Life of Riley

Riley_lsr_smallIn preparing for the April 19th house concert with Old Buck I did my typical research of the artists. As I read about Riley Baugus I was reminded of my 2007 listening addiction to the Raising Sand release by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.  Now I hear a random song from this album on the radio or from the iPod shuffle, but there’s something to be said for listening to an album in its entirety, with the songs in the order that the producer intended. So last week I listened to Raising Sand in a way that I had not listened for years, and was rewarded with Riley Baugus on banjo on the final track “Your Long Journey”.  This rendition of a favorite Doc Watson/Rosa Lee Watson tune includes Norman Blake on acoustic guitar and Mike Seeger on autoharp.

Riley has two solo projects Life of Riley and Long Steel Railand has collaborated on over 20 albums including That’s How We Runwith April Verch who performed at Chestnut House Concerts in January 2013. In 2003 Riley loaned not only his banjo playing and vocal talents to the Cold Mountain movie soundtrack, but his handmade banjos built in the style of the Civil War era made it into the picture as well.

Riley will be joined on stage with Emily Schaad (fiddle), Sabra Guzmán (bass) and Debra Clifford (guitar) at 7:00 p.m. at Chestnut House Concerts.  As tradition at our house concert series there will be a potluck at 6:00 p.m. before the show begins. Suggested donation at the door of $15/20 per person.  You do need to RSVP to attend by calling/texting 717-940-9311 or by sending an email to Tim at

Find out more about the workshops that will be held from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm by reading my previous post Catch the Synergy. Attending the workshops does not automatically sign you up for the house concert.


Catch the Synergy of Old Buck on April 19th

On Saturday, April 19th Old Buck will be at Chestnut House Concerts. From 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm there will be fiddle, banjo and singing/harmony workshops led by individuals from the band.



Old-Time Fiddle with Emily SchaadImage
April 19, 2014, 3:00 pm  - 4:30 pm,  @ It’s Modern Art529 W Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pa.

This fiddle workshop will be focused around learning to play a southern old-time tune with style. We will talk about bowing techniques and patterns used to give rhythmic drive, syncopation, and flow as we encounter them in our tune, and choices that can be made while developing repertoire or while playing. A recording device is recommended.





Southern Mountain Clawhammer Banjo with Riley Baugus
April 19, 2014, 3:00 pm  - 4:30 pm,  @ It’s Modern Art529 W Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pa.
In this workshop, we’ll cover lots of techniques to improve your playing and hopefully help you figure out what you’re hearing on recordings and from other players. We’ll learn a tune as context. The main style we’ll focus on is Round Peak Style from Surry County in North Carolina, but we’ll look at how this style differs from others.

Singing and Harmony Workshop with Debra Clifford and Sabra Guzmán  April 19, 2014, 3:00 pm  - 4:30 pm,  @ Chestnut House Concerts  603 W Chestnut Street, Lancaster, Pa.
Grabbing from early Country Music groups such as the Carter Family, E.C. & Orna Ball and the Delmore Brothers, we will work on how to best find the harmonies that fit for not only this genre of music but also for your voice and your singing partner. We will look at how harmony and melodies can best complement each other by listening to and learning songs that are in the American Folk Canon.

Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Each of these musicians is a powerhouse by her/himself and the workshops held on Saturday will culminate in an evening concert by Old Buck that you won’t want to miss.

All workshops are $20.00. To register for a workshop contact Old Buck at  Neal Pressley will be the host at It’s Modern Art and Neal can be reached at

The house concert is a recommended donation of $15/20.  To RSVP for the house concert contact Tim at for call/text 717-940-9311.  Registering for the workshops does not automatically sign you up for the house concert, and house concert seating is limited. As usual there will be a potluck at 6:00 pm preceding the show.

10 String Symphony – Rachel Baiman & Christian Sedelmyer


January 21, 2014 proved to be one of those snowy winter days when no one could get around on the roads except for the US postal workers, and in the early afternoon the dog and I met the mailman on one of our walks.  He delivered to me Speakeasy Man, Rachel Baiman’s newly released CD and the next hour was spent absorbing the new music and some hot cocoa in front of the fireplace.

This CD was one of several Kickstarter projects that Tim and I have backed, and as has been our experience with the others, we were extremely pleased with the sound of the final product. Half of the recording took place in Scotland and half in Nashville. Rachel brought together some amazing talent for the foundation of this album including Dave Goldenberg (mandolin), Andrew Small (upright bass), Matheu Watson (guitar, mandola, vocals), Dan Watkins ( guitar), Signy Jakobsdottir (percussion) and Christian Sedelmyer (fiddle).

The songs are a mixture of originals and covers; my favorite cover being the best version of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s See That My Grave is Kept Clean that I have heard. A few guest appearances on individual songs include the great Nathaniel Smith on cello (Natalie MacMaster, Jeremy Kittel, and Sarah Jarosz), Shelby Means on bass and backing vocals (Della Mae), Phil Cunningham on accordion and Brittany Haas on fiddle.

DSC5278-even-smallerRachel will be at Chestnut House Concerts on Friday, April 4, 2014 along with Christian Sedelmyer performing as 10 String Symphony. 10 String Symphony released their first album in November 2012, their instrumentation has expanded from 2 5-string fiddles to include the occasional clawhammer banjo and resonator mandolin, though still maintaining a stripped down, tightly woven and carefully arranged duo sound. They are on tour with Tattletale Saints from New Zealand and each band will take a set and also play a few songs as a 4 piece.

Potluck at 6 pm, Show at 7 pm. To save a seat for the show, contact Tim at or call/text 717-940-9311.



A House Concert Co-Bill


Tattletale Saints

In August I communicated with Rachel Baiman of 10 String Symphony about the possibility of having them perform at Chestnut House Concerts. Her response was “I wonder if you might consider doing a co-bill? Our tour this spring in the US will be co-bill with our friends and amazing New Zealand musicians Tattletale Saints.  They just recorded an album in Nashville produced by Tim O’Brien and will be releasing it in the US in March.  I can’t say enough good things about their music, they are also a duo but play guitar and upright bass so it makes for a nice, complementary co-bill.” 

Consider it?  What an honor!

The 48th Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards were held January 26, 2014 and Tattletale Saints took home the Tui for the Best Folk Album 2014. The album, ‘How Red Is the Blood’ was recorded at Butcher Shoppe Recording Studios in Nashville, TN with renowned engineer David Ferguson and was produced by Grammy award winner Tim O’Brien. The Tattletale Saints duo is described as a “masterful blend of Americana fused with jazz, soul and pop” and is made up of Cy Winstanley voice/guitar/harmonica and Vanessa McGowan voice/double bass.

This coming Friday (March 28th) we have a house show with Mando Planet.

One week later on Friday, April 4th, we have our first House Concert Co-Bill with 10 String Symphony and Tattletale Saints. Each band will perform separately but will also do some songs together.

For all house concert events – Potluck at 6, Show at 7.

RSVP by calling/texting 717-940-9311 or send an email to Tim at

About Tim Connell of Mando Planet


Mando Planet, the next show at Chestnut House Concerts, includes Jack Dwyer (see previous post) and Tim Connell from Portland, Oregon.  Tim is a graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist with over twenty-five years of professional performing experience. TimConnell

Tim Connell is a rising star in the acoustic music scene, forging a sophisticated and worldly voice for the mandolin in his work with Mike Marshall, Avi Avital and Radim Zenkl in the international mandolin supergroup The Ger Mandolin Orchestra.

 Tim records and tours with the Brazilian choro group Rio Con Brio;  performs with acoustic guitar great Eric Skye; and with Mando Planet -  mandolin duo arrangements with fellow 8-stringer Jack Dwyer. 

The following video is none of the above – just Tim Connell on vacation with his family recording a new song “Black Butte Waltz”. 

Mando Planet will be performing at 7 pm on Friday, March 28th. Potluck at 6 pm.  Call/text 717-940-9311 or email to save a seat.