Erica Brown and The Bluegrass Connection to play Phippsburg Concert

Posted April 21, 2017, at 6:35 a.m.
Last modified April 21, 2017, at 8:12 a.m.

Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Location: Phippsburg Congregational Church, 10 Church Lane, Parker Head Road, Phippsburg, Maine

For more information: 207-389-1770; phippsburgucc.org

Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection will perform in concert at the Phippsburg Congregational Church on Saturday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m.

Since taking up the fiddle at age six and launching a performing career that started at nine, Brown has become a celebrated fixture on the New England bluegrass scene. In addition to winning numerous fiddle contests in the U.S. and Canada, Brown has recorded five albums and, together with her band, has opened for such Grammy Award-winning superstars as Dwight Yoakam and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs.

Erica Brown and The Bluegrass Connection have also performed at numerous venues and festivals around New England and Canada including One Longfellow Square, Stone Mountain Arts Center, The Franco Center, The American Folk Festival, and festivals on Prince Edward Island.

Recognized as a Master of Traditional Fiddling by the Maine Arts Commission, Brown developed an early love of French Canadian music and by age nine was playing and touring New England, Canada, and Louisiana with Maine French Fiddlers.

Her current ensemble features a line-up of accomplished bluegrass veterans. Playing guitar for the band, Matt Shipman currently resides in Portland and is a performer and teacher of acoustic and traditional music. Majoring in Traditional Music Studies at Vermont College took him traveling through Nova Scotia, North Carolina and Maine recording and compiling songs and stories from people he met. That ultimately culminated as a radio documentary about traditional music in the 21st century. During that time he also attended the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago where he studied various instruments and styles. Shipman also enjoys playing bouzouki, clawhammer banjo and mandolin.

Called a “dangerous weapon” by Bluegrass Now Magazine, Steve Roy brings his skills on mandolin to the band. A multi-instrumentalist from Elliot, Maine, he has performed locally as well as internationally with a myriad of bluegrass bands including The Stowaways, Spring Creek Bluegrass, Chris Stuart and Backcountry, High Range, and many others

Read McNamara started playing banjo at age 18. The ancient tones of bluegrass struck a chord with McNamara, and he and the four other members of his college band began immersing themselves in all things bluegrass. After graduating, McNamara and the members of the band moved to Virginia and began touring the East Coast. In the intervening years, McNamara has played for a number of different bluegrass bands including Charlie Lawson and Oak Hill, and the Old City Trio.

Ken Taylor has been performing with Brown for 12 years, playing acoustic bass and bringing vocals to the group as well. His early interest in folk music was soon sidetracked into bluegrass. One of the founding members of the Central Turnpike Bluegrass Band in Massachusetts, he also performs with Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band and the Heritage String Band.

The concert will be performed in the historic 1802 Phippsburg Congregational Church, situated on the banks of the Kennebec.

Admission at the door is $15, students $8, children under eight admitted free. $12 advance tickets are available at BrownPaperTickets.com. The church is located at 10 Church Lane (at Parker Head Rd.). Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. For more information call 389-1770.

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