Sunday, 25 February 2007

Totaalfestival, Bladel, 24-9 July 2007

Bookings of acts is beginning for this year's admission-free Totaalfestival, from 24 to 29 July 2007 at Bladel, the Netherlands (west of Eindhoven, near the border with Belgium).

The organisers are interested in presenting country/ bluegrass acts at the festival, and will be glad to hear from bands who will be on tour in Europe at that time. Contact Bram Duijf by e-mail.

Bluegrass events in Surrey, England

Easter Saturday and Sunday (7 and 8 April) is the Bluegrass Plus Club's Bluegrass Weekend at the Netherne Sports Ground, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 1NE, England.

Events on Saturday run from 11.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. Tickets (on the door) are £10, to include Pickin' or Clickin' (Clickin'=Spectator) and Concert: Deep River Band, Buffalo, the Biggin Hillbillies, plus more.

Events on Sunday run from 11.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. Tickets (on the door) are £5: Pickin' or Clickin' and scratch bands. A weekend ticket costs £12. Contact Sheila Tassie by phone (+44 (0)1737 551191) or e-mail.

On Saturday 4 August and Sunday 5 August, the Surrey Mini Bluegrass Festival takes place at Mickleham Village Hall, Dell Close, Mickleham, near Dorking, Surrey. Picking runs from 12 noon Saturday to 8.00 p.m. Sunday. The concerts (Saturday evening from 7.00 p.m.; Sunday afternoon from 3.00 p.m.) will feature Pete Stanley, Deep River Band, Buffalo, Tap Roots & Wood, Wire and Words, more bands to be confirmed, and surprise guests.

Tickets: £10 per day; £12 for the weekend. Contact Chrissy Forbes by phone (+44 (0)1737 813089; mobile 07799 442416).

Airplay on Radio ARA, Luxembourg

Artists who need airplay can mail a CD and press kit to

Willie Jervis
Radio ARA
2 Rue de la Boucherie

Radio ARA broadcasts on 103.3 FM. Musicians who are interested in touring in Luxembourg should also contact Willie, who undertakes promotion and helps artists get into music festivals in Luxembourg. Send him an e-mail via this link.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike in UK, July

Valerie Smith and her band Liberty Pike will be on tour in the UK from 16 July to 30 July inclusive. Details are still being finalised; the tour will include a performance on 28 July at the The South Will Rise Again Festival in Poole, Dorset, England. The band features the acclaimed songwriter/singer/fiddler Becky Buller.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival 2007

The programme for the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival on 13-16 September 2007 at Longford town, Ireland, includes (on the bluegrass and related Americana side) the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Guy Clark, Tim O'Brien, Dirk Powell, the Carter Brothers Band, Niall Toner Band, Rough Deal String Band, Jeff & Vida, and Ranch House Favorites.

The Irish music side of the programme includes Four Men & A Dog, Dervish, Gerry O'Connor, Arty McGlynn, Unwanted (Cathy Jordan, Rick Epping, Seamie O'Dowd), Niamh Parsons. Other artists are TBC. For further details see the festival website or contact the organisers by e-mail.

Crooked Still in Europe, 4-13 May

The hot young alternative bluegrass group Crooked Still will be touring north-west Europe briefly in May.

Fri. 4 May-Sun. 6 May: Shetland Folk Festival, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Wed. 9 May: Tobakken, Esbjerg, Denmark
Thurs. 10 May: Loppen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Fri. 11 May: Portalen, Denmark
Sat. 12 May-Sun. 13 May: Baltimore Fiddle Fair, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

Bruce Molsky, one of the best old-time fiddlers playing today, will also be performing at Baltimore, after touring widely in England and Scotland from mid April. Full tour details are on his website.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

15th Annual London Fiddle Convention

The 15th Annual London Fiddle Convention takes place on Sunday 25 February at Cecil Sharp House (2 Regents Park Road, London NW1 7AY).

Workshops 2.00 p.m, 4.00 p.m.
Open session in the bar, 5.30 p.m.
Fiddle competition, 6.00 p.m. - the winner to have a slot in the concert.
Evening concert, 8.00 p.m. - includes American bluegrass, English and Irish, blues, gypsy, and jazz, Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, Indian music, and more.

Day pass (all events) £22/£17. £10/£7 for one workshop, £16/12 for two workshops. Concert £10/£7.

Information: +44 (0)20 8930 8467 or +44 (0)20 8340 7760

Foghorn String Band in Scandinavia, March-April

The UK organisation Friends Of American Old Time Music And Dance (FOAOTMAD) announce that the Foghorn String Band from Portland, Oregon, begin next month a tour in Denmark and Sweden. Dates are as follows:

Thurs. 29 Mar.: Roskilde, Denmark. Venue to be announced.
Fri. 30 Mar.: Sweden. Venue to be announced.
Sat. 31 Mar.: Klubb Bakersfield, Malmø, Sweden.
Sun. 1 Apr.: Venue to be announced. Copenhagen, Denmark, afternoon gig.
Mon. 2 Apr.: Bygerrietshus, Fredriksberg, Denmark.
Tues. 3 Apr.: Hanstedt, Svendborg, Denmark.
Wed. 4 Apr.: Hagge's Musik Pub, Tonder, Denmark.
Thurs. 5 Apr.: Two gigs - Woodstock in Christiania in the afternoon, and second at the Bloomsday Bar, Copenhagen.
Fri. 6 Apr.: Bruunskepakhus, Fredericia, Denmark.
Sat. 7 Apr.: Islands Brygge, Kulturhus, Copenhagen.

The Foghorns may be touring later in Ireland.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The R.C. Brothers: on the road

The R.C. Brothers bluegrass band from Spain have a series of shows lined up for the next six months, in Barcelona (including the Al Ras Acoustic Festival at Gallecs on 9 June), Gijon, Girona, Valencia, and Madrid.

As well as solo gigs, they will be performing as part of the White Trash Caravan roadshow, together with the Hilltops (honky-tonk, rockabilly, Western swing) and Old Wilson (road punk). Full details of the schedule are here. The R.C. Brothers also have a MySpace site.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Bluegrass Europe #54 (Feb./Mar. 2007)

Bluegrass Europe is a bi-monthly magazine provided to members of the EBMA in Europe and abroad. It is the first and only magazine dedicated to bluegrass music in Europe. Written in English, Bluegrass Europe is printed and bound with the German Bluegrass Bühne and the Dutch Strictly Country. The three journals appear together under one cover. For a free sample, contact Paolo Dettwiler or visit the EBMA website.

Features in the February–March 2007 issue*

Bluegrass Europe #54: Blue Side of Town: a German shade of grass (cover feature); EWOB 2007; enlarged European news coverage; Jana and Steve Mougin interviewed by Petr Brandejs; CD reviews; concert & festival calendar; EBMA's European bluegrass guide

Strictly Country #216: International Mandolin Academy; Roasted Barley; Folksong revival, part 4; Babes in the Grass; News, views, and reviews; Mideando String Quintet; Columbia Series # 81: Country music after WWII, part 2; Top country songs 1944-2005; Bluegrass holiday in the USA; Boet'n Deure

Bluegrass Buehne #157: Jeanette Williams on tour; the Wilders on tour; Rebel on iTunes; Lantana; Renaud Martin in Australia; tablature for 'Washington Lee Swing'; 5th Bühl Bluegrass Festival; concert and record reviews

*This issue has been posted to subscribers

Monday, 19 February 2007

5th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival

The Claire Lynch Band

On Saturday 5 May the biggest bluegrass festival in Germany, and one of the most important ones in Europe, will take place in Bühl (Baden). Walter Fuchs, country music historian, and MC and moving spirit of the festival, says:

'Due to the fact that this year's festival is the 5th and takes place at 05.05. we wanted a fourth "5" added, so we hired a fifth group instead of the four we had till this time... In 2007 the world of country music celebrates the 110th birthday of Jimmie Rodgers. So we have Roland Heinrich & the Jimmie Rodgers Experience as the fifth group. To me Heinrich, from Berlin, is the reincarnation of Jimmie Rodgers, and just by chance he found some European musicians who can play in the same style as the wild crew of artists that played with Rodgers in the '20s and '30s on lots of his recordings with instruments like Hawaiian steel guitar, banjo, musical saw, and tuba... With Claire Lynch we have one of the great female bluegrass singers of today.

'The Wilders come from Kansas City/Missouri with a wild sort of old-time music and the great songs of Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, and Lefty Frizzell. Turquoise from France plays the Festival the second time and brings along Holland's star fiddler Joost van Es. The German band Sacred Sounds of Grass is well known in Germany and all over Europe, and they are one of the eldest bluegrass bands in Germany that is still active and is still going strong.'

5 May begins in Bühl at 10.30 with a free open-air concert by Turquoise in the town's pedestrian area. Doors open at the main venue, the Bürgerhaus Neuer Markt, at 13.30 and the show begins at 14.00. For full details, with photos and details of all bands (in German), see the Festival website.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Flatpicking at the New Acoustic Gallery

The next Flatpicking Guitar Workshop with Oliver Waitze will take place in the New Acoustic Gallery, Neuenhofer Strasse 122 (B229), 42657 Solingen, Germany, from 10.00 to 17.00 on 17 March 2007.

For everyone who wants to improve their flatpicking technique! Bluegrass, fiddle tunes, rhythm, melody, right-hand exercises, Lester Flatt G runs, endings, cross-picking in the styles of Clarence White and Tony Rice, lead picking, gourmet licks a la Tony Rice, scales... Cost of taking part: €90.00.

Oliver's new book Flatpicking: master technique will also be available. Contact the New Acoustic Gallery by post at the above address; by the website links given above; by 'phone (+49 (0)212/2474007); or by e-mail.

