Dobro® Meeting on April 13, 2013

Hello Friends, This note is to inform you that I plan to schedule a Dobro® Meeting on April 13, 2013
We will gather at St Paul United Methodist Church in Hellertown, Pa.

The address is 645 Main Street, Hellertown, Pa. 18055.  Our meeting time will be 12:00 noon to 5:00pm….lunch at Noon time.  Please respond to me to let me know whether or not you will be attending this meeting… it helps with the agenda and lunch preparation……thanks.

Bring a friend along and phone me with any specific Agenda Items you would suggets for this meeting At this meeting there will also be a discussion about the AFBA Festival in August and possibly have a space where “we” our group of Dobro® Folks can do  Dobro® “stuff”. For the folks at the Festival.

Also “2013 Blattenberger Dobro® Award” needs discussion and donations to keep this going.
Hope to hear from you soon.

 Tom Engleman
 610-838-0977 home or 610-216-0374 cell


Big Valley Bluegrass

Big Valley Bluegrass

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GINA ROSS (Guitar & Vocals) was born in the Lehigh Valley and lived in Nashville, Tennessee for 16 years where she performed original country music and was a frequent guest on the Ralph Emory Show. She is a gifted songwriter and one of her songs “Jesus in My Soul” was recorded by country music legend Johnny Cash.

KEITH KESTER (Bass & Vocals) was born in the Lehigh Valley and fell in love with bluegrass music at a very early age. No stranger to the stage, Keith has performed several times at Musicfest and regional bluegrass festivals.

PAUL SPRIET (Banjo & Vocals) was born in New Jersey and lists Earl Scruggs, Bill Keith and Alan Munde as his influences. He has been playing banjo for over 40 years and teaches banjo in his spare time.

BILL PARKER (Mandolin, Dobro & Guitar) grew up in Rochester, NY now living in the Bethlehem, area. He caught the bluegrass bug about 5 years ago when he started playing the mandolin. With a hard-charging, high energy style, he puts passion into every note he plays. Primary influences are his father, Ronnie McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Shawn Lane & Jesse Cobb. In addition to mandolin, Bill also plays guitar, bass & dobro. Preferred brands are Martin Guitars, Loar & Eastman Mandolins

Louie Setzer Album Available

Louie Setzer at the Opry Town Hall

Louie Setzer at the Opry Town Hall

Built in the 1800s and offering superb acoustics, the Town Hall Theater of Bainbridge, NY, is managed by The Jericho Arts Council. The Theater is the focal point for many community events, plays and shows, including the monthly “Town Hall Opry”. For more than 30 years, some of the finest acts in Bluegrass Music have appeared at this program.
Louie Setzer: guitar, lead vocals
Ron Penska: bass, vocals
David Cavage: banjo, vocals
Jeff Propert: mandolin, vocals

Hillbilly Water Bluegrass album available

Have a DrinkHave a Drink

A little bit of harmony, a splash of honesty and a whole lot of speed are the ingredients used to stir up a nice pot of homegrown Hillbilly Water. Hillbilly Water have been performing together for over 10 years. Having gotten their start in ’02. The band, an acoustic trio, features mandolin, guitar & bass fiddle.

Louie Demayo is the lead singer and mandolin player. Lou is a huge fan of Bill Monroe and bluegrass music in general. Louie D. as he’s called by friends and fans alike has been playing mandolin for almost 20 years, previously playing with Grovers Mill with Carol Bogart & Gene Lowinger & Risky Busness . He’s also had the pleasure of hanging out and playing with Del McCoury, Adam Stefi, and Allison Krauss to name a few.

On guitar we have the unassuming Ed Rainey. Ed’s been playing for as long as he can remember and was brought up listening and playing old time country and bluegrass songs, by his father Rich, himself a very talented banjo player and band leader (Riskey Business). Encouraged by his dad, Eddie learned to play all the bluegrass instruments; dobro, guitar, mandolin and banjo. He is quite a talent and must be seen to be believed. Not only does he play real good but he sings great too. Helping Lou D. with the high harmony. Ed’s played with many greats including Peter Rowan, Mick Taylor, Terry Reid and Vaser Clements.

Bassist George Kapitanellis has been playing for over 25 years and his musical friendship with Eddie goes back just as far. They have been playing in bands since high school and have created a dynamic groove and feel that kicks the band up a notch. Their familiarity lets them ease in and out of different grooves and phrasings effortlessly. These two guys live to play music. George has also played with some great talents, Terry Reid, Buddy Miles, Vaser Clements, King Wilke and Buddy Cage and has recorded extensively with his and Eddie’s electric band Cosmic American Derelicts. Watch for Hillbilly Water’s next project do out in the Spring of 2013.

