Litchfield Stage


Irish Fiddle for Novices

Neil Rossi


The various Celtic fiddle traditions share some bowing and noting techniques (and often even share repertoire!) but there are many distinct stylistic differences, sometimes even within the same country.  We’ll touch on some of the common techniques in bowing and ornamentation that make Irish styles sound so different from bluegrass, jazz and classical. 

We assume you can play a little and know a fiddle tune or two, but we don’t expect that you’ll know any Irish tunes; we’ll teach you a couple.  We’ll focus primarily on bowing techniques and the common ornamentation tricks in the noting hand.  This workshop won’t make you an expert in an hour, but you’ll be able to go home to practice and apply these techniques on your own.

Accordion with Stroker (aka “The Accordion Guy”), 

featuring members of Green Heron and The Green Sisters.


Accordionist for the Beantown Buckaroos, Stroker will discuss the role of the instrument in American roots music, including how to play in various genres, how to accompany others, jam etiquette, accordion care, accordion players to check out, and all things accordion, “accordion” to Stroker.  This workshop will feature a live and up-close mini-set by members of the Green Sisters and Green Heron as they help demonstrate ensemble playing with an accordion, and how an accordion can add depth and color to your band.  

Not a musician?  We’ll also focus on how to listen to music, particularly how various instruments can complement each other.  Expect to hear some bluegrass, Cajun, Tex-Mex, country, old time, folk, and blues, as well as the story behind “the first woman of bluegrass,” Wilene Forrester (she had 5 other names!), who played accordion in Bill Monroe’s original Blue Grass Boys

Song Craft: From Inception to the Stage

Beg, Steal or Borrow


Beg Steal or Borrow will demonstrate how a new song in its original form becomes a finished piece of ensemble music for live performance or the studio.  They will focus on the group arrangement process, including vocal harmonies and phrasing, instrumental breaks, melodic and harmonic elements, and how it all comes together … in other words, the collaborative process BSOB has evolved to create music of their own




Litchfield Stage


Putting It All together: Arranging songs for a full band

Grain Thief


In this workshop, Grain Thief will give a behind the scenes look at their approach to arranging songs for a band. They will start with a song that only Patrick knows. He will teach the group the chords and together they will develop parts, harmonies, and rhythms and build a brand new arrangement from scratch. Workshop attendees will learn how to pull a song apart and put it back together again in a string band context.”

Creating Your Own Fiddle Tunes And Song Melodies

Neil Rossi


The process of writing original tunes often seems to be almost magical, an art mastered by only a few.  It’s actually a fairly straightforward process and follows a number of simple rules and guidelines.  This workshop will try to explain those rules and give some examples.  We’ll show you how to start with a simple musical phrase and build upon it, adding chords, and we’ll write a tune or two collaboratively as part of the learning process.

Making the most of your voice

Jeff Horton & Alice Jenkins


Jeff and Alice once again present their workshop about your voice. How does the voice work? How can I sing with more strength? How can I hold notes longer? What about pitch and tone? Diction? Emotion? Alice Jenkins has a Master’s Degree in vocal performance. Jeff has been singing all his life and is recognized as one of the top bluegrass singers in New England. Together, they will demonstrate and teach about the human voice. You will be singing, breathing, and singing some more in this hands-on (voice-on?) workshop.

Behind the Music



For over 30 years, the “Grillbillies” have been spotted at festivals all over the east coast. Whether it’s a late night jam with a random theme, an open-door pot luck dinner, or organized chaos like a parade, this bluegrass family has been maintaining and inventing traditions for decades. While several bluegrass bands have been born out of this group, their current iteration, “The Grillbillie Project”, will be having an in-depth round-table discussion into how their family has evolved over the years, the festivals that made them, and what they think the future may hold!

Banjo Expressions with Joe & Billy

Joe Deetz & Billy Thibodeau


This discussion will be being expressive with your banjo solo.  Once you have the song in your head you can take it to the next level using dynamics, syncopation, and right hand position to make the banjo more interesting to the audience and to the player.  We will be discussing the importance of banjo for the rhythm section in your band.

David Peterson Talks About The Early Days Of Bluegrass


Dave talks about and demonstrates the beginnings and evolution of bluegrass music from its inception through the forties and beyond.

Arranging Music as a Band

The Slocan Ramblers


Bluegrass Harmony For The Uninitiated.

Jeff Horton, Matt Carlen, Dr. Alice Jenkins


Have you tried singing harmony with your favorite bluegrass tunes? Do you have a band and need to work out the vocal parts? We can help. We will have you successfully hearing the notes, singing the notes, and making harmony, all within our workshop time. Jeff Horton has years of experience teaching harmony at major festivals, Podunk included. Matt Carlen has a great ear for harmony, and Dr. Alice Jenkins has an advanced degree in vocal performance. She knows her stuff. Come sing!”

Twin Fiddling

Michael Cleveland & Austin Scelzo (Rock Hearts & On The Trail)


Michael and Austin demonstrate the basics and techniques of twin fiddling

Bluegrass Backup Fundamentals for Mandolin and Fiddle

Austin Scelzo (Rock Hearts, On The Trail)


Supercharge your bluegrass backup and confidence playing and practicing double stops (Two notes at once) Used extensively by players like Bobby Hicks and Michael Cleveland. This definitive guide will leave you with all the possible iterations of double stops on your instrument.




Litchfield Stage


Bass Workshop

Rick Brodski (Rock Hearts)


Rick shares tips and techniques he has developed over his many years of playing bass.

Vocal Harmony

Austin Scelzo (Rock Hearts, On The Trail)


Tenor, Lead, Baritone? What does it mean, how do you learn it? Demystify bluegrass vocal harmony while learning  duo and trio arrangements of Bluegrass Standards like “Little Cabin Home on the Hill”, “Love Please Come Home” and “Hold Whatcha Got”


Daryl Mosley, Billy Droze


Two of the masters share methods and secrets of creative songwriting

RIBA Slow Jam


Come play simple bluegrass tunes with us, and learn how to be in a jam and what they are all about.

How are we doing? Town Hall Format


Here is your chance to help make Podunk the best it can be. Come tell us what we are doing right and more importantly, what we can do better.

Guitar workshop

Sully Tuttle (AJ Lee & Blue Summit)


Sully, of the prolific Tuttle family, shares tips and techniques of bluegrass guitar

The Voice of Podunk Kids


An opportunity for youngsters ages 7 through 17 to sing their favorite song for our judges.  It could be the beginning of greater things for a talented child.

Youth Slow Jam


Join us for our Youth Jam! Come play simple bluegrass tunes with us, and learn how to be in a jam and what they are all about.

Mandolin Workshop

Jacob Jolliff & Thomas Cassell (Circus No. 9)


Jacob and Thomas share their wisdom and experience

Moonshine Falls


Moonshine Falls plays a set of their Best bluegrass.