The Charm City Bluegrass Festival will host its 6th annual festival at Druid Hill Park this weekend, April 27-28, 2018
CLICK HERE TO PURCHSE TICKETS FOR CHARM CITY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
Top 5 Reasons You'll Find me at Charm City Bluegrass Festival This Weekend:
5. The Travelin' McCoury's - Imagine, if you will, being in elementary school. It's recess time, and you're out on the black top getting ready to choose teams for the big kickball game. You and your friend, Matt are the team captains, but instead of going back and forth picking teams like you normally would, Matt lets you choose your entire team first. You pick the kid in your class that can kick the farthest, the one with the best throwing arm, the fastest runner, the best pitcher, and the one who will run down and catch any fly ball within a 100 yard radius. Now imagine instead of kickball teams, we're picking bluegrass bands...and there you have The Travelin' McCoury's. If you jotted down your top 5 instrumentalists at banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, and fiddle, my guess is you will see every member of The Travelin' McCoury's listed. These guys walk the line between traditional bluegrass and new grass / jam grass better than anyone else on the scene. They have recently recorded their first studio album, which is set to be released late next month at the 11th Annual DelFest in Cumberland, MD. This year, Charm City Bluegrass has expanded to include music Friday afternoon/night at Druid Hill Park, including a headlining set (8:00-9:30 pm) from one of the best kickball teams...er, uh...bluegrass bands you'll ever hope to see.
4. The Devil Makes Three - Ever since I saw them at DelFest 2014, The Devil Makes Three's studio albums have been in heavy rotation on my playlists. In fact, if you look at my iTunes "Most Played" list, I'm guessing the vast majority of the songs come from their 2002 self-titled album and their 2009 album, "Do Wrong Right." They have been back to this area several times since then, but seemingly always when I'm out of town. This weekend will be my first time seeing them since DelFest 2014, and I couldn't be more excited.
3. Jeff Austin Band @ 8x10 - On a few occasions since Jeff Austin Band became a thing, Jeff has has jumped on his Facebook page and answered questions from fans (similar to a Reddit 'Ask Me Anything'). During the last such Q&A, one fan asked Jeff what his favorite venue was. As someone who occasionally gets to interview bands/musicians, it's the kind of question I generally avoid asking. While we all like to know musicians' favorite this or that, those questions generally receive a political answer, since they don't want to offend anyone or alienate any venues, cities, fan bases, etc. In this particular case, though, Jeff actually gave the fan a direct answer - the 8x10 in Baltimore. I'm paraphrasing a bit, but Jeff talked about the energy at the 8x10 being unmatched by other venues; a feeling of being right on top of the audience. If you've been to the 8x10 before, you know what he means. Definitely do NOT miss the Charm City afterparty at 8x10 Saturday night (w/ support from Man About a Horse). You won't be disappointed!
2. Larry Keel Experience - If you know me or have been following The Lot Scene for any significant amount of time, you probably know what a fanboy I am of flatpickin' legend, Larry Keel. He's not only one of my favorite guitar players, he's also one of the kindest, most genuine people I've had the pleasure of meeting. I've tried to come up with my own way to describe Larry and his music, but I always go back to what Greensky Bluegass' Anders Beck had to say about him:
“Larry is the yin and the yang...he will break your heart with a waltz, but he can also scare the hell out of you in the next song. He plays on the edge...no, strike that - he creates genius guitar solos while staring over the edge and laughing maniacally.” — Anders Beck, Greensky Bluegrass
This weekend, Larry Keel Experience will be joined by former band member and longtime friend, Will Lee on banjo, in addition to the usual cast of characters, Jenny Keel on bass and Jared Pool on mandolin.
1. Billy Strings - As much as I love watching and listening to Billy Strings play and sing, I get just as big of a kick out of seeing the reactions of people who are seeing/hearing him for the first time. Trust me, I know...I've been there. I'll never forget the 10-15 minute "tweener" set that Billy Strings played with Don Julin before The Travelin' McCoury's late night set at DelFest 2015. I don't believe that set was even on the schedule, but when Billy started picking, there was a collective reaction (at least from non-Michiganders) of "Who the hell is that?!" It isn't often you get to see a legend in the making, but when you do, you'd better carpe that diem!
*BONUS REASON TO COME TO CHARM CITY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL THIS SATURDAY*
I don't know about you, but to me, it feels like this Winter has really dragged on. I can't tell you how ready I am for outdoor bluegrass in 70+ degree weather!
The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) named Charm City Bluegrass Festival "Event of the Year" for 2016 during their annual awards event. If you have a little free time to burn, be sure to check out the full-length documentary on Charm City Bluegrass Festival that was released earlier this year. It will give you a little insight into the history of bluegrass music in Baltimore and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Charm City Bluegrass Festival so special.