Rich Howells

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: Episode 27 – The universal appeal of bluegrass music with Coal Town Rounders

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: Episode 27 – The universal appeal of bluegrass music with Coal Town Rounders
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Professionally recorded every Monday at The Stude in TwentyFiveEight Studios in Scranton and released exclusively on every Tuesday, the NEPA Scene Podcast is a free supplement to the website, expanding on the arts and entertainment stories covered on the site and going beyond them to discuss other news and entertainment topics.

Each week, the unedited and uncensored podcast features Rich Howells, NEPA Scene founder and editor; Mark Dennebaum, president and owner of TwentyFiveEight Studios; Lauren Quirolgico, commercial and content strategist at Lavelle Strategy Group and editor at TwentyFiveEight; and in the control room, Jimmy Reynolds, a musician, teacher, and lead audio engineer at TwentyFiveEight. Every episode streams on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and

Scranton bluegrass band Coal Town Rounders sit down with us in Episode 27 to talk about how they discovered this music, learned new instruments, and formed the group; booking and playing various festivals, including the weird ones with drugs and laser beams; the universal appeal of bluegrass and introducing it to new audiences; the transition from playing traditional songs to writing original tracks; recording their new album, “How It Used to Be,” live at home in two days over the Christmas holiday; printing and folding every CD cover by hand at Revival Letterpress; the differences among bluegrass, country, and folk music; meeting celebrities; hoping for a Tastykake endorsement; and the story of how collecting “bad” art from yard sales and flea markets led to owning a $21 five-foot-long cat painting that hangs above one band member’s bed.

In The Last Word segment, we discuss how to offer constructive criticism – and take it – without hurting anyone’s feelings or burning bridges and a concert cancellation in Wilkes-Barre that sparked a heated debate about the local music scene.

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Photo by Mark Dennebaum/TwentyFiveEight Studios