Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meeting Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys

I'm extremely excited that I've been assigned to write a profile on a bluegrass band from Albany, Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, for an upcoming issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. While I enjoy contributing to the Bluegrass Today website, and I'm honored the editor publishes my work, it's nice to have a freelance writing assignment that helps pay the bills.

After seeing Jim and his band perform at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York, a couple weeks ago, I was impressed enough to want to learn more about his music and share a little bit of New York with the rest of the bluegrass world.

Those in the Adirondack region may recognize Jim's banjo player, Scott Hopkins. He's originally from Peru, New York, and he also plays banjo for Beartracks, one of my favorite bluegrass bands based in Clinton County featuring Julie Hogan and her brother Tom Venne. They are good friends with the Gibson Brothers, Eric and Leigh, who are originally from Ellenburg Depot.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Work continues on Gibson Brothers book

Thirty-six hours after I got home from the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York, I was back in Ellenburg Depot Sunday working on the Gibson Brothers biography, interviewing Eric and Leigh's mother Shannon for the second time. I had some important follow-up questions from my first interview.

With my wife and one of Mrs. Gibson's cousins, we drove around the neighborhood so she could point out the old farms in the family's history. It was the perfect ending to a four-day weekend that began on Thursday, July 16 with seeing the Gibson Brothers perform at Grey Fox.

During the two days I was in Oak Hill, I interviewed Eric and Leigh about their upcoming gig as co-hosts of the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Ceremony on Oct. 1 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The announcement came on July 15. It's a good thing my wife and I bought tickets already. We are excited to see the Gibson Brothers take center stage for one of the highlights of their career so far.

On my second day at Grey Fox, I interviewed Katy Daley of WAMU's Bluegrass Country radio station, and she introduced me to several people that I interviewed for the book, including Grey Fox producer Mary Doub, Rounder Records exec Ken Irwin and Kitsy Kuykendall, whose husband Peter is the editor/general manager of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. It was a fun and productive weekend, and I am excited to be neck deep in research for the Gibson Brothers book. I will see the band again Aug. 13 at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival.