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Appearing July 14th Will Be...


   & Liberty Pike

When it comes to making music, there’s nothing wrong with playing by the rules, but that’s never been the right way for Valerie Smith.  While the energetic singer/songwriter knows and respects the tried and true ways of bluegrass—and knows the penalties that can follow a departure from them—she’s held fast to one simple rule of her own: “I sing from my heart,” she says. “I do my own thing.”  And today, a dozen years after her first album and on the eve of the release of her latest, she can look back with pride at a musical path that’s all her own, even as she looks ahead to the next dozen with the confidence of a seasoned artist who’s built a devoted following in the best way it can be done—just by being herself.

A Missouri native who grew up playing old-time fiddle and earned a degree in music education, Valerie arrived in Nashville in the early 90s.  “When you grow up in a town of 300 people in the midwest and you love country music,” she recalls, “Nashville’s where you want to be.  I had no idea of what I wanted to do, but I knew that was where I wanted to do it.”  Working for a marketing and advertising agency by day, she began attending—and singing at—songwriters’ nights, making friends over the years with everyone from country icon Waylon Jennings to then up-and-coming songwriter Jim Lauderdale.  “If I went back home tomorrow and that was all I did here, I’d be proud of that,” she says with a laugh, but those years turned out to be a prelude to something much bigger, as a complicated but fortuitous series of events and connections brought her into the recording studio.  With the Nashville Bluegrass Band’s Alan O’Bryant acting as producer, Valerie completed work on her debut album, Patchwork Heart; issued the project on a label she’d helped to create, Bell Buckle Records; and formed a band, Liberty Pike, to take her music on the road.

“I was an odd duck in an odd place,” Valerie recalls with a smile.  “I would sing country things, but every time I did, people would say, ‘you’re kind of bluegrass’—but then a lot of people felt that I wasn’t really bluegrass, either.  I wasn’t really aware that you were supposed to play an instrument on stage; I thought, ‘I have a great band, and they don’t need me to be something else, they need me to be who I am, to be a singer and an entertainer.’  I felt really strongly about that, and I didn’t back down for a long time.”  Being true to her own vision earned her criticism in some quarters, but it also earned her respect and admiration—and an ever-growing legion of fans—elsewhere (and, Smith adds with a grin, now she plays an instrument on stage whenever she likes).

Val Smith and Liberty Pike"Valerie Smith and her amazing band are a breath of fresh air. Onstage, they present visually beautiful and exciting performances with exceptional musicality. Offstage, they are like family and best friends to everyone, always willing to share that which makes them so very special-their music, their hearts, and their souls."
- Gabrielle Gray, Executive Director International Bluegrass Music Museum, Promoter of ROMP.

"Valerie Smith has a storyteller's sensibility and timing and a singer's soulful vocals that leave her audience waiting to hear the next song."  - California Bluegrass Association, CBAontheweb.org

"Excellent stage act Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike are known for their lively and impressive concerts!"
- Erin Spurling, Maverick Magazine, England

"What a night! What a band! Valerie and her wonderful band played a stormer! We have enjoyed the very best of bluegrass before at Brookfield...or so we thought."- Loudon Temple, Music Journalist and Scotland Promoter


Amber-Dawn Rische Nicholas - Fiddle/Vocals

Amber-Dawn Rische NicholasAmber - Dawn Rische Nicholas has been performing worldwide for many years as a violinist and singer with the now disbanded Arista/Sony Nashville signed group, Jypsi.

With the Jypsi, she had the opportunity to play many prestigious venues such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, South By Southwest, Stagecoach ad many more including several appearances at The Ryman and The Grand Ole Opry.

Amber Dawn has toured/performed with major artists including Darius Rucker, Ronnie Milsap, Hootie & the Blowfish, etc. Amber has also gained invaluable experience working in the studio with many of the world's top record producers such as Don Was, Nathan Chapman, Tony Smith and the list goes on.


Rebekah Long - Bass/Vocals

Rebekah LongBorn in Lincolnton and raised in the Classic South Region of Georgia, Rebekah A. Long was exposed from birth to the rich bluegrass heritage of South Georgia.

In College, Rebekah became a music student majoring in percussion at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. After three years, Rebekah transferred to Glenville State College in West Virginia to combine her study of percussion with bluegrass music under the tutelage of Buddy Griffin, one of the former Virginia Boys playing backup to Jim and Jesse (McReynolds).

