Kicking It on Route 66 and more!

I’ve been keeping pretty busy this summer with the movie project but we’re still hitting the festivals and performing in concert! The west coast band just got back from the Wildlife West Music Festival, a great event near Albuquerque, NM and earlier in June we performed at the Route 66 Bluegrass Festival in Victorville, CA.

The east coast band will be in concert at the historic Tompkins Corners Cultural Center in Putnam Valley next weekend and, of course, we have the Park Slope Jamboree coming up on September 15th and 16th.

It’s been a travel-packed summer so far with more on the horizon, but you’ll have to wait until later to read all about that! Hope you had a fun-filled summer vacation!

Just Call Me Hurricane James

Raleigh Paper

It’s been a hectic 4 weeks! I was back east recording four more songs for the new album, running the Park Slope Jamboree, and then attending the IBMA World of Bluegrass Conference. I feel like I’ve been through the wringer, wrung out and then hung out to dry!

There’s just too much to tell in one little bitty blog so I’ll save the full story for the newsletter which should be coming out in early November. It felt great to be back in the recording studio with long time bandmates Mark Farrell, Doug Nicolaisen, and Nick Sullivan with special guest Kenny Kosek who is an amazing fiddler. Now the album is almost 2/3 done and we’ll be wrapping up the remaining songs over the winter in sunny AZ.

The Jamboree was another rousing success. We had a terrific bunch of bands for the Saturday concert. I even ran into a couple of bands from the Jamboree at the World of Bluegrass showcases. It was such an honor to award the Brown Jug to Drew Smith this year. He may have a bookcase full of trophies, but I know he’ll treasure the Brown Jug for years to come!

And speaking of Brown Jug winners. I ran into Bill Keith at World of Bluegrass and got a chance to congratulate him on being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The IBMA Conference was a whirlwind of activity and not just because Hurricane Joaquin chose that weekend to make landfall! I have no idea how the organizers and the City of Raleigh managed to move all the outdoor events into protected areas, but they did! I was on pins and needles during the Special Awards Presentation as I waited to hear the winner of the Bluegrass Event of the Year. It was heartwarming to have photos of our little Jamboree up on the big screen for everyone to see. We didn’t win, but we were up against some real giants with RockyGrass and the Lester Flatt Celebration tying for the trophy. Thank you all for your support and best wishes, this nomination meant so much to me. I just love our happy little festival in Brooklyn!

Woohoo!!! Jamboree Receives IBMA Nomination as 2014 Event of the Year!

Jamboree Poster 2015I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am that our “happy little festival” in Brooklyn has been nominated for the IBMA 2014 Event of the Year! And “YES!” it is an honor just to be nominated. Wow! This is just so exciting!

The Park Slope Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Jamboree has been a labor of love for me for 16 years now. I almost chucked in the towel on the Jamboree after my partner, Tina, passed away but something deep inside me just wouldn’t let me give it up. And I’m so glad I didn’t!

Last year’s festival honored Bill Keith with the Brown Jug Award for his contributions to bluegrass music and I’m proud to see that he has been selected as a 2015 Inductee into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

I hope the news of this nomination encourages more folks to come out and join us on September 25-26 for our 16th Jamboree. We’ve got a great lineup of artists and workshops planned! More information is available on this website under the “Jamboree” tab.

Cooling My Heels Back East

Sure had a great time back east and catching up with folks. Our concert at the Jalopy Theatre was fun as always. I just love the intimacy that venue provides. And then the band and I headed off to Pennsylvania for the Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival. You couldn’t have picked a nicer weekend or prettier spot for a festival. It’s always a rip-roaring good time at Wind Gap and this year we raised the bar even higher.  If you missed us in June, I’ll be back east again in July for a special performance at the First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn as part of the Good Coffeehouse Concert Series. Tickets are on sale through Brown Paper Tickets.com. See you soon!

Jamboree Hugs to Everyone!

