As a bard, a storyteller, particularly a banjo player, I had an uplifting personal experience tonight when I saw Kubo and the Two Strings.
I recommend that every single one of you go see that movie.
You probably have at least one friend that already saw it and was surprisingly enthusiastic about it.
And if you don’t… well, I’m that friend.
Go see it. It broke my heart and changed my life. And healed my heart.
Go see it.

Now I’ve got to get serious about my Philosophy of the Five Strings…

Freshgrass Submissions 2015

If you haven’t heard of Freshgrass yet, keep an eye on this fresh new bluegrass festival! Every year, a world-class panel of bluegrass judges get together to encourage and showcase emerging bluegrass talent.

I’m so happy to share some new videos with you. One’s an original tune called “Lightnin Bug,” which sets to music the dance of fireflies. The other is a traditional tune called “Home Sweet Home.”

Lightnin Bug by Dan Whitener

Home Sweet Home (trad.)

It’s pretty fitting that I recorded “Home Sweet Home” in my own home sweet home–I hope you enjoy spying on my bookshelf in one of my favorite rooms in the house.

And, if you want to check out my band submissions with Man about a Horse, check out the band’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOdgnkMI7Z0Gdu3JILLVQPA
We had an awesome time recording and hope you enjoy the videos!

Man About A Horse & Damn Tall Buildings

Had a great show last night in Philly at the Tin Angel.


What a great show last night! This was my first big show with Man About A Horse, and I was pleased to reunite with Damn Tall Buildings for a killer double bill!…

Posted by Dan Whitener on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sparrows Wedding Weekend: Post 2

Dave Massey Photo got some great pictures of Sparrow Brian’s wedding, including the following shots of the band:

Sparrows Wedding Weekend at the Cape

As one more Sparrow gets married, the band reunites for one weekend on the Cape.And we all agree it's been too long.

Posted by The Sparrows on Saturday, June 27, 2015

Special performance by The Sparrows #hitchedtotheuniverse #wedding #capecod #brewster #danceparty

A photo posted by Jenni Mällinen (@jennimmal) on

Quite possibly the most beautiful first dance ever 💖 #hitchedtotheuniverse #capecod #love #brewster #brianandemma

A photo posted by Jenni Mällinen (@jennimmal) on

Upcoming Shows: June & July 2015

Thanks to my webadmin, I have a sidebar calendar working again!

To celebrate, here are my known upcoming shows, sorted both by date and band for your convenience. Keep an eye on the calendar for more shows as they are announced!

Man About A Horse

Fri, June 5, 8pm – 11pm (NO COVER; ENJOY THEIR EATS AND DRINKS!)
Vesper, 223 South Sydenham Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, United States

Blue Plate Special

Sat, June 6, 2:00pm – 3:30pm (FREE!)
Wall Township Municipal Complex, Wall, NJ

Sat, June 6, 7:30pm – 8:30pm ($5 at the door!)
Albert Hall, Waretown, NJ

3 Sails Jazz Festival
Saturday, Jun 13, 1:00pm – 1:45pm (1-Day Adult Pass: $60; 1-Day Student Pass: $18 (Must present valid student ID at Box Office); 1-Day Young Adult Pass: $12 (ages 13-17, under 12 free with a paying adult). 2-day packages also available.)
The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
College Drive
Toms River, NJ 08754


Friday, Jul 10, 9:00pm – ?? ($12 advance / $15 day of show)
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
2635 Welton St
Denver, CO 80205
Facebook event

Sunday, Jul 19, 8:00pm – ?? ($15)
The Purple Fiddle
21 East Avenue
Thomas, WV 26292
Facebook event

Come See a Man about a Horse

Photo courtesy of Jen Steinberg

I’ve started playing some shows with Philly’s own folk/bluegrass sensation, Man about a Horse. Not only are these guys fantastic people, but also they’re phenomenal musicians. It’s a treat to play with them!

Check them out on Facebook or download their EP!
We’re playing again this Friday (June 5th) at Vesper from 8-11.

This is happening right now at Vesper! 'Man About A Horse' killing it on stage and the evening is still very young! Come join us and get your dance on!

Posted by Derm Farrell on Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pet of the Week: Guinea Pig Babies

I’ve partnered with the fantastic Monmouth County SPCA on an exciting new project:

If you are near the Central NJ area and have been thinking of adding some pets to your family, these furry friends are bluegrass-approved!

NPR’s First Watch: Gangstagrass’s “Banks of the Ohio”


Check out this great write-up from NPR’s Ann Powers and, while you’re there, watch the debut of our newest video.

This “Banks of the Ohio” is sung in a soulful guest turn by Alexa Dirks of the Canadian band Chic Gamine. With a woman as its murderous protagonist, “Banks of the Ohio” feels personal again — not just another incident of victimizing misogyny, but a desperate account of possessive desire.

Look out! Gangstagrass is going to outer space!

Look out!
Photo courtesy of Jamie Leslie.

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