Charm City Junction
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Charm City Junction honors the sounds of its namesake town while also pushing their roots music to new frontiers. Founded in 2014, the ensemble is a quartet of next-generation virtuoso musicians, including Patrick McAvinue (fiddle), Sean McComiskey (button accordion), Alex Lacquement (upright bass), and Brad Kolodner (clawhammer banjo). The band members, drawing from distinct backgrounds of school and sound, fuse their influences, including old-time rhythms, Irish melodies, and hard-driving bluegrass, to create funky rhythms and highly danceable performances that often have their audience foot-stomping on the dance floor at the pluck of their first notes.
Charm City Junction’s unique soundscape parallels the history of bluegrass music itself.
A genre that has roots in Appalachian styles, old-time dance tunes, and African American blues and jazz, and was popularized in the 1940s and ’50s, bluegrass is a combination of Irish, English, and Scottish traditions with emerging American sounds. Charm City Junction creates balances between sounds of legacy as second-generation musicians, with innovative approaches to musical arrangements. Both Brad Kolodner and Sean McComiskey grew up listening to their fathers–Ken Kolodner, a respected hammered-dulcimer player, and legendary Irish button accordionist, Bill McComiskey, an NEA National Heritage Fellow. As they took up their instruments, they began to carve out their own identity and reputation. Patrick McAvinue’s fiddle playing, for which he was recognized as the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Fiddler of the Year, enhances traditional bluegrass language with eclectic accents that pull from diverse sources, and Alex Lacquemont’s bass provides the grounding grooves for the band to harmonize upon. Charm City Junction’s creative and inspired sounds have earned them praise from audiences and venues alike.
The band released their debut album, Charm City Junction, in 2015, a year after their inception. They went on to produce their second album in Duckpin in 2018, which debuted at #6 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts. Their energy and approach to creating music earned them an IBMA Momentum Band of the Year nomination in 2016, another in a series of accolades collectively achieved by the group.