Best Jamboree EVER! That’s pretty much the comment that I kept hearing from folks about this year’s Park Slope Jamboree. We had the biggest crowd ever, the best food ever, and the best entertainment ever…so I guess I’d have to agree!! My thanks go out to all of you who came out and supported our “happy little festival.” And to the performers who gave their time and talent to entertain as well as to educate. I was deeply honored that Bill Keith was able to be with us and to accept this year’s Brown Jug Award…though we had to call it a Brown “Hug” Award since yours truly went off and left the award sitting at home! The photos are in and I’ve posted a few on the Jamboree page of my website. The 15th Annual Park Slope Bluegrass and Old Time Jamboree is officially in the books, so mark your calendars for 2015′s event scheduled for September 25 and 26. See you then!

Woohoo! The Jamboree is Almost Here!

2014 Jamboree Poster w BandsI am just so excited about the upcoming 15th Annual Park Slope Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Jamboree. The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture will be hopping with all that we have going on. Starting with the kickoff concert on Friday night, featuring yours truly, the weekend will be jam packed with all things bluegrass. This year we’ll also include the NY premier of the documentary “Herschel Sizemore: Mandolin in B” with a Q&A by the director/producer Rick Bowman. Lots of exciting workshops are planned plus a new one that I’m leading this year “Jam Camp for Kids.” I hope this one becomes a permanent addition! And our concert performances on Saturday night feature bands from NYC as well as Colorado and Virginia. Don’t forget the Brown Jug Award…this year’s winner is a hot item on the awards circuit. So come on out to the best little festival in NYC! You’re in for a real treat! For more information click on the Jamboree menu on my website.

Santa Fe Dreamin’

Just got back from the Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival put on by the Southwest Pickers organization. What a great show! Everything went smoothly and was so well organized that it felt like a dream. And the warm welcome we received made us feel right at home. After not one, but TWO standing ovations, we finally dragged ourselves off the stage and headed for home. Our heads were in the clouds and our hearts were full from all the wonderful comments – this show was honestly a performer’s dream job. It’s an annual event so I recommend that anyone within driving distance head out next year to beautiful Santa Fe…this is one festival you won’t want to miss!

Roll ‘Em!

AZ Film Fest - Patrick Tourville

Filmmakers Reams, Bowman and Tourville

I have to say that I was thrilled by the response we for the 1st Annual Arizona Bluegrass Film Festival right here in Phoenix. Thanks to all of you that came out for the event! Arizona Republic even wrote a nice article about the festival. Several of those present were brand new to bluegrass…and that was music to my ears! It just doesn’t get any better than to share my passion for this music with someone who’s just had their first sip of vintage bluegrass. As they learned about how this music came into being; listened to clips from the likes of The Seldom Scene, David Grisman, Doyle Lawson, The Travelers and Del McCoury; and experienced the love and family atmosphere that surrounds this genre…many were changed, converted by their exposure to the genuine article.

AZ Film Fest

Plans are already underway for a bigger and even better film festival in 2015. Stay tuned!

Cool Times in the Big Apple!

Had a blast at Wind Gap last weekend. It’s great to be back east with the band and performing at these festivals that I’ve loved for so long. We’ll be performing at Jalopy Theatre on Friday, 6/20, so mosey on down and join us for some great music and hear the latest info on the 15th Anniversary of the Jamboree. Big doin’s planned for that event this year! The band will be heading back out to Cross Fork, PA for the Smoked Country Jam. We perform on Saturday at 2 and 7. Hope to see lots of old (and young!) friends at these events. Be sure to say “Hi!”

Escapes or Escapades???

The temps are rising in Arizona, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to escape back East for a couple of weeks to perform at some festivals as well as do a show at Jalopy Theater in Brooklyn. Hope to catch up with many friends and fellow music lovers while I’m there. Be sure to stop by and say “Hi!” at Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival. I’ll be there with the Barnstormers on Father’s Day. Next stop is Jalopy on Friday, 6/20. The show starts at 9:00. Jalopy is one of those rare places where music just “happens.” If you haven’t been there, then shame on you! Check out their new trailer on YouTube. Winding up the eastern stops is the wild and woody Smoked Country Jam in Cross Fork, PA. We’ll be performing on Saturday, 6/21 at 2:00 and 7:00. Sure hope to run into you at one or all of these escapades!