Prior to transferring to Glenville State College, Rebekah moved her primary residence to Nashville, TN. In the summer months, she began assisting Ben Speer, renowned southern gospel singer, in the direction of the Ben Speer’s Stamps-Baxter School of Music and his publishing company Ben Speer Music.

Rebekah graduated with a B.A. in Music Education and a B.A. in Bluegrass; the first bluegrass degree awarded at Glenville State College or anywhere. During her final semester, Rebekah was selected as the Outstanding Teacher Intern.

Along with returning to play bass for Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike, Rebekah also works as studio engineer and graphic art designer for Tom T. and Dixie Hall's Good Home Grown Music Publishing and Blue Circle Records. She has engineered for some of Bluegrass's finest and upcoming bands and artists.


Bobby Nicholas - Vocals/Songwriting/Guitar

Bobby NicholasBobby Nicholas has a vast range of musical experiences that began at a young age in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From solo television performances, such as Much Music and the Tommy Hunter Show, to traveling the country in various groups and duos, he honed his skills as an artist and sideman.

Bobby moved to Nashville in 1997, where began working as a utility musician and back up singer for several major artists including Patty Loveless and Terri Clark, which gave him the opportunity to play venues such as Austin City Limits, The Ryman, The Grand Ole Opry, and travel the world.

Around Nashville, he has had the honor of playing on stage with legends ranging from John Prine to John Paul Jones, from The Osborne Brothers to the Little River Band. His heart has always been in performing his original songs, and here this will be a perfect fit.


BAD Nicolas - Duo/Vocal/Guitar/Fiddle/Songwriting

BAD Nicolas
BAD Nicholas is an exciting combination of Bobby and
Amber Dawn Nicholas who compliment each other and have
come together to create a new sound. With Valerie Smith
and the stage presence and energy that both herself and
Amber-Dawn will bring to the table, along with the tight
harmonies and musicianship with Bobby will be sure to
give Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike listeners a
memorable experience.


Richard CiferskyRichard Ciferský - Banjo

Richard Cifersky born in Bratislava, but his home is in Pezinok, Slovakia. He happened to come into contact with bluegrass music in a scout troop where he also learns to play the guitar. Richard got a guitar, his first instrument, at the age of 13 as a Christmas present from his father. When he was 15, he got fascinated by banjo and he spent his first earnings for purchasing this instrument.

Since 1998 Richard has been organizing bluegrass nights called “Bluegrass Session” in Pezinok. In 1999 he co-founded the Slovak Bluegrass Association (SkBMA) and from 2000 until 2005 he was its president. In 2001 Richard founded his own agency Velvet Music which helps bluegrass bands release their recordings. Till now the agency has helped in realization of 15 projects.

On the basis of the SkBMA inquiry Richard received the prize for the best banjo player in 1999 and 2000 and the band of 29 Strings, in which he played, was proclaimed to be the best bluegrass band in the same years. In 2004 the Fragment band receives “European Group #1” at the EWOB Festival in Holland.

Richard will be guest touring with Valerie Smith for her 2012 Spring and Summer Tour, as he did with her on her 2006 European Tour


Raised to the strains of classic bluegrass, Dan Paisley and the Southern Grass learned the ropes first-hand as the sons (and eventually bandmates) of such beloved figures as Bob Paisley, Ted Lundy, and Donnie Eldreth. Honed over decades of playing festivals, honky-tonks, Legion halls, and everywhere in between, their sound proudly reflects the timeless bluegrass soul of their fathers – while imparting a razor’s edge intensity all their own. Over the course of his apprenticeship, Danny Paisley’s singing has become proud, fierce, hard-driving, spontaneous, and unafraid to take risks, and when combined with the Southern Grass’s solid base in tradition, the result is a band and an album for the ages.

“Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass generate the kind of energy and excitement that can only be found in the engine of a finely tuned sports car. The band is perhaps one of the greatest rhythm sections in bluegrass music. Riding the wave of this machine are Danny’s vocals, soaring from powerhouse peaks to heart breaking whispers. I believe everything that Danny sings, and that to me is the mark of a truly gifted singer.”
-Dudley Connell

“This is so good I don’t know how to deal with it! Bluegrass music has been waiting for a record like this for a long, long time.”-Alison Krauss

Danny Paisley
and The Southern Grass
continue to be deeply
rooted in tradition, but look to the future with enthusiasm and anticipation. This coming year brings renewed excitement!  Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass have been selected to be an official IBMA Showcase Performer in 2011 and they are planning a new album with Rounder Records. 