New festival in Co. Mayo, Ireland

The first Westport folk and bluegrass festival will be held at Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland, on 29 June - 1 July 2007, with the Lee Valley String Band, Ireland's senior old-time/bluegrass group, headlining the event.

If you are interested in being part of the festival, contact Uri Kohen of Electric Cave Production by e-mail or by phone: +353 (0)87 7570958.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Two Dollar Bash: Belgium/Germany tour

Two Dollar Bash, an acoustic alt-country/folk/bluegrass group, originally from Scotland and France and now based in Berlin, begin a tour in Belgium and Germany next week:

Tues. Feb. 20th: Kinky Star, Gent, Belgium
Wed. Feb. 21st: The Bottom Line, Antwerp, Belgium
Fri. Feb. 23rd: Walhalla, Wiesbaden, Germany
Sat. Feb. 24th: Lokal Ohne Name, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Sun. Feb. 25th: Plaza Real, Antwerp, Belgium
Mon. Feb. 26th: Mausefalle, Bonn, Germany

Two Dollar Bash - Tony Rose (guitar, vocals), Matt de Harp (mandolin, harp, guitar, vocals), Mark Mulholland (banjo, mandola, guitar, vocals), and Joe Armstrong (guitar, bass, vocals) - launched their new CD, On the road (Cannery Row Records), with an exclusive concert at Grüner Salon, Volksbühne, Berlin on 2 February. A UK release and tour are planned for spring 2007. The band will tour in Canada and the US during March and April, and are planning to be in Ireland during August and September.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Norwegian band in Ireland, 16-22 Feb.

Ila Auto from Oslo, Norway, consists of Matias Hilmar Iversen (vocals, guitar), Stein Are Fevang (vocals, dobro), Kristoffer Iversen (bass, vocals), Kay Arne Sulutvedt (banjo, vocals), Kai Henrik Ryen (mandolin, snaredrum), with occasional help from Cecilie Heramb (fiddle), Kai Cristoffersen and Uy (Ulrik Yngvar) (drums, skrekkspell (accordion)). During a week's visit to Ireland, they will play at the Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin, on Wednesday 21 February, among other appearances.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Ricky Skaggs in Europe, July 2007: update

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder are now scheduled on their website to perform five dates in Europe this summer: on 27 July at 'Music in the Park' in Prague city centre, Czech Republic (TBA); on 28 July at the Midlands Music Festival, Ireland (TBA); on 29 July at the Cambridge Folk Festival, England; on 31 July at the Old Fruit Market, Glasgow, Scotland (TBA); and on 3 August at Indigo, London, England (TBA).

Monday, 12 February 2007

'Doppelstopp' for mandolinists

Volker Dick, a qualified journalist and (in his own words) 'fanatic amateur mandolin player', publishes Doppelstopp, a German-language blog especially for bluegrass mandolin. Even if you don't speak or read German, check out the photos! Contact Volker by post - Bismarckstraße 1, 51643 Gummersbach, Germany - or e-mail. In addition to 'Doppelstopp', he also has a website.

Becoming part of EWOB 2007

A message from Rienk Janssen, coordinator of the EBMA's European World of Bluegrass (EWOB):

The EBMA coordinates the annual European World of Bluegrass month, in 2007 for the tenth time. This is a series of concerts and festivals all over Europe, hanging loosely together under the EWOB umbrella. Being part of the EWOB does not bring any obligations - we just help each other in getting a bit more publicity. We publish the events in the EWOB Guide 2007 and on our websites, and we hope the participating events will use the EWOB logo (above) in their own publicity.

May is Bluegrass Month, and almost all EWOB-related events are in that month, but every now and then we include a few spilling over into April or June. We also have a special offer for festivals that take part for the first time. They will get a ¼ page ad for free (black/white) in the EWOB Guide. We would need all information by 1 March.

Wishing you success,
Kind regards,
Rienk Janssen

Please note that any bluegrass-related event - a festival, concert, session, broadcast - can be a part of EWOB. For advertising rates and any other details, e-mail Rienk here.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Bluegrass in Germany? Find it here

Bernd and Gunda Steller, from the Frankfurt area of Germany, are very active supporters of bluegrass and other forms of music. Singer / songwriter Liz Meyer encountered them at nearly all her shows while touring Germany - they had often travelled further than anyone else to be present. After going to the Netherlands to see Liz with Nugget, they began attending the EBMA's EWOB festivals.

In 2005 they established a website, listing dates, times, and places of festivals and concerts all over Germany and extending into Switzerland and the Netherlands, with comprehensive details of the artists taking part, and links to associations, promoters, publishers, and music suppliers. It's a labour of love and a valuable reference resource for bluegrass music lovers. Liz Meyer says: 'Fans like Bernd and Gunda are golden.'

Contact Bernd and Gunda Steller by e-mail if you have news to add to their website.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Sons of Navarone promo DVD available

The Sons of Navarone, from Belgium, can now offer a free promo DVD to promoters and event organisers. Taken during the Sons' performance in September 2006