The Sweetest Gift, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt, Seldom Scene


She did not bring to him a parole or pardon
She brought no silver, no pomp or style
It was a halo bright sent down from heaven’s light
The sweetest gift, a mother’s smile

Happy Mother’s Day

Australian guitar wizard, Tommy Emmanuel is teaming up with Cris Jacobs, Baltimore singer songwriter at Babeville on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Emmanuel grew up in Australia playing in a family band and later with just his brother. They were discovered by a popular country singer in Sydney and the brothers toured with the singer. Later he discovered Chet Atkins and copied what he heard adding his own style of guitar picking.  As his playing matured he was a session player in many bands, he has released many award-winning recordings as a solo artist. In June 2010, Emmanuel was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia; in 2011, he was inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown.

Emmanuel has been called the best Acoustic guitar player in the world and speaking as someone who’s seen him live and up close, I agree with the compliments and would add that he is one of the best entertainers I’ve ever seen too! Those who attend on May 21 will see Emmanuel using every corner and surface of his guitar to fill out his guitar and vocal performance.

Here is an example of his playing

The “Cherry Hill Pickin’ Party” – A halfway to Folkfaces Fest celebration of Bluegrass, Old-time & Stringband music happens on June 1st, 2024, Noon-11pm at the Cherry Hill Campground 1516 Sumner Road, Darien Center, NY 14040.  They will welcome the amazing Tony Trischka as the headliner! A legendary educator, producer and innovator of the banjo!

“Tony Trischka is known as the father of modern bluegrass” – NEW YORK TIMES

The full line up for June 1st is;   Tony Trischka, the Folkfaces, Dirty Blanket, Benny Bleu & Charlie Coughlin (of The Brothers Blue), Tyler Bagwell & Sally Schaefer, Clinton’s Folly, Lydia Garrison & Tyler Westcott.

Here is a sample of Tony Trischka’s playing

Last month I wrote about the symbolic doors that brought fans of bluegrass music into the music in the first place. Events, people and recording projects like the Old and In the Way albums, the movies Bonnie and Clyde and the Will The Circle Be Unbroken albums to name a few. One of these open doors was the Kingston Trio. Many people that I talked to after last month’s article cited The Kingston Trio as a major influence on them. With that in mind, I am very excited to report that the Kingston Trio is coming to the West Falls Center for the Arts for a very special show on Monday June, 10th.  Here’s some information about the Trio and the West Falls Center For the Arts:

Fans of legendary folk icons The Kingston Trio can re-discover their timeless music all over again. In celebration of 60-plus years of music, the iconic folk group performs their best-loved songs as part of the ‘Keep The Music Playing’ national tour.

The Kingston Trio was one of the most prominent groups of the era’s pop-folk boom that started in 1958 with the release of their first album and its hit recording of “Tom Dooley”, which sold over three million copies as a single. The group started as a San Francisco Bay Area nightclub act with an original lineup of Dave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds. All three current members, Mike Marvin, Tim Gorelangton and Don Marovich, have intrinsic links to the original group: Mike is the “adopted son” of founding member Nick Reynolds, who was also his musical mentor; Tim, a friend of John Stewart since he was in his early twenties, is one of the few musicians outside the Trio who has recorded with Nick Reynolds; and Buddy Woodward, a highly regarded musician who has worked with former Trio member George Grove. Besides the three original members (who have all passed away) and the three current members, there are ten more members that have officially been part of the Kingston Trio.

Cited as an influence by recording artists as musically and generationally diverse as Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Eagles to comedian and banjo player Steve Martin to contemporary artists such as the multi-Grammy® nominated Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers, The Kingston Trio occupies a unique, preeminent position in American musical history.

The Trio released 19 albums that made Billboard’s Top 100, 14 of which ranked in the top 10, and five of which hit the number 1 spot. Four of the group’s LPs charted among the 10 top-selling albums for five weeks in November and December 1959, a record unmatched for more than 50 years, and the group still ranks in the all-time lists of many of Billboard’s cumulative charts, including those for most weeks with a number 1 album, most total weeks charting an album, most number 1 albums, most consecutive number 1 albums, and most top ten albums.

The current lineup is carrying on the tradition of the original TRIO members and bringing back all the great memories as well as making new ones. Hits include “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Tom Dooley,” and a tribute to Arlo Guthrie.

As part of the ‘Keep The Music Playing’ national tour, The Kingston Trio will be hosted in concert at the West Falls Center for the Arts on Monday, June 10th starting at 7 PM. Tickets are available at their website,

For those who have never been at the Arts Center, here is a brief summary of their purpose and goals. West Falls Center for the Arts is a non profit 501(c)3 performing arts venue. Their mission is to provide a venue that encourages the creative collaboration between amateur and professional musicians while providing world class musical entertainment.

They are dedicated to serving military veterans, children/adolescents, caregivers and their loved ones with Alzheimers/dementia and isolated adults in a rural community. We are committed to supporting the community and enriching the quality of life of individuals and groups throughout WNY by collaborating, inspiring and educating through music.

Here is an example of the Kingston Trio 2019

Bluegrass Shows Coming Up

 Saturday, May 11, 8-11 PM- The Buffalo Bluegrass All Stars- 42 North, East Aurora, NY

Sunday May 12, 11 AM-2PM, Creek Bend at the Boot Barn Grand opening- 3540 McKinley pkwy, Hamburg NY

Thursday, May 16, 12-2:15 PM, Buffalo Bluegrass All Stars- Sportsmen’s Tavern, Buffalo, NY


Saturday, May 18, 7:15 PM – The Probables at the Hamburg Music Festival- Memorial Park in the Village of Hamburg, NY



Sunday May 19, 4-7 PM, Old Time String Jam- 42 North Brewing co.- East Aurora, NY


Tuesday, May 21, 7-9 PM – Tommy Emmanuel and Cris Jacobs – Babeville – Buffalo, NY




Wednesday, May 22, 6:30-8:30 PM- The Captain Tom Bluegrass Jam- Flying Bison Brewing Co.- Buffalo, NY



Friday May 24 & Saturday May 25- 3-8 PM- Shriners Benefit Country and Bluegrass Festival at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds- Dunkirk, NY

Saturday May 25, 6:30-8 PM- Creek Bend- Lake Erie State Park- Brocton NY

Sunday May 26  8 AM- 11 AM- Buffalo Bluegrass All Stars- The Juicery- Meadow Drive, Buffalo, NY as part of the Buffalo Marathon


Saturday June 8, The Buffalo Bluegrass All Stars at the East Aurora Music Festival- East Aurora, NY








Thursday June 13- 6:30-8:30 PM- Creek Bend- Gazebo in Marilla, NY




Saturday June 16  6PM- Kevin Prater Band- Community Fellowship Church- Middleport, NY

Monday June 17  7 PM- The Buffalo Bluegrass Youth Ensemble Spring Concert and Bake Sale- Wayside Presbyterian Church, Hamburg, NY



Saturday June 22, 6-9 PM- The Panfil Brothers Trio- East Eden Tavern- Eden, NY




Saturday, June 29, 11:00 AM- 10:00 PM- The Cold Spring Bluegrass festival and Jam sessions. Coldspring, NY

Friday, July 5- 7 PM- Sam Bush Band, Donna the Buffalo and Bill Ward and the Buffalo Bluegrass All Stars at the Great Blue Heron Music Festival- Sherman, NY

Saturday, August 17- 11:30 AM- 9:30 PM- The Mayville Bluegrass Festival featuring; The Clay Hess Band, Gregg Welty, South 79, Knarly Knuckles, Creek Bend, Mountain Run feat. Doug Yeomans, Michael Gerholt, Jon Garon & Friends Big Inlet Bluegrass All-Stars and Bill Ward & Friends

It’s going to be a great summer for music. Hope you can catch a live show or two and maybe a festival. There are hundreds of Bluegrass Festival happening throughout the US, Canada and Europe. A very good website to look them up is

Until next time,

Keep on Pickin’!

Mark Panfil

Creek Bend and



Angela Hastings

Author Angela Hastings

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