The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 13, 2013

Coal Town Rounders bring musical heat to Bloomsburg

BLOOMSBURG — Christopher Kearney wants to sell you something that is bargain-priced. In fact, it’s free.

It’s not a set of encyclopedias, a bridge in Florida or even some stale Halloween candy.

Instead, the Scranton-based musician is trying to sell an evening of music and merriment slated for tonight when the Coal Town Rounders heat things up at the Turkey Hill Brewing Company in Bloomsburg.

“It’s not offensive. You won’t get hurt. No mosh pit. We sing nice and we’re nice people. I like the music we play and you also might. We’re all sort of handsome. We have a really good time when we play. It’s contagious. You may inadvertently have a good time,” he said.

While Kearney probably won’t win any awards for his salesmanship, he and his fellow bandmates will no doubt garner kudos and a few accolades for their musical styling that blends  traditional and contemporary-styled tunes that are 90 percent pure and simple bluegrass music.

Hailing from Scranton, Coal Town Rounders features the talents of Matthew Hiller on mandolin and vocals; Ian O’Hara on every bluegrass musician’s must-have, the beloved banjo; Jason Zarnowski provides bass and vocals with Kearney rounding out the Rounders with some smooth vocals and hot guitar playing.

“Our music is mostly old bluegrass tunes for now. It’s kind of the way bluegrass is,” he said. “The music catalog is seemingly endless. There’s so many great tunes that we have so much fun playing we haven’t gotten around to really working up our own tunes. There’s a few in the works but for now I guess we’re a cover band.”

While their music echoes of days long past,  Scranton’s hardscrabble history has helped shape the band’s musical style as well as their name.

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