By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
Bluegrass band Colebrook Road is scheduled to perform at Venue of Merging Arts on July 18 as part of VOMA’s 2015 Folk Series.
“This show will be Colebrook Road’s first show in Johnstown,” event organizer and local musician Micah Mood said. “They have played for several years running at the fantastic Laurel Hill Bluegrass Festival in Somerset. I saw them there several years ago, and I’ve been trying to get the calendar to line up to get them into town for a show ever since.
“I really enjoyed everything about the band, from the songwriting to the singing, to the arrangements and the great playing across the line. I like their blend of traditional and progressive bluegrass, and I think it’s great that such a great band calls (Pennsylvania) their home.”
The Harrisburg-based band creates their original music using instruments such as banjo, mandolin, upright bass, guitar, dobro and fiddle. Band members are dedicated to bringing audiences original music that is inspired by years spent studying music theory and bluegrass. They also try to make their music compelling by putting a “modern spin” on old sounds through their three- and four-part vocal harmonies.
“We’ve had great turnouts and responses for string bands and bluegrass bands in the past 18 months, and I think this show will be another good evening to see a fantastic band in an intimate venue,” said Mood, who plays guitar and banjo in Johnstown-based band Striped Maple Hollow. “The band has great original songs, and they’re stellar musicians. Their fiddle player Joe just took first place at the Deer Creek Fiddler’s Competition, and their mandolin player, Wade, won the mandolin contest at the 2014 Watermelon Park festival. And one thing I distinctly remember was that their lead singer Jesse, who has a great voice, was equally comfortable playing lead guitar — in fact, he recently came in second in the 2014 Watermelon Park guitar contest.”
The band, named after the many Colebrook Roads appearing in the state of Pennsylvania, formed in 2009 and has been performing throughout the Mid-Atlantic region ever since.
Striped Maple Hollow will open for Colebrook Road that evening. In addition to Mood, the band includes Jayna Mood on vocals and guitar, Sonya Guiffrey on vocals, and Adam Milkovich on mandolin, guitar and blues harp.
“As a fan of Colebrook Road, it’s great to have the chance to play a show with them,” Mood said. “We’ll have a few new songs to play, and we’ve been having fun playing to one mic when we open shows for other bands at VOMA.”
The all-ages BYOB show is to begin at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. VOMA VIP members and students will receive a discount. A limited number of reserved seating tickets are available for purchase.
“Anyone who encourages musicianship and any form of bluegrass or string music should come out to see Colebrook Road,” Mood said. “There are some great opportunities to catch bluegrass live and in person in the area, including the Laurel Hill and Windber bluegrass festivals, and I hope July 18 is also a date that people remember to circle on the calendar.”
The 2015 VOMA Folk Series is supported in part by a grant from the Robert Waters Charitable Trust of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.