Nedski and Mojo Travelogue – Day 4

Ned Luberecki and Stephen Mougin are a pair of busy bluegrass boys. Both serve as sidemen and band members with different outfits (Chris Jones and Sam Bush respectively), and have “regular jobs” in the biz as well. Ned is an on-air host on Sirius-XM’s Bluegrass Junction, and Stephen operates a studio, Dark Shadow Recording. When they have some free time, they tour as a duo, Nedski & Mojo.

They have agreed to chronicle their current N&M tour for the readers of Bluegrass Today. Day 4 takes them to New Jersey.

Day 4 begins with, you guessed it, a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts (hey Dunkin’, are you listening? There’s a sponsorship waiting to happen here!). I have been talking about crab cakes for at least three weeks in anticipation of this trip. Our buddy Archie Warnock always takes us over to a place near his house that serves G and M broiled crab cakes. My favorite! Eating at Hella’s took a slight detour, but it was TOTALLY worth it!

In true bluegrass fashion, since we were in Ned’s hometown, we decided to swing by his “old home place.” Which, thankfully, hasn’t been torn down. It’s always nice to go home, wherever that may be. Landmarks sparked stories of Ned’s youth, including the flea market where he bought his first bluegrass record (at the behest of his banjo teacher). Flatt and Scruggs – Live at Carnegie Hall. I wonder how many of us can point to that as our first taste from the bluegrass well?

The journey from Maryland to New Jersey isn’t particularly scenic, eventful, or interesting… except for the insane amount of tollbooths (and related charges). After dusting the lint off every quarter in our possession, we made it up the road. I don’t even want to add the receipts. Driving up the bumpy highway, trying to convince our spleens that we were ok, we wondered what “exactly” we were paying for with each visit to a tollbooth attendant.

Mack and Baxter (big yellow labs) greeted us at the door in Chatham, NJ. They treated us to some smiles and chuckles as they worked some energy out in the yard before we loaded our gear in.

We saw piles of food being prepared during our setup and weren’t quite sure what was going to happen. After the first rousing set, the hosts set up a fantastic potluck supper for the audience to enjoy. While we do a few house concerts that have a dinner portion, we have never seen it between the sets. Very cool! Armed with full bellies, everyone gathered back for set two which turned out to be a blast!!

Not to be outdone by Katy Daley and Tom Gray, Mack and Baxter wanted their photo made doing “the pose” as well…

We are playing the Front Porch House Concert in Brookline, MA tomorrow night and look forward to catching up with a bunch of pals. It will be another early day, as we need to be on the road by 6:30am headed to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Professors Nedski and Mojo ride again!