Banjo = Rhythm, Melody & Harmony

Musician Evie Ladin has lived in California since 2000 although she was raised in New York and became familiar with Old Time Music through her father’s love for the New Lost City Ramblers. Evie’s family hosted musicians when she was a young girl and her father bought her a banjo after John Cohen had been at their home and suggested the banjo as an instrument for her. Evie’s first banjo teacher was Bob Carlin and she learned the claw-hammer style of playing.

Evie lists Clarence Ashley and Kyle Creed, banjo players from the early-mid 1900s, as well as contemporary players Richie Stearns and Travis Stuart as artists who influenced her style.  Evie describes the banjo as rhythm, melody and harmony. Evie and Keith Terry are touring the East Coast and will play at Chestnut House Concerts on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.  It’s a weeknight so take advantage of bringing something to share at the potluck at 6:00 pm so you don’t have to make dinner. The show will begin at 7:00 pm.

The following is a video of Evie singing one of her original tunes, “Floating Downstream”.

RSVP by contacting Tim at or by phone/text at 717-940-9311.

Bluegrass Stomp

One week from tonight on September 27, 2014, we’re happy to be hosting Billy Strings & Don Julin at Chestnut House Concerts.

If you have not yet reserved seats for the show and would like to attend, contact Tim at 717-940-9311 or by email at  There is a a potluck at 6:00 pm and the show begins at 7:00 pm.

At the show Billy and Don will perform a mixture of original and traditional bluegrass tunes, Billy on guitar and Don on mandolin.  Here is a video of them performing a Bill Monroe tune “Bluegrass Stomp”.

Traditional American String Band Music – with Energy Levels Usually Associated with Extreme Sports



When then 19 year old Billy Strings moved to Don Julin’s hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, some friends told Don to ‘check this kid out’. He did, and after the performance introduced himself to Billy and suggested that they get together and pick some time.  After a single rehearsal the duo has been playing a mix of traditional and original bluegrass tunes all across the country.

Billy began playing guitar when he was 4.  His father would play Doc Watson tunes at parties and  family gatherings and Billy learned guitar so he could play along.  Today he is 21 and considered a musician to watch in the folk/bluegrass world.  Don Julin has mastered the mandolin and his skill on the instrument combined with his knowledge of the music business world really makes the duo work well together. They were recently signed by Crossover Touring.

Their show is full of energy – the mix of Billy’s extraordinary picking, his powerful voice (mature beyond his years), Don’s mandolin picking and harmonies, and the chemistry between the two musicians – leaves the audience wanting more.

Below is an audio file of “Beaumont Rag” from their 2014 release “Fiddle Tune X”.

To RSVP check in with Tim at 717-940-9311 or by email at  $15/20 donation at the door.  Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm.  If you know someone who can’t get enough of great guitar and mandolin picking, or extreme sports, make sure you bring them along.



photo by Tim Lehman

Tim and I were able to take a whirlwind trip to the Pacific Northwest during the last two weeks of August.  Tim lived in Portland for many years and we had the opportunity to visit friends and relatives in Oregon, Washington and Victoria BC.

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photo by Tim Lehman


Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer performed at Chestnut House Concerts in November, 2013 and they reside in the San Juan Islands in Northwest Washington. We knew that we would not be able to visit them on this trip as they were busy touring, but it was a sweet surprise to find their Kickstarter announcement of Maritime in my Facebook feed during our trip.


photo by Tim Lehman


While Tim drove from Tacoma to Port Angeles so we could take the ferry to Victoria, I played Dave and Mandy’s announcement of their Kickstarter project for Maritime.  Producer Zach Goheen, drummer Andrew Lauher, and bassist Christopher Merrill (Birds of Chicago) joined Dave and Mandy in a cabin in the San Juan Islands to record Maritime.

Check out their Kickstarter campaign and hear some clips of their new music.  We hope to have them back at Chestnut House Concerts in the spring of 2015 so you can hear the new tunes directly from them.

Tonight, September 7, 2014 we host a sold out show with Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys.  September 27, 2014 is a house concert with guitarist Billy Strings and mandolin player Don Julin.







Meet PJ George III

PJGeorgePJ was not with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys in 2013 when they played at Chestnut House Concerts, and although we met very briefly at Greyfox Bluegrass Festival last year, the introduction was not long enough to get to know much about this artist.  PJ graciously responded to a few interview questions so that Chestnut House Concerts could introduce him prior to the house show coming up on Sunday, September 7, 2014.

How old were you when you first started your own music collection and who were some of your favorite artists?

 I remember pretty much always having a music collection, probably from when I was 5 or 6 on. First on cassette tape then when CDs came out, I got a CD player and started acquiring. Some early things I remember being in the collection were the Beatles Past Masters collection, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty’s full moon fever. I also remember listening to some of my mom’s vinyl collection which included some 50’s doo wop collections and Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.


I know you play a variety of instruments including the upright bass, which is what you play with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys.  If you went into a room full of instruments, which instrument would you play first?

I suppose I would gravitate towards the piano or the fiddle – those two are the most fun to play alone.


Which instrument in your collection has the most interesting story?

Well, one of my basses (the non folding one) was used in Marty Stuart’s band at one time and used on his album Live at the Ryman.  I bought it from the guy who played it in his band, shortly after I won the band contest at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2010. I also own a fiddle that a friend of mine built from scratch using only hand tools.


It’s fun to watch your #whereisleptlastnight #tourbed photos come through my Facebook feed. Do you remember the first one you took and why?  PJBed1

I think the first tourbed picture I took was the purple fiddle in WV but I  couldn’t be positive about that. I got the idea from Ana Egge but she doesn’t tour nearly as much so I figured I’d give it a try. PJBed2


You’ve played at multiple festivals across the United States. Which one would you say is your favorite and why?

It’s super hard to try to pick a favorite festival out, but getting to experience Telluride as an artist was super cool and fun and Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival throws a great one and they have great artist catering.


Lancaster is an incubator of creativity with great art galleries, music venues and restaurants. Will this be your first visit here? If not, do you remember the where, when and why for your visit?

This will be my first visit to Lancaster and I’m looking forward to it very much.


Touring involves a lot of sedentary travel time. What activities do you do when you have an opportunity to move around?

I try to get outdoors when possible. I like hiking, playing golf, swimming, and occasionally shooting skeet.


Chestnut House Concerts provides dinner for our guest artists. Any special requests for after the show on September 7th?

No special dinner requests. We generally like to eat good, fairly healthy food but we’re not super picky. Can’t wait to play your house concert series!

Lindsay (vocals, guitar, banjo), Josh (vocals, mandolin), Mark (dobro) and PJ (upright bass) will be playing at 7:00 pm on Sunday, September 7.  There’s a potluck at 6:00 pm prior to the show.  Call/text Tim at 717-940-9311 or send an email to to reserve a seat.  Donations ($15/20) at the door; all money goes to the musicians.

Meanwhile, I’ll be getting PJ’s tourbed ready. 


Congratulations Luke & Sarah!

Wedding1Three cheers to Sarah Frank and Luke Fraser of The Bombadils who were married on Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Montreal.  Your wedding photos are lovely; best wishes from your fans in Lancaster, Pa.


Chestnut House Concerts is hosting Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday September 7, 2014.  If you would like to attend, respond to the event on our Facebook page or email Tim at