As announced last week, Serene Green will perform during the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Preshow, presented by Lehigh Valley Underground at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks on Sunday, March 5.
We wanted to get to know the band a bit better, so we asked a few questions, which they were kind enough to answer for us. Check it out!
Let’s start from the beginning: How did Serene Green first come together?
Serene Green began when long-time friends and musical companions, Michael Johnson and Quentin Fisher, began playing and writing songs in the Folk and Bluegrass styles. After years of searching for the right pieces, we have grown into a quartet, with the addition of Shane McGeehan on bass and Steve Leonard on banjo.
Your sound is deeply rooted in the traditions of bluegrass. Who are your influences?
Some of our earliest bluegrass influences were Old & In the Way, Del McCoury Band, and the Infamous Stringdusters. We’re inspired by bands of both the traditional and contemporary bluegrass styles.
You’ve become prominent members of the Pennsylvania bluegrass community, working with a number of well-known musicians including David Bromberg and Railroad Earth’s Andy Goessling. Describe those experiences and what they’ve taught you.
Getting to open for and play with such great musicians like David Bromberg and Andy Goessling really showed us that hard work pays off. These are the guys we’ve looked up to from an early point in our musical careers, admiring both their playing and songwriting abilities, so to get to collaborate with them personally is an inexplicable feeling. Those experiences only motivated us to push ourselves more and more.
In growing and working with renowned musicians, you’ve built quite the reputation yourselves, winning the 2015 Lehigh Valley Music Award for Outstanding Bluegrass Fusion Band. How did you react to the honor?
Winning the LVMA award for Outstanding Bluegrass Fusion Band showed us that people were beginning to notice all the work we’ve done, inspiring us to work harder on improving as musicians.
Your live performances have been described as “captivating.” What does a Serene Green show look and sound like?
We couldn’t tell you exactly what a Serene Green show sounds or looks like, since we’re the ones performing, but we hope that the audience hears polished musicians playing, and singing in a way that represents all the wonderful qualities of bluegrass music, with our own unique flair.
People will have the chance to see and hear for themselves during the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Preshow, presented by Lehigh Valley Underground and taking place Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m. What do you have planned for us that day?
We look forward to playing at the LVMA18 Preshow, because it’ll give us yet another opportunity to get out in front of music lovers and industry professionals who may have never heard us before. We’ll be showcasing a lot of our new original music, which we’re very excited about.
Beyond that, what do you have planned for the future? Any upcoming releases or shows we should know about?
We plan on making our first studio record in the next few months. We’re also playing a number of great music festivals this year, including Susquehanna Breakdown in Scranton, Pennsylvania and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition in Telluride, Colorado. We’ll also be going to Del Fest, Del McCoury’s music festival in Cumberland, Maryland, to hear all our favorite bluegrass bands and pick with some great musicians who we look up to. Traveling and playing music, in short, is what our future holds.
Get ready for Serene Green’s LVMAs Preshow performance by checking out their tunes below!