrass on the Plains, Remington Ryde, Carolina in the Fall, and HoustonFest to name a few. The band regularly plays venues in the Carolinas, and has toured Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The band is sponsored by Deering Banjos, GHS Strings, Shubb Capos, Sorensen Mandolin & Guitar Company, Kogut Violins, and MiniFlex Microphones.

Band members range in age from 15 to 20 years and include: 15-year-old Liam Purcell on vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and clawhammer banjo; 20-year-old Eliot Smith on guitar and bass; 18-year-old Trajan Wellington on bluegrass banjo and guitar; and 20-year-old Casey Lewis on guitar, mandolin, and vocals.

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Chris Henry and the Hardcore Bluegrass (Thu)

Chris Henry

Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass draw from the best years of traditional bluegrass to pick out some of the most intense songs and tunes. Whether it's a national festival or a small town event, Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass will bring a powerful show full of memorable moments to diverse audiences. Founded in 2012, the group has risen quickly to be one of the most popular bluegrass groups in Nashville.

Chris has been described by the International Bluegrass Music Association as the premiere Monroe-style mandolinist of his generation. After receiving a Song of the Year nomination for writing the song "Walkin' West to Memphis", his skill as a songwriter has been receiving national attention as well. Thousands of terrestrial and Sirius satellite radio listeners have been hearing Chris's original songs and tunes for years. The Hardcore Grass provides a perfect backing for his brand of hard-hitting bluegrass and nail-biting intensity that he brings to his picking and singing. His unique brand of bluegrass has been known to excite national and international audiences from front porches to the Grand Old Opry.

Chris comes from a traditional bluegrass background and blends his appreciation for the classic sound with his own creativity to stretch out into wide open spaces that have audiences riveted to hear and see what happens next.

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The Misty Mountaineers (Th/Fr/Sa)

misty mountaineers

The Misty Mountaineers band was formed in 1975 on St. Albans Mountain in Maine by Wilf Clark, who is the sole remaining member of the original band. He is the son of legendary cowboy singer, Yodeling Slim Clark. Wilf is a self-taught mandolin player, a lead singer and occasionally he does a few impersonations.

The Misty Mountaineers has had a number of personnel changes over the years with close to 50 different musicians as either full time or fill in members. The Mountaineers' style has evolved with every personnel change. The current configuration features traditional bluegrass, gospel and a mix of older country tunes done bluegrass style.

Bernie Staples is a rock solid rhythm player and fine picker on his Santa Cruz guitar. He is entering his 16th year as a Mountaineer and has performed in the past with several Maine acoustic acts including Chairback Gap and Good Clean Fill . Bernie sings lead vocals and tenor harmony. He resides in Madison with his wife, Sheila.

Andre Tardif joined the band in the fall of 2014. Andre has fronted his own country band as well as being a member of the Connecticut bluegrass band, Crossover. He sings lead and harmony and plays both banjo and guitar for The Mountaineers. He and his wife Jacqueline, a fine vocalist, reside in Glenburn.

Dan Burke's first band experience was playing bass in a high school rock and roll band. After a long absence from playing he picked it up again after attending a bluegrass festival. For many years he was a welcome picker at the Mountaineer campsite and started playing dobro for the band full time in the spring of 2014. Along with his tasteful playing he adds some fine baritone harmonies to the blend.

Kelly Burke is the newest member of the band. It was the social nature of this music that lured her and Dan in to the bluegrass community about 17 years ago. After a few years of grinning, a bass was put in Kelly's hands and Dan found a dobro in his lap and it wasn't long before they both could be found picking and jamming.

Check out the band's Facebook page and their YouTube channel for videos of live performances from over the years. There's lots of great photos to enjoy, too.

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Newfound Grass (Sa)

newfound grass

A rock solid mold of some of New England's finest musicians - the hard driving sound of NewFound Grass stems from their background in bluegrass, soul, rock and jazz.

These seasoned veterans have combined talents to create an unmistakable sound. With driving instrumentals and tight harmonies, the band offers traditional and progressive bluegrass with a modern twist.

Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Lonesome River Band, Lou Reid and Carolina, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs? Now you're getting the picture!

Ahhhh..........NewFound Grass!

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Monadnock (Thu)

monadnock

In August of 2003, the Monadnock entered an open stage at Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival. This was their first festival appearance. They received recognition from the crowd and festival owners. They have since played at several area bluegrass festivals over the years, including Pemi Valley, Blistered Fingers, Ossipee Valley, BBU Springfests, BBU Fallfests, and have appeared at the Cantab Lounge, the Strange Brew Tavern and other venues. In February, 2007, they were the opening band for the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival in Framingham, MA.

The band members enjoy playing bluegrass music and will provide an upbeat, energized performance in all settings. This group of talented musicians has developed a song list of traditional, contemporary and original bluegrass tunes allowing their musical abilities to shine. A mix of hard driving instrumentals and three part harmonies is always a must. Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, Hot Rize and Herschel Sizemore are just a few of the groups whose songs they enjoy singing and playing.

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The Feinberg Brothers (Sat)

feinberg brothers

The Feinberg Brothers is an authentic bluegrass band from Long Island, New York. The band features brothers Rourke (fiddle) and Patrick (mandolin) singing lead and tenor, along with their father and longtime bluegrass musician, Ronnie Feinberg on guitar and vocals. Brothers Rourke and Patrick are among the top young bluegrass artists in the North Eastern United States.

By blending their bluegrass roots with a classical training background, they have delighted audiences with their tight, soulful harmonies and masterful fiddle, mandolin, and guitar playing. The band has toured extensively throughout the Northeast, playing bluegrass festivals, major market-radio broadcasts, and traditional country music shows including the world famous Wheeling Jamboree. In 2015 the Feinberg Brothers released their first, self-titled recording, which received a highlight review in Bluegrass Unlimited and has received airplay throughout the United States and Canada.

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Borderline Bluegrass (Fr/Sa)

 

Robinson Gospel Jam

robinson gospel

The Lord began to speak to us at a festival in Moodus, CT (1999). A planned Sunday morning Gospel Sing-a-long began without a leader present. The folks who came out took matters into their own hands and gathered around one notebook full of songs and sang. Michael asked for everyone's attention and prayed for God's blessing on the gathering. As we walked away from it, the Lord put on our heart the idea of having a gospel sing ministry that would include a free songbook to include not only songs but a gospel message like a tract. We prayed over this and asked the Lord to lead us and confirm this to us if it was His will. A few weeks later at another festival, an older lady came over and put her arm around Michael's shoulder and said, "If there had been a little book with the words in it, we could have all sang along at Moodus." We took this as our answer.

From this point, we spoke with our Pastor and told him the idea we had for a ministry to Bluegrass Festivals. He was supportive and with his help, we put together the gospel sing book. The following spring (2000), we began the ministry by contacting promoters with the idea. The first couple of years, we promoted the gospel sing with flyers and hand-outs to the MC's at the festivals. Since then, it has grown to a point that for most festivals that we do, the gospel sing is included in the festival program. This has brought out great crowds, even in the rain.

Over the years, the relationships we have forged with the folks who attend these festivals, has given us the opportunity to minister to them at a deep level. The Sunday morning Bluegrass Gospel Sing and Jam has become only a small part of the overall ministry. We set up a booth with Bibles, and tracts and information about the ministry, which has become the central place for many great spiritual discussions and prayer requests and counseling. THIS is the real ministry of the Bluegrass Gospel Sing and Jam.

and more to come

 

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