"It's very rare when a new band comes along that gets me excited, REAL excited. I'm talking falling-off-the-edge-of-my-seat excited. Sure, quite often I discover and enjoy good music by new groups that have great timing, rhythm and groove, clever arrangements, tight harmony, tasty notes. But for me to experience music euphoria, it takes something that transcends all of the above. I'm not always sure of what it is, but I recognize "it" very quickly when it happens.
When I go to a show and from the first note from the band everyone in the audience is smiling, can't sit still, is swaying to the music, dancing in their seats, or even standing up to dance because they can't help it, then I know the band has "it."
I had seen and heard Brad, Patrick, Sean, and Alex individually in other music entities over the years and in each situation, they captured my attention as amazing musicians to keep watching for. Each one of them is a head-turning musician on his own. So when I heard they had formed a new group, Charm City Junction, I just knew that this could very well be one of those rare aligning-of-the-stars moments. I didn't hesitate and went to see them in concert.
Sure enough, BAM! From the first note to the last, the audience was captured with powerful, driving, pulsing, can't-keep-still rhythm. Alex, Sean, Patrick, and Brad couldn't help but let it show that they were having as much fun as the audience. They were smiling and moving as well. Everything about that night was spectacular, the energy, the pacing of the set, the variety of material. On the way home, I told my friend who had joined me, "This is the band I'd like to be in!"
There is now a major buzz about these guys. And this CD will show you why. It has the magic. It has "IT"! My preliminary rough-mix copy is in constant rotation. I've even played along with every cut over and over. I just can't get enough of Charm City Junction! And I can hardly wait to see them in concert again!"- David McLaughlin
This is a classic Old-Time tune from West Virginia by Edden Hammons. The strong and gripping melody lets the group open up and explore a variety of sounds on this track. It is one of the first Old-Time tunes I learned while living in New York and I still love everything about it. - Alex
I’ve Got a Woman
Anders Osborne calls his original “a sad song disguised in a jumpy beat.” Instead, I see it as happy story that shows appreciation of a partner and best friend. I first heard it sung by my friend, Cris Jacobs at a Smooth Kentucky show on my 25th birthday. I fell in love with it immediately. -Pat
Joe Bane’s Barndance
I learned this tune from the playing of Irish concertina player Cormac Begley, based in Co. Galway, Ireland. It is originally associated with the playing of Clare whistle player, Joe Bane. I particularly love the chords in this tune and thought it would be a great match for Charm City Junction. -Sean
This beautiful waltz was composed by Englishman Pat Shaw in 1959. This melody has made the rounds through the Celtic and Old-Time worlds for decades. -Brad
New River Train
We learned this version of New River Train from the playing of legendary DC-based banjo player Reed Martin. While it’s one of the most recorded and covered American folk tunes, we thought we’d put our own Charm City Junction spin on it. Patrick McAvinue and Russ Carson recorded this track on Russ’ solo album Avenue of the Giants (2014). -Brad
Return From Helsinki
Ian Stephenson, a guitarist from England, composed this tune upon arriving home after studying at the Sibelius Academy of Folk Music to find his parents had sold the house he had grown up in. We learned this tune from the playing of the band Frigg.
The Bogs of Shanaheaver
I learned this march from Boston-based fiddle player, Danny Noveck. The melody is adapted from a traditional Irish song of the same name. This version is our own take on the tune. -Sean
Torn Jacket / Come West Along the Road
I introduced these two Irish reels to the group. The Torn Jacket is a composition of Connie O’Connell’s, a fiddle player from Co. Cork, Ireland. The second, Come West Along the Road, is a standard Irish traditional session tune. We love playing this blast of reels! -Sean
Train on the Island
I first heard this standard Old-Time song via the playing and singing of my first banjo teacher Richie Stearns. I presented this catchy song to the group and it clicked instantly. -Brad
I learned this from Joseph Decosimo and Foghorn Stringband. "If trouble don't kill me, I'll live a long time," is a good line to live by. - Alex
Cousin Sally Brown
I learned this Old-Time tune from the playing of Rick Martin of the Troublesome Creek String Band. The tune originally comes from fiddler Marcus Martin of Western North Carolina. -Brad
Frog on a Lily Pad
During a European tour with Audie Blaylock & Redline in 2012, I spent many nights hanging and playing tunes with mandolinist Caleb Klauder. This tune came from one of those nights. It was written by Bill Monroe but was never recorded. It has a nice ebb and flow while showcasing CCJ’s talents. -Pat
Two O’Clock in the Morning
Benny Martin’s “Two O’Clock in the Morning” is a crowd favorite and always gets folks on their feet. Sean loves this tune. -Pat
For many years, I’ve been close friends with banjoist Russell Carson. For his debut CD, Last Chance (2011), he and I recorded it as a banjo/fiddle duet. CCJ decided to expand upon it with an arrangement featuring our unique instrumentation. -Pat