Live Bluegrass Music in October, Bluegrass in Schools, and Jams

Jacob Joliff at Westchester Bluegrass Club – Purdys NY

Sweet night of music at the WBC featuring the Hot Jacob Jolliff Band !! Such a great acoustic room , the sound will be incredible ! Come on out and check them out !!

Five ‘N Change at Best Video – Hamden CT

Bluegrass quintet Five ‘N Change play Best Video Film & Cultural Center ]Sat., Oct. 15.

*Originally scheduled for outside at 5 PM, this show will now be inside and start at 7 PM.*.

Five ‘n Change is a New Haven, Connecticut based bluegrass band that drives hard and carries a big pick. They respect the tradition. They respect the trailblazers. And they respect the renegade outlaws. Our final product is an eclectic balance of American roots music which both reinterprets and redefines the bluegrass songbook.

Formed in 2011, the band has spent the last several years building a catalog of music that showcases the group’s strong vocals, musicianship, and passion for genre busting. The band released their debut album in the Fall of 2013 entitled Live in the Chamber to rave reviews and followed up with a self titled EP release.

The group is Ken McEwen (guitar & vocals), Pete Kaufman (banjo), Dave Casali (bass), David Sasso (mandolin) with Ryan Mooney (dobro, guitar).

There will be donation vases for the musicians and the venue. Please consider being generous in supporting musicians—opportunities to perform have been fewer the past couple of years. Suggested donation of $10.

On the Trail at Mather Homestead – Darien CT

Saturday, October 22

The Fall Harvest Festival is back and even better!

Join us for hay rides, petting zoo, face painting, pumpkin decorating, crafts, games, cider & donuts … plus live music featuring “On the Trail” bluegrass band!

Geared towards ages 3 to 12, but all are welcome!

Tickets – members: $10 adult/$5 child, non-members: $20 adult/$10 child.

Thank you to our event sponsors! Cabana, Palmers, Primo Water and Stew Leonards! 

Jordan TiceHamden

October 16 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

GuitartownCT 166 Mather Street, 

Brilliant solo guitarist, he’s also a wonderful singer and songwriter who is making his name as a solo performer.  This is an outdoor concert, so bring a chair and refreshments.



Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn – Bushnell Theater

October 29

Tickets here

Photos from Podunk Bluegrass Festival

“Our wonderful photographers have compiled some fun photo galleries so you can re-live the memories or show your friends what they’ve been missing!

Can you spot yourself?

Special thanks to all our photographers for their amazing work!”…

Podunk Bluegrass Festival Songwriting Competition winners: 

The Podunk Bluegrass Festival, sponsor of an annual songwriting contest, 

is pleased to announce the winners of their 2022 event. 

In first place for their creative song about Bill Monroe’s mandolin, “Can’t You Hear It Callin?” was Stan Keach and Jeff Trippe, residents of ME. Both prolific writers, Jeff has also been a finalist in the New England Songwriting Contest, the Florida New Song Contest, and the John Hartford Songwriters Challenge.  Stan’s contest entries often rise to the top also, giving him numerous contest wins.  His songs have been recorded by numerous bluegrass headliners, such as Danny Paisley; James King; Ralph Stanley II; Special Consensus; The Gillis Brothers; Rock Hearts; Audie Blaylock & Redline and more.  He has even written the score for a theatrical  production of Grapes of Wrath. 

Second place was awarded to local writer,  Dennis Sheridan of Bolton, CT.  His nicely crafted song, Old Guys, provides a  poignant look at life through the eyes of the elderly. Not new to songwriting, Dennis has produced several CDs of his original material. A long-time musician, he has worked with numerous bands of differing genre. He is currently with Still Pickin’, a CT based bluegrass trio. See for tour dates.    

Third place went to Idaho songwriter, Patrice Webb.  Podunk was pleased to have a female among the winners this year. Her song “The Mountain” was performed at the festival on behalf of the absent writer by the prominent MA-based bluegrass band, Four Bridges. 

The next contest begins Nov. 1, 2022 and ends April 30, 2023. The top three entries receive money, some amenities, and the chance to perform their song at the festival for final judging. Being available for the final judging is not mandatory. The most coveted perk happens the following year when all four groups in the band competition finals perform the winning song from the previous year. 

Podunk’s home is in Goshen CT, close to the NY border and it’s always presented the second weekend in August.  Details at

Jeff Trippe and Stan Keach
Patrice Webb

Twisted Pine at Farmington Valley Acoustic Festival Returns on October 22

• When: October 22, 2022

• Where: Winding Trails, 50 Winding Trails Drive, Farmington, CT 06032

• What: Farmington Valley Acoustic Festival

• Price: Advance $25 (children 3 – 15 yrs: $10)

• Info:

• Tickets:

The 7th Annual Farmington Valley Acoustic Festival is coming on Saturday, October 22.  Set amongst the beautiful 380 acres of forest and fall foliage at Winding Trails in Farmington, there will be music on two stages on Dunning Lake, with a beer garden at the beach featuring free beer from local breweries. The festival headliner is Fireside Collective, who have quickly blazed a name for themselves with their progressive approach to American folk music. Fireside Collective delights listeners with memorable melodies and contemporary songwriting. Formed in the mountain city of Asheville North Carolina, the band plays original songs on stringed instruments, intended for a modern audience. Following the release of their debut album “Shadows and Dreams”, the band hit the road seeking to engage audiences with their energetic live show built on instrumental proficiency, colorful harmonies, and innovative musical arrangements. “Bluegrass, Newgrass, perhaps Progressive folk…” These are some descriptions mandolinist and songwriter Jesse Iaquinto chooses to identify his music with. “Depending on where you come from and your experience with folk music, you may think we’re very traditional, or on the other hand, consider us a progressive act. We appreciate both ends of the spectrum and may lie on a different end on any given night.” While roots music lies at the core of the Collective’s songs, a willingness to explore the boundaries and present relevant new material remains fundamental.

