Concert and performance photography is a passion of mine, but it has its challenges before you can make your first click. Many venues prohibit the use of professional cameras, and if you are lucky to make it in with the camera in hand, it is a battle for an ideal location to shoot. Fortunately, both fell into place when I went to see the Mon River Ramblers play at Thunderbird Café in Lawrenceville.
Mon River Ramblers is a bluegrass band that started in Pittsburgh in 2006. To say they are a group of talented musicians is an understatement. Mon River Ramblers gave an electric, passionate, and insanely fun performance. The band puts their own spin on traditional bluegrass and incorporates other genres of music creating a truly innovative and original sound. What instantly struck me about this band, is their strong connection to the fans. It was not about a band playing and audience watching; it was about everyone having fun, dancing to the music, and just enjoying themselves. I had to put down my camera at times because I could not help but take in the speed and excitement coming from the instruments. Since this was a Christmas show, the Mon River Ramblers gave their own twist to traditional Christmas carols and added a comical Pittsburgh themed spin, giving the audience a truly hysterical rendition.
The band is made up of five members: Jim Kuzemka (guitar), Luke Stamper (madolin), Jeff Kuzemka (banjo), Paul Dvorchak (fiddle), and Robin Brubaker (bass). Whether or not you are a fan of bluegrasss, catching a Mon River Ramblers show should be a definite to do. You can check out more about this band and their latest CD release “27” at http://monriverramblers.com/ .