Wednesday, 19 November 2014

EWOB 2015: Only two weeks remaining to apply!

Bluegrass musicians from all over the world, this is a reminder that about 2 weeks are left to submit your application for European World of Bluegrass 2015 in the Netherlands. Applications close on December 1, 2014

So, if you wish to take part in the largest bluegrass festival in Europe with 40 bands on stage, lots of picking and gigs in the area, all you have to do is download and complete the 2015 application formYour application and Band bio/info will be forwarded to the EWOB Festival Program Committee. Bands selected to perform at the EWOB Festival 2015 will be informed in January 2015.

But that is not all: Every year small acoustic performances are arranged near the EWOB Festival venue in the town of Voorthuizen, in restaurants or terraces. Therefore, in the form you should also indicate your interest in local gigs.

The same goes for the different workshops that each year are featured. These may include guitar, dobro, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, bass, vocals and songwriting but depend on the availability and willingness of musicians to share their passion with others. So don't forget to state if any member(s) of your band is willing to host (no fee is paid for hosting) or assist in a workshop.

Last but not least, keep in mind that EWOB festival is an acoustic festival, therefore only acoustic bluegrass or bluegrass-related music will be played: no backline will be available and only microphones will be used for both instruments and vocals. Selected bands will be scheduled for a 25 minute showcase. 

We are sure that you don't want to miss this great opportunity to showcase yourself. So, to make sure to join us next year, apply before December 1!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Rome Bluegrass Jam - Thu., 20 November, 2015

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia is happy to announce that the Rome Bluegrass Jam is back in town, with bluegrass, country music & more!
Among many, fine musicians Trae Buckner and his wife Jamie Lynn Buckner will be much appreciated guests from Morgantown, West Virginia, USA.

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

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


Three rising stars in contemporary US roots music and their 2015 European Tour

After having crossed paths many times throughout their careers, Sara WatkinsSarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan decided to perform together on their 2015 European "I'm with her" Tour. The three acclaimed musicians, three rising stars in contemporary US roots music – ex-Nickel Creek singer and fiddler Sara Watkins, multi-talented prodigy Sarah Jarosz and ex-Crooked Still vocalist Aoife O’Donovan, will have their first performance at the Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland on 28 Jan. Sets will include a mix of each other's songs, cover and traditional songs. The tour full dates are below:

28 Jan • Glasgow, UK Celtic Connections
18 April • Uppsala, SEKonsert & Kongress
19 April • Barcelona, ESBlues & Ritmes
21 April • Bristol, UK Clifton Cathedral
23 April • Biddulph, UK • Town Hall
24 April • Gateshead, UKSage Gateshead
25 April • Bury, UKThe Met
26 April • Sheffield, UKMemorial Hall
28 April • London, UKUnion Chapel
29 April • Oxford, UKSt Johns the Evangelist
2 May • Derry, NICultúrlann Uí Chanáin
3 May • Kilkenny, IEKilkenny Roots Festival
4 May • Sligo, IEThe Hawk’s Well Theatre
5 May • Dublin, IE Whelan’s

Sara Watkins is a singer-songwriter and fiddler from California. She debuted in 1989 as fiddler and founding member of the progressive bluegrass group Nickel Creek along with her brother Sean and mandolinist Chris Thile. In addition to singing and playing fiddle, she also plays ukulele and guitar. She has two solo albums, Sara Watkins and Sun Midnight Sun on Nonesuch Records. In addition to touring on her own, she just completed a Nickel Creek reunion tour.

Sarah Jarosz, from Texas, is a multi-Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who fits comfortably where contemporary folk, Americana and roots music intersect. She switches between octave mandolin, banjo, guitar and mandolin as the songs dictate. Her Build Me Up From Bones gained two Grammy nominations and made NPR’s Top Ten Folk and Americana albums for 2013. It was also nominated for the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year. 

Aoife O’Donovan from Boston is known for her ethereal vocals and substantive songwriting. After graduating from New England Conservatory, O’Donovan hit the road as the lead singer and principal songwriter/song-finder of Crooked Still, which grew into one of the world’s most acclaimed progressive string groups over the ensuing decade. The stunning versatility and appeal of her voice brought her to the attention of some of the most eminent names in music and led to collaborations across a wide variety of genres with everyone.  

