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Top 5 Billboard Album Debut – I Hear Bluegrass Calling Me (2019); First time appearance in Maryland!

News Release, American Legion Concert

Hughesville— January 3, 2020 the 15th year of the Bluegrass concerts at the American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville, MD, will kick off 2020 with Carolina Blue on Sunday, January 19th.  Host and promoter, Jay Armsworthy has put together a series of some of the top names in Bluegrass music.  Partnering with the Sons of the American Legion, the Legion Post 238 is located on the corner of MD Rt. 381 & 231 in Hughesville, MD.  Doors open at Noon and the show starts at 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $20.00 per person and children under 12 are admitted free with a paying adult.  

A 12-year overnight success was discovered just 3 years ago when Carolina Blue was playing local restaurants around their hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since that time they have had shows all over the country, playing festivals and venues that they only dreamed about.  By the glory of God they have turned their hobby into a career.

Bobby Powell and Tim Jones co-founded Carolina Blue in 2007. Their latest album, “I Hear Bluegrass Calling Me”, has created a buzz within the bluegrass industry.  The highlight of the band’s success thus far came in 2019 when the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) nominated them for three awards: New Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Instrumental Recording of the Year.

What makes Carolina Blue’s music stand out from many other bands, Seventy-five percent of their show is original tunes.  Their mission statement is to present Bluegrass music like Bill Monroe intended it to be without being a Bill Monroe cover band that is by far, their biggest influence. There’s a lot of heavy fiddlin’ and mandolin work. They do a lot more three-part harmony than Monroe, but they also include some Bluegrass gospel quartet tunes with just mandolin, guitar, and four-part singing.  You will find that Carolina Blue likes to engage with the audience immediately…they love to interact with them through questions, ask them to sing along and things like that.

Powell (guitar and vocals) and Jones (mandolin and vocals), along with James McDowell (banjo and vocals), Reese Combs (upright bass and vocals), and Aynsley Porchak (fiddle, recipient of the 2018 IBMA Momentum Instrumentalist Award), are on the same page when it comes to music and lifestyle.  They are all conservative Christians and they reflect that as a band, too.

One thing you will notice immediately is how the band dresses. Porchak’s attractive headwear is a throwback to the 40s and 50s. Not to be outdone, the male members of the band have taken to that periodic style of dress with ties and hats to match. With respect to their audience, dressing nicely was an influence from their mentors in North Carolina, Roy Chapman and Joe Byers, who taught them to try to dress better than the folks who are paying money to see you.  

And the name; a bluegrass band from the state of North Carolina and they love traditional Bluegrass music, hence Carolina Blue. They’re proud to represent their home state.

The show starts at 2:00 pm and the doors open at Noon.  There will be food and beverages available for a separate price.  To order tickets in advance, send check or money order to Jay Armsworthy, P.O. Box 741, California, MD 20619.  Tickets will be held at the door.  Although not required, non-perishable food donations are accepted for the Helping Hands Food Pantry.  For more information, go to www.americanlegionbluegass.com or call 301-737-3004.

The next shows in the series will be: February 16, 2020 ~ returning again with his traditional sound, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers; March 22, 2020 ~ The Bluegrass group of side pickers, Sideline; and April 5, 2020 ~ closing out the series is a fairly new group, Seth Mulder & Midnight Run.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...