Brad Kolodner: Charm City Junction

2591867 At the Delaware Valley Bluegrass festival on Sept. 4, 2016, Mandorichard sat down with Brad Kolodner, banjo player for the acoustic roots quartet, Charm City Junction. Brad is rooted in the traditions of Appalachian folk music, and embodies the next generation of old-time musicians both respecting the music that’s come before and modernizing the tradition with his artistic style and original compositions. In addition to touring and recording with Charm City Junction, Brad also performs with his father Ken Kolodner, a world-renowned hammered dulcimer player.

According to their website, Charm City Junction “creates a fresh soundscape” that has “taken the acoustic music scene by storm.” Patrick McAvinue, fiddle; Brad Kolodner, clawhammer banjo; Sean McComiskey, button accordion; and Alex Lacquement,upright bass blend their different musical backgrounds together creating a common ground on which to develop their unique sound. Charm City Junction released their debut album in the fall of 2015, and are at work on their next CD.

Mandorichard especially enjoyed talking with Brad about his gig as a weekly radio DJ for WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, a 24/7 Internet bluegrass and folk radio station in Washington D.C. “The Brad Kolodner Show” is a radio program that features contemporary bluegrass, americana and old-time music, as well as interviews with touring bands passing through the D.C. area.

To learn more about Brad and Charm City Junction, check-out our interview!

The Interview

Brad Kolodner hosted by Mandorichard. Recorded Sept. 4, 2016. First aired Oct. 4, 2016.
54.9 MB

The Music

Artist Song Album Year
Charm City Junction Train on the Island Charm City Junction 2015
 Ken and Brad Kolodner  Bradley’s Tune (excerpt)  Otter Creek  2010
Charm City Junction Joe Banes’ Barn Dance Charm City Junction 2015
Red Tail Ring I’d Rather Be The Devil (excerpt) Fall Away Blues 2016
Charm City Junction I’m Troubled Charm City Junction 2015

Kristin Scott Benson: Banjos, Cookies, and Grascals

Kristin Scott Benson (Photo courtesy Bluegrass Today)Mandorichard had such a great time chatting with banjoist Kristin Scott Benson on July 16, 2016 (while subbing on WVUD’s Fire on the Mountain), that he also shared the interview with the audience for WVUD’s The Music Room.

Kristin talked about her family, playing banjo with the Grascals, and her new CD, Stringworks (Release Date: July 22, 2016. link).

When we caught up to her, she, her husband–mandolinist Wayne Benson (IIIrd Tyme Out), and their son Hogan, were getting ready to pay a visit to a cookie store on their way to a Grascals show. It was interesting to hear Kristin talk about their family life, her childhood growing up in a bluegrass family, Stringworks, playing with the Grascals, her approach to banjo playing and song writing, some of the artists she admires–it was a great conversation!

Learn more about Kristin and her new record by checking out the podcast.

Listen to the Interview

Kristin Scott Benson. Host: Mandorichard, recorded live on WVUD’s Fire on the Mountain, July 16, 2016; TMR debut: July 19, 2016.
25.1 MB
(Note: Due to copyright restrictions, the podcast contains excerpts of two of the tracks played in the radio broadcast.)

The Music

Artist Song Album Year
The Grascals Warm Wind (Excerpt in podcast.) And Then There’s This… 2016
Kristin Scott Benson Great Waterton Stringworks 2016
Kristin Scott Benson Foggy Mountain Top (Intro and outro: 1941 recording of Whitey and Hogan. Excerpt in podcast.) Stringworks 2016

Come hear Uncle SAMS Band

Uncle SAMS Band: (l-r) Max, Andrew, Sebastian, Savannah

Uncle SAMS Band: (l-r) Max, Andrew, Sebastian, Savannah

Who are Uncle SAMS Band?

For several years, one of the highlights of the Sunday program at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival has been the performance by the youngsters in the Festival’s Kids’ Academy, many of whom are students at the Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington, DE.

At Cab, science teacher Steve Field–also a classical violinist and a bluegrass fiddler–started CabGrass, an opportunity for the students to sign up for an activity period in which they learn about playing bluegrass music. In December, Steve brought four CabGrass students in to WVUD to record a Music Room episode.

Mandorichard tried to get Sebastian to smile, to the delight of his bandmates.

Mandorichard tried to get Sebastian to smile, to the delight of his bandmates.

The students have formed their own bluegrass band, Uncle SAMS Band, the name formed from the students’ first initials: Savannah Klumpp, banjo, guitar, and vocals; Andrew Vogts, fiddle, whistling, and vocals; Max Huhn, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and vocals; and Sebastian Roat, guitar and vocals.

Steve told us about the CabGrass program, and we heard Uncle SAMS Band play four selections for us. The students also told us about their aspirations, their musical tastes, and their success at October’s Sea Witch Festival (Lewes, DE)–and just plain had a lot of fun in the studio. Listen to the interview linked below to meet these four charming young musicians!

Listen to the Interview

Uncle SAMS Band
Recorded Dec. 19, 2015, originally aired Jan. 19, 2016, Host: Mandorichard.

The Music

Artist Song Source
Uncle SAMS Band Long Journey Home WVUD Session, Dec. 19, 2015
Uncle SAMS Band Big Rock Candy Mountain WVUD Session, Dec. 19, 2015
Uncle SAMS Band Jerusalem Ridge WVUD Session, Dec. 19, 2015
Uncle SAMS Band God Leads His Dear Children Along WVUD Session, Dec. 19, 2015


CabGrass and Kid’s Academy

Check out the YouTube videos below to see some of the students from Uncle SAMS Band and CabGrass perform with the Kid’s Academy at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival:

Photos courtesy Tina Klumpp