Since Danny and Michael’s father Bob Paisley (founder of Southern Grass) passed away in 2004, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass have made their own niche in the bluegrass world. Their album, The Room Over Mine, earned accolades and significant chart action, and the song, "Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away" won the 2009 IBMA Award for Song of the Year and have garnered several IBMA nominations for Emerging Artist of The Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year. Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass are a national and international touring band who frequently get invited for return engagements.  Their list of notable festivals and events include: Rocky Grass, Grey Fox, Grass Valley, Del Fest, Wind Gap, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and more. 

With Danny Paisley on guitar and Michael Paisley on bass, Southern Grass continues the family tradition from time to time adding Danny’s eleven year old son Ryan on mandolin, the next generation of up and coming pickers. Southern Grass also includes: Spencer Mobley of Raleigh, NC on mandolin; Mark Delaney (formerly with Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen, and Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac) on banjo; and Doug Meek  from York County PA (inspired by his grandfather fiddler) on fiddle.

Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass play powerful, unadorned, and intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here. Their combination of instrumentation and vocals convey the energy and emotion of classic bluegrass and country music. Danny’s lead vocals will captivate your senses, so much so that many prominent musicians, including Alison Krauss, have considered Danny as one of their favorite singers.   His voice combines powerful range and soulful blues with a sound like no one else in bluegrass today.

Danny grew up listening to the music his father Bob played and enjoyed hearing--- the sounds of classic bluegrass like Red Allen, Mac Martin, Bill Monroe, the Stanleys, Reno and Smiley, and the Osbornes, as well as old time mountain music and traditional country music. Once you hear Danny sing, it comes as no surprise that he lists George Jones and Vern Gosdin as major influences in his singing.

Danny Paisley, born in Landenberg, PA in 1959, inherited the love and talent of this music and is proud to continue the family tradition. Gathering fans at each event, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass, look forward with renewed energy as they bring their unique sound to audiences near and far.

Marc Silver is living proof that singer/songwriters don’t need to shout outrageously shocking lyrical lines in order to attract well-deserved attention…His confessional songs draw you in, rather than drag you along… a truly noteworthy artist that walks quietly, but carries a big gift.” Dan MacIntosh, [Music Journalist]

For Marc Silver, music and writing is intensely personal. He says, “when stories appear in my mind’s eye or in a dream, it is like a firefly inside a little glass jar. I hold the jar to my forehead and try to extract the story encoded in the flashes within… In some ways, a good day of writing can be as gratifying and meaningful to me as crafting a song, although reliving the emotions in each performance is the true blessing of songwriting.”

Born in Missouri, Marc came from a family with an enduring love of music. As a child Marc found his first musical storytelling passion while composing themes to wild cowboy and Indian chases on the “black keys” (which he later came to know as the pentatonic scale). Piano and violin lessons in elementary school led Marc to buying his first electric guitar and amplifier (a B.C. Rich and Peavey) in 1992.

He began his guitar studies learning the blues, Phish, and Zeppelin songs with friends after school. In 1993, after winning the Missouri State Wrestling Championships, Marc stated in an exit interview that he was interested in pursuing music and starting a band. He’s been wrestling with the muse ever since.

Marc left the flatlands and moved east to study jazz and guitar at The University of The Arts. This was a great period of musical challenge and personal growth for Marc. Ultimately, though he did write and record an instrumental jazz-fusion record, Marc continued the struggle of finding his own voice in the music he was trying to express.

By 2006, working as a part-time music educator by day, Marc had compiled a list of original songs he felt were worthy of performing to live audiences. Weekly open mics all over the city helped develop his confidence while introducing him to other musicians who eventually became band mates. Bolstered by this new enthusiasm, Marc started writing “Nectars Sweet and Rare”, “Lay Me Down” and other songs which led to his first recording Stonethrowers.

By October 2008, just in time for their first appearance at the prestigious Philadelphia club, The Tin Angel, the final pieces

  • California Avenue

    Our fan funded record California Avenue is now available.  It features three original songs by Marc Silver, and three cover songs featuring the voices and instrumental prowess of the band.  Digital release
    January 31st, 2012.


