Artist Updates

It’s time for another artist update; bringing you news from artists that have played at Chestnut House Concerts.

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Adrien Reju recently signed with Big Hassle Management in Philadelphia and her tour schedule going in to 2014 is full including 4 April shows in Florida opening for Amos Lee.

The Kruger Brothers released Spirit of the Rockies which was recorded at The Banff Centre, in Banff, Alberta Canada.  All 1526532_579930078759330_1174989997_nmusic was written and scored by Jens Kruger and the story line – following a man’s journey of young love through a life time – was written by both Jens and Uwe Kruger.  Jens on banjo, Uwe on guitar, Joel Lansberg on bass, Josh Day on percussion and they are joined by the Banff Centre Chamber Orchestra.

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Della Mae at the 2014 Grammys. Shelby Means is on the far left.

Shelby Means played at Chestnut House Concerts on December 27, 2013 with the Tanasi Ramblers.  She is the bass player for Della Mae whose album This World Oft Can Be was nominated for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year in the 2014 Grammys.

 

 

Baby girl  Ida Maeve Robertson Lindsay joined The Birds of Chicago family on December 30, 2013.  Here’s a photo of Ida on the way to get her passport for the upcoming February tour in Europe, and one of her just being her cute self.

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Laney Jones and the Lively Spirits will be at Chestnut House Concerts on Friday, February 21, 2014.  Potluck at 6, show at 7.  We hope you can attend.  Check the About section for more information on how to reserve seats.

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Artist Updates

Social media makes it easy to follow the artists that have performed at Chestnut House Concerts and there are some great things happening to these fine musicians.

Several of the performers from last year’s line up attended the annual convention of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) this past week in Raleigh, NC including The Barefoot Movement, The Stray Birds, and  Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys.  The Raleigh News & Observer featured The Barefoot Movement in their entertainment section on the write up of the IBMA event.

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The Kruger Brothers’ show on April 7, 2013 was a favorite of our regular Chestnut House Concert audience members.  It was no surprise to anyone that Jens won the 2013 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.  What fun to see them on the David Letterman show Friday night (September 27, 2013).

 

2013-2014 got off to a great start with Birds of Chicago in September, and Chestnut House Concerts welcomes Adrien Reju and Brad Hinton on Friday, October 18th, potluck at 6:00 pm, show at 7:00 pm.  All seats must be reserved; text 717-940-9311 or email tlehman9@gmail.com.

Let Freedom Sing

There were many meaningful moments during the house concert with The Kruger Brothers in April 2013.  Both brothers are good at telling stories and giving the listeners some insight to their lyrics, their personal lives and their history.  At one point in the evening Jens shared some powerful thoughts about America and the freedom that we have to play and enjoy all kinds of music.  He reminded us that the house concert venue of which we were all presently participants, would not be allowed in some parts of the world. He describes the banjo as an instrument that “represents the ideals of America, the dream of freedom, the promise of a better life, and the happiness that goes with a job well done.“

As we celebrate many freedoms today, let the right to select,support and listen to musicians of your choice…be one of them.

Highlights from the 2012-2013 Chestnut House Concerts

  • Surprising Lindsay and Josh Rilko (Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys) with the appearance of Josh’s parents Dan & Suzie Rilko from the DC area.
  • Watching April Verch do her thing, with great backup from Cody & Hayes.
  • Soaking in the warm personalities and extreme talent from The Kruger Brothers – the house concert setting with these guys is indescribable.
  • Jonathan Byrd’s storytelling – both through his lyrics and vignettes between songs
  • The new/fresh sounds from The Barefoot Movement, including Quentin’s tribute to my parents “In the Cool of the Day” (Jean Ritchie).
  • The potluck night that there were THREE mac & cheese dishes.
  • Lindsay Lou’s voice!
  • Kiran, our favorite house concert guest.
  • The Stray Birds packed the house.  Maya did not reveal that earlier that day she was in a serious car accident until after the show – such strength, talent, determination from this group and it’s fun to watch them gain popularity/fame as time passes.
  • International fiddler Tania Elizabeth with husband Andy Stack – and surprise guest appearance of Adrien Reju.
  • Mark Lavengood (aka Huggy Bear) from Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys – what’s not to like about a dude who has a beer from Founders Brewing Company named after him?  – Huggy’s Nuggs
  • The sweet voice of Chris Kokesh and her fiddle playing – although one of my favorite tunes “Sundays Loving You” featured Chris on the ukulele.
  • The beautiful stage backdrop provided by Tania Elizabeth’s artwork.
  • Hasee’s (The Barefoot Movement) contagious excitement in just being alive.
  • The parting group hug from Uwe and Jens.
  • Listening to Dan and Josh Rilko play together after the show, late into the evening.
  • The responsive, friendly, generous, appreciative guests (over 150!)  that attended in the past year.  We hope you’ll come back for more in 2013-2014!

