Monday, November 28, 2011

Eric Gibson at the BuscoDome - Churubusco, NY - Review

 Unfortunately, we never seem to drive to northernmost Clinton County New York, lying right up against the Canadian border about forty miles north of the massive Adirondack Mountains, in summer, when it's green and the rivers running through it sparkle in the sunshine.  No, we head there in late November or December to see a concert our friends The Gibson Brothers often give for their family and friends at Northern Adirondack High School, from which they both graduated. This year, with Leigh Gibson off hunting in South Dakota, we journey to Churubusco, NY to see Eric make an unheard of solo appearance singing his own compositions, new and old, at the BuscoDome across the street from Dick's Country Store & Music Oasis.

Rural Vermont in Winter
New York Provides the Background
Vermont Gets the Credit
The Just-Opened Lake Champlain Bridge

Eric Gibson - Picker's Blues - Video


We drive across Vermont and north into New York, stopping in Plattsburgh to check into our budget hotel, then north to Churubusco, about thirty miles northwest.  U.S. Route 11 throws a lazy parabola from Rouse's Point, New York, on the Canadian border,  around the Adirondack Mountains to Watertown on Lake Ontario before heading south to its terminus in Louisiana.  The landscape provides an increasingly flat and, in winter, pretty desolate contrast between the at times forbidding mountains to the south and the fertile St. Lawrence Valley in Quebec.  As The Gibson Brothers have chronicled in song, the livelihood provided from farming, mining, and the railroads has deteriorated to be replaced by...not much.

The Gibson Brothers - Farm of Yesterday - Video


Anyone one who has  attended a Gibson Brothers show has heard of their friend and early mentor Dick Decosse or Dick's Country Store and Music Oasis in Churubuso, but hearing about the wonders of the properly named rural outpost doesn't prepare a visitor for the reality. Neither does the subscript: groceries, gasoline, guns & guitars. The reality is a more than pleasantly surprising country store standing nearly alone except for the wind farm surrounding it with the generators silently turning, providing power in abundance for this rural region.  The music store and the gun shop, separated but attached, are full service stores which, in some other location, would be stand-alone operations. Here they co-exist comfortably. The convenience grocery, on this warm, drab Saturday afternoon entertains a constant flow of buyers.  All this is presided over by Dick, a genial and obviously canny entrepreneur who provides needed services for a population much larger than his immediate surroundings. 

Dick's Country Store and Music Oasis

Eric & Kelley Gibson

Eric Gibson - The Way I Feel - Video


Across the street from the store is the BuscoDome, a quonset-hut style storage building insulated and, for tonight's performance, fitted out with a small stage, lighting, a sound board, ably presided over by Tony LaClair, and about 150 seats.  The BuscoDome hosts regular local events as well as other visiting artists.  You wouldn't notice it driving past, but it's warm and offers excellent sound.

The BuscoDome

Eric Gibson, Dick Decosse, Kelley Gibson
Dick Decosse

Eric Gibson - Dixie - Video


Peforming with his family and friends as well as local fans and a few people who drove in some distance for the evening, Eric expressed his sense of expanding his zone of confidence and challenging himself.  He sang some of The Gibson Brothers best-loved songs as well as new material still being developed. If you attend Gibson Brothers appearances at festivals, you can look for some of these new songs to be showcased in their workshops over the next year or so before appearing on the next CD.  He particularly focused on his rich family life and the contribution his wife and children make to his music.  

Eric Gibson - She Paints a Picture - Video


A few years ago, with Leigh absent for the birth of one of his children, Eric sang a song we haven't heard since.  He wrote it when son Kelley was in the cowboy stage we all recognize in our own children. Here's this remarkable song.

Eric Gibson - I'm a Real Cowboy - Video


This lovely, intimate concert in The BuscoDome isn't likely to be repeated often. Eric rightly asserts "I'm a band-man." Even so, if you get an opportunity to see a solo performance by either Gibson brother, don't miss it.  The evening was warm and appreciated. One of Eric's new songs, "They Called it Music" is so good it was requested as a repeat song for an encore. Look for it to be recorded soon.  As we headed south through the fog, we were still enveloped by the wonder of these few moments. 

