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What's Up Magazine

The Live Wire

Oct 31, 2011 08:04PM ● By Anonymous

Seven years later, Ben Arminger and Sam Guthridge are still playing music together under the name Chester River Runoff. In 2006, bassist Marc Dykeman and fiddler Nate Grower joined them full-time.

Chester River Runoff has seen a lot of changes. Band members have come and gone, and Arminger and Guthridge have switched instruments—Guthridge now picks away at the banjo, and Arminger plays a mean guitar. What they think is most important, though, is that they’ve gotten better. “We have become much more capable musicians,” says Guthridge, adding, “We have become better arrangers as well— each new song we learn or write tends to have a little more thought put into it, and more subtle touches applied to it.” Their talents haven’t gone unrecognized. In 2007, the Associated Press covered two of their songs, and What’s Up? Eastern Shore named them People to Watch in 2010. Plus, they have a devoted fan base.

While their sound has always been heartfelt, it now has aspects of other genres. From old-timey fiddle to alt-country, the boys have made an effort to incorporate different styles. And, they make them sound great.

On their newest, and first studio album, Blue Heron Farm, Runoff sounds polished, clean, and cohesive. Their instruments and vocals blend seamlessly on upbeat tracks like “Roll On,” and the fan favorite “Plastic Houses.” And, even when they slow down for songs like the twangy “Coffee,” and the slightly more alternative “Too Many Sunny Days,” Chester River Runoff sticks together.

These guys are going to perform all over the Shore in November and hope to have dates in the Annapolis vicinity added (at press time, their schedule was still being updated). They’ll be at Fager’s Island in Ocean City on the 4th, and at Carpenter Street Salon in St. Michaels on the 5th. You can also find them at Market Street Public House in Denton on November 10th. Be sure to visit their website chesterriverrunoff. com to see when they’ll be in your neck of the woods.


A selection of notable artists playing area venues.

11/1 Jay-Z and Kanye West
at 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore
Two hip-hop megastars on one stage

11/4 Oleta Adams
at Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis
Popular R&B/soul vocalist

11/5 Buddy Guy
at Rams Head Live, Baltimore
Legendary blues guitarist

11/5 Yellow Dubmarine
at the 8x10 Club, Baltimore
The Beatles catalogue gets the reggae treatment

11/11 Foo Fighters w/ Social Distortion
at Verizon Center, D.C.
Two alt-rocks greats

11/11 & 12 moe. at the 9:30 Club, D.C.
Psychedelic jamband with loyal following

11/14 Devon Allman’s Honeytribe
at Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis
Gregg Allman’s offspring plays his own brand of southern rock

11/18 & 19 Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
at Maryland Hall, Annapolis
Performing Beethoven, Frank, and Mussorgsky/Ravel

11/22 Leon Russell
at State Theatre, Falls Church Country/rock piano legend

11/25 Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
at 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore Classic rock legend

11/26 They Might Be Giants
at the 9:30 Club, D.C.
Popular alt-rock band

11/29 Allen Toussaint
at Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis
Iconic New Orleans musician, composer, and producer

11/30 Vanilla Fudge
at Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis
Progressive ’60s/’70s rock band back on tour