Philly Bluegrass Top 10: Summer 2022

The summer solstice is come and gone, and the summer music scene is heating up along with the temperatures. It has been a busy week here at Philly Bluegrass HQ, with a fantastic Bluegrass Brunch featuring the Citywide Specials and a community bluegrass jam at The Rail Park for #MakeMusicDay. There’s plenty more local happenings this summer, so keep an eye on the Philly Bluegrass Calendar for those. In addition to local gigs and jams, the calendar has been updated with some standout touring acts visiting the Philadelphia area this summer. Here are a few of the highlights.

June 26: Mr. Sun at Arden Gild Hall (with The High & Wides)

Led by the legendary fiddler Darol Anger, Mr. Sun is: mandolinist Joe K. Walsh, guitarist Grant Gordy, and bassist Aidan O’Donnell. In May, the group released its second full-length studio record on Compass Records. The new album, Extrovert, features three vocal tracks spotlighting Walsh, and eight instrumentals spotlighting some of the best instrumental virtuosity in the business. Tickets for the show are $23. The High & Wides and Sharon Bousquet open.

July 10: The Kruger Brothers at Philadelphia Folksong Society

Brothers Jens (banjo) and Uwe (guitar) Kruger got their musical start busking on the streets of Europe as pre-teens, and signed a record deal before the age of 18. In 1995, they teamed up with New York City’s Joel Landsberg (bass), and the trio has been performing together as The Kruger Brothers ever since. On July 10 they visit the Roxborough section of Philly, home to the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s performance space. Tickets $18-$26.

July 20: Willie Watson at Sellersville Theater

Willie Watson, a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, has in recent years established himself as a modern interpreter of folk songs, as he does expertly in his most recent recording project, Folksinger Vol. 2 (Acony Records). And it’s not only Watson’s music that is vintage. He is also the creator of 100% handmade vintage-inspired clothing via his Willie Watson Mfg Co. Tickets $25-$40. The Hoppin’ Boxcars open.

July 23: Peter Rowan at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (West Chester)

Rowan’s brand new studio project, Calling You From My Mountain (Rebel Records), features Billy Strings, Shawn Camp, Molly Tuttle, Lindsay Lou, and Mark Howard. Rowan says the album’s title hearkens to the joy of returning to the stage. “The joy of playing live music again calls for raising our voices from the mountain tops,” Rowan said. Rowan’s record also features his new band, comprising Chris Henry (mandolin), Max Wareham (banjo), Julian Pinelli (fiddle), and Eric Thorin (bass). Tickets $42.

July 31: East Nash Grass at the TileWorks (Doylestown)

Calling themselves “Nashville’s newest bluegrass ambassadors,” East Nash Grass began life as a pickup band in 2017, but in recent years has transformed into a more serious project, writing their own original music, and self-releasing their first studio album in July 2021. The band is Cory Walker (banjo), Geoff Saunders (bass), James Kee (mandolin), Maddie Denton (fiddle), Harry Clark (guitar), Gavin Largent (dobro). Tickets $25. With Cirotti Trio.

August 4: Leftover Salmon at Ardmore Music Hall

Leftover Salmon returns to the Philly area for the first time since banjoist Andy Thorn became internet famous in 2021 thanks to the viral videos of Thorn serenading a fox (“foxy”) near his Colorado mountain home. Even Kelly Clarkson took notice, getting a good chuckle over Leftover’s name in process. The band takes the stage at jam mecca Ardmore Music Hall on August 4. Tickets $26-$45.

August 13: The Gibson Brothers at Sellersville Theater

Regular performers at Sellersville Theater, The Gibson Brothers’ most recent album, Mockingbird, is their first release on the Easy Eye Sound label run by Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys). Auerbach also produced the record, so it’s no surprise that it has a distinct crossover vibe, with several tracks that sound like they could appear on mainstream country radio or Americana charts. Tickets $30-$40

August 18-21: Festival Weekend! (Take your pick: 60th Annual Philadelphia Folk Fest or 83rd Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival)

It’s a twofer the weekend of August 18, and a tough choice for bluegrass and roots music lovers. Your decision may depend on whether you favor the traditional bluegrass lineups typical of Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, or the more progressive group of bands performing at this year’s Philly Folk Fest, which includes the American Acoustic supergroup (Punch Brothers, Watchhouse, Sarah Jarosz). Either way, the choice is yours. Single day or all-festival tickets are available at and, respectively.

August 28: Dan Tyminski Band (with The Keystone Mountain Boys) at the TileWorks (Doylestown)

The Dan Tyminski Band hits the road in 2022 in support of two forthcoming recording projects. The first is an EP celebrating the legacy of the late Tony Rice, featuring Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, and Todd Phillips. The second is a brand new full-length bluegrass record, due in early 2023. Exact release dates for both projects are TBD. Tyminski visits the inaugural Bluegrass at the TileWorks Summer Series on Sunday, August 28. Philly’s own The Keystone Mountain Boys open. Tickets $40.

September 2-4: Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival

Founded by Bill Monroe and Dr. Ralph Stanley in 1972, the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival is one of the nation’s original bluegrass festivals. This year marks the 50th edition of the festival, which shows no sign of slowing down after half a century. To celebrate that milestone, on Saturday evening Del McCoury Band, with special guests Claire Lynch and Danny Paisley, will perform a tribute to the festival’s illustrious founders. Full weekend adult tickets $116 (through August 14).