In the BuscoDom

Kelley & Eric Gibson

Eric Gibson

Monday, November 21, 2011

Laurie Lewis & Della Mae at BBU Concert - Review

A near sell-out crowd cheered and brought both bands back to the stage for encores at Saturday night's Boston Bluegrass Union sponsored concert at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA, once a comfortable night-time horseback ride from Boston.  The auditorium at the museum seats about 300 people, has unparallelled sight-lines, and features warm, crisp sound.  It's an almost perfect venue for BBU to hold its winter concert season, which usually is comprised of four concerts.

Stan Zdonik
BBU & IBMA President
Reuben Shetler
BBU Vice-President

Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands

Laurie Lewis has been a touring bluegrass musicians and pioneer for nearly forty years, first with her all female band "The Good Ol' Persons" and since the late 1980's with musical partner Tom Rozum in "Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands."  Personally, she's been twice named IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, and  been a Grammy award winner, too.  Her music contains a delightful mix of traditional and more contemporary sounds and styles. On this tour there's good mix of Bill Monroe's music, reflecting the content of her latest CD, a tribute to Monroe's 100th birthday called "Skippin' & Flyin'."  Her warm and inviting voice lures an audience in, making them feel welcome and engaged. Near the end of her show, when she invites the audience to sing along with "Who Will Watch the Home Place?" her impact is stunning as she steps in front of the microphone, letting the audience's mellow harmonies dominate and emphasizing, without saying a word, the impact she has had on her audiences through time. From Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky" to the recent "When the Circus Came to Hartford Town" commemorating the 1944 circus fire that killed over 100 people, her performances are both intimate and stunningly outgoing. 

Tom Rozum
Supported by what she calls her "West coast band," their performance was thoroughly satisfying and enthusiastically received.  Tom Rozum has been Lewis' musical partner since 1989. They blend wonderfully together, both musically and personally, as he plays off her comments with humor and grace.  The band is interpersonally relaxed and musically tight, a delightful combination.  Lewis makes excellent use of each player's strengths, giving each plenty of opportunity to strut his stuff. Fiddler Chad Manning is always strong, both in support and as a rich and varied soloist.  Andrew Conklin on bass, now a graduate student in musical composition at SUNY Stonington, is stunning on his bass solos and always interesting providing an elaborated and rock solid beat.  Patrick Sauber on banjo is appropriately restrained when necessary yet happy to step out with strong breaks at the appropriate times.  This is as strong an ensemble as any band leader could wish.

Chad Manning

Andrew Conklin
Patrick Sauber

Conklin & Rozum

Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
"Tuck Away My Lonesome Views" - Video


Laurie Lewis - Back Stage

Della Mae

Della Mae has been growing, changing, and developing its own unique sound and style for several years now. Their performance on Saturday night and their recent triumphs at Rocky Grass and IBMA's World of Bluegrass show that they've arrived.  Celia Woodsmith, whose background is in rock and blues, has made the transition to this bluegrass/Americana band with power and grace. Her bluesy yet clear singing voice and her excellent song writing have helped change and mature the band while charming audiences. Her willingness to become both familiar and adept at presenting traditional bluegrass standards along with her own work hold the band together and keep it firmly planted in bluegrass. Their recent CD "I Built this Heart" contains ten songs penned by Woodsmith.

Celia Woodsmith

It's something of a mistake on my part to feature one performer so prominently here.  The band is a strongly cooperative effort featuring excellent musicians at every position. Kimber Ludiker is poised to emerge to national prominence as a fiddle player, a worthwhile thought for IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year in 2012, well deserving nomination.  Jenny Lyn Gardner on mandolin brings excellent work on her instrument and a good voice to emphasize the band's continuing commitment to bluegrass. Amanda Kowalski on bass reminds us of nothing less than Missy Raines in her energy, her diverse sound, and her use of the full range of instrument. Courtney Hartmann, the newest member of the band, on guitar and harmony vocals, is a whizz of a flat-picker while still a student at Berklee College of Music. Among other things, her appearance in the band further burnishes Berklee's place as one that nurtures young talent and has contributed mightily to the national bluegrass scene in recent years.  This band is one you should request that your local promoter book. Get 'em while you can afford 'em. They're filled with energy, musical versatility, strength at every position, and ever-increasing maturity.  Their performance at Lexington as an opening band garnered a standing ovation and an encore. No small feat for an opening band.