Heavy Traffic Bluegrass Album Available on Pennsylvania Bluegrass

Live and in Overdrive

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Live and in Overdrive

Heavy Traffic is a four piece traditional bluegrass band based out of New Jersey. Heavy Traffic plays weddings, parties and festivals in the tri-statearea. Founding member Earl Karlsen on mandolin and vocals hosts the Bluegrass Express radio show Saturday mornings on WFDU out of Farleigh Dickinson University. The band’s hard drive can be attributed to the savvy Scruggs style banjo pickin’ of Arnie Reisman. Heavy Traffic’s high lonesome sound comes from the unique tenor vocals of Jeff Propert who also compliments the group with his tasteful rhythm and lead guitar. This bluegrass quartet is powered by the solid bass playing of Guy Leatherman.

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Free Range Folk Ablum available on Pennsylvania Bluegrass


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From Carbon Cultured Carbon County

Free Range Folk made another appearance at the Mauch Chunk Opera House on Friday night. This area’s own 5-piece folk and bluegrass band opened for Greensky Bluegrass with a 6 song set, 5 original with one cover. Their combination of authenticity and laid-back pickin is a welcomed summertime treat.

Their lyrics, from Ruch’s honest and heartfelt vocals, sink in deep like a day soaking in sunshine. They warm seeds of thought that erupt in an unshakeable smile while Sara Ruch’s skillfully wicked musical saw leaves you mesmerized.

Songs come from their collective experiences of as living as close to the earth as any in these parts. Their lyrics reflect the things they’ve absorbed from the earth while McCarty’s mandolin holds it all together.

Song one, “Hitchhiker” by Ruch makes you wait for that sunshine, hopeful for that ride, and hopeful that we can all be so gracious in the end. Breiner’s bass play adds the natural flow of a step by step journey we all take while Finsel’s banjo provides the rhythm.

“Polypore Joe” by Finsel celebrates the simple life of mountain man Joe, who passed on his contentment in the arts of mushrooming and winemaking. Ruch’s “Bubblin’” stays on that theme, seeing life through the cycle of springtime dandelion to the labors of summer, and letting the wine warm you while expectant of another spring and another chance at making some wine. (Which by the way there was plenty of home-made wine on hand from the Fourteen Acre Farm, which could be considered Free Range Folk’s home farm.)

Song four was Finsel’s “The Bottom of the Hill,” which they also played at the public showing of “Gasland” earlier this spring. The slow ballad “Hill” reminds us how our society tends to ignore the environmental price tag we pay for energy.

Song five, “Lehigh,” a local sentimental favorite, gained a new twist, as Finsel added the line “Married my girl by the Lehigh,” precisely what he did several years back, above the “Turnhole” of the Lehigh at Glen Onoko, marrying bassist Amber Breiner.

They wrapped up the set with Jane’s Addiction’s “Summertime Rolls.” Folk’s rendition does a good job staying true to the same feel as the original while making it their own and all the while pulling everyone into memories of their own summertime love.

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Chasing Blue Album available on Pennsylvania Bluegrass

Low Valley

Low Valley

Formed in the fall of ’08 at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Chasing Blue plays a mix of original and traditional bluegrass material with unique arrangements and hard-driving style. Original material holds true to the bluegrass tradition but strong lyrical ideas and progressive musical ideas make the Chasing Blue sound. Chasing Blue released their first full length album, Low Valley, in Nov 2012 and it has been receiving many positive reviews highlighted below: “Low Valley is a superb record, worthy of the attention of anyone interested in where the next generation of acoustic string artists are taking our beloved bluegrass music.” -John Lawless, Bluegrass Today “The blending of the vocals and fine instrumentation make this a must have CD”- Tom Duplissey, Central Texas Bluegrass Association

Keystone Mountain Boys will be at Philly Bierfest

by Martha Esposito
 A celebration of Philadelphia’s German heritage and its beer is set for Saturday.

The event, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m., will feature German-style beers from Pennsylvania and Germany, traditional German cuisine and live bluegrass music by the Keystone Mountain Boys.

Supervised child care and “beer-less” designated driver tickets are available. Bierfest attendees also can partake of educational opportunities, such as the Brewer’s Discussion Panel on “Lager-Love and the Resurgence of Session Styles” at 4 p.m. in the Horner Memorial Library.

Bierfest wil be held at the German Society of Pennsylvania, 611 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $45 for general admission; $60 for the VIP Package (Main event, VIP seminar and large tasting cup); $20 for “Beer-Less” admission for designated drivers and children over 12.

For tickets, go to or call 215-627-2332.


That’s when the German Society of Pennsylvania will host its second annual Philly Bierfest, a beer tasting event celebrating Pennsylvania’s German brewing heritage, in collaboration with Brauhaus Schmitz and the Philly Roller Girls.