‘And I’m thankful I’ve been so richly blessed/With more than I deserve when so many have much less/I’m thankful for the things we sometimes miss/For health and time and friendship, love and happiness/And when I count my blessings, I lose track/There’s no way I could ever pay it back/And I’m thankful’

(From the song “Thankful,” by the Grascals)

It is always good to be thankful for all we have, but especially as we approach Thanksgiving. It has been a great summer of amazing live music and the fall has also been great so far.

Willie Nelson has released his newest CD. It is simply called “Bluegrass”. He has teamed up with some of the best Bluegrass musicians in Nashville for this latest project. Aubrey Haynie [fiddle] and Rob Ickes [Dobro] are joined by Ron Block [banjo], Barry Bales [bass] and Dan Tyminski [guitar]. The last three are members of Alison Kraus’s band, Union Station. All the songs are written and sung by Willie and a good sample cut to listen to is “Man With the Blues”

There are a few events coming up that may interest Bluegrass fans in the greater Buffalo area.

On Sunday, November 12 from 2:00-4:00pm in Mason Hall, there will be a free, interactive event that is open to all ages and experience levels. Fusing the Music from China to Appalachia & Beyond is a community workshop with American Roots artists Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, and Chinese classical hammered dulcimer player Chao Tian. Part workshop, part demonstration, this event will give a detailed view of the ensemble’s instrumentation and process for fusing eclectic musical instruments and ideas. The musicians will teach a Chinese tune that easily adapts to American old-time instruments and beyond, with a Q&A to follow. The event is open to all. Bring your instrument! The event is free, but please sign-up in advance so they will know to plan for you! Contact emily.schaad@fredonia.edu.

Chris Panfil will be at Talty’s on South Park Ave. in South Buffalo Thursday, November 16, 7-10 p.m. and on Friday, November 17, 7  – 9 p.m. at The Shore House Bar & Grill at 6558 Lake Shore Rd, Derby, NY.

A few jams that are open to the public either as a player or as a spectator…

Every second Sunday of the month, a Bluegrass jam takes place at the Bennington Lanes in Bennington, NY from 2-7 p.m. Pickers from Buffalo to Rochester meet to jam and socialize. There is a kitchen and the food is very good. This month it happens on November 12.

Every Third Sunday of the month, the United Heritage Fiddlers Open Jam takes place at the Dayton Fire Hall, 9512 US-62, Gowanda, NY. This month’s jam happens on Sunday, November 19, from 2 – 5 p.m. For more information, contact Harry and Joan Delee at 716-532-4360. The event is free and open  to all levels of musicians. fFood and beverage are available.

Also on the third Sunday of every month, the Old Time String Jam Session takes place at 42 North Brewing Company 25 Pine St, East Aurora, NY. Hosted by the Brothers Blue, the jam takes place on Sunday, November 19, from 4-7 p.m. This is an all-inclusive jam for those who want to play old time fiddle music. Novices to seasoned players should bring their fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars, or other instruments.

Irish music played on Bluegrass instruments is featured by the band Emerald Isle. They will be playing at The Banshee (257 Franklin St.) on Saturday, November 25, at 8 p.m. Emerald Isle is also playing earlier in the month, on Thursday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m. at O’Lacys Irish Pub in Batavia, NY.

Coming up in December, Creek Bend has put together a concert of Country and Bluegrass Christmas music and will be performing these shows at three venues in Western New York. The first is A Bluegrass Christmas by Creek Bend on Sunday, December 3at 5 p.m., at the Hollywood Theater, 39 W Main St, Gowanda, NY. Creek Bend will reprise the show on Saturday, December 9 at 7 p.m., at the West Falls Center for the Arts, 1863 Davis Rd, West Falls, NY., and again on Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m., at the Springville Arts Cafe, 5 E Main St, Springville, NY.

As I sign off for this month I’d like to leave you with one more Bluegrass Thanksgiving song. Carl Eddy of the Stone Country Band and Creek Bend recorded his personal reflections of his family gatherings this time of year. I hope you enjoy the song “Thanksgiving,” from the Creek Bend album of the same name.

Take Care and Keep on Picking!

Mark Panfil

WWW. BuffaloBluegrass.com

Greg Hennessey

Author Greg Hennessey

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