January 19th, Charm City Junction at The Ware Center in Lancaster

Baltimore-based Charm City Junction features of the most talented and promising young acoustic roots musicians in the country; Patrick McAvinue on fiddle, Brad Kolodner on clawhammer banjo, Sean McComiskey on button accordion and Alex Lacquement on upright bass. They bring their fresh take on bluegrass and old-time music to a concert sponsored by the Susquehanna Folk Music Society on Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the Ware Center, 42 N. Prince Street, Lancaster, PA. The fun begins at 7:30 p.m.

Concert tickets are $25 General Admission, $22 for SFMS members and $5 for students ages 4-22. Advance tickets are available through the Ware Center website at http://www.artsmu.com, by calling 717-871-7600, or the Ware Center box office in Millersville or Lancaster.

For more information, visit the Susquehanna Folk Music Society website at http://www.sfmsfolk.org.

 

We got a chance to speak to Brad Kolodner about the band’s sound, how they met, and where the band is going.

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FOLKMAMA: How did you all meet? When did you decide to form a band?

BRAD: Charm City Junction formed in the fall of 2013 after jamming a handful of times at Patrick’s house in Towson. Patrick, Sean and I grew up in the Baltimore area but we didn’t cross paths very often as we grew playing different genres (bluegrass, Irish and old-time, respectively). Patrick started attending the Irish sessions where he met Sean. I met Patrick at our bi-weekly Old Time jam shortly thereafter and we decided to get together to jam. I suggested we invite my bass-playing friend Alex.

We weren’t quite sure how a bluegrass fiddler, Irish button accordionist, old time banjoist and jazz bassist would blend but we opened our minds as much as possible to find common ground. The four of us got together to play and Charm City Junction was born!

FOKMAMA: Despite having very different backgrounds you bring all those influences together to make a unified sound. How did you make it work?

BRAD: We all come from a different point of view, and the same time it is all centered around traditionally-rooted music—making music in a very cohesive way. Musically we try to make these arrangements that are cohesive and make sense but still speak from our point of view. in essence we’re threading together Irish, Old-Time and Bluegrass music together to form something fresh and unique.

Everything that we play we strive for clarity. Clarity of sound and clarity of ideas and clarity of arrangements. If we were going to label ourselves we’d say we were an acoustic roots music quartet.

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FOLKMAMA: Is your sound evolving?

BRAD: We’re trying to keep the integrity of our tradition and build upon that and find a common ground. That’s actually been how some new genres have been created; by taking musical ideas from different worlds. We’re taking a step back, seeing what is available to us and taking that knowledge, and moving forward with it.

FOLKMAMA: Where did the name come from?

BRAD: We use the name Charm City because we are from the same area geographically. It really speaks to the communities that are in an around Baltimore [Charm City is Baltimore’s nickname]. You have the Irish community, the old-time community and the bluegrass community. We are pulling from those wells and pulling what we think is best representative of our personalities.

Junction—how we’re coming together. Like a junction on the highway or railway.

FOLKMAMA: Tell me a little bit about where you have been. What’s next for the band?

BRAD:We released our debut album on Patuxent Music in the fall of 2015. It hit the top 25 on the Folk DJ charts. We played about 40 shows in 2016, our busiest year to date. We played on the main stages at some of the biggest bluegrass and folk festivals in the country including Grey Fox, Old Songs, and the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival.

Our 2017 schedule is mostly filled out with appearances at the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, and Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival just to name a few. Our full schedule can be found at http://www.charmcityjunction.com

FOLKMAMA: Rumor has it that your fiddler, Patrick McAvinue, has moved to Nashville. How does that affect the band moving forward?

BRAD: Patrick moved to Nashville at the beginning of the year to hit the road full time with the bluegrass band Dailey and Vincent. He will continue to perform with Charm City Junction. While we may scale back our performing a little this year, this is a collaboration we hope to continue for many years and decades into the future.

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