Their enthusiasm for this project comes from writing, arranging, and playing together, while learning how to be a supportive, explosive, good band. Their voices have different dynamic and harmonic possibilities, so they offer the chance to discover the trio's potential experimenting ability.

Do not miss the exciting opportunity of meeting such good musicians playing together as one band. This is going to be real fun! 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Danilo Cartia: upcoming shows this weekend in Rome, Italy

Well, you are in Rome and looking for some good bluegrass music? Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia announces that Danilo Cartia & Letizia Sampaolo  will be playing bluegrass, blues, and americana at two shows in Rome this weekend, starting tomorrow: 

Fri. 14 Oct. 'D & G Caffè', Via Val Maggia 54 - 19:00
Sat. 15 Oct. 'Slaìnte Irish Pub', Via Nomentana 940 - 22:00 

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

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Bluegrass Charity Concert in London on 29th November

23rd Annual RNLI Bluegrass Charity Concert

When: Saturday 29th Nov 2014
Where: at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon, London, CR0 1B, England
Time: 7pm to 11pm –
BAR - Raffle

  • The Kelly Lee Band
  • The Biggin Hillbillies
  • The Kent Carters, Jolene & Joe
  • Tribute to Andy Townend
  • (with Joe Hymas and Dave Plane) Will Street, The Vanguards
  • Mardi Grass, Blackbriar Band
  • International Men of Mystery
Tickets £8 on the door
or £5 for Ruskin House and
Croydon Folk Club Members
For info call 07545326534
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. They provide, on call, a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, and a seasonal lifeguard service. With their lifeboats, lifeguards, safety advice and flood rescue, they are committed to saving lives.

Friday, 7 November 2014

New international bluegrass project BGSTUDIO.EU

This comes as a wonderful and fresh initiative in our music, thanks Lucien Holmes! Please keep us up to date!

Greetings and a happy autumn!

I'm an American songwriter and (mostly!) bluegrass musician with a Czech band. In the last few years, more than a few bands have asked me for some songs I wrote that they could play. But I've got hundreds -- too many. It was too much pressure for me to choose the "right" ones. So I thought I would make a library of what I've written so bands could choose their own. This project was born when I realized I'm a good deal better at writing songs than I am at playing them.
Over the last year, I've built It's an online collaborative bluegrass venture for musicians all over the world. The idea is that they --you! -- help build a library one brick at a time, by sending in any track that you've recorded at home. I then mix the track, re-master the song, and add it back to the website.
The end goal is to build a resource of a variety of original bluegrass material and to have a good time doing it, "meeting" other musicians from around the world along the way. Each song, whether in progress or finished, is tagged with the contributing musicians and the type of song, so contributors and/or bands can make more personalized and specific selections.
An equally important end goal is also to minimalize me. This site is not a monument to myself; it's a humble gift. My name intentionally appears only twice on the site. Musicians Chris Schut (R.U.R.), Michal Novak (Kvintet Pisek) and Honza Bartosek (Twisted Timber) have already helped with this dream. Several well-known American musicians have agreed to contribute their talents to the project, as have a handful of Europeans.
But to push it further and make it a reality, I am asking for your personal and/or professional cooperation. I would be grateful to be included in your variety of marketing materials and for cross promotion in social and mainstream media. As the point of all of this is promoting a resource for European bluegrass, I will of course give you premium promotional space.
I feel fortunate to live and work in Europe around bluegrass music, and side by side with so many people who give back in so many ways. Ondra Kozak's ATAMusic site was also an inspiration, and it likewise gives me great pleasure to be able offer something back to the community which has always been so generous to me. The point of the project is getting songs out -- positive growth, fellowship and love.
I would be sincerely grateful for any support you could find it in your hearts to offer. Please be in contact to let me know if I can provide any more information or answer any questions you might have.

