Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Gordy, Somers & Walsh - Dates in Europe

Joe Walsh - Ben Somers - Grant Gordy
The expression 'an embarrassment of riches' which apparently originated in the 18th century might be used to describe the forthcoming dates by Gordy, Somers & Walsh though it might be more appropriate to go for a contemporary expression such as 'an opportunity not to be missed'. Gordy, Somers & Walsh will be bringing their particular blend of Bluegrass, Americana, Folk & Jazz to dates in the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

Grant Gordy (acoustic guitar) - based in Brooklyn, NY, Grant has spent many hours learning the language of bebop and the standards of jazz, soaking up the high lonesome sound of bluegrass, investigating classical composers like Béla Bartók and Bach and learning the rhythms of Mali alongside African musicians. This wide range contributes to Gordy’s unique and renowned guitar style. He spent six years in the David Grisman Quintet, filling the big shoes of Tony Rice, Mark O’Connor and other legendary musicians.

Ben Somers (double bass/vocals/sax) grew up surrounded by music and playing gigs with his father, professional country musician Steve Somers. Ben began playing the sax at 16 and studied jazz at Middlesex University. Whilst there, he acquired a double bass and immersed himself in bluegrass and folk. In addition to his day job as a busy, in-demand session musician in London, Ben has toured and recorded with many artists including Dr John, Seal, Bruce Molsky and Dirk Powell.

Joe K Walsh (mandolin/vocals) - hailing from Portland, Maine, the “other” Joe Walsh is known for his exceptional tone and taste. Named by CBC as “one of the best mandolinists of his generation”, after a number of years with bluegrass supergroup the Gibson Brothers Joe currently splits his time between the group Mr Sun and a trio with Brittany Haas and Owen Marshall. As well as teaching regularly at music camps across America, he’s also a mandolin instructor at the Berklee College of Music.

Grant and Joe are one half of Mr Sun with Darol Anger and Ethan Jodziewicz forming the other half.

Confirmed dates:
  • May 19th - The Harrison in Kings Cross, London - website
  • May 21st - Cellar Bar of The Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield - Tickets via Wegottickets
  • May 22nd -“Concert in the Barn” Manor Buildings, Pulborough - Tickets: 01903 892891
  • May 24th - Voormalig Kantoorpand RET Remise Sluisjesdijk, Waalhaven Oostzijde in Rotterdam - Facebook Event Page
  • May 25th - Utrecht Parelsessies at De Parel van Zuilen, Utrecht
  • May 27th - “Illertal Cowboys” Vöhringen-Illerberg , Germany
  • May 29th - Drossenfelder Braeuwerck, Neudrossenfeld, Germany
At time of writing, there is a possibility of an additional date at the beginning of June - Please check Ben Somers' website for updates or additional dates.

Ben Somers

Saturday, 11 April 2015

La Roche Bluegrass Festival - Slideshow

If you haven't visited La Roche Bluegrass Festival and want to see what it's like, or if you want a taste while waiting for the next one, check out this slideshow that looks back at all the aspects of the festival in 2014. It has sections on preparations, volunteers, workshop, band labs, street festival, main stage, extra curricula ... 

Music is by bands who performed at the festival and photos are by Emmanuel Marin, Nathalie Mugnier and Odile Glaine (unless otherwise stated). 


Bluegrass in Scotland: Summer Workshops & Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival

Have you ever sat around with friends and had the conversation turn to 'You know what we should do....?' Well, that's what happened to a group of very determined friends who turned that 'pipedream' into a reality by creating the Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival.

Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival is Scotland's only Bluegrass festival but, in addition to the festival, these dedicated North-of-the-Border Bluegrass folks also have a Summer Bluegrass Instruments Workshops day on June 13th which will have members of Cup O'Joe teaching. Cup O'Joe will also be playing a concert at the nearby Craigdarroch Arms Hotel. More information can be seen on the Festival's Calendar page and a message of the Festival's Facebook page reports that there are still some places available for the workshops.

Moniaive is in the Southern Uplands of Scotland about 70 miles south of Glasgow or about 50 miles north of Carlisle, so in easy reach for English Bluegrass fans!

The Dude Coopers who will be at
Moniaive Bluegrass Festival 2015

The Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival will take on September 25th, 26th & 27th featuring Bluegrass from Europe and the USA - full information can be found on the Festival's website but confirmed at time of writing are:
  • Bluedust from Italy
  • The Daddy Naggins from Glasgow, Scotland
  • The Dude Coopers from East Anglia, England
  • Okenfenokee from Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Red Herring from The Netherlands
  • The Corn Potato String Band from the USA
  • North Atlantic Project from Scotland
Tickets are now on sale online here!

So if you are in the region or planning on visiting the region, there is Bluegrass to be found in Moniaive*.

Editor's Note: Moniaive is pronounced Money-ive (I had to ask too!)

John Lowell Band at new venue "METROPOL" in Kusterdingen, Germany

There is a new, intimate concert venue for traveling bands in southwest Germany

In Kusterdingen, a small town between the university towns of Tuebingen and Reutlingen, about 40 km south of Stuttgart, a new small venue is about to open. Kusterdingen? Have I heard the name before? Chances are that you have, seeing as the annual “Bluegrass im Klosterhof” mini festival is held there on the second Saturday in January. While the “Klosterhof” is a fantastic venue (packing an audience of 200), its major drawback is that it’s a costly venue for regular concerts. Dieter Stoll of Horse Mountain said "[Bluegrass im Klosterhof gets] it free of charge once a year, and that’s that. Rental fee is prohibitive for occasional shows by traveling bands." But now there’s another option, which is just as charming. For the past ten years, tucked away in a vintage barn (built in 1773), Horse Mountain and a couple of friends have been running a small cinema theater named “METROPOL” which is intentionally rather tongue-in-cheek for a rural barn seating only 32! While there is one weekly show every Thursday from October through April,the rest of the time there is not much going on there. This should (and will) change!
Check out the "METROPOL" website (note: this is a bilingual German-English site)

On Monday, April 20 (8pm, doors open 7:30) the John Lowell Band will premiere the place.  A message of the John Lowell Band's Facebook page reports that tickets are selling quickly so don't miss the opportunity. If you (as a band or an individual artist) think that this venue could be of interest to you contact Dieter Stoll of Horse Mountain. and he will take it from there.
We are, by the way, an official affiliate of Michael Jonathon’s Woodsongs family. Did you know that Woodsongs not only entails the weekly show at Lyric Theater in Lexington KY, but also a network of Woodsongs Coffeehouses? Well, now you know, and we are one of them. Come see us sometime!

Once again, for more information, contact Dieter Stoll of Horse Mountain.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

EWOB (European World of Bluegrass Festival) - it is just around the corner!

Taking place in Voorthuizen in The Netherlands on  May 14, 15 & 16, EWOB is just around the corner. Did you know that EWOB was the first event in Europe to win the Bluegrass Event of the Year Award at IBMA?

As EWOB says on its Facebook page: "We come from many different countries, but we speak one common language: BLUEGRASS! Maybe world peace can start with a banjo intro." Just a quick glance at the lineup there is last year's '#1 European Bluegrass Band' winners - Dunderhead from Sweden, the impressive Kentucky Cow Tippers from the UK, Cup O'Joe from Northern Ireland (the only non-US band to be invited to play on the Youth Stage at IBMA 2014), G-Runs 'n Roses from the Czech Republic and Jeff Scroggins & Colorado from the USA. (The full lineup, schedule and other information can be found on the EWOB website).

From Dunderhead's recently released album:

As might be expected, the stage performances that take place in 't Venue are the focal point of the festival where the best bluegrass bands in Europe compete for the European bluegrass band awards; but in addition there is a varied workshop program hosted by experienced bluegrass musicians. It is expected that there will be workshops for banjo, flat-picking guitar, mandolin amongst others. There is also a children's program that gets rave reviews from children and parents alike. Workshop attendance is free to the festival public though a voluntary donation to help support the EWOB Festival Workshop program would be welcomed (as would be anyone who would like to sponsor a workshop.)

The headline act will be Jeff Scroggins & Colorado from the USA: Jeff Scroggins and Colorado is a high energy, high mountain “bluegrass explosion,” that features the fiery banjo playing of Jeff Scroggins, the award winning mandolin playing of Jeff’s son, Tristan, and incredible bluegrass vocals led by the powerful voice of front man Greg Blake. Greg has twice been nominated for SPBGMA’s “Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year” award and his phenomenal bluegrass guitar playing has earned him 9 nominations and an amazing 5 consecutive wins as SPBGMA’s Guitarist of the Year!

Jeff Scroggins & Colorado: Freeborn Man

Good luck to all of the bands who will be taking part in the band competitions, safe travels to everyone attending EWOB and best wishes the the hard-working organisers and volunteers for this premier Bluegrass event in Europe.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

EBMA Blog Team: pouvez-vous aider? kun je helpen? können Sie helfen? kan du hjälpa ?

The EBMA Bluegrass Gathering at the Munich Bluegrass Festival gave the opportunity for two of the dedicated, tireless and immensely talented EBMA Blog Team to sit down together and come up with wonderful ideas!

OK, now that we have your attention.. we have a simple question: Can you help? or should that be pouvez-vous aider? kun je helpen? können Sie helfen? kan du hjälpa?

As I found in Munich (and much to my embarrassment) my German language skills are very poor and my Italian and French are best not mentioned at all. I would imagine that there are other Bluegrass fans across Europe who, like me, are not multi-lingual yet the EBMA Blog articles are all published in English. This is where the 'pouvez-vous aider? kun je helpen? können Sie helfen? kan du hjälpa?' comes in.

We would like to hear from anyone that would like to join the EBMA Blog Team and help us to enable our articles to reach (and be easily read by) as many Bluegrass fans as possible. While I asked (hopefully correctly) in French, Dutch, German and Swedish that is not a definitive list so if you are from Spain or the Czech Republic... puede ayudar? or můžete pomoci?

To start, we would like to see articles translated from English into another European language but if you would like to write articles about Bluegrass in your part of Europe then we would be happy to talk about that too and help you. If you are interested, then send an email to the Blog Team and one of us will write back to you and tell you more.

So... we look forward to hearing from you soon and adiós, sbohem, viszontlátásra, vaarwel, farvel & adjö or Goodbye from the EBMA Blog Team

Stu & Letizia - Two of the EBMA Blog Team at the
Munich Bluegrass Festival

BOOK: High Lonesome Below Sea Level (release date May 14, 2015)

Center Front (singers): Doyle Lawson, Pieter Groenveld,
Del McCoury, Red Rector, Theo Lissenberg

Faces and Stories of Bluegrass Music in the Netherlands
authors: Loes van Schaijk and Marieke Odekerken

“Reading Loes’s articles and seeing Marieke’s images capturing rare intimate moments is like being a fly on the wall of the Dutch bluegrass and roots music scene. Most of these certainly bring to mind Bill Monroe, the half-Dutch bluegrass founder, Kentucky mandolin player and high tenor singer who spawned the entire genre, whose mother’s Americanized last name Vandiver is familiar in the Netherlands as Van der Veere, meaning from the small island city of Veere in the province of Zeeland. Aware and proud of bluegrass’ international appeal and its influence on other musical forms, Bill would surely have treasured this book and remembered many friends he met during his tours of the Netherlands.”  
          - from the foreword to High Lonesome Below Sea Level by Sandy Rothman

Cultural scholar Loes van Schaijk and photographer Marieke Odekerken are two young female Dutch debutants who are about to release a unique book revolving around the niche culture of bluegrass music in the Netherlands. Over a time period of six months they traveled to all corners of the country, and across the borders with Belgium and Germany, to visit all kinds of people who have been captivated by bluegrass music’s characteristics: the combination of acoustic string instruments, the dazzling tempo and hard driving rhythms, the virtuoso solo breaks and improvisation, the catchy vocal harmonies and the unique “high lonesome” sound of the lead vocals.

Marieke photographed and Loes spoke to musicians, bookers and luthiers; amateurs and professionals; pioneers and rookies; wallflowers, hillbillies, and hardrockers; traditionalists, purists and people who are always looking for crossovers with other genres. Except for their common love of bluegrass music, the only thing these people have in common is the opinion they don’t need to have anything in common. The book is a report of human individuality in fifty-six photos and as many interviews: nearly a hundred colorful character in black and white.

People who are familiar with bluegrass musicians hailing from the Netherlands might recognize the Blue Grass Boogiemen and Joost van Es. Influential artists who have passed on, like Theo Lissenberg, and many friends and sources of inspiration from Europe, the United States or even Japan are referred to in the interviews. But also people whose name might not ring a bell with most readers right away are portrayed by Marieke and Loes in such a sincere and natural manner that it will feel like you’ve known them all your life.

A book about music is not complete without the possibility to listen to the music discussed. Thanks to the Layar technology, readers can scan each portrait with an app on their smartphone to be redirected to a webpage with music linked to the artist in question.

The book will be officially released on May 14th, 2015 at the Gulpener Bluegrass Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands where the first copy will be presented to living legend and “Master of Bluegrass” Doyle Lawson. 

The book will subsequently be for sale at bluegrass festivals in the Netherlands in 2015 and through the webshop  www.bluegrassportraits.nl.


Website:                      www.bluegrassportraits.nl
Social media:                www.facebook.com/bluegrassportraits
Telephone:                   +31 (0) 6 14 36 21 34 (Loes van Schaijk)
Email:                          info@bluegrassportraits.nl
Date of release:            14 May 2015
Language:                    English
Cover / Pages:              Hardcover / 136 pages
Category:                     Photography, music journalism, human interest
ISBN:                           978-90-9028918-2
Publisher:                     Kunst en Denkwerk (self-published)
Text:                             Loes van Schaijk
Photography:                Marieke Odekerken
Design:                        Au Revoir
Print:                           Veenman +
Edition: 1000 copies     
Distribution:  Worldwide via webshop   www.bluegrassportraits.nl

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Foghorn Stringband (Caleb Klauder) - Tour dates Ireland & UK - May

The Foghorn Stringband
Caleb Klauder-Reeb Willms-Nadine Landry-'Sammy' Lind
Photograph by Betse Ellis

With concert dates across Ireland and the UK, The Foghorn Stringband (led by Caleb Klauder) will be heralding their new release 'Devil In The Seat' during May. It has been said that The Foghorn Stringband has 'brought in influences and inspirations from their many travels and late-night jam sessions. Old-time square dance tunes now rub shoulders with Cajun waltzes, jugband ditties, vintage honky-tonk songs, and pre-bluegrass picking. This is the kind of bubbling musical brew which first intoxicated the American mainstream in the days when “country music” was just being invented'.

Having listened to 'Devil In The Seat', I would say that (as you might expect) it ranges from the exuberant to the beautifully restrained, from the contemporary to the historic with some traditional favourites added for good measure. After starting with a rousing rendition of Stillhouse, Nadine Landry and Reeb Willms then join forces for Alice Gerrard & Hazel Dickens' 'Mining Camp Blues' - Nadine and Reeb later sing unaccompanied on 'What Will We Do?' a song which was previously recorded by June Tabor & Maddie Prior (aka The Silly Sisters).

Looking at the tracklist, in addition to the traditional tunes (John Hardy, Chicken Reel & Paddy On The Turnpike) there are tracks ranging from the end of the 19th century (Chadwell's Station) through the mid-20th century Hank Snow's '90 Miles An Hour' and The Cooke Duet's 'Longing For A Home' to the recently-written Jailbreak (by Garry Harrison).

Where will you be able to see The Foghorn Stringband during
May 2015?

  • Wed 6th - Dublin Whelan’s with special guests Lynched
  • Thurs 7th - Dungarvan The Local
  • Sat 9th - Baltimore Baltimore Fiddle Fair
  • Tue 12th - Dingle John Benny's Pub
  • Wed 13th - Castlebar The Linenhall
  • Thurs 14th - Galway The Crane - confirmed!
  • Fri 15th - Manorhamilton The Glens Centre
  • Sat 16th - Cookstown The Red Room SOLD OUT
  • Sun 17th - Glasgow CCA
  • Mon 18th - Edinburgh Traverse Theatre Bar
  • Weds 20th - Newcastle Cluny 2
  • Thurs 21th - Liverpool The Caledonia
  • Fri 22th - London Kings Place
  • Sat 23th - Tunbridge Wells Cajun Barn, King Charles Church Hall
  • Sun 24th - Towersey The Three Horseshoes
Lastly...The Foghorn Stringband in action with 'I'm Longing For A Home'

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

European Bluegrass Music Association Board - New Board Announced

Top Picture - New Board Members (left to right):
Richard Ciferský, Susie Bowe (existing Board Member), Stu Vincent & Eugene O'Brien
Returning Board Members: Martino Coppo & Chris Keenan
As mentioned in the EBMA blog article of the 6th March regarding the EBMA AGM, Angelika Torrie, Rienk Janssen, Petr Brandejs and Christopher Howard-Williams announced their decision to step back from the EBMA Board subsequently, Dagfinn Pederson also announced his resignation at short notice. Following the Board Meeting and the EBMA AGM held during the Munich Bluegrass Festival three new board members were elected.

Richard Ciferský from Slovakia is an established professional musician having recorded with his own bands (Bill Faster and Fragment) as well as with recording and touring with US artists (see Richard's website) and is the owner of Radio Velvet - Europe's first 24 hour internet Bluegrass radio station (website). Stu Vincent has been involved with the EBMA since mid-2014 as part of the EBMA Blog Team writing and editing articles and also hosts two weekly internet Bluegrass radio shows - one for The Bluegrass Mix based in the US and the other on Radio Velvet. Eugene O'Brien is an Irish-born banjo player known around the European festivals as a member of Sons of Navarone. Eugene is also a member of the British Bluegrass Music Association board and has been elected to be the Chair of the newly constituted EBMA Board. Susie Bowe, Martino Coppo and Chris Keenan were existing Board members who will continue to serve on the Board. It should also be mentioned that retiring members Angelika Torrie, Petr Brandesj and Rienk Janssen will continue to take a supporting role to the new Board and the EBMA (assistance which has been gratefully accepted); Angelika will remain as Chief Editor for the Bluegrass Europe magazine, Petr will continue to support with the EBMA scholarships programme and Rienk will continue to manage the membership administration.

The new EBMA held their first Board meeting on Monday 23rd March. All recognised the work that had been done by the previous Board which resulted in the EBMA receiving a Distinguished Achievement Award at last year's IBMA World of Bluegrass. From the agenda items which were submitted for the first board meeting it seems that EBMA will have a very busy year ahead!

Coming from that meeting:
  • (As mentioned before) Eugene O'Brien elected to Chair the EBMA.
  • To build closer relationships with the national Bluegrass Music Associations within Europe.
  • To look at EBMA membership from the perspective of performing musicians and Bluegrass fans and how EBMA can best support and reward membership.
  • To review the presentation of the EBMA through its website and other social media.
  • To ensure that the current EBMA processes which support Bluegrass music are maintained and, where possible, developed.
  • To look to set a date for the 2016 EBMA Bluegrass Gathering and develop an informative, supportive and entertaining programme.
2015 is going to be an exciting year for the EBMA and Bluegrass music in Europe .

Monday, 23 March 2015

33rd Big Bear Festival ~ May 2015

The roster of artists for the 33rd Annual Big Bear Festival in the Netherlands has been finalized. Rienk Janssen has been presenting and producing this bluegrass festival since its inception.

As always, presenting performers from the USA as well as the European continent:

In good weather the event is held outdoors on a beautiful field of grass, complete with a low-level stage made of stone. A perfect music and picnic area amongst the quiet of the trees (and some occasional soft church bells).

If the weather does not cooperate there is a comfortable theater indoors... only a short 250 meters from the parking and stage location.

There are many varied restaurants nearby and plenty of places to spend the night, including Bed and Breakfast choices and hotels in the area. All in all, a great way to spend an afternoon and early evening.

[You may click on the image above for the large version of the 2015 Big Bear Festival poster]

Contact Rienk Janssen via email at:  rienk.janssen@planet.nl
Or view his website:  strictlycountry.nl

Thursday, 19 March 2015

April Verch - Release: The Newpart & Dates in Ireland & UK

April Verch, the only woman to have won the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship and the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition, will be coming across the Atlantic in May - but more of that later.

'The Newpart', April's tenth album (produced by Casey Driessen) will be released by Slab Town Records on the 20th April. April's name is equally likely to appear on the lineup of a Bluegrass, Folk or Celtic festival and 'The Newpart' demonstrates why she has such a wide appeal.

Anyone familiar with April will know that dancing features significantly in her performances and 'The Newpart' is no exception; listening the the album, when the track 'Gilchrist' began I scribbled 'musical feet' only to later find that April described 'Gilchrist' as "a tune for feet". 'Gilchrist' is named after Donnie Gilchrist who taught April's stepdancing teacher, Buster Brown.

For those not familiar with April and her dancing, here is an example:

As might be expected, there are traditional tunes (such as Belle Election, Polska From Kumla & Dry Bones), tunes and songs written by April (sometimes with Cody Walters) but also songs which evoked and earlier age. Again, referring to notes, I wrote about some songs that 'could be from a bygone age' and 'not out of place in a black & white era romantic film' to subsequently find that these songs were discovered in recordings from the 1920's and 30's from artists such as Nick Lucas, Seger Ellis and Lew Childre yet beautifully interpreted by April, guitarist Hayes Griffin and banjo/bassist Cody Walters. Did I mention that there is a John Hartford song too?

April talking about 'The Newpart' which is part of her family home and which gives it's name to her new album :

Back to the tour...

April will be perfoming concerts (mostly) in Ireland throughout May with two dates in England (Derby & Bury) but will be returning to the UK in November for further dates.

  • Weds 6 Carrick-on-Shannon The Dock
  • Thurs 7 Listowel St John’s Theatre & Arts Centre
  • Fri 8 Wexford Wexford Opera House
  • Sat 9 Cork Triskel Christchurch
  • Sun 10 Baltimore Fiddle Fair NB: Afternoon show at 3pm
  • Tues 12 Clifden Station House Theatre
  • Weds 13 Dublin The Sugar Club
  • Thurs 14 Bray Mermaid Arts Centre
  • Friday 15 Drogheda Droichead Arts Centre

Northern Ireland
  • Weds 20 Belfast Black Box
  • Thurs 21 Portstewart Flowerfield Arts Centre
  • Fri 22 Lisburn Island Arts Centre

  • Sat 23 Derby Robert Ludlam Theatre
  • Sun 24 Bury The Met

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Presentation of the 2015 EBMA Bluegrass Pioneers and Personalities Awards

On Saturday 14th March, during the Munich Bluegrass Festival, the presentation of the 2015 EBMA Bluegrass Pioneers and Personalities Awards took place. (See the Munich Bluegrass Festival website for more pictures of the event)

The Festival was held in Das Schloss, just north of Munich's city centre. From the outside, Das Schloss looks like a circus tent but inside is a very well-equipped auditorium with a central lobby and a separate conservatory-like room which served as a coffee bar, restaurant and - most importantly - a place to jam.

The EBMA Bluegrass Pioneers and Personalities Awards were presented during the Saturday night sets by bands  from Germany and the Czech Republic - including a set by GeorgiaRina & The Loose Screws who are a young band who have been supported by Bluegrass-Nachwuchs-Förderung (or BNF) which supports promising, young musicians with tuition and other costs.

The recipients of the 2015 European Bluegrass Pioneer Awards were:
  • RICHARD WEIZE (Germany)
  • DALIBOR CIDLINSKY (Czech Republic)
2015 European Bluegrass Personality of the Year was awarded to RAINER ZELLNER (Germany). 

Jean-Marie Redon started playing Bluegrass in the mid-1960's and has not stopped since! So far, his Bluegrass career has included playing in several bands, writing and producing instructional books and DVDs, regular performances on both sides of the Atlantic and winning a SPBGMA Award in 1998.

Angelika Torrie & Susie Bowe
Hosts of the Awards Ceremony
Photograph by Robert Bowe

Jean-Marie was unable to attend the presentation so his award was accepted on his behalf by Jean-Michel Peyrou.

Jean-Michel Peyrou accepting the award for
Jean -Marie Redon
Photograph by Robert Bowe

Since 1975, Richard Weize - the founder of Bear Family Records - has enabled fans and collectors to obtain copies of rare and, otherwise unavailable, vintage recordings through his company Bear Family Records.

Richard Weize (in a characteristic 'bear' shirt)
Photograph by Robert Bowe
Dalibor Cidlinsky has brought Bluegrass music to fans in the Czech Republic and beyond for many years but the manner of his acceptance of his award may be as memorable as his musical career. Dalibor came onto the stage with guitar-case in hand and, after being introduced to the audience, threw open the case, grabbed his guitar and (from the experssions of the hosts Angelike Torrie and Susie Bowe) undertook and un-rehearsed, un-announced and un-mic'd rendition of Shady Grove in his native tongue. It was a commanding performance that was much appreciated by the audience.

Dalibor Cidlinsky's impromptu Shady Grove
Photograph by Robert Bowe
The final award of the evening was the European Bluegrass Personality of the Year which was awarded to Rainer Zellner. Rainer has been involved in promoting Bluegrass in his native Germany and other European countries since the early 90's and through his Bluegrass Jamboree has sought to introduce Bluegrass music to Americana and Country music fans through his multi-genre shows.

Rainer Zellner of Bluegrass Jamboree.de
Photograph by Robert Bowe

From the volume of the applause, the recipients of the EBMA awards were very popular choices. Lastly,  the organisers of the Munich Bluegrass Festival are also to be applauded for an efficiently run festival in a very smart venue. All facilities were exceptional as were the in-house sound & stage crew.

Monday, 9 March 2015

2015 EBMA Bluegrass Pioneers and Personalities Awards

Congratulations to the 2015 recipients of an EBMA Bluegrass Pioneer / EBMA Bluegrass Personality Award:
Jean-Marie Redon (F)

2015 European Bluegrass Pioneers:

Personality of the Year

The Award ceremony will take place during the Munich Bluegrass Festival next Saturday evening, 14th March 2015. Make sure to be there and show the awardees present your appreciation.

Richard Weize of Bear Family Records (D)
It's not too late to join us for our 2015 European Bluegrass Gathering, which will take place in the same venue as the Festival on Friday 5pm - Sunday 2pm. You can also join in for a part of the gathering only - see our programme. In particular some might be interested in the Banjo-Workshop by Richard Cifersky, or the session with Kent Gustavsson (author of book on Doc Watson book "Blind but Now I See").

In 2012 the EBMA Board set up the European Bluegrass Pioneers and Personalities Project (EBPP) to recognise and acknowledge the past and present most influential European musicians, promoters, journalists, DJs, luthiers, experts, and others who contributed, and still contribute, in a relevant and significant way to establish or popularise the bluegrass music genre in Europe, and to create a European bluegrass scene and community.
The EBPPP Selecting Committee
The EBMA Board formed a special Selecting Committee comprising Paolo Dettwiler, Eberhard Finke, Christian Séguret, Jacques Brémond, Petr Kuklik, and Thierry Schoysman, with Martino Coppo as non-voting chairman. 

The criteria for selecting European Bluegrass Pioneers & Personalities are:
To be born in Europe or to have lived in European countries long enough to be considered European 'naturalised citizens';
To be representative of the European bluegrass culture;
To have inspired others to join the European bluegrass community;
To have acted in harmony with the principles of the EBMA's mission statement;
Pioneers: To have been among the first who had a significant impact on the popularisation of the bluegrass music genre in their own country or area in Europe, with special reference to their popularity and longevity in the bluegrass music community;

Personalities: To have promoted or contributed to promote special projects or have reached special achievements during the last year.

Members of the selection committee and serving members of the EBMA board are ineligible for nomination.

Join the European Bluegrass Music Association: www.ebma.org
EBMA: Working together to support Bluegrass Music across borders.