Philly Bluegrass Top 10: Spring 2022

If it feels to you like every band that you have ever heard of in your life is on tour right now, you may not be imagining things. Concerts are back, and back in a big way. Last month, Billboard reported that Live Nation’s “overall concert pipeline” is on pace to exceed 2019’s, and that in February the concert promoter set a new record for shows in that month.

Good thing, too, because fans are itching to experience live music again. Maybe you have seen all the first-show-in-two-years posts popping up on your social media feeds?

With so much going on, wouldn’t it be nice to have a guide? Well you’re in luck, because the Philly Bluegrass Top 10 for spring 2022 is here. Check out the list for some of the outstanding bluegrass and roots music shows coming to Philly venues large and small this season.

And remember that the Philly Bluegrass Calendar is online 24/7, cataloging all the bluegrass and acoustic roots happenings in town, including the newly-revived monthly Bluegrass Brunch at Heritage. (Have an event to submit? Contact us!)

Happy Spring! See you out there!

March 31: Henhouse Prowlers at World Cafe Live

Chicago bluegrass stalwarts the Henhouse Prowlers arrive in Philly having recently been named runner-up as Best Country Band in the Chicago Reader‘s “Best of Chicago” poll. The Henhouse Prowlers are also known for their Bluegrass Ambassadors program, which has taken them to more than 25 countries preaching the gospel of bluegrass to people around the world. Preach on! The Cheddar Boys open. Tickets $17 advance/$20 door.

April 6: Lavender Country at Kung Fu Necktie

Lavender Country’s 1973 self-titled debut was “perhaps the first country album by an openly gay person,” according to Pitchfork. Now, nearly 50 years later, Lavender Country is back with its sophomore effort, “Blackberry Rose.” While critical reviews of the record are all over the map—from Pitchfork’s 7.7 to Saving Country Music’s 1.5 (yes, both scores are out of 10)—there’s no denying the noteworthiness of Lavender Country’s appearance at the Baby’s First Rodeo series hosted at Kung Fu Necktie. A ticket, assuming you can get one, will cost you $16 in advance or $20 at the door.

April 7: Sierra Ferrell at World Cafe Live

Bluegrass is just one of the styles on Sierra Ferrell’s genre-bending 2021 Rounder Records debut “Long Time Coming,” an album whose credits are a ‘who’s who’ of the bluegrass biz, featuring the likes of Billy Strings, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, and Justin Moses, to name just a few. But Ferrell’s writing and timeless voice is the real star of this show. Tickets $20-$32 advance // $23-$35 door. Timbo opens.

April 9: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway at MilkBoy Philly

Molly Tuttle leads her new supergroup to Center City venue MilkBoy in April. In addition to Tuttle, Golden Highway is Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Kyle Tuttle (banjo), and Shelby Means (bass). The band will release its Nonesuch Records debut on April 1, and that’s no joke. Called “Crooked Tree,” the record reportedly features luminaries like Gillian Welch, Margot Price, and Billy Strings. Oliver Hazard opens the show at MilkBoy. Tickets $25.

April 13: The Wooks at City Winery Philadelphia

The Wooks released their third full-length album, “Flyin’ High,” in February 2022, and the Kentucky band immediately hit the road, playing dates throughout the southeastern U.S. in February and March. The band makes its way north in April, with three dates in Pennsylvania, including April 13 at City Winery Philadelphia. Opening will be Philly locals ‎Who? What? When? Why? & Werewolves? Tickets $12.

April 14: Watchhouse at Union Transfer

Watchhouse (formerly Mandolin Orange) visits Philadelphia for the first time under its new name, which the band says better represents the band’s “true intentions” than the citrusy pun of old. Those intentions are manifest in the band’s excellent self-titled debut as Watchhouse, released in August via Thirty Tigers. The name and the music may have changed, but the venue remains the same. The band has made several appearances at Philly’s beloved indie venue Union Transfer over the years. Advance tickets $30.

May 4: Old Crow Medicine Show at Brooklyn Bowl Philly

On April 22, Old Crow Medicine Show will release its latest album, “Paint This Town,” which Rolling Stone notes is the band’s seventh studio recording, its first since 2018’s “Volunteer,” and also marks the band’s return to its former label, ATO Records. The first three singles are out now, one of which (“Bombs Away”) features Molly Tuttle. Tickets $45.

May 11: The Quebe Sisters at Sellersville Theater

The Quebe Sisters describe their sound as “Progressive Western Swing.” “Progressive,” because although they too hail from Texas, the sisters say they “aren’t trying to sound just like Bob Wills.” The band is touring behind its fourth studio album, which is both self-titled and self-released. Tickets $22-30.

May 20: The Dead South at Fillmore Philly

We still haven’t figured out why this Canadian band isn’t called “The Dead North” (get it?). But there’s no need to ponder their popularity, stemming from the viral success of “In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company,” which is nearing 300 million streams on YouTube. (It had a paltry 75 million streams back in 2018 when the band played The Trocadero, which has since died from a different type of viral affliction.) Tickets $28.

June 9-12: Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival

Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival is circled on most Philly bluegrassers calendars as the official start of festival season. Wind Gap is a beautiful, wooded (bring bug spray!), dog-friendly festival with easy camping and lots of jamming. Not to mention affordable, at $75 for a full-weekend pass. No inflation here—you would have paid the same four years ago in 2018. Junior Sisk, Appalachian Road Show, Serene Green, Danny Paisley, and more perform.