Happy International Bluegrass Music Appreciation Day! So December 12 was named in 2012 by banjo player Lee Marcus. We’re here to keep the young tradition of Bluegrass Thanksgiving alive with a list of 10 shows you may want to ‘appreciate’ in Philly this winter. And as always, watch the frequently-updated calendar (phillybluegrass.com/calendar) and/or our Twitter feed for updates on shows featuring Philly’s local and regional acts.
December 14: The Stash Band at World Cafe Live
This might be the loudest act to grace the World Cafe Live Upstairs stage this year, to wit: the opening track from Stash’s 2015 solo disc is called “Acoustic Metal Party.” If you saw Stash shred with Tony Trischka’s band at Tin Angel last month you’re probably intrigued to hear his solo act, too.
December 14: The Ghost of Paul Revere at Boot & Saddle
The State of Maine’s The Ghost of Paul Revere has been generating serious buzz recently, performing with Anders Osborne, the Infamous Stringdusters, and others–while garnering press mentions in the Boston Globe and the Washington Post. With Ladybird and the White Cheddar Boys. Grab tickets.
December 16: The Stray Birds at World Cafe Live
The Stray Birds played a “Free At Noon” show this summer at World Cafe Live while in town to perform at the 55th Philadelphia Folk Festival. On December 16 they will headline an evening show at World Cafe Live. Downstairs, with Miss Tess & The Talkbacks.
December 31: Cabinet at the TLA
If you’re a bluegrass/roots music fan in Philly, this is your New Year’s Eve plan. Tickets still available as of this writing. With the Blind Owl Band and Mountain Ride.
January 28: The Infamous Stringdusters at World Cafe Live
The ‘Dusters packed them in at World Cafe back in April, when they had special guest Nicki Bluhm on vocals, and ran through some of the band’s “Ladies & Gentlemen” record, which featured an all-female lineup of lead singers. This time, the band will be on the road in support of their newest record, “Laws Of Gravity,” due out on January 13 on Compass Records. The first single, “Gravity,” dropped last Friday.
February 1: Greensky Bluegrass at Union Transfer
Almost exactly one year to the day after bringing a jam-heavy set to Union Transfer, Greensky Bluegrass makes their return on February 1. Given the size of the crowd a year ago, don’t be surprised if this one sells out.
February 2: The Philadelphia Folksong Society Presents the HillBenders at Tin Angel
It looks like the venerable Tin Angel has a few more shows left in it. That’s good news for bluegrass fans, as we know how great this room is for acoustic music.
February 2: The Wood Brothers at Union Transfer
Hard to believe that 2016 marks 10 years of the Wood Brothers. Brothers Chris and Oliver formed the band in 2006 following their successful careers with Medeski, Martin & Wood and King Johnson, respectively. Help the Woods celebrate their Tin anniversary at Union Transfer. With T Sisters.
February 26: The Hackensaw Boys at World Cafe Live
The Hackensaw Boys’ new record “Charismo” (Free Dirt) is their first full album of new material in more than a decade. The album’s title pays homage to the homemade percussion instrument/attire that is played/worn by the band’s Brian Gorby. With Who? What? When? Why? & Werewolves? Tickets.
March 8: Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge at Johnny Brenda’s
Two of the best young American guitarists ripping tunes on their pre-war Martins in one of Philly’s more intimate rooms for music. I’ll be the guy up front studying Critter’s pick angle. See you there.