Category Archives: Bluegrass

Time for the 2019 Joe Val Festival!

Far and away the major winter bluegrass event in this part of the country, and maybe in the whole country (as Alex MacLeod of Rock Hearts corrected on the show back on the 26th), it’s time again for The Joe … Continue reading

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Rhode Island’s Best-Kept Secret? Rock Hearts on HAH!

I had heard the name, but knew nothing of the band when Tony Watt asked if I’d like to have them on live.  They are scheduled to appear at the Joe Val Festival this year, so I said, sure, if … Continue reading

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The Legendary Al Hawkes Dies at 88

I met Al Hawkes at one of the Joe Val Festivals, back in the Green Room.  It was not the one where he received the 2009 Heritage Industry Award from the Boston Bluegrass Union.  It might have been 2016 when … Continue reading

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It’s the Eighth of January!

And that means it’s time for ‘The Battle of New Orleans’ with Johnny Horton (1959):     Johnny Horton of course took the song from Jimmy Driftwood (whose real name was James Morris).  From a site called the Greasespot Cafe, … Continue reading

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Extra! Fiddlin’ John Carson Played Tex’s ‘Christmas Time’ in 1927!

Well, sort of. After I played Tex Logan fiddling his composition, ‘Christmas Time’s a-Comin’’ with The Lane Brothers, followed by Bill Monroe’s classic first recording of the song, listener Paul Murphy emailed me with this news (reprinted with his permission): … Continue reading

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Tony Watt Launches JamVember

It’s at the Sheraton in Framingham, it’s taking over a good portion (but not all) of the hotel for a weekend, but it’s not a festival.  So what is it? It’s JamVember, a “Boston’s bluegrass Jamming non-festival.”  The neologism is … Continue reading

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Why I Cancelled Barbara Martin Stephens

I’ve been wondering whether I needed to explain this at all, but I did mention it on air, so if anyone is curious, this is what happened: Barbara Martin Stephens lived with Jimmy Martin from 1953 to 1966, and had … Continue reading

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Bluegrass and Cajun at the Lowell Folk Festival

Big Country Bluegrass Inertia, more than anything else, has kept Dr Janie and me from the annual Lowell Folk Festival. It’s free (well, after you pay for parking), festive, with a great variety of music and food (the music is … Continue reading

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Southern Rail in Framingham

Friday, June 29th the Framingham Concerts on the Green series began with old friends of Hillbilly at Harvard, Southern Rail, now celebrating their 40th year playing bluegrass and gospel in New England.  Aside from the Joe Val Festival, it’s rare … Continue reading

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Talkin’ about Trains

The High 48s Bluegrass Band Back on the May 26th show I rediscovered the 2014 album of train songs, called Great Northern Railroad, from a band called The High 48s, a slim cardboard volume hiding amidst the plastic jewel boxes … Continue reading

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