The Festival also features Twisted Pine, touring in support of their new album, Right Now. The Boston-based spacecraft of a band that was once bluegrass but is now “something else, a wider version of a stringband, boundary jumpers akin to outfits like Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek, and Crooked Still [The Boston Globe].” The soundscape for this full-length sophomore release has all the sass of zero-gravity pop; the grooves of 2 a.m. funk jams; the astral flute and shoobedoos of 70s radio. “Punch Brothers meets Jean-Luc Ponty and Ian Anderson [Jethro Tull],” writes Folk Alley of the instrumental track “Amadeus Party” — and yet the lyric narratives are packed with the elements of earthling mountain music.

In addition, award-winning songwriters from local and nationally-touring acts will be performing. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance for $25 adults, and $10 children at  or by calling Winding Trails at (860) 677-8458.

This one-day music festival runs from 11:00 a.m. to sunset and is rain or shine. Performances take place in the boathouse and the Dunning Lake stage. Bring a tent in the event of rain. Free samples from local breweries New Park Brewing, Fox Farm, NEBCO Brewing, Hog River Brewing, Firefly Hollow Brewing, Two Roads Brewing, Backeast Brewing, Counterweight Brewing, CT Valley Brewing, and Alvarium Beer Company will be available, while supplies last. Food and additional refreshments are available for sale or attendees may BYOB and picnic. Take advantage of the scenic grounds at Winding Trails, with 12 miles of walking trails and disc golf.

Festival proceeds benefit Winding Trails, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing year-round recreational and educational activities for the enjoyment and growth of families and individuals of all ages. The festival is also presented by Lodestar Energy. ClarkHirth CPAs is sponsoring the Festival Beer Garden. The festival was also made possible with support from Wood-n-Tap, Thomaston Bank, Green Tails Market, Green Choice Landscaping, ION Bank, the Sounding Board, and The Law Offices of Michael Freeman. 

Banjo Exhibition

Great Jamming and Workshops for all bluegrass Instruments Nov 3-6

Here is a list of all the Bluegrass related classes:

Learn more here

Thursday, November 3

Beginning Bluegrass Guitar

Playing Fiddle on a Basic Bluegrass Song That You May Not Have Heard Before

Learn an Essential Bluegrass Tune, “Wheel Hoss”

Intro to Bluegrass Banjo for Old-Time Banjo Players [Bring Fingerpicks if You Have Them]

Four Magic Ways to Make Your Fiddling Sound More Bluegrassy

Bluegrass and Beyond Concert [70 minutes]

Friday, November 4

“Riding Mower” Cuts the Bluegrass

New Grooves in Bluegrass Mandolin [70 Minutes]

Getting Creative with a Bluegrass Fiddle Tune

Ways to Take Your Bluegrass Guitar Playing to the Next Level

KIDS & TEENS: Learn a Bluegrass Tune

Classic Bluegrass Banjo Licks and How to Use Them

JAM: Easy Bluegrass Jam [70 Minutes]

Learn a Classic Tune and How to Make It Sound Bluegrassy

Intro to Bluegrass Fiddle with an Easy Break

Intro to Melodic Style Bluegrass Banjo [Bring Fingerpicks and Thumbpick]

Saturday, November 5

Early Birds: Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar 101 [45 Minutes]

Iconic Bluegrass Fiddle Breaks [70 Minutes]

JAM Kids & Teens: Bluegrass and Old-Time Guided INSTRUMENTAL Jam

Backing Up a Singer on Bluegrass Banjo

Easy Ways to Move a Bluegrass Song to Another Key on Mandolin

Play a Bluegrass Tune or Song with BB and Get Helpful Feedback from Her on Your Playing

Sunday, November 6

Learn a Handful of Iconic Bluegrass Fiddle Kickoffs

JAM: Up-to-Speed Classic and Progressive Bluegrass Jam [70 minutes]

Bow Chopping on a Bluegrass Tune

Learn a Rip-Roaring Bluegrass Mandolin Tune

“I Can’t Find My Note!” Demystifying Bluegrass Harmony Vocals

Bluegrass Collegiate Clinic – Harmony Singing

If interested in bringing Bluegrass Music Education to your community, email

For public schools – See this Sample Program

Bluegrass in the Schools

Bluegrass Jams


Pitkin Community Center in Wethersfield. 30 Greenfield Street. Room S-3 

First and third Tuesday of each month in Wethersfield. There is a $3.00 suggested donation to cover the cost of the room. All levels are welcome. Acoustic instruments only. Wernick jamming etiquette is followed (announce your song with key, etc).


Thursday, Oct 13 6:30 PM Note Kitchen Bethel CT (Second Thursdays)


Sunday, Oct 23 2:30PM Nod Hill Brewery Ridgefield CT

New Haven

Thursday, Oct 27 (Fourth Thursday)


Sunday, Oct 9 at Best video, 2-5 PM. (Second Sunday)

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