Friday, 31 July 2015

The Po‘ Ramblin‘ Boys European Tour 2015

"A tree can't stand without its roots. So we are just trying to keep those roots alive. We want to complement and not take away."

The Po' Ramblin' Boys were born in the shadow of a moonshine still in the Great Smoky Mountains, springing to life with all the zest and zeal you would expect from a 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass band. They play to thousands of tourists who hear them each day at Ole Smoky Moonshine locations at The Holler in Gatlinburg and The Island in Pigeon Forge.

In less than a month, CJ Lewandowski, Jereme Brown, Jasper Lorentzen and Josh "Jug" Rinkl,  this hard-driving traditional bluegrass band from Tennessee, will be touring Europe for the first time. The ten day tour will take them through four countries, from Switzerland to the Netherlands. Highlights of the tour include two major bluegrass, a number of bluegrass club dates and a performance at the world-famous Schorem barbershop in Rotterdam. Their tour schedule is the following:

* 27 August 2015 - Kino METROPOL - Kusterdingen (D)
* 28 August 2015 - 7. Bluegrass Festival - Birkenried (D)
* 29 August 2015 - House Concert at Jan's Place - Hoogstraten/Antwerpen (B)
* 30 August 2015 - Party Centrum De Vriendschap - Spanbroek (NL)
* 2 September 2015 - Schorem Haarsnijder en Barbier - Rotterdam (NL)
* 4 September 2015 - Bauernhof Maag - Zweidlen (CH)
* 5 September 2015 - 17. Sunny Mountain Bluegrass Festival - Lommis (CH)
* 6 September 2015 - Guggenheim - Liestal (CH)

The Po' Ramblin' Boys are looking forward to bringing their hard-driving, very tight bluegrass sound to European audiences. Make sure to catch them as they whirlwind through Europe. The tour is organised by SwissGrass Productions.

The New Breadwinners - A young Irish bluegrass touring France, 30 July-3 Sept. 2015

The New Breadwinners are a three piece acoustic bluegrass band based in Dublin, Ireland, made up of three of the finest young musicians from Ireland's Bluegrass scene. Having first met at Dublin's now legendary bluegrass session in Sin É, the trio have spent the past 2 years honing their craft on Dublin's streets and pubs, before committing to form a band in late 2014.

With their feet firmly planted in the American bluegrass tradition, The New Breadwinners also write their own material, bringing a youthful Irish touch to this American legacy. Combining an energetic stage presence with hard driving songs and impressive instrumentals, The New Breadwinners guarantee an exhilarating performance that is sure to please.

Luke Coffey on 5 string banjo and vocals; John Denby on mandolin and vocals; and Niall Hughes on guitar and vocals will begin on 30 July a five-week tour of France, taking in Normandy, the Alps, and Alsace. For the Northern leg of the tour they will be joined by Gab Faure on fiddle, who played with them in concert at the last Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival. The tour schedule is at present as follows:

Thurs. 30th July: Morlaix 29600, Ty coz
Fri. 31st: Santec 29250, le Dossen

Sat. 1st Aug.: Gomené 22230, Pub Follette
Sun. 2nd: Guern 56310, Les Anges
Tues. 4th: Moncontour 22510, le Contretemps
Fri. 7th: Tremargat 22110, La Pépie
Sat. 8th: Douarnenez 29100, Café des Halles
Thurs. 13th: Valjouffrey 38740, L'église de Valjouffrey
Fri. 14th: Moulin Vieux 38350, L'église de Moulin Vieux
Mon. 17th-Sun. 23rd: Morzine 74110, The Dixie Bar (7-night residency)

Wed. 2nd Sept.: Rennes 35000, Le Hibou Grand Duc
Thurs. 3rd: Soulvache 44660, Le Papier Buvard

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Kids On Bluegrass Band head to La Roche

Anyone thinking of attending the forthcoming La Roche Bluegrass Festival may have their minds made up by what they are about to read; if you are already planning on attending, then the young musicians pictured above are a 'must see'. Read on....
The Kids On Bluegrass Band from the USA is made up of Frannie DiGiovanni (guitar), Cara DiGiovanni (fiddle), Isaac Ferrell (banjo), Jonah Horton (mandolin) and Helen Foley (bass). As mentioned in the article in Bluegrass Today, the Kids On Bluegrass Band has been assembled by band director, Kim Fox (of 3 Fox Drive) and they will be appearing at the 10th La Roche Bluegrass Festival between the 29th July and 2nd August.

I have been fortunate enough to see some of these musicians play live and you really do not want to miss seeing them. This video was taken at IBMA in Raleigh in 2014.

They are all highly gifted musicians and, whoever else is playing at La Roche, find time to see Kids On Bluegrass.

On a personal note, and from experience at HoustonFest in Galax, if you happen to see a young man walking around who appears to be permanently attached to his mandolin and playing wherever he walks, this could be Jonah Horton. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

BE Featured Artist: Danilo Cartia - July Dates in Italy

The featured artist on the current edition of Bluegrass Europe - Danilo Cartia - will be performing with Letizia Sampaolo throughout July starting tomorrow with a mini-tour of Northern Italy. As Danilo said in the interview in Bluegrass Europe, the concerts are likely to be a mixture of bluegrass, Americana, country blues and original compositions. Don't miss this opportunity to see Danilo and Letizia play.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Mazy jam and open stage - Friday 26th June, 2015

Dear friends, musicians and music lovers,

Please take note that next Friday, 26th June, 2015 there will be Open Stage at the wonderful Zy'coop place, 9a rue de l'usine, 5032 Mazy. 
Steve, Laurent & Pascal, the organising team, will be there starting from 8:00pm on. It will be a great occasion to perform solo or with your band, or jamming together. Steve Louvat will open the concert.
For further info please check website or call +32 0472 22 03 26.

By the way, make sure you will not miss any future event and become friends on Facebook. It will be easier to keep in touch!

Monday, 22 June 2015

TONIGHT: Bluegrass Jam in Rome

Thanks to banjoist, guitarist, bandleader Danilo Cartia for the reminder of this Wednesday's jam in
Rome (Italy):

Dear friends, musicians and music lovers,
Rome Bluegrass Jam is back in town, with bluegrass, country music & more!

When? Next Wednesday 24th June 2015 at 8:00pm.
Where? Sláinte Irish Pub, Via Nomentana 940, Rome.
Why? The purpose of the jam session, as usual, is to meet musicians, propose tunes, play together, have fun sharing skills and news, following the feeling of the moment.

If you are in Rome and want to be part of it, please get in touch with Danilo Cartia.

Phone/fax: +39 068273332
Mobile: +39 3396908450


Beppe Gambetta Summer Guitar Workshop - Flatpicking and more in one of the oldest European Workshops

Beppe Gambetta's 23rd International Acoustic Guitar Workshop will take place from July 26 to August 2, 2015, in Ambrož pod Krvavcem,  a small village in the mountains of Slovenia approximately 1080 m. high, about 35 km North of Ljubljana (with an International Airport) and about 45 km South of Klagenfurt (Austria). This place offers a wonderful view of the Alps, the Karawanks, and the cities of Kranj and Ljubljana. Participants from all over Europe will gather to spend a week of lessons, concerts in the night and, of course, jam their way into the wee hours of morning!

Beppe's Guitar Workshop began way back in 1992. The first time it was held in Italy but afterwards the location moved to this magic place in the beauty of the Alps. During all these past years, the International Acoustic Guitar Workshop became one of Europe’s leading educational events for acoustic guitar, whose goals are to support a community of music enthusiasts, help and foster new talents, put in contact musicians with different culture and background, open new horizons to artistic creativity and have fun together. On its 23rd edition, the Workshop keeps holding its reputation. This years' intructors will be Beppe Gambetta, from Italy, for Flatpicking with American and European Roots, and ensemble music; and Tim Williams, from (USA/Canada), for Fingerpicking, Blues, Rags, Songs and Roots.

Beppe Gambetta will bring his knowledge of the plectrum guitar techniques of both sides of the Ocean. He will focus on the challenge of the technical and artistic improvement and will bring his ability of melting elements in a new synthesis. He will also bring his competence in playing solo Flatpicking or in arranging Flatpicking for a music ensemble.

Tim Williams is a renowned teacher, a great acoustic fingerpicking
guitarist representing a living connection with the legends and the history of blues and roots music. He will teach how to use all this knowledge to feed creativity and also in singing and composing songs.

In the evening, on the Barn Stage, the students will have the possibility to perform at open mics. One night will be dedicated to the teachers performance. The jam sessions will be managed for different skill levels. Basic guitar playing and tablature reading are required. The number of participants is limited to 30, divided in two groups of 15, intermediate and advanced. Visitors, friends and jamming enthusiasts are welcome from Thursday evening (July 30th).

Check website for further info or contact Stane Svigelj, phone: +386 4188 6460, e-mail,

3rd Low Country Bluegrass Festival - June 26-28, 2015 - Oelegen (Belgium)

In Belgium, Bluegrass music has widened its public through the movie "The Broken Circle Breakdown", as that film brought this musical genre to the general public. Consequently, Bluegrass music spread its wings even in this country and since then it is much appreciated. Despite The Low Country Bluegrass Festival is a very recent organization -- it started at the end of 2012 -- it has great projects. Its members and organizers would love to host many Belgian, European and US bands on stage in the very next editions.  At the moment, it is the only Bluegrass Festival in Belgium and its 3rd edition will take place next weekend, from June 26 to June 28. Four bands from Belgium and seven from other European countries will give concerts.  Here is the line up:

Friday June 26 evening:
The Blind Horny Toads (Belgium)

Saturday June 27:
Strograss (Belgium)
The Muddy Hill Boys (France)
Shenandoah Special (Belgium)
Springfield (France)
G-Runs ‘n Roses (Czech Republic)

Sunday June 28:
Velvet Joe & The Bluegrass Diamonds (Netherland)
Stringtime (Netherland)
The Kentucky Cow Tippers (UK)
Blue Maxx (Belgium)
The Rockridge Brothers (Sweden)

Free camping will be provided to participants from Friday to Monday morning. The camping area is next to the concert hall and a free Sunday breakfast will be offered to the ones who will book their stay.

Last, but not least, the organizers would like to bring new life to the old tradition of the "Clog dancing". Therefore, of Friday 26, the 1st Shoe Race will take place in the streets of Oelegem. It is open to all ages, from 6 years old, all skill levels. Free wooden shoes can be borrowed for the race if booked.

For further info see the Festival website or Bluegrass in Belgium.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Workshop: MinierAcustica - Italy - August 2015

The MinierAcustica Music camp is now taking bookings for its 2015 event which will feature Russ Barenberg, Wesley Corbett and Eden Macadam-somer as instructors.

The camp takes place in the countryside outside of Urbino in central Italy and, as can be seen in more detail on their website, the week includes classes, concerts and other cultural activities.The MinierAcustica website is multi-lingual and French and Italian versions can be accessed via a drop-down menu at the bottom of the page on their website.

MinierAcustica run two camps on two different weeks and the 'Russ Barenberg' week is the 'Blue Week'. To see full details of the week including the schedule, pricing etc. highlight the Blue Week menu to access the relevant pages (as shown below).

Finally, here is a video from the concert ont he final night of MinierAcustica 2013.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Henhouse Prowlers in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Prague

Having received an email that the Henhouse Prowlers would be visiting Europe for shows across Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and one in Prague I thought that I should find out more about the band rather than just give you all a list of dates and what a surprise I had!

I found an article on the PRI website called 'How a Chicago bluegrass band rocked Nigeria's music scene' - read the full article here. To summarise, the Henhouse Prowlers went on a state-funded month-long tour in Africa as part of American Music Abroad (an organisation which fosters cross-cultural connections between American musicians and global audiences). They were subsequently invited back by the American Embassy in Nigeria where they covered a popular Nigerian contemporary song and ultimately performed the song with the original artist - Peter Okoye - at a reception in the US Embassy in Abuja. Bluegrass: the music with no borders.

Here are Henhouse Prowlers performing with local musicians in Uganda.

Anyway...what about the concert dates? Here they are:

6/19 - Jaarmarkt | Vorselaar, Belgium
6/20 - Kids 'n' Billies 2015 | Nijmegen, Netherlands
6/21 - Muddy Roots Europe | Waardamme, Belgium
6/22 - Harksheide | Norderstedt, Germany
6/24 - kunstkeller o27 | Furth, Germany
6/25 - Rock Café Prague (Official), Czech Republic
6/26 - Kulturrampe Krefeld, Germany
6/27 - Pijnackerplein Bluegrass Festival | Rotterdam, Netherlands
6/28 - NiX BBBlues Club | Enschede, Netherlands
6/29 - De Parel Van Zuilen | Utrecht, Netherlands
6/30-7/1 - Vintage Pub (Private) | Munich, Germany
7/2 - Extra-Blues-Bar | Bielefeld, Germany
7/3 - Flöz-K | Werne, Germany
7/4 - RosRock Festival | Rossum, Netherlands
7/5 - Hoogtevrees | Deventer, Netherlands

* all links are to Facebook pages

Concert dates start tomorrow - 19th June - so go and welcome Henhouse Prowlers to Europe.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Bluegrass Music in Europe: Donald Wermuth seeks your input

We have just received a message from Donald Wermuth who is a Supporting Member of the EBMA who will be giving a presentation in the USA on Bluegrass music in Europe. Here is Donald's message:
Dear Bluegrass friends,

Can I ask for a favor as a supporting member of the EBMA?

In the last week of July I shall give a presentation (a mixture of text, pictures and music) about the development of Bluegrass Music in Europe with a special focus on the Netherlands. This will take place at The Bluegrass Week at Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins WVA. This is part of the series of presentations from Fred Bartenstein about "The History Of Bluegrass Music".

I woud like to have input on the following:
  • What is the reason/drive/motivation behind you playing Bluegrass music (whether this is as an individual or as part of a bluegrass group)?
  • What are your ambitions concerning playing Bluegrass, do you have specific goals?
  • Are there anything else that you would like to tell me about discovering and playing Bluegrass?
Please send your replies  to: bluegrassduck @ and I would be very grateful if you could send me your replies before June 22nd.

