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Colebrook Road & Man About a Horse
December 22, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
$7 in advance/$10 day of show
The result of a chance meeting of former high school classmates, Colebrook Road has become a standout string band, a bluegrass powerhouse made up of five individuals whose sum is more than the total of their talents.
From modest beginnings as a four-piece band playing a thirty-minute opening set outside Harrisburg, PA, Colebrook Road now plays as a five-piece ensemble composed of lead singer, guitar player, and lead songwriter Jesse Eisenbise. Mandolinist, harmony guru, and winner of the 2014 Watermelon Park Bluegrass festival mandolin contest Wade Yankey serves as half the rhythm section, rounded out by upright bassist, tenor vocalist, once-sound-engineer-now-band-member Jeff Campbell. Banjoist, bass vocalist, dobro player, and winner of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival banjo contest Mark Rast makes four, with fiddler, baritone vocalist, and winner of the 2015 Deer Creek Fiddler’s Convention bluegrass fiddle contest Joe McAnulty rounding out the group.
In addition to award-winning members from an array of backgrounds, a vast majority of Colebrook Road’s performances feature original works played with an energy and intensity often unmatched by modern acoustic bands. Quickly becoming a familiar name in the mid-Atlantic region, the group’s reach is rapidly expanding to include the upper South and New England, with bluegrass band competition wins at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival (Hebron, CT) and the Watermelon Park Bluegrass Festival (Berryville, VA) aiding the growth.
Following the 2012 release of their eponymous first effort, the group will release their sophomore album, “Halfway Between,” in May of 2016. Like their first, the album will feature all-original vocal and instrumental songs- ten studio tracks in all, plus a bonus live recording of “Sun Up, Sun Down.”. Plans also include a 12” LP vinyl release later in 2016.
Man About a Horse
Let’s face it, Philadelphia isn’t exactly known as the bluegrass music capital of the world. While the city’s thriving music scene is one of the best in the nation, Philly’s signature sound in the twenty-tens has much more to do with distortion guitars than banjos. That’s just one of many reasons that the chance encounter in 2014 between two Northern Liberties neighbors that led to the formation of Man About a Horse was so unlikely. Three years later, the band has blossomed into one of the area’s most exciting bands on the American roots music scene.
This quintet is known for its vocal harmonies–to which all five members contribute–its uptempo, high-energy sets, and its rock-solid, authentic songwriting. While bluegrass music is sometimes typecast as the sleepy, back porch sing-along, Man About a Horse infuses its music with flurries of sixteenth notes on banjo, fiddle, and mandolin that makes their shows hearken to bluegrass’ roots as dance music.
Put it this way: at a Man About a Horse show, the question isn’t if someone will don the band’s signature horse-head mask and dance-trot around the floor, but when in the set it will happen.
Each of the five Yankees in the band found their own unique avenue to bluegrass and acoustic roots music in their youths, and their paths didn’t cross until adulthood. As children of the 1990s, they also have pop music in their blood, and can’t resist re-interpreting modern popular music in an acoustic stringband context(Radiohead, anyone?), balanced with the fresh originals and ripping bluegrass standards that comprise their setlists.
Man About a Horse has performed at festivals around the northeastern U.S., and shared bills with the likes of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, The Travelin’ McCourys, Danny Barnes, Donna the Buffalo, Wood & Wire, and many others.
Their debut album (“The EP,” 2015) earned national airplay and rave reviews. In spring 2017 they self-released their debut full-length album, which debuted at #11 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart.