The Bluegrass Music Round up January 2024

by Mark Panfil

“Things will be better next year”
by Wil Maring

With a whole lotta work and luck and love
And a little bit of help from the Lord above
Things will be better next year
Things will be better next year

Wil Maring is a singer songwriter, working in Nashville now writing at recording bluegrass and country. Her band is called Shady mix. She is a previous winner of the prestigious Chris Austin, songwriting contest at Meryl Fest, one of the largest Bluegrass festivals in the country. This song, her beautiful voice, and very tasteful playing in the back up brightened up my day and I hope it brings the same to you as we start out a new year.

This year, Creek Bend and the Bluegrass all stars expanded our Christmas season concerts from one to three, although the concert in Gowanda did not happen due to a scheduling conflict. It was a personal revelation that there is so much really great Christmas music out there just below the surface of top 40 radio. Our own hometown jewel – WXRL 1300 AM – brings us so much that is better than that top 40 list, and we have to applaud and support the efforts of the Schriver family. Speaking of WXRL, our former singer and guitar player, Carl Eddy, presents his annual Tribute to Hank Williams, the hillbilly Shakespeare on WXRL on Saturday, December 30 at 1 PM. Carl plays Hank’s recordings and shares his knowledge of Hank’s life and tragic death on New Year’s day 1953.

This January 11th though the 14th the Winter Village Music camp and concerts are happening again in Ithaca, NY. Winter Village Music Camp is a fun and inspiring weekend of workshops, playing, listening and hanging out at the beautiful La Tourelle resort in Ithaca, NY.  Winter Village ‘24 will focus on playing and singing in Old Time, Swing and Bluegrass traditions along with a robust series of songwriting workshops.

The link to the instructional music camp:

The link to the concerts by the instructors:

Thursday, January 11, 2024 7:30pm to 9:30pm @ La Tourelle, the Winter Village Opening Concert featuring Rachel Eddy & Friends takes place; Old time performer and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Eddy’s first ever Ithaca performance, the opening concert for 2024’s Winter Village Music Camp. Come early and save your seat and enjoy happy hour drinks and old-time tunes in the lobby with the Circle Left String Band beginning at 6:00 pm.  $15 advanced/$20 door

On Saturday, January 13, 2024, 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm @ La Tourelle. The Winter Village Music Camp:

Faculty Concert featuring Rachel Eddy, Jason Anick, Val Mindel, Katie Martucci, Joe Crookston, Judy Hyman, Chris Luquette, Grant Flick, Dave Davies, Tim Ball, Benny Bleu, Paul Fairbanks, The Cadleys, Cap Cooke, Naomi Sommers and Rick Manning.  $25 advanced/$30 door

And on Sunday, January 14, 2024, 7:00pm to 9:00pm @ La Tourelle the Winter Village Music Camp Closing Concert featuring Jason Anick, Grant Flick, Katie Martucci, Dave Davies & Friends.  $15 advanced/$20 door

The Bluegrass Calendar for January 2024 (some have passed)

Thursdays, Jan. 4 and Jan. 18, noon to 2:15 PM – The Buffalo Bluegrass All Stars at the Sportsmen’s Tavern

Friday, Jan. 5, 7-9 PM – Creek Bend – Lee Whedon Library, Medina, NY

Saturdays, Jan. 13, 4-7 PM – Chris Panfil – The Shore House Bar and Grill in Derby, NY

Sunday, Jan 14, 2-7 PM – The Western New York Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association monthly jam session – Bennington Lanes in Bennington, NY

Friday, Jan. 19, 10 PM- 1 AM – Folkfaces – Jack Rabbit, Buffalo, NY

Saturday, Jan. 20, 6-9 PM, – The Panfil Brothers Trio – The East Eden Tavern in Eden, NY

Sunday, Jan 21, 1-4 PM, – The Old Time String Jam – Hosted by the Brothers Blue – 42 North Brewing Company, East Aurora, NY

Brothers Blue at BNHV

Saturday, Jan. 28, 1-4 PM – Sally Schaefer and Tyler Bagwell – Jack Rabbit Brunch, Buffalo, NY

Bluegrass Shows Coming Up

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7-9:30 PM – Greensky Bluegrass Band – Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY

Saturday, Mar 9, 7-9:30 PM – The Slocan Ramblers – The West Falls Center for the Arts – West Falls, NY

Saturday, Mar. 23, 7:30-9:30 PM – Chris Thile and Nickel Creek – UB Center for the Arts

Wednesday, Apr 3, 7:30-9:30 PM – Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn – Kleinhans Music Hall

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


As we approach 2024, I remember some great shows, festivals and jams. I also reflect on some sad days. We lost some national Bluegrass treasures. Where would Tony Rice be without the inspirational songs of Gordon Lightfoot? Jesse McReynolds, surely among the most consequential mandolinists, singers, and songwriters in the history of bluegrass music. Bluegrass giant Bobby Osborne, another major figure in the development of bluegrass music. Singer, mandolinist, and one half of the trendsetting and hit-making Osborne Brothers. How many of us remember Roy Clark’s banjo playing buddy on the groundbreaking TV show, Hee Haw, Buck Trent? And we lost Terry Baucom- banjo player extraordinaire and member of the super Bluegrass group, Boone Creek. Watch him kick off this live version of the song, Dixieland.

As the long nights drag on through this winter, spend an hour looking up these great musicians on YouTube and remember the life’s work of these Bluegrass artists.

Hope to see you soon, Happy New Year and as always, keep on pickin’!

Mark Panfil         

Angela Hastings

Author Angela Hastings

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