Jammin’ Times at the Jamboree

Wow! What a great crowd at the Park Slope Bluegrass, Old-Time Music Jamboree this year. Seems like everyone came and, from the looks of it, they all had a good time. I know I sure did! 2013 marked the 20th anniversary as a bandleader for me and getting together with so many of the folks that have performed on CDs over the years with James Reams & The Barnstormers was a highlight for me. I can’t remember when I had so much fun! And I always look forward to the Brown Jug Award presentation, but this year was extra special too as we honored Carol Beaugard for her tremendous contributions to bluegrass – not just in the northeast, but worldwide with her syndicated Lonesome Pine RFD radio show. Mark your calendars for 2014. We’ll be celebrating the event’s 15th anniversary on Sept. 26th and 27th. You’re not going to want to miss this one!

P.S.  Photos from the 2013 Jamboree are posted on the website under the Jamboree Menu, check ‘em out!

Hootin’ and Hollerin’

January 26, 2013: Coast-to-Coast Tour Gets Started in Yuma

We kicked off our 20th Anniversary Coast-to-Coast Celebration tour in style (or should I say mud!) this past weekend in Yuma, AZ at the Bluegrass in the Park festival playing with such well-known performers as the Get Down Boys, Larry Gillis and Audie Blaylock.  Like I always say, “It’s not a bluegrass festival unless there’s mud!” And that proved to be true last weekend as Arizonans were treated to a rare rain shower that blew through on Saturday. Though it was wet, the weather didn’t faze the crowds’ enthusiastic response to our music. For many, it was the first time they had gotten a chance to hear us perform live and see Blaine Sprouse perform since he was with Jim and Jesse McReynolds. In fact, the crowd hooted and hollered until we performed 2 encores!

Bluegrass Blog: Stardust Daze

January 25, 2013: 20th Anniversary Celebration Kicks off in January

As the band and I were cannonballing down the highway to the Bluegrass in the Park Festival in Yuma, I received an email from noted columnist, Richard Thompson, that Bluegrass Today was running a special article about me on the front page of the e-zine. When I read the article, all those memories of 20 years in the bluegrass business came flooding back. It was intense!

When I finally arrived at the festival and got to the warm up tent, I saw one of the Get Down Boys sleeping in a corner and it reminded me of back when I was a kid. I used to go to bluegrass festivals with my dad and uncles, living off donuts and coffee (don’t tell my mom!) and sleeping anywhere I could lay my head, just for the chance to see the greats like Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and Lester Flatt.

Back then I had stardust in my eyes as I looked up at those legends on stage in their fancy clothes and shiny boots playing the best instruments money could buy. Now, as I change into my own dress clothes in the warm up tent, balancing on a tiny piece of cardboard in order to keep my socks dry and gulping down a tin of sardines, that stardust is still there every time I walk out on stage.