Rochester’s Party in the Park has returned to the original location of the concert series this summer and music lovers couldn’t be happier about the move. Music events are always well attended in the city center and with the spectacular lineup of artists, this summer of music has been a good one.
With the recent surge in Bluegrass music in the last several years, Rochester bluegrass fans were in for a treat when Party in the Park served up a double-header of bluegrass with Railroad Earth and Yonder Mountain String Band as co-headliners of the Thursday night event. The show brought a full crowd to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square Park for a night of dancing and local food from on-site food trucks. The energy was phenomenal, the music was on point and concert goers were delighted with the sounds of bluegrass music.
YMSB opened the night with a set list full of favorites like “My Gal” and jammy, out of the ordinary, fantastic “Only A Northern Song” – where the band proved that even without Jeff Austin, they still have undeniable energy that can’t be contained. With Austin’s departure the band had to look elsewhere for someone to fill that void and the result has been the addition of mandolin player Jacob Jolliff and Allie Kral on violin. Although Austin’s place could never be filled, the addition of Kral and Jolliff seems to be a comfortable fit.
Highlights of the night included the addition of Allie Kral on violin with YMSB and two songs with RRE; after the departure of Jeff Austin, fans have been wondering which direction the band was going to go in with filling in his place, without replacing what Austin brought to the band. The result was a more than pleasant surprise with her addition.
I had the opportunity to speak with Kral after the show and I asked her about leaving Cornmeal and what it was like to be on stage with the boys from Yonder Mountain String Band and whether this was a permanent thing for her. With a giant smile on her face she explained how she had only been playing with Cornmeal for so long and now she’s learning jazz and more bluegrass and it’s awesome; she went on to say that her husband was happy she was on tour and enjoying herself. When I asked if this might be a permanent gig for her she stated, “Not permanently but I’m happy to be here.”
Railroad Earth Setlist: Lordy Lordy, Head, When the Sun Gets in Your Blood, Carrying Coal to Newcastle, A Day on the Sand, Bird in a House, Monkey, Walk Beside Me, Hard Livin’, RV*, Like a Buddha*
* with Allie Kral on violin
Yonder Mountain String Band Setlist: Blue Collar Blues, Hello City Limits, Don’t Worry Happy Birthday, Finally Saw The Light> Girlfriend Is Better> Finally Saw The Light, Dire Wolf, Pockets, Dominated Love Slave, Long Time, Loved You Enough, My Gal, Honestly> Only A Northern Song> Honestly,
E: Southern Flavor
Download the show here for the Music Archive