One of the most uniquely entertaining groups on the old time music scene is Baltimore’s Charm City Junction, a band that seamlessly incorporates Celtic folk styles into their repertoire of traditional tunes from both sides of the Atlantic.
They were formed in 2014 by fiddler Patrick McAvinue, Brad Kolodner on banjo, Sean McComiskey on button accordion, and Alex Lacquement on bass. Not many all-instrumental outfits can hold the attention of a diverse audience of music lovers at length, but the verve and showmanship on display at their live performances never fails to impress.
A new single from the band is available this week, one called Prairie Fire, written by Kolodner for clawhammer banjo. It offers a taste of what the Junction has on offer with their next album, Salt Box, due to hit in February.
Prairie Fire took first place in the Mike Auldridge Instrumental Composition Contest sponsored by the DC Bluegrass Union as a simple banjo tune. Brad says that it came to him as if by pure inspiration.
“Sometimes it’s a real struggle to carve out space in life to simply sit with my banjo to play, just to play. This was one of those rare times when the melody quickly emerged as if it dropped from the apple tree above.”
Now the tune gets the full Charm City Junction treatment. Check it out.