  • Naive Lovers

    A new solo album from Marc Silver, which features his regular band, The Stonethrowers.


  • Past Is Prelude

    Complete digipack, you can also buy from iTunes or cdBaby.


  • Stonethrowers

    The much anticipated sophomore release of Marc Silver. Complete digipack. You can also buy from iTunes or cdBaby

 of the band came together in what is now called Marc Silver & The Stonethrowers. They have since opened for Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Chuck Prophet, Hot Club of Cowtown, Moe, King Wilkie, and many other touring national acts. The band blends a passion for traditional song, Appalachian fiddle tunes, and country swing with a unique mix of original songwriting, bluegrass and folk music. Lead singing with great vocal character and seamlessly blended three-part vocal harmonies fill out their energetic delivery.

“Whether he yearns for love or sings of loss and chance encounters, Silver strikes a chord…Silver’s laidback singing mesmerizes the listener right away and begs all to stop and pay attention… Whether it’s his light finger picking on the title track or aggressive electric guitar interlude on “Devil’s Dust,” he manages to sooth and awaken the listener while at the same time provide mystique.” Annie Reuter –Music Journalist

Marc has traveled as a solo performer and with The Stonethrowers all over the East Coast. They have played prestigious venues like The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Café Lena, Club Passim, Godfrey Daniels, The Purple Fiddle, The World Café Live, The Kimmel Center, The Sherman Theater, Pickin’ In The Panhandle Bluegrass and BBQ festival (where they won the best new band contest in 2008), Musikfest and many more. In addition to public performances, The Stonethrowers are often invited to play private parties and university festivals at institutions such as Ithaca University, University of Pennsylvania, University Of The Arts, and The University of Delaware.

Marc’s Americana/Bluegrass band, The Stonethrowers, formed in January 2007 to coincide with the release of his first album, the eponymously named Stonethrowers. Since then, Marc has enjoyed the company of the band on three more recordings: Past Is Prelude (2008), Naive Lovers (2010), and California Avenue (2011). The band blends a passion for original and traditional songs, with a unique mix of country and popular music. Lead singing with great vocal character and seamlessly blended three-part vocal harmonies fills out their energetic delivery.

A Stonethrowers performance feels like kicking back in a good friend’s living room, the smoky sweetness of Marc’s voice like a good bourbon to round out the evening.  Stage banter brings the audience into an intimate conversation with the band as they navigate their nightly set lists.

Mike Hlatky on the upright bass and vocals is the passion and drive behind the bluegrass selections in The Stonethrowers band. Choice notes, a great feel, and the quickest draw this side of town with a vocal harmony, Mike is an adventure to have around and a blast to play music with.  Mike is featured on the albums Past Is Prelude , Naive Lovers, and California Avenue.  You can also hear Mike with his band The Keystone Mountain Boys, who play the best of the classics of the high and lonesome tradition.  They are Philadelphia’s best hard driving/high lonesome band!

Lewin Barringer joined the group in late 2009 offering his services as a singer and mandolin player.  Perhaps most loved in The Stonethrowers for his energy/stage presence, song selections, and dreamy hair styling, Lewin also updated the band with a fresh and timely YouTube makeover.  A songwriter in his own right (Broken Trophy), electric guitarist in Sunshine Superman, and worldly known for his YouTube page Garage Band and Beyond, Lewin always offers a refreshed take on the traditional.  Lewin made his first appearance on a Marc Silver record on Naive Lovers, and most recently made his lasting mark on The Stonethrowers new EP, California Avenue.

Isaac Stanford, a craigslist addition to the band, has brought tasty and ferocious finger picking, and an amazing variety of songs to the bands repertoire.  The longest lasting member of The Stonethrowers, Isaac has illuminated and enchanted Marc’s songs with his pedal steel prowess since 2006.  Isaac is also featured on Past Is Prelude, Naive Lovers, and California Avenue.

The Stonethrowers’ repertoire spans joyous and energetic improvisations to melodically mournful meditations on love and loss. With a song list of 4-5 hours, you’re likely to hear your favorite original songs as well as artists like The Beatles, Peter Rowan, George Jones, The Band, The Rolling Stones, Hank Williams, Tom Waits, Gillian Welch, Steve Earl, Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, Ricky Skaggs and more.

The Stonethrowers have performed with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, Jerry Douglas, Claire Lynch, Shawn Mullins, and Chuck Prophet, to name a few. Past performances include headlining appearances at The Kimmel Center, The Sellersville Theater, The World Cafe (Philadelphia & Wilmington), Musikfest, Penns Peak, The Tin Angel, and Main Stage at the 2010 Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Winner: Best Band at Pickin In The Panhandle Sept. 2008

“ ‘Take back your heart/ I don’t want it no more,’ pleads Philly song-slinger Marc Silver on Past Is Prelude, his third album. Another tune finds him on similar footing: ‘I dont wanna leave just to learn/ All I need was inside your heart.’ Just as timeless as those sentiments is the plucky, bluegrass-tinged folk delivered so sharply by Silver and his regular band, The Stonethrowers. There’s banjo and mandolin, upright bass and pedal steel, and lots of harmonies raining down, all serving to brighten Silver’s somewhat mournful songwriting. But like the well-worn Appalachian tunes he looks to for inspiration, his own work is uplifting in its clear-eyed honesty.”
– (Doug Wallen) Philadelphia Weekly Review: Nov. 2008

“A little bit of folk, a little bit of country and a whole lot of three-part harmonies add up to make this band one you don’t want to miss.”  Philly Metro: Jan. 2008

Acrossthetrack Bluegrass
is based in Harford County, Md.

"Playing for nearly 6 years together we have grown quickly and honestly.

Once we started playing together as a group it was a instant click, it was like we have been together for 20 years. With a mix of new and old our sound is like no other.

The band members have over 50 years combined playing bluegrass music.

We believe that to have a good band you must have fun when performing. Having fun makes the music what it truly should be."

James Langer - Mandolin, Lead Vocals
Darin Wassum - Guitar, Lead Vocals And Tenor Harmony's
Fred Long - Banjo, Lead Vocals, Bass Harmony's
Rex Smith - Bass

Bluegrass Baby!!!!!!
To Hear Song clips please visit www.myspace.com/acrossthetrackbluegrass2
Acrossthetrack Bluegrass Is:

James Langer
James was born in Charleston, SC  March 17,1971,but moved to Harford County at age 2.He has a musical background through his family going back to his grandparents who loved music as he does. Starting at age 12 he has always loved music from rock to bluegrass but his heart will always be Grass. James interest are his laptop (couldn't live without it) his Family and playing music.....James is also the president of NorthBay Bluegrass Association we run a show every 4th sun of the month Sept Thru May at 3514 Old Level Road Havre De Grace, MD. Start time is 2 pm till 5pm.Local Bands get a chance to show their talent as well as you never Know who might stop in....See Northbay Bluegrass Association on Facebook for Schedule...

Darin Wassum
Darin was born in Harford County and has lived here all his life. His musical roots run deep in the mountains of Southwest Virginia where his father (Dainer Wassum) was born and raised. He also comes from a musical background on his mother (Helen Wassum) side. His uncle, Russell Morrow, played locally in the area in the 60’s and 70’s as well as numerous performances at Sunset Park in Pennsylvania.

   Some of Darin’s musical influences are Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson and J.D Crow to name a few. Along with playing guitar, Darin also can play fiddle and banjo but only as a hobby. Darin has been playing music with James ever since they were young but only in the last few years have they started playing seriously.

   Performing live is when the love of the music really shows. Besides playing music, Darin is an avid sports fan and golfer.

Fred Long
Fred was born in Sugergrove, VA on January 29,1945,he began playing the Banjo at age 14 and has become known as one of the finest banjo players in state of Md. Moving to MD at the age of 18 Fred began playing in Bluegrass bands such as The Carolina Mountain Boys, Dean Sapp and the Harford Express and The Bluegrass Rebels maintaining his love for bluegrass music. Fred has brought to Acrossthetrack exactly what it needed to propel them to one the the Finest groups in the area. Fred has vocals like no other from the low toned growl to the burn it up grass we love he has been the best addition to the group. Fred's interests are coon hunting and playing his banjo aswell as a strong relationship with his family...

Rex Smith
With over 30 years of traveling around with Gospel bands, Rex makes a great addition to Acrossthetrack Bluegrass.

Tickets:  $25 in Advance -- $35 Day of Festival
(Click to order Tickets Online)

At both the St. Georges Blues Fest & the St. Georges Bluegrass Festival

                                                                                   Click above for info