It’s almost time to wrap up the first full year back in action for Philly Bluegrass since the pandemic. This year saw the return of bluegrass brunch at Heritage (second Sundays of the month) and the monthly jam at the Abbaye (last Tuesdays of the month), plus a loaded Philly Bluegrass Calendar.
THANK YOU to each and every one of you who participated in the community this year, and a hearty Y’ALL COME to everyone else in 2023.
And before we can wrap up the year, we need to wrap up the Top 10 touring acts visiting the Philadelphia area this winter. There’s plenty left in the tank in 2022, and lots more to come in 2023.
Check out the Top 10 for Winter 2023 below.
December 6: Dan Tyminski Duo (with Gaven Largent) at City Winery Philly
Those who saw Dan Tyminski Band in top form at the ‘Bluegrass at the TileWorks’ series in Doylestown this fall are likely glad to see Mr. Tyminski’s return to the area so soon. On the heels of his new Tony Rice tribute EP, Tyminski plans to release a new full-length bluegrass album in early 2023. At City Winery he is joined by Gaven Largent, formerly of Dailey & Vincent, and who also performs in Tyminski’s five piece act. Tickets $20-35.
December 7: Twisted Pine at World Cafe Live (The Lounge)
Uniting to create a sound they describe as “Americana funk,” Twisted Pine is Kathleen Parks (fiddle and lead vocals), Dan Bui (mandolin), Chris Sartori (bass), and newcomer Anh Phung (flute). Last year the band took home its second Boston Music Award for Americana Artist of the Year, following the release of their latest album, “Right Now.” With openers The Citywide Specials (of Fiume fame) and Matt Royles (of Man About a Horse and, full disclosure, this site). Tickets $18.
January 8: Wood Flower at Philly Bluegrass Brunch
Wood Flower is one of the newest entrants to the Pennsylvania bluegrass scene. The band formed in the summer of 2022, right around the time they made their Philadelphia debut at Heritage. Michael Beaky (banjo), Wes Johnson (guitar), Gabe Delp (guitar), Steve Havrilla (mandolin), and Josh Sceurman (bass) are currently planning their first studio recording, comprising both original and traditional songs. Reservations at https://www.heritage.life/reservations-contact.
January 21: Greensky Bluegrass at the Fillmore Philadelphia
Earlier this year Greensky Bluegrass released its 8th studio album, “Stress Dreams” on their own Big Blue Zoo Records. More recently, the band put out B sides from the Stress Dreams session as a limited run 7″ vinyl release for Record Store Day. For the band’s winter 2023 tour, opening acts will include six bands across 16 dates, with the Philly opener yet to be announced. Tickets start at $30.
February 11: Rhonda Vincent & The Rage at Sellersville Theater
In you couldn’t tell from her GRAMMY, half dozen IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards, and induction as a member into the Grand Ole Opry, Rhonda Vincent is one of the most accomplished bluegrass musicians alive. The Sellersville Theater crowd is fortunate to receive frequent visits from the Queen of Bluegrass. Tickets $50-$65.
February 16-18: Billy Strings at Hard Rock Live (Atlantic City, NJ)
Billy Strings returns to the area after a two-night, sold out stand at The Met Philly in November. Billy Strings’ newest record “Me and Dad” (Rounder) is a collaboration with his father, Terry Barber. The pair is backed by all-star band of bassist Mike Bub, mandolinist Ron McCoury, banjo player Rob McCoury, fiddler Michael Cleveland, and special guests. Tickets available from Ticketmaster for $50 and up.
February 17: Yonder Mountain String Band at Ardmore Music Hall
Released earlier this year, Yonder Mountain String Band’s ninth studio album, “Get Yourself Outside,” earned a 2023 GRAMMY nomination in the Best Bluegrass Album category. The new record showcases the band’s new lineup: Adam Aijala on guitar, Ben Kaufmann on bass, Dave Johnston on banjo, and newcomer multi-instrumentalist Nick Piccininn. Tickets $29-$69.
February 17: The Arcadian Wild at Kennett Flash
Nashville’s The Arcardian Wild’s saw Billboard chart action with their February 2021 EP release “Principium,” composed of a four movement song cycle that was initial released serially during 2020. This fall the band has new music out in the form of a couple of singles. They’re joined at the Kennett Flash by special guests Who? What? When? Why? & Werewolves? Tickets $25. BYOB.
February 23: Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley at City Winery Philly
Fifteen-time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year Rob Ickes teamed up with Trey Henlsey, a Tennessee-born guitar prodigy who made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 11, to create one of hottest picking pairs on the scene. Their 2019 record “World Full of Blues,” featured collaborations with Vince Gill and Taj Mahal. Tickets $15.
March 12: The Lonesome Ace Stringband at Sellersville Theater
The Lonesome Ace Stringband is “an old-time band with bluegrass chops” comprising Canadians Chris Coole (banjo), John Showman (fiddle), and Max Malone (bass). Last November, the band released its latest record, a live set from Vancouver’s Anza Club which had been recorded just before the pandemic. Tickets $20-30.