VOMA to host bluegrass headliner

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Bluegrass band Colebrook Road is returning to Venue of Merging Arts, also known as VOMA, April 16 as part of the VOMA Folk Series.

The Harrisburg-based band played at VOMA last summer, on July 18, and event organizer Micah Mood said that both the band and the audience enjoyed that evening of music.

“Colebrook Road gave an incredible performance last year, and everyone there, band included, had a great time that night,” said Mood, who is also a member of Johnstown-based band Striped Maple Hollow. “It’s great when a band connects with the audience at any given show, and gets the opportunity to grow their network of fans and supporters. And it’s a great feeling to bring a great band in to VOMA, and end the night with the audience and the band excited to keep seeing and playing live music.

“They are a dynamic band, full of excellent musicians and singers. Last July was the first time I saw them with their new banjo player, Mark Rast, and he is a great addition to the band. I didn’t realize until afterwards that he is a former winner of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival banjo contest, but after seeing him play, it didn’t surprise me.”

The five-piece band features Jesse Eisenbise on lead vocals and guitar, Wade Yankey on mandolin, Joe McAnulty on fiddle and baritone vocals, Mark Rast on banjo, dobro and bass vocals, and Jeff Campbell on upright bass and tenor vocals.

Since their last performance in Johnstown, Colebrook Road won the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Bluegrass Band Contest. The contest was hosted by the DC Bluegrass Union in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 20.

“It’s been great to see them land great concert and festival spots, and winning contests like that,” Mood said. “Colebrook Road isn’t one of my favorite PA bluegrass bands, or favorite regional bluegrass bands — they’re my favorite bluegrass band, period, and it’s great to see good things come their way.”

Since the band’s inception in 2009, they have performed across the Mid-Atlantic region and released a self-titled album. Their follow-up to that album is titled “Halfway Between,” and is to be available May 7.

For more information about Colebrook Road, and to sample some of their music or pre-order their new album, visit www.colebrookroad.com.

Striped Maple Hollow will open for Colebrook Road that evening. In addition to Mood, that band includes Jayna Mood on vocals and guitar, Sonya Guiffrey on vocals, and Adam Milkovich on mandolin, guitar and blues harp.

“One of the perks of being a show promoter is that you get the chance to open for some of the great bands that come through,” Mood said. “I try to bring in new bands and put together great pairings with each bill, and sometimes it works out that my own band gets to warm up the room before a stellar band like Colebrook Road.”

The all-ages, BYOB show begins at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available in advance online at www.thevoma.com and can also be purchased at the door that evening.
VOMA is located at 305 Chestnut St. in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.

“I don’t take anything for granted, so I’d say don’t miss Colebrook Road,” Mood said. “They are a band that we may be unable to bring back in the future, as their tour schedule and profile grow.”