I don't know if it was really bound to happen, but I am sure excited that it did.\n\n\n\nThis month, a former fifth grade student of mine - Shane McLaughlin - and his band appear on Trail Mix. Folks, that is pretty cool.\n\n\n\nI taught McLaughlin during one of my first years teaching near Charlottesville, Virginia. Life took Shane, and his passion for music, to Harrisonburg, Virginia, and then eventually to the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied finance and eventually ended up pursuing a career in music. His band, Buffalo Rose, has been evolving since 2016, and has shared the stage with The Infamous Stringdusters, Yarn, and The Dustbowl Revival. The folksy, acoustic sextet calls to mind The Lumineers and First Aid Kit, among others.\n\n\n\nThis month, I am thrilled to feature "I Feel So Good," from the band's latest EP, on Trail Mix.\n\n\n\nThe December mix also features some powerful female performances. Check out the new tracks for Aoife O'Donovan, Patty Griffin, Allison Moorer, Liz Vice, Kyshona Armstrong, and the sister group, Wildwood Kin.\n\n\n\nRounding out this month's mix are great tracks from The Infamous Stringdusters, Charlie Hager, Jake La Botz, Scott Biram, Kyle Emerson, Wayne Hancock, Human Barbie, Harry Nilsson, Grayson Jenkins, Kitchen Dwellers, Whitacre, and a couple holiday tunes from Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors and Jon Patrick Walker.\n\n\n\nAnd - if you are strapped for gift ideas for the music lover in your life - seek out a title or two from this month's mix and head to your local music shop. Grab a record, a disc, or some concert tickets and give the gift of music. It's a win\/win, really!\n\n\n\nHappy holidays, friends.