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Conversations with Rock Creek Revival

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rock Creek Revival.

Hello Rock Creek Revival, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Rock Creek Revival is a four-piece bluegrass band originating in Maryland. Members of the band hail from Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Montgomery, and Washington Counties. The band formed when Andrew Janosek (banjo) and Sean McCartney (guitar) started playing together at Farmers Markets.

They realized they could have more fun if they formed a band and played at locales they were already frequenting (breweries, festivals, etc.). Over the years, the band has “revived” itself through different ensembles of musicians. The current lineup consists of Alex Orr on mandolin, Chris Blauciak on double bass, Andrew Janosek on banjo, and Sean McCartney on guitar.

Our buddy Matt Zuckerman often sits in on dobro as does our friend Victoria Greer on fiddle.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Overall, I’d say we’ve been blessed as a band. We all have day jobs and playing bluegrass is an outlet for our creativity and fun–it’s a way of focusing our attention on the music we love with people we enjoy hanging with.

We’ve largely avoided ego issues that most bands struggle with, and we get paid to play at venues we’d be frequenting anyway. The biggest struggles have been keeping a consistent lineup of band members–friends have moved away or stepped aside to raise families.

Our focus has always been on respecting the music and maximizing our fun. As long as we do that folks will be entertained and establishments will keep hiring us back again to perform.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As stated earlier, all the members of Rock Creek Revival have day jobs. There’s an old adage about playing bluegrass professionally: “It’s the best job where you don’t make any money.” There’s a lot of truth to that. Fortunately for us, we play this style of music because we love it and we enjoy the people we play with.

Members of the band come from a range of professions: farmer, editor, mechanic, scientist. We come from different coasts, pursue different hobbies, and are all focused on our respective careers. The diversity of the band is one of our strengths–it helps us not take ourselves too seriously.

The fact we can put in an honest day’s work in our respective jobs, then come together most weekends to play bluegrass is something we don’t take for granted. Finding something you are genuinely passionate about and seeing where it takes you is one of the grand adventures in life.

It improves the work/life balance which is something we should all be striving for.

What is it about playing music together that so inspires you?
After playing music with the same people for a while becomes addictive. When we’re at our respective day jobs we’re thinking about pickin’ songs or playing whatever show lies in store that weekend.

There’s been a lot of research into musical collaborations–benefits include improving mental health by reducing stress, improving social interactions, and engaging parts of the brain that are neglected when passively going about one’s day. When you’re playing music, you’re not thinking about news from the morning or the work waiting the next day–you’re creatively engaged in the present and it’s a fun place to be.

The band is keen on introducing new fans to bluegrass music. We all love the music we play, it’s an American art form with roots in Western Europe, West Africa, and Appalachia. Bluegrass holds onto tradition while allowing ample space for improvisation. If we can introduce one new fan at each show (young or old) we’ve done our part.

We hope whoever reading this will come to see Rock Creek Revival and share in the fun!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
John Bolten and Chris Blauciak

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