Lucien Holmes
+420 607 708 881

Beppe Gambetta November Tour in Germany and Switzerland

Check out Beppe's tour dates these coming weeks!
  • November 7, D - Marbach am Neckar, Schlosskeller (solo konzert)
  • November 8, D - Weingarten, Der Gitarrenladen, (Workshop und solo konzert)
  • November 9, D - Weingarten, Der Gitarrenladen, (Workshop)
  • November 13, D - Berlin-Lichterfelde, Petruskirche, (solo konzert)
  • November 14, D - Eschweiler, Talbanhof, (solo konzert)
  • November 21, D - Hamburg, Kulturzentrum Heidbarghof, (solo konzert)
  • November 22, D - Hamburg, Haus konzert
  • November 26, CH - Obstalden, Hotel Sternen (Beppe Gambetta Duo, mit Marco Fadda, ethnic percussion)
  • November 27, CH - Bern, ONO Das Kulturlokal (Beppe Gambetta Duo, mit Marco Fadda, ethnic percussion)
  • November 28, D - Haiming, Schlosswirtschaft (Beppe Gambetta Duo, mit Marco Fadda, ethnic percussion)
  • November 29, CH - Schaffhausen, Haberhaus Kulturklub (Beppe Gambetta Trio, mit Marco Fadda, ethnic percussion und Riccardo Barbera, bass)
  • November 30, D - Biberach an der Riss, Stadthalle Biberach (Beppe Gambetta Trio, mit Marco Fadda, ethnic percussion und Riccardo Barbera, bass)
All details and info on

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

IBMA Executive Director job description
The International Bluegrass Music Association has approved an official job description for a new Executive Director to fill the spot soon to be vacated by Nancy Cardwell. It lists the official responsibilities of the position as currently defined.

The Executive Committee of the IBMA Board of Directors will function as a Search Committee, and anyone with an interest in the job is requested to contact Board Chair Jon Weisberger by email.

IBMA Executive Director

Responsible to: Board of Directors

Summary of primary job functions

The Executive Director is responsible for establishing and executing major goals, objectives and Strategic Plan for the IBMA. Implements policies established by the board of directors. Provides leadership, direction and guidance of Organization's activities. Analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of all organization operations. Develops and maintains organizational structure and effective personnel. Coordinates major activities through subordinates and appraises assigned personnel. Represents the Organization to regulatory bodies, other agencies, community and civic organizations, donors, funders and supporters, and the general public.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Acts as the spokesperson for organization
  • Executes board-approved policies
  • Directs and oversees the implementation of short and long term strategic plans
  • Attends Board Meetings
  • Efficiently maintains a competent and effective staff
  • Provides leadership to organization personnel and contractors through effective objective setting, delegation, and communication
  • Conducts staff meetings to disseminate pertinent information
  • Ensures that appropriate salary and wage structures are maintained
  • Delegates authority and responsibility to staff and contractors
  • Coordinates and directs employees
  • Oversees the execution of established office procedures
  • Ensures that job descriptions are current
  • Conducts performance appraisals as required
  • Formulates and implements corrective action as needed

  • Ensures administrative staff remains current to organization business and Board directives/approvals that affect their functions and areas of responsibility
  • Works with the Board of Directors on governance policy issues by providing support and by initiating approved recommendations or actions
  • Ensures compliance to minimum standards in accordance with all government legislation, regulations and guidelines pertinent to the organization's role as an employer and non-profit agency
  • Recommends to the Board changes to policies and procedures that would improve the organization
  • Maintains an effective and cost efficient office environment
  • Develops, maintains, and up-dates job descriptions pertinent to the organization
  • Determines staff training and/or equipment needs of clerical and administrative employees, taking into account annual budget allocations
  • Submits all information, reports and records as requested or required by law to appropriate government officials and/or the board of directors
  • Develops and implements operational plans, policies, and goals that further strategic objectives

  • Maintains full awareness of the complete financial, statistical, and accounting records of the organization
  • Ensures that operating results established in the annual budget are achieved and the control of operating expenses within budget
  • Ensures the accuracy, integrity, and timeliness of all financial accounting and reporting
  • Signs all checks and obtains secondary signature when required
  • Ensures the preparation of the annual budget for board approval
  • Facilitates fundraising actvities including short term and long term sponsorship relationships
  • Create diversified income streams
  • Manage all aspects of World of Bluegrass. This includes both internal functions and those contracted to others.
  • Oversee services to members to ensure members needs are met
  • Oversight of all other programs and goals
  • Compensation commensurate with qualifications and experience

Friday, 31 October 2014

2015 EWOB: Apply now!

The EWOB-website is still undergoing construction. However this should not stop all over the world Bluegrass Bands from downloading the 2015 application form here:

Send in your application before December 1 if you wish to showcase at the 2015 EWOB festival in the Netherlands. 
Do it now, so you won't forget! 

Spread the word!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Jeanette & Johnny Williams in Europe

Jeanette and Johnny Williams are currently on a brief tour in Europe with the next date being in Copenhagen on Friday 31st October.

Jeanette has accumulated no less than ten SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America) nominations and was awarded Female Vocalist of the Year three times (2009, 2012 & 2013). On top of that, two IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Awards as part of the Daughters of Bluegrass as well as other songwriting awards including the Chris Austin Songwriting contest at MerleFest in 2007.

As well as also winning MerleFest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (1998 and 1999) Jeanette's husband, Johnny is an award-winning singer and noted guitarist. Johnny also produced the two 'Close Kin' projects on Mountain Roads Recordings. These recordings - Close Kin and Close Kin: Our Roots Run Deep brought together Bluegrass and Old-Time musicians such as Adam & Tina Steffey, The Snyder Family, The Wolfe Brothers and the members of Rich In Tradition. Close Kin: Our Roots Run Deep brought together some of the finest young musicians including Lindsey Nale of Loose Strings, Jared Boyd, Daniel Greeson & Kitty Amaral.

At the moment,there is no specific information about which venues are hosting Jeanette & Johnny's concerts but the Velvet Agency are handling the tour and they can be contacted via their website.

Kruger Brothers: Dates in Europe

The Kruger Brothers are returning to Europe for just a few dates in Switzerland and one concert in Germany and one in the UK.

The opportunity to see The Kruger Brothers play in Europe should never be overlooked. Doc Watson said “The Kruger Brothers are just about as fine a band as I’ve ever played with....I love to play music with them.” and Bluegrass Journal said “The Krugers are nothing short of magnificent.”

The full list of the Euopean dates is shown below; the visit to Eagle Music in Hudderfield, England was the subject of an EBMA blog article earlier in October 'At Home in Huddersfield: Deering Banjos & The Kruger Brothers'

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Rest in Peace, Hazel McGee

Hazel and Mac McGee
Country Corner Coffeehouse
South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts, USA (2013)
Hazel McGee is no stranger to the older generation of bluegrass fans in Europe. After years of fighting the good fight against cancer, Hazel passed away on Monday morning (October 27, 2014).

This musical couple, Hazel (originally from Tennessee) and Mac (originally from Georgia) moved to the northeastern USA in 1960, eventually settling in Portsmouth, New Hampshire where they raised their family, worked day jobs and kept the music flowing... all at the same time. 

Hazel and Mac were singing partners for over 60 years; husband and wife for 57 years. They formed the White Mountain Bluegrass Band in 1970.

Hazel and Mac McGee's names are engraved on the International Bluegrass Music Museum's "Pioneers of Bluegrass" plaque. A very special honor awarded to less than 90 musicians from the first generation of artists in bluegrass music history.

White Mountan Bluegrass toured the European continent a total of 10 times since Rienk Janssen first brought them to the Netherlands in the late 1970s. Their final Euro tour was a special trip made specifically to attend the 'Strictly Country Magazine Farewell' event in May 2011. They retired the band in September 2013.

Hazel McGee has left many of us with fond memories and, of course, she leaves behind her songs; songs which she sang in her distinctive, most soulful of mountain voices. Hazel will be dearly missed by her family, friends, neighbors and fans.

Fans and friends may contact the family at this address:

Herman "Mac" McGee
51 Bunker Lane
Madbury, NH   03823

for more on the lives of Hazel and Mac McGee

"Going Home"
Het Blauwe Huis
Harpel, Netherlands (May 6, 2011)

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau Tour Europe

Whilst not a Bluegrass tour, this may be of great interest to (and to the immense delight of) fans of progressive mandolinist, Chris Tile.

Chris Thile and jazz pianist Brad Mehldau  are joining forces for a number of concerts across Europe. The concerts will include material from such writers as Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Gillian Welch, folk/traditional standards as well as original compositions.

Links to individual concert venues for ticket information can be found on the Punch Brothers website though the dates are listed below:

  • Oct 27    Kulturzentrum Das Haus, Ludwigshafen, Germany
  • Oct 29    Multisala, Bari, Italy
  • Oct 30    Theaterhaus Gessnerallee, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Oct 31    Teatro G. Verdi, Salerno, Italy
  • Nov 02    Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Nov 03    Lucerna – Grand Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Nov 04    Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria
  • Nov 05    Kleiner Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany
  • Nov 07    Le Prisme, Elancourt, France
  • Nov 08    Barcelona Jazz Festival, Barcelona, Spain
  • Nov 09    National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland