“One morning, one morning, one morning in May” are words to a beautiful ballad recorded by the Country Gentlemen, among many others. May flowers are an annual promise that so far is proving true. The state of live bluegrass is also starting to blossom.
A new bluegrass/folk group has been brought to my attention. The band Yellow Jack features fiddle, mandolin, guitar, harmonica and bass. You can catch them on May 8 at Penny Lane Cafe in Clarence, playing from 7 to 9 p.m. and on YouTube and Facebook with some really cool videos.
The Brothers Blue is an acoustic trio of really talented and knowledgeable Buffalo musicians who play and sing old-time string band music on fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin and banjo. They are playing at 42 North brewery in East Aurora on Thursday, May 27.
The Panfil Brothers with special guest Katie Clark will be playing at the Sportsmen’s Tavern on Friday, May 14, starting at 6:30 p.m. The group will be drawing from their studio CDs, with songs written by the brothers and Katie. They will also be playing cover songs by some of their favorite singers.
The Bluegrass All-Stars will be back at the Sportsmen’s Tavern for their lunchtime bluegrass shows on May 6 and the 20, starting at noon. Doug Yeomans on guitar, Mark Panfil on dobro and banjo and Rich Schaefer on bass are joined by multitalented folk style fiddle scholar Sally Schaefer for these lunches. No cover or reservations is needed for these lunch shows. You can watch Doug live on Facebook every Sunday starting at 9:30 a.m. playing bluegrass and gospel songs on the Doug Yeomans Facebook page.
The return of the monthly bluegrass jam at Bennington Lanes on the second Sunday of the month from 2-7 p.m. was a great success with a lot of pickers and listeners in April. It is happening again on Sunday, May 9.
Another monthly bluegrass and old-time country jam has also started up again in Dayton, N.Y., at the Dayton Fire Hall. This monthly event is hosted by the United Heritage Fiddlers and takes place every third Sunday of the month, starting at 2 p.m.
A weekly bluegrass jam takes place at the Concord Historical Society Mercantile in Springville every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
All of these jam sessions are open and free to the public to play or just listen.
One of the longest running and widely respected national bluegrass festivals takes place six hours south of Buffalo in May and September. The Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival will be happening this year May 13-16. The campground is very family friendly with great bluegrass artists including the Seldom Scene from the Washington, D.C., area!
Another more local bluegrass festival that I just heard about happens about an hour south of Buffalo. The Coldspring Bluegrass & Old Time Country Music Festival will take place May 21- 23 at the Pope Haven Campgrounds in Randolph. Some of the bands playing are the Misfits, Empty Pockets, Old Dawg Bluegrass, Touch Of Blue, Springville Mercantiles, Sunset Bluegrass, Sunny Side Up, American Express and Charlie Whiting.
Here are some events happening later in the summer in case you are making your plans now:
- On Saturday, June 19, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 20, at 10 a.m. the Community Fellowship Church, 3146 Johnson Creek Rd. Middleport, welcomes back the Kevin Prater Bluegrass & Gospel Band. The Community Fellowship Church has been a consistent source of affordable, high-quality touring bluegrass group concerts for many years now. Last year knocked them out but they are back!
On the weekend of June 10-13, the 40th annual Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival takes place in Wind Gap, Pa. This is a smaller festival with big names in the band lineup. There are many great groups, including IBMA male vocalist of the year, Danny Paisley and Southern Grass. It’s a great value and a great first festival for anyone. Free camping, free showers, workshops, jamming and even at Peter Wernick jamming class (requires a registration and small extra fee).
- The Springville Fiddlers Green Country & Bluegrass Festival 2021 is happening on July 31. Enjoy free, continuous, live music all day, beginning at 11 a.m. at three venues: Fiddler’s Green Park, Heritage Park and Concord Mercantile General Store, all within convenient walking distance along Franklin Street in Springville. Local groups Creek Bend, the Panfil Brothers, Penny Whiskey and the Buffalo Bluegrass Youth Ensemble will be playing.
As the summer progresses, I hope to see many of you at the live shows and festivals; until then stay safe and keep on pickin’.