I will, as much as possible, integrate your input in the presentation.

Donald Wermuth

So..if you can, send Donald an email and help him pass on information about Bluegrass music in Europe and learn more about the Bluegrass Week at Augusta Heritage Center here.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Foghorn Stringband return to Europe!

Following their acclaimed concert dates in Ireland, Scotland and England during May, The Foghorn Stringband will be returning to Europe during July. As mentioned in the EBMA Blog article written for their previous visit, The Foghorn Stringband have recently released 'Devil In The Seat' which ranges from the exuberant to the beautifully restrained, from the contemporary to the historic with some traditional favourites added for good measure.

The concert dates are listed below and, having seen the band play on the final date of their May tour, I strongly recommend going to see and hear The Foghorn Stringband.

Concert dates:
July  2 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
July  4 - Hauwert, Netherlands - Dorpshuis De Werf
July  5 - Gooik, Belgium - Gooikoorts Int. Volksmuziekfestival
July  7 - Torsby, Sweden - Fröknarna Fräs Torsby Camping
July  8 - Örebro, Sweden - East West Sushi
July  9 - Stockholm, Sweden - Vintervikens Trädgardar
July 10 - Malmö, Sweden - Folksy Kafé Agnez (Facebook page)
July 11 - Ätran, Sweden - Nääsville Bluegrass & Music Festival
* there may be an additional concert on July 3 but this is yet to be announced

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Some of the next Bluegrass Festivals in Ireland

Fri, June 12 ~ Sun , June 14, 2015

Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival is a not-for-profit event run entirely by a voluntary committee. Like the previous editions, the 9th Festival will be a high-quality, multiple-venue, open and inclusive event in Westport. With more than 20 events over three days, the Festival attracts local, national and international artists and audiences.

The nature and ethos of the event is very important. The Committee fosters an accessible, warm, open atmosphere where everyone – all generations, cultures and walks of life, locals and visitors – feel included and have fun. The audience profile is comprised of everyone from seasoned folk and bluegrass ‘buffs’ to casual music fans.
For the 2014 Festival they brought a total of 46 artists across 13 groups to perform at 17 events in three days. They were from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, the Netherlands, Germany, the USA and Australia. A large number of other musicians played with them at sessions and jams and at a Masterclass.

Last year, Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival has been shortlisted in three categories in the Irish Festival Awards – Best Small Festival, Best Lineup and the Family Festival Award. Uri Kohen, Chairperson of the group of volunteers that organises the festival, said: “After being listed by The Irish Times as one of the Top 20 Festivals in Ireland, we’re delighted to have the festival recognised by an independent panel of experts.”

The Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival committee includes Sarah Mac Evilly, Tim Rogers, Uri Kohen, Cllr Michael McLaughlin, last Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, Ciara Moynihan and Fergus Kelly, pictured outside McGing’s pub, the year-round home of bluegrass and folk in Westport.

To know this year's line up and for further info:

Fri, July 10 ~ Sun , July 12, 2015

Celebrating 25 years of Bluegrass this year, Ireland's 1st and longest running Bluegrass festival
established 1991, will be a 3-days of non stop un-diluted bluegrass music. Proudly supported by Kildare County Council and the Athy Town Promoters Group, "Athy In July" will be a fantastic weekend of concerts and pickin' sessions for bluegrass music, its musicians and fans. The Athy GAA Centre will host 4 Wheel Drive from Holland, Patuxent Partners, from USA, and the Irish Woodbine. On Saturday there will be the Absent Friends Concert, to remember all the festival friends who have passed on over the past 25 years, featuring The Plough from Australia and MTC.

For further info:, e-mail  or call +353 085 1656685.

Thu, August 27 ~ Sun , August 30 2015

Once a year in August music pilgrims come from all over the world to the Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival to listen to authentic bluegrass music. Bands play to ecstatic crowds, spread out comfortably at 6 venues, both indoors and outdoors. There are also fine dining, sunbathing, swimming, dancing and jamming all day and night - a Bluegrass picker's paradise. The annual Festival takes place in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, 27th to 30th August 2015. It promises to be a great weekend of bluegrass music for enthusiasts and lovers of great music. Top American, European and Irish acts playing over four days.  There is no entry fee and each of the groups play at all of the venues throughout the weekend. The line up that was put together is the following:
* Demolition String Band (USA)
* Whiskey Deaf (USA)
* Down & Out Bluegrass Band
* Mons Wheeler Band
* Jig Jam
* Cup O Joe
* Barefoot 
and many more to be announced.

Bring your banjo, mandolin or any other musical instrument and join in the fun! Enjoy the atmosphere which is always lively and upbeat, along with the music and the craic.

For further info contact Mick Daly, Tel: +353 51 878832, Mobile: +353 87 2562899, Email: