Newgrass Effect in Concert September 30th

September 27, 2011

A regional band that blends contemporary and traditional bluegrass sounds for today’s music lover will be bringing their unique blend of music to Frederick.  Newgrass Effect, a progressive, contemporary bluegrass band, will be performing at the Cultural Arts Center on Friday, September 30th.  The bar and box office opens at 7:00 p.m. with the concert beginning at 8:00 p.m.


Newgrass Effect is a traditionally orchestrated bluegrass band; 5 piece with the bangin doghouse bass, hot fiddle and mandolin, driving banjo and hot pickin guitar with 3 part vocals.  The group features seasoned DC area musicians whose repertoire crosses over into other forms of music, doing songs from traditionally- based mountain music along with brand-new arrangements of originals and covers of some greatest hits from the Beatles, The Kinks, and even Cream. 


Noted for their dynamic instrumentals and melodic, three-part harmonies, the band’s live performances are exciting, crowd-pleasing events.  The group has been getting great response wherever they play and looking forward to bringing their brand of music to Frederick.


The quintet features some of the metro region’s most acclaimed performers: Carolyn Kellock on bass, Scott Morgan on guitar, John Relph on mandolin, Alexander Mitchell on fiddle, and Terry Wittenberg on banjo.


Alexander Mitchell, a Berklee College of Music graduate, is an acoustic multi-instrumentalist who primarily plays fiddle, guitar and mandolin.  His current CD, Chameleon, is a culmination of a music career that spans over 25 years of countless gigs in such diverse styles as bluegrass , Celtic , Klezmer, traditional and modern contra dance , ballroom and swing music. He has done a national tour with the Missouri Repertory Theatre’s production of Woodie Guthrie’s American Song as well as appearing in Ted Turner’s “Gettysburg” along with soundtrack contributions to that film. Locally he has played the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center as well as the Lisner Auditorium , the Birchmere , the Olney Roundhouse Theater and hundreds of other public and private events.


Carolyn Kellock has been playing music on the bass since 1976.  She has been a member of various local bands including Old Friends, Grim Pickers, Ambush Pass, Solid Hollow Jackstraw, No Leeway, and Bay Country Gentlemen.  She has substituted in many other bands.  Kellock plays many styles of music, and has recorded and performed with some stellar musicians including Ray Charles, David Grisman, Vassar Clements, Ray Schmitt, Hazel Dickens, Jack Sanbowr, Bob Perilla, Sue Tice, and Doris Justis.

Scott Morgan is a lifelong musician and luthier. He has played many types of music with family and friends for over 45 years. His roots in music and fine instrument building started at an early age in Takoma Park, Maryland, and developed further with his family’s return to their homeplace in Morgan Springs, Tennessee in 1973. He continues to build instruments and perform to this day. His father, Tom Morgan, who builds autoharps, banjos and mandolins, was an original member of The Country Gentlemen, and is still involved in both music and luthiery. In 2007, Scott was awarded a grant to teach the art of guitar building, and is designated as a Master Luthier by the Georgia Council for the Arts. He played in his family band, The Morgans for many years. Was a founding member of the Barn Rats, an Atlanta, Georgia based jamgrass band.  He has shared the stage with many excellent musicians over the years, including Curly Fox, John Hartford, Red Rector, Ron Wall, John McCutcheon, Vassar Clements, Randall Collins, Ralph Stanley, the New Grass Revival, and Grandpa Jones, to name a few. He currently performs with Newgrass Effect, Doris Justis, Daniel Caton, and The Bluegrass Alliance.


John Relph has played mandolin, acoustic guitar, electric bass guitar and other instruments since he was a boy.  He plays American old time fiddle tunes, celtic, newgrass, bluegrass, classical, Texas swing, jazz, blues, and rock.  He is a four-time California State picking champion on both mandolin and guitar and is in demand as an accompanist at fiddle contests in the West.


Last but not least, Terry Wittenberg began playing banjo in 1971, after playing rock guitar for 10 years.  He has played in many legendary local bands including None Of The Above, Southgate and Overland Express. He is most well known for being the Golden Banjo Picker with Rattlesnake Hill. He has performed with many pillars of the DC Bluegrass community, such as Dave Auldridge, Akira Otsuka, Dick Smith, Ed Ferris, Ed Schaeffer, Les McIntyre, Dan Shipp, Bob White, Lenny Whitehead, Sam Sheppard, Mike Jenkins, and Dave Burford to name a few. 


The Cultural Arts Center is located in downtown Frederick at 15 W. Patrick Street.  Tickets for the concert are $10 per person and advance purchase is suggested.  To purchase tickets, or for more information, call (301) 662-4190.