Buddy Merriam and Back Roads

When Hartford, CT native Buddy Merriam decided to launch a bluegrass band nearly 25 years ago, he sought out the finest teacher possible: acknowledged father of bluegrass music Bill Monroe. Since then, Merriam’s devotion to traditional bluegrass and willingness to seek new influences and methods have earned Merriam and the band, Back Roads, the respect of fans and critics alike. As Bluegrass Unlimited magazine put it, Back Roads “strives to open the music up to new ideas and influences while, at the same time, tipping its collective hat to the historical precedents of the form.”

Based in New York, Buddy Merriam and Back Roads are fixtures on the Northeast’s bluegrass circuit. The band includes Merriam on mandolin, Ron Feinberg on fiddle, lead singer Chris Maloy on rhythm guitar, Andy Falco on electric and acoustic guitar, Patrick Falco on stand-up bass, and Jerry Oland on five-string banjo. The group’s Jubilee performance spotlights tunes from the CD It’s Bluegrass Time, which features 10 new songs along with bluegrass standards “Body and Soul” and “Blue Yodel #4.”