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Strum und Twang

What’s up with folk and country

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First things first: Pete Seeger will be speaking at Peabody’s graduation ceremony Thursday, May 23, where he will receive the Peabody Medal. It’s hard to think of anyone in American music more deserving: Seeger is a true American hero and is at least partially responsible for everything that follows. If you’re going to the graduation, count yourself lucky—and way to go, Peabody, making that medal count.

In the bluegrass world, summertime means festivals, and this year is really kicking it off right with Delfest (May 23-26) in Cumberland, Md. Del McCoury (pictured) is not only one of the best bluegrass singers and band leaders alive, he is one of the all-time greats, adhering to tradition while also being unafraid to explore new ground. The festival seems to alternate between traditional years and hippy newgrass years. This is definitely a hippy newgrass year, featuring Phish’s Trey Anastasio, the Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, and Trampled by Turtles. But don’t let that scare you off. The spectacular Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Hackensaw Boys, and the Old Crow Medicine Show are also playing For more info, visit

Ole’ Del’s gonna be playing again at Red Wing Roots Music Festival, a brand-new festival down in S&T’s least favorite state, Virginia (in the admittedly gorgeous Shenandoah Valley), running June 12-14. This fest’ll have its share of hippy acts but also has hard-timers like Wayne “The Train” Hancock and should be worth the drive. For more info, visit

Our own Hot August Blues and Roots Festival kicks off Aug. 17, with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals headlining. But you can also hear Greensky Bluegrass, the Country Devils, and more. For more info, visit

Folk music is made for playin’, and if you don’t feel like the all-day sun-shock of a festival, Liam Flynn is hosting jam sessions at 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday night. (They alternate between bluegrass and old-time.) Liam will also be hosting the Happy Hours (favorites of S&T) on Sundays June 2, June 9, and June 16—the last one of these has a special dad-centric set planned, so bring your pop for some barely-pop at the pub. For more info, visit

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