Forever and a Day

Video

Before Tim moved from Portland, Oregon to Lancaster, he sent me Forever and a Day and Between the Notes, two recordings by the Krüger Brothers. I became familiar with many of their songs and then I had the opportunity to hear them last year at Common Ground on the Hill. They started the set with Round & Round  – a song about growing old, keeping friends, how hard it is for us to balance everything in life so that we find time for family…and tears welled up in my eyes – I was with old friends.

On Sunday, April 7th we’ll meet again – and I trust that everyone attending will find as we did; that Jens and Uwe Krüger and bassist Joel Landsberg are not only extremely talented musicians, they are warm, friendly and as Adam Steffy, one of the greatest mandolin players in bluegrass says “the nicest guys you’ll ever meet”.

Here’s a video recorded at their studio Double Time Music in North Carolina.

“Seems like you were gone forever – but for you I’ll wait forever…and a day.” (Jens & Uwe Krüger, Joel Landsberg)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIomLzwaygQ 

Grandfather’s Clock

clockOn Thursday, July 24, 1975 my brother chopped up my musical clock while mowing the lawn. In his defense, our grass did get pretty tall between cuttings; a well manicured lawn was not a priority on our dairy farm, and truthfully, whoever had the clock last was more to blame.

Before surmising that I have a freakishly powerful memory, please understand that my mother made daily journal entries for most of her life. It’s become a great fact-checking resource over the years plus great reading, even if you aren’t a relative. On the day following the musical clock incident we were traveling in a car that was low on gas and we ran out at the top of the last hill and coasted home.

I was pretty sad about the clock.  Although it only played the old 1876 tune “Grandfather’s Clock” over & over, I knew most of the song and would karaoke while other family members added the harmony.

GrandFathersClockWorkCover “…it stopped, short, never to go again when the old man died”.

It takes quite a bit to impress an eight year old these days, but back then I was  simply quite amazed that my chipped up clock continued to work.  The dial in the back was still intact and the wound up clock still made music though it wasn’t visually appealing.  I thought Fisher Price should know.  Besides, I heard stories of other children who wrote letters to companies and in turn received free things and was inspired.  My mother helped me write a letter to Fisher Price and I bragged about how my battered clock still functioned and how this toy must be very well made.  I made sure to add how sad I was that this unfortunate event occurred.

When mail addressed to me from Fisher Price arrived several weeks later, the envelope only contained  a thank you letter, and sadly, no coupon for another toy clock though I purchased one years later at an antique market for memory’s sake.

Our next scheduled show is the Krüger Brothers at 7:00 pm on a Sunday evening, April 7th.  Many artists have covered “Grandfather’s Clock” including the great Doc Watson.  Here is The Krüger Brothers’ version.  We hope you can join us for this special house concert in the spring.  

Genre Confusion

At the April Verch house concert last week, someone asked about the upcoming show on April 7, 2013.  I excitedly told them about the Kruger Brothers and how thrilled we are to host them at our house concert venue.  Then came the logical question from someone who hasn’t heard the band, “What type of music do they play?”  I struggled a bit.  Bluegrass? Folk? Classical? Jazz?

Kruger2Natives of Switzerland, brothers Jens and Uwe Krüger started performing regularly by the time they were 11 and 12 years old, and began their professional career in 1979.  The music of bluegrass greats Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, and Bill Monroe made it across the ocean and influenced the brothers at a young age.  Jens is known as one of the best five-string banjo players in the business.  Joel Landsberg, a native of New York City joined the brothers in the early 90s and together they established the incomparable sound that the trio is known for today.

I thought perhaps I should freshen up on details from the Krüger Brother’s press kit so that I was better prepared for questions about our next house concert.  The introduction reads:

“Intense and tranquil; classic, classy and classical; jazzy and grassy – all at the same time.”  

I do know what I am talking about after all, and you can also trust me when I say, you don’t want to miss this show.  Sunday, April 7, 2013.  Potluck at 6:00, Show at 7:00.  There’s no better way to end the weekend.

Check the ‘About’ page on how to reserve a seat for the event.