Tag Archives: Tim O’Brien

Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival & the Killer B’s

DSCN0868editedOn a gorgeous spring afternoon the 1st annual Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival reinforced Baltimore’s long, proud tradition of bluegrass in the city with its stellar line-up that not only featured some of the biggest names in bluegrass (Tony Trischka and Tim O’Brien), but dug deep into Baltimore’s still going strong folk and bluegrass scene and highlighted the best the city has to offer musically.

 

The festival was powered by a trio of killer B’s, Baltimore, Brews, and Bluegrass.  Held on the grounds of the Union Craft Brewery located within the Baltimore City limits, Union Craft marked the day with the release of the appropriately named Claw Hammer Ale to help celebrate the occasion.  The location was perfect as the tree-lined Union Craft Brewery grounds provided ample room to roam around, to check out the vendors and the brewery, and provided a good view of the stage from just about anywhere on the grounds which easily allowed one to forget they were downtown.  The day featured twelve acts on one main stage. Set changes were always quick and prompt so there was very little downtime between band.  During the little downtime there was DJ Bohfunk was on hand to keep the music going.

 

DSCN0824editedThe early part of the day was dominated by the sweet harmonies of the Honey Dewdrops and the loose, fun, free-for-all attitude of Trace Friends Mucho. Trace Friends Mucho is made up of mandolinist Kenny Liner and bassist Dave Markowitz formerly of The Bridge, drummer Jeff Hunter, Tony Bonta on banjo, and one of the festival’s founders Jordan August on guitar and vocals.  The band is a raging good time that toes the thin line between rock, funk and bluegrass with expert ease.  Quite simply they are living musical party every time they hit the stage.  Their high-energy Steve Miller themed bluegrass set was a highlight of the day.

 

Following Trace Friends Mucho was the aggressive picking of Chester River Runoff and the cover heavy set of local favorites Feinwood.  Feinwood’s set included a spirited bluegrass romp through Ween’s “Roses are Free” and The Band’s “Ophelia.”  Feinwood and Chester River Runoff both perfectly set the table for the latter portion of the day which was led off by folk-rocker Caleb Stine.  Stine’s music falls somewhere between the renegade cowboy-poetry of Townes Van Zandt and the sweet rough and tumble sound of Neil Young’s Harvest.  His set pulled equally from all parts of his large catalog.  The addition of Baltimore great Dave Hadley’s delicate touch on pedal steel in Stine’s set only served to heighten the emotional intensity of his always powerful music.  Hadley is a Baltimore institution who has played on what seems like every album made by an artist from Baltimore.  In just the past couple of years his pedal steel has graced albums by artists as diverse as Cris Jacobs, Caleb Stine, Wye Oak, Arboretum, and The Bridge.

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Following Stine was the debut of former Bridge singer/guitarist Cris Jacobs latest project. Since The Bridge called it quits in 2011 Jacobs has been a busy man, assembling and playing with a variety of various bands.  His latest project Cris Jacobs & the Union Men is an all-star line-up of some of the best bluegrass musicians in Baltimore.  Based around the rhythm section of bassist Jake Leckie and drummer Ed Hough (both of whom play with Jacobs in The Cris Jacobs Band), fiddle prodigy Patrick McAvinue (Audie Blaylock) and legendary banjo-picker Mike Munford, The Union Men were a true force of nature.  They ripped through a set that featured some new Jacobs’ tunes “Crooked Eye John,” “Saddle Up & Ride,” a classic Bridge tune “14 Days,” a Hough led vocal turn on the Smooth Kentucky song “I Don’t Mind,” and a few choice covers including Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street,” and the Traveling Wilbury’s “Handle with Care.”  Jacobs set ended just as the sun finished setting and gave way to the highlight set of the day Tim O’Brien.

 

Tim Brien’s solo set was an utterly engaging, masterful display of the former Hot Rize front man’s unmatched songwriting prowess.  Switching between guitar, mandolin, and fiddle with perfected ease, O’Brien laced his set with classic DSCN1023editedHot Rize tunes including “Working on a Building,” and  “Nellie Kane,” (after the latter he thanked the sold-out crowd for their exuberant help in singing along with him), a pair of Bob Dylan covers in “Wicked Messenger,” and “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” and a boat load full of classic O’Brien solo songs.  He took time during his set to explain the subtle difference between bluegrass and country, “country is three chords and the truth, and bluegrass is two chords and a bunch of lies!”  To close out his set he brought Tony Trischka (banjo) and Frank Solivan (mandolin) onstage and the three masters proceeded to lay down an awe-inspiring display of picking.

After a quick change, the day’s headliners Tony Trischka and Territory hit the stage.  Trischka is perhaps the most influential banjo player of the last thirty years and the man who taught a teenaged Bela Fleck how to play. His set was a lesson in what bluegrass picking should be.  Just like O’Brien he was quick to share the stage bringing up O’Brien, Solivan, and Mike Munford to join him.  Trischka and his band seemed to not want to relinquish the stage despite the impending curfew, and when the end of the day eventually forced them to leave the stage, the band that was not quite ready to quit and returned for an unplugged acoustic encore.  Trishcka’s impromptu acoustic encore was the perfect way to close out a day that had featured such hot-picking and announced that the Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival was here to stay and wholly welcome addition to festival season.

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Win tickets to the Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival…

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With Festival scene soon upon us and stellar line-up after stellar line-up being announced, some tough decisions about which Festivals we can actually make it to will soon have to be made.  To help make those decisions a little bit easier and your Festival season a little bit better we at Honest Tune are giving away two tickets to one of the first festivals of the year and what we are sure will become an annual favorite, the Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival in Baltimore.

 

Click here to enter to win 2 tickets to Charm City festival!

 

 

A little bit about the fest…

 

The Inaugural Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival is being presented by the Baltimore Management Agencyand Union Craft Brewery, and will be held on the grounds of the Union Craft Brewery in the historic Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore on April 27. Seriously is there a better combination than fine local craft brew and bluegrass? 

Baltimore has a long, rich history in bluegrass stretching back to the 1950s and 60s when the city was, in the words of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, “the hot-town for bluegrass music.”  The Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival will keep that rich tradition alive.  It will be headlined by multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien and banjo legend Tony Trischka, as well as featuring a number of artists who will be familiar to Honest Tune readers.  Baltimore’s own Cris Jacobs, who made a name for himself as the singer and guitarist of The Bridge, will debut his new bluegrass band, Cris Jacobs and The Union Men, which will feature banjo master Mike Munford.  Also appearing will be the renegade cowboy-poetry of Caleb Stine, the sweet harmonies of The Honey Dewdrops, and the fine picking of Feinwood. 

 The outdoor festival will feature local food and craft vendors, and Union Craft Brewing’s award-winning beer. Tickets are on sale now at www.eventbrite.com/event/4876444577

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Full Line-up:

Tim O’Brien

Tony Trischka

Cris Jacobs & the Union Men

Caleb Stine

Feinwood

Trace Friends Mucho

Honey Dewdrops

DJ Bohfunk presents: Bohfunk

 And more artists to be announced…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Contest:

The details, official rules, and eligibility requirements…

 What you are playing for:

1) You are entering to win (2) tickets to The Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival.

 How To Enter:

1) Click the link and it will take you to the contest entry page.
Click here to enter to win 2 tickets to Charm City festival!
 

 2) Fill out the entire entry form. Partially filled out entry forms will be disqualified at the sole discretion of Honest Tune.

How a winner will be chosen:

1)      All of the entered names will be copied from the survey site and pasted into a computer generated random name picker.

2) THE DEADLINE FOR ENTRY IS April 3, 2013, noon EST.

 

Eligibility Requirements:

1) No previous or current Honest Tune editor/staff may enter.

 2) Contributors may enter.

 3) Only one entry per person will be allowed and IP Addresses are logged on the survey site.

 4) Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

 

Fine Print:
 This contest and the contents contained herein are solely the responsibility of Honest Tune. Odds of winning depend on number of entries. The winner will be contacted via his/her email address and must respond to the contact within 72 hours. All entries must be received from within the United States. The winner will receive two tickets to Charm City Folk & Bluegrass. The tickets will be emailed to the winner from Baltimore Management Agency. The winner will be responsible for his/her transportation, parking, lodging, any other expenses associated with the event. The winner may not transfer or sell the tickets. Total prize value: $70.00 All entries must be submitted via the above listed criteria and Honest Tune reserves the right to disqualify entries based solely on its discretion and upon an entry’s lack of conformity to the standards outlined above.

Initial Line-up for 2013 Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Line-up Announced

CharmcitybluegrassposterBaltimore Management Agency and Union Craft Brewing are proud to announce the inaugural Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival, a new Baltimore music festival featuring music with a rich history in the Appalachian region. Anchored by multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien and banjo master Tony Trischka, the festival will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Union Craft Brewing in Woodbury, Baltimore.

 

Charm City can trace its bluegrass roots back to the 1930s, when Southern Appalachian musicians began migrating to Baltimore seeking work. The music they brought with them made Baltimore a bluegrass haven in the 1950s and 1960s. The first bluegrass band to play Carnegie Hall was from Baltimore, folk revivalists New Lost City Ramblers were founded by a Baltimore musician, and the legendary Del McCoury got his big break after meeting bluegrass godfather Bill Monroe in Baltimore.

 

The festival features musicians who are keeping this deep musical tradition alive. Baltimore’s own Cris Jacobs, who made a name for himself as the singer and guitarist of The Bridge, will debut his new bluegrass band, Cris Jacobs and The Union Men. Additional performers from the Baltimore-area will be announced soon.

 

The outdoor festival will feature local food and craft vendors, and Union Craft Brewing’s award-winning beer. Tickets are on sale now here for the early bird prices of $25 for general admission and $65 for VIP. Prices will increase on March 1.

 

Festival founders have launched an Indiegogo campaign (www.indiegogo.com/Charmcitybluegrassfest) to help raise funds for the festival. Donations from $5 to $1,000 come with perks such as discounted tickets, VIP packages, photo prints, event t-shirts, promotional banners and more.

 

For additional artist announcements and updates, follow the Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival on the web at www.charmcitybluegrass.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CharmCityBluegrass.