Bluegrass Treasures!

This afternoon I had the pleasure of attending “January Thaw” presented by the Thames Valley Bluegrass Association .
The two groups playing during this amazing event were: Rhyme & Reason from SW Ontario and Hardline Drive from Michigan.

Both bands were amazing – the music was fantastic and it was so clear that each of the musicians loved singing and playing up there on the stage. I will be watching for upcoming performances.

If you enjoy listening to Bluegrass music then I highly recommend both of these bands as well as events through the Thames Valley organization.

Now I just have to comment on the amazing voices of the two female vocalists with Hardline Drive. The lead singer, Toni, has a powerful voice that just fills the room. As she sang, I was reminded of my all-time favourite voice: Don Williams. Don’s sound is described as “soft hickory” – smooth – and that is what I was hearing this afternoon. Smooth power. Loved it!

Take this sound and add in the powerhouse voice of Danielle and you have one amazing sound that just makes the room vibrate with song. As I watched Danielle bring that mandolin alive, burning up those strings, I was amazed at her talents and then those pipes broke loose and, wow, – where did that come from? As I said to her afterward, “Are you kidding me??!!” The voices of the two singers compliment each other so perfectly. Phew. That’s all I can say, other than “you just have to hear it to believe it”.

Again, thanks to all the musicians for a perfect afternoon.
~ Debbie


  1. Me said,

    January 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

  2. January 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, hope to see you again soon..

  3. Rhonda Boedecker said,

    January 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I too have had the pleasure of seeing Hardline Drive. They are truly amazing. It won’t be long before we all see their name at the top of the charts! I have no doubts.
    Rhonda Boedecker

  4. msdebbiep said,

    January 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I agree — astounding group and they’ve only just begun 🙂

  5. Paul Nosko said,

    January 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Debbie , Thanks for posting this . Having Rhyme N Reason and Hardline Drive together was about as perfect an event as you could have , both groups are fantastic , and gave everyone there a total mix of bluegrass , traditional , gospel , to almost “new grass” style , with lots of great original songs .
    Having known R n R for a while I already knew how talented these guys were , good friends and great musicians always helping out our club with events and even workshops . Nominated for 5 separate awards at the Central Canada Bluegrass Music awards , R and R are going places , and I believe next year they are going on US tour , which backs up that statement .
    Bill’s humor kept everyone rolling on the floor and his hand moved so fast on the strings of that mandolin you would need a strobe to see it . Doug’s vocals are superb as is his guitar playing ,Stefan , what can I say . great vocals, and I think one of the best banjo players around , he makes it look effortless , but anyone who has tried knows different . Randy’s bass playing is what every band desires , he holds them all together and he and ” thumper ” have defiantly bonded .
    make sure you check thier web site

    By the way .. if your reading this grab stop for a second and grab a coffee , it’s going to be a mini novel ..

    Hardline drive ..all I can say is WOW , having only communicated with them on line or by phone I already knew they were very personable people , but the morning they arrived to do the show it was like we were old friends . Hugs ,handshakes, and warm greetings for everyone .
    During the sound check I knew that the musical part of this band would knock peoples socks off ..and they did .
    Toni and Danielle have fantastic voices both solo or in harmony , I over heard some one make the comment that could easily win on ” star search ”
    Danielle’s chops and licks on the mandolin are clear and driving .
    Greg’s has now become one of my favorite guitar players , his licks and lead runs got my attention for sure , then he grabbed his dobro and continued to impress .. he is with out a doubt a very talented musician .
    Wes and his banjo added more hard drive to the mix , clean licks and fast rolls , and every once in a while would make that banjo skin crack and go ..
    Lare , well if they didn’t tell anyone you would never have know it was only his second gig with this band , good clean bass , not over powering , enough to hold things together , and to step into a situation and learn 30 or more songs at a moments notice only tells me this is another talented musician .. add all these ingredients together and you have one fine example of talent and this band is all of that . precise timing , excellent vocals and harmony , great original songs and when on stage the warmth and and amazing personality’s make you part of their ” circle This is a band that is going to be one to watch , and if you get a chance do so .. and go to their web site and get a copy of their CD … you won’t be disappointed I promise !

  6. msdebbiep said,

    January 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    that about sums it up, doesn’t it — “WOW”. .. for the entire afternoon.

    I totally agree with all the music comments although I have to just say “huh?” to the technical terms 🙂 But I do know what I like – and I liked it!

    Oh and I just have to add, “Randy, we love you!” and to Lare: “You guys were stunningly handsome up there”. 🙂

    Thanks, Paul for taking the time to add your comments.
    ~ Debbie

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