Kimber Ludiker

Jenni Lyn Gardner

Amanda Kowalski
Courtney Hartman

Della Mae - "Sweet Verona" - Video


You can purchase their CD and hear samples from other cuts here. Other songs from the CD can be found on my YouTube channel.  Please subscribe to it to get notices of new additions.

 The BBU has become the premier purveyor and supporter of bluegrass music in New England as well as one of the most interesting and valuable regional associations in the country.  The winter concert series will next feature IIIrd Tyme Out in January with two more concerts to be announced. Meanwhile, its signature bluegrass festival, Joe Val,  held in suburban Framingham, MA is one of the great indoor festivals, perhaps one of the great festivals altogether, always featuring a fine and varied lineup, loads of workshops, and some of the best jamming around. Note that tickets and hotel reservations go on sale on Tuesday morning and rooms at the Sheraton will sell out within ten minutes or so.  Beyond these performance events, BBU provides extensive coverage of all bluegrass events in the region, highlights teachers, and sponsors the Joe Val Kids Academy each year.  Consider supporting this excellent regional bluegrass association.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead - Book Review

My mother, an American born in Paris in 1911, spent a major portion of her young life living abroad. She went to school in Switzerland while her father, an American impressionist painter, worked in Majorka, and attended the Sorbonne and the University of Berlin during the time she was a graduate student at Columbia in the early 1930's. She spoke French fluently and retained a great love for the French until her death. Nevertheless, she often spoke of the French response to World War II's German occupation of France, claiming that many French people either welcomed or didn't resist the invasion of France in 1940, collaborated willingly with the occupation, particularly in its persecution of French Jews and Jews living in France, and only claimed activity in the French Resistance when the war was nearly over and Germany defeated. Sadly, I often discounted many of her comments. I, myself, have tended to avoid Holocaust literature, believing the story to be too tragic and too distressingly detailed for me to wish to experience it. Caroline Moorehead's A Train in Winter, confirms much of what my mother told me years ago, and, despite its many dark pages, disabuses me of my resistance to reading about this period. Moorehead's important and highly readable book, published by Harper Collins (2011) tells the story of 230 French women who fought in the resistance, were imprisoned in France, shipped to the Birkenau Camp at Auschwitz, and the 49 who survived the war to return home. 
The German army marched into Paris on June 14, 1940 eliminating, for them, the disgrace suffered when the armistice had been signed twenty-two years before.  They quickly placed French military hero of WW I Marshall Petain at the head of the collaborationist Vichy government and began a rule disguised as honorable and benign.  Many French people, probably a majority, either willingly collaborated or turned their backs on the humiliating defeat they had been handed, preferring to seek to maintain comfort and stability while denying their culpability. Motivated by a shared antisemitism and anti-communism, they willingly collaborated with the German invader. Meanwhile, a small group of French patriots, many communists, others intellectuals and still others small shopkeepers, farmers, workers, and people from all walks and stations of life began to resist.  When the first German soldier was assassinated, the Germans determined to exact revenge by executing dozens and later hundreds of French citizens for each German killed or train derailed.

Cecile Charua


During the next two years, as the Germans looted the country, food became increasingly scarce, and the German occupation more viciously vindictive, the Resistance began to operate. Among their activities were disrupting the rail system by derailing trains, assassinating German officers, developing a network to help refugees escape to Spain or Switzerland, and engaging in a range of highly annoying activities to disrupt the occupation. Many of the Resistance members were former trade unionists and intellectuals who developed and maintained a number of newspapers and journals attacking the occupation. They counterfeited passports and identification papers to assist people seeking to escape. The French police developed a highly effective counter-espionage system to seek out and destroy the Resistance with funds and leadership provided by the Nazis. Captured resisters were imprisoned, tortured, and executed in retaliation for successful resistance operations. Assassinations were met with executions of French citizens, sometimes at the rate of 100 to 1. Gradually, French people were being shipped to Germany to work as slave laborers in the German arms industry or to the death camps. The first half of the book details these activities while introducing and describing many of the women who are followed more closely in the the second half.

Moorehead writes of the imprisoned women, "All across the women's section, in the dormitories, on the staircase, in the courtyard, other friendships were born and grew, women separated by age, schooling, class and profession drawn into patterns of affection and understanding by shared stories and similar losses.  Grieving for their executed husbands, missing their children, fearful for their families, they talked, for there was not much else to do; and, as they talked, they felt stronger and better able to cope. Already they were conscious that the nature of women's close friendships, would shield them in the weeks to come, and that the men, on the other side of the fort were often not bound to each other by similar ties." (159) The prison experience would serve to help the women soon to be shipped to Germany to forge ties that would serve them well as they sought to survive the camps. On the cold morning of January 24, 1943, two hundred thirty women were put into four cattle cars in a rail siding called the “platform of deportees.” Over 1400 men had previously been put aboard separate cars. After three days of being locked in the train, the women debarked onto a vast snowy plain and trudged to their new home, Birkenau, a division of Auschwitz, the concentration/death camp in south-eastern Poland occupied by the Germans. This would be the new home from which most would never leave alive.

The Auschwitz Complex

Part II of A Train in Winter details the lives and deaths of these women brought to Auschwitz in Convoi 31, 000. The 230 women this book focuses upon were brought to the camps to provide slave labor. They were subjected to unspeakable conditions of cold, starvation, filth, disease, and torture. Jews and those who could not work were transported to the ovens where they quickly became part of Hitler's “final solution.” Many of the women came with skills: there were doctors, nurses, secretaries, typists, and clerks needed to work in the vast bureaucracy underpinning the death camps. While their living conditions were no better than others, perhaps their working conditions were, until they could bear it no longer. They soon realized that only by watching out for each other, sharing whatever food and cover they could find, hiding those marked for extermination, and providing warmth by huddling together could they subsist at all. They found that the elderly and young among them died first, while those in their twenties, thirties, and forties had more fortitude and personal resources to survive. It cannot be said that they thrived in any way, but many were able to continue resisting in small ways, singing the Marseillaise as a sign of solidarity and resistance, trying to sabotage the system and undercutting German authority despite certain beatings and torture helped them maintain some level of morale.

Madeleine Dissoubray

  “Their own particular skills as women, caring for others and being practical, made them, they told themselves, less vulnerable than men to harsh conditions and despair. Adaptability was crucial, resignation fatal....They did their best to stay clean, to wash their faces in the snow or icy brooks, believing that it made them both healthier and more dignified. And they wanted, passionately, to live, to survive the war, and to describe to the world exactly what they had been through and what they had witnessed.” (220) The women had little news from the outside, but gradually became aware that there had been an invasion, and, as conditions worsened, liberation was headed their way from the east as the Russians advanced. Those who survived often were just lucky, as the Germans ramped up the extermination efforts seeking to disguise the horrors of the camps before either the Russians or the Americans arrived. By April of 1944, however, the liberation began and the conditions within the camps began to become known around the world. Forty-nine of the 230 women who were on the train returned alive to France. Of these, seven were still alive when Caroline Moorehead began her research for this book, and she was able to interview four of them. Other materials concerning these women was provided by their families and from other written records.

Carioline Moorehead
 Caroline Moorehead is a British writer who has specialized in human rights and biography. As a biographer she has published six books. In addition, she has written about pacifists and terrorism, as well as publishing widely in literary periodicals. She is a member of The Royal Society of Literature and was named a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005 for services to literature. A Train in Winter allows her to combine her skills in an important and moving work. The book is sometimes harrowing and at others genuinely frightening as it explores the depths to which humans can sink in their treatment of others. It also depicts the inspiring heights to which people can rise in their resistance to tyranny and torture. Ultimately, the book is more inspirational and life-affirming than depressing and, thus, becomes both an important and a thought provoking read as well as a serious contribution to the literature of the holocaust. These 230 women rise to almost unimaginable heights to support each other and live to tell their story. A Train inWinter by Caroline Moorehead is published by Harper Collins (2011) and is available from all the usual sources. The book was supplied to me by the publisher through TLC Book Tours.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bluegrass Professionalism - Essay

This essay is a re-posting of my monthly column published yesterday on the CBA Welcome Page.  I look forward to your comments here or at other online forums.

Bluegrass musicians are deeply ambivalent about professionalism. Perhaps they worry that becoming “professional” means losing the intrinsic spontaneous improvisational center of our music. Or they're concerned that becoming part of a professional organization will serve to control their freedom. Or they just don't see how a professional organization can benefit their advance as musicians or bands.

At the heart of bluegrass music lies the idea that we are one of the few, perhaps the only, music genres in which the fans are also widely seen as practitioners. Large numbers of bluegrass fans come to festivals, attend monthly meetings of their local bluegrass associations, or get together in music shops or restaurants to jam together on a regular basis. The skill level of these bluegrass jammers ranges from just beginning to pick to highly accomplished practitioners, some of whom have spent significant portions of their musical lives as touring musicians. The lore and etiquette of the jam permit this range, encouraging beginners and novices to sit around the fringes of a jam circle keeping time on their instruments, while more skilled pickers gravitate to or are invited into the center, where they carry the bulk of the musical load. For many bluegrassers, making the music is more important than listening to it. Many people maintain it's at such events that the heart of bluegrass music is maintained and strengthened.

My observation is that many of the jams I see and hear along our travels are truly amateur, in every sense of the word. The music is played at a relatively slow tempo by people who love playing and singing together, but who are truly not highly accomplished. Often, when the selection of a song comes to many participants, they choose an old country song, partly because it's the music they love and partly because many of these songs are easier to play than much of the blazing fast, instrumentally demanding bluegrass repertoire. Some of these get-togethers, however, develop into full-fledged bands which decide to perform during a festival's open stage period (often held in the hour or so before the professional bands begin to play) or to compete in band contests for the privilege of earning a place in the lineup for pay on Sunday afternoon or, more rarely, next year's festival. A few of these pick-up bands emerge as touring bands. The Bluegrass Brothers would be a good example of such a progression. An amateur bluegrass musician, then, is a person who plays bluegrass music for the pure love of the form and sound of the music. He or she may be highly accomplished, but often restricts playing “out” to local events, performing at Rolling Hills Rest Home, or getting together with friends and family on the proverbial front porch.

In conversations I've had with bluegrass professionals, a common thread is their having heard the music early in their youth, been deeply affected by it, picked up an instrument, and practiced maniacally for thousands of hours over a number of years. Larry Stephenson's song, “The Sound that Set My Soul on Fire” captures the essence of this experience. The other common experience is that many professionals grew up in homes where instruments were always in evidence and began playing almost as soon as they could hold one up. The commonly accepted number of hours of concentrated practice thought to yield skill approaching professional competence is said to be 10,000. That's three hours a day for ten years. The minimum standard for professionalism in bluegrass is having mastered an instrument to a level most will never achieve. Most of the people on tour are truly practitioners who've spent the necessary time in the woodshed and played with bands to the exclusion of other pursuits and interests for a number of years.

So, it appears that in most cases, an extremely high level of instrumental or vocal proficiency is the minimum necessary skill level for entering the ranks of musical professionals, but it is not the necessary minimum for success. It starts with being a brilliant musician. Unfortunately, it also seems to end there, also. Too often we hear a musician say, “It's all about the music.” Well, it isn't all about the music. Success in performing bluegrass music at the professional level is more about learning a range of professional skills that include musical performance, but which also require spending enormous amounts of time and energy in the business of doing business. That is, musicians must spend what they consider to be inordinate amounts of time building, planning, and promoting the business side of their enterprise. Music publicist Ariel Hyatt has written an essay called “The Top Seven Reasons Why Artists Resist Social Media,” which is must reading for anyone wishing to be a top bluegrass professional. Here's a link: . Read Ariell's take on this as an opener.

But Hyatt's essay is only a beginning. Professionalism in music requires developing a business plan, making decisions on how a band will brand itself, involving advisers in a range of capacities where many musicians lack skills themselves (accounting, communicating verbally, planning, and more), and continuing to develop as a band. Bands that have persisted through years of success as businesses have shown themselves to be adept in these areas. Take a look at Doyle Lawson, Rhonda Vincent, Dailey & Vincent, and others whose attention to detail and careful promotion have helped them turn musical excellence into lucrative careers. And with all this, musicians cannot afford to rest on their laurels as performers.

Atul Gawande, a surgeon and New Yorker staff writer, has written an article called “Personal Best” (New Yorker, October 3, 2011, pp. 44 – 53) in which he examines the point in his professional life where he felt he had reached a plateau, the balance point between achieving the necessary skill level to practice his profession without any longer being aware that he was getting better. Through an experience on the tennis court and a series of interviews with musicians, singers, and teachers, he describes the process by which he came to understand the need for coaching as it applies to his practicing his profession and continuing to grow in it. Gawande's experience raises the question of whether and how bluegrass musicians continue to become more professional in their approach to plying their trade. How many active musicians seek out a coach to listen to their play and give them feedback on how they're continuing to improve? How many have the confidence to seek out ongoing advice from a professional mentor on their instrument or as a band? How much could they benefit from such an activity as it pertains to their becoming better instrumentalists and more consistently effective bands? What must musicians and bands do to stand out from the crowd as recognizably themselves?

Here are some other questions to ask. How often is your newsletter distributed? What's the state of your email list? How effective are your street teams? How quickly can you communicate with your one hundred or one thousand true fans? How do you maintain your web site, Facebook fan page, personal Facebook page, and Twitter account? How are you building your management team? Incidentally, each of these questions was dealt with extensively in seminars at IBMA-WOB in the past two years. Careful attention to and application of any one of these seminars would have paid for your admission fees in increased sales and bookings.

These are the kinds of questions that professionals ask of themselves as they pursue a career. Recently I interviewed a professional musician who commented that many bands sound alike. He said it's nearly impossible to identify most bands from their sound until well into a song and after the lead singer has begun to sing. Even then, many bluegrass bands sound very much alike. Some contemporary bands are almost instantly recognizable: Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, Rhonda Vincent, The Gibson Brothers, Del McCoury. Others are very good, but don't imprint themselves as thoroughly. How have these bands established a distinctive sound that has contributed to their becoming a brand? This is what every professional bluegrass musician and band needs to ask itself. Finding the answer and then selling it to an increasing crowd of bluegrass fans is the challenge.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands at BBU Concert - Lexington, MA - November 19

Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands
 Photo by Mike Melnyk

Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands will appear the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA on November 19, 2011 at 7:30 PM (doors open at 6:30) in a concert sponsored by the Boston Bluegrass Union. Della Mae will be the opening band.  Tickets cost $23.00 for BBU members and $26.00 for non-members. Tickets can be ordered here.  The auditorium at the Museum seats about 300 people in comfort and with good sound. There isn't a bad seat in the house.  BBU will provide light refreshments as a fund raiser during the intermission.

Laurie Lewis
Tom Rozum

Laurie Lewis and partner Tom Rozum present a west coast flavored bluegrass music with shades of country, folk, and old-time included.  She writes about the beauty of nature, the nature of love, the love of life, and the life of the spirit. I asked Laurie what version of her band was coming to Lexinton, and she responded, "The band that will be playing is the West Coast version of the RightHands. We have been playing together for about 5 years out here, but I have never before gotten these guys out to the East Coast. They are truly great players, and I love being able to (mostly) play guitar, drive the band, and sing, and hear Chad's sweet and fiery fiddle behind the vocals. The lineup features long-time collaborator and partner Tom Rozu on mandolin, mandola, and vocals, Patric Sauber on banjo and vocals, Chad Manning on fiddle, and Andrew Conklin on bass and vocals.  The band is touring in support of their new CD "Skippin' and Flyin," a tribute to Bill Monroe's 100th birthday with additional material. She is a four time IBMA award winner, including twice as Female Vocalist of the Year.

Laurie Lewis Presenting an Award at IBMA 2011

Della Mae
Della Mae will open for Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands. Since making a couple of personnel changes in the past year, this band has shown remarkable success with performances at festivals and arts centers around the country. With the addition of Celia Woodsmith and Courtney Hartman to its lineup, the band has developed a fuller and more vibrant sound.  Founding members Kimber Ludiker and Amanda Kowalski continue at fiddle and bass while Jenni Lynn Gardner brings solid mandolin and vocals to the band. Woodsmith's bluesy voice and rock experience complement her song writing and strengthen the band's vibe.  Della Mae is a treat to hear and see. Their new CD is well worth buying, too.

How to Get to the National Heritage Museum

The National Heritage Museum is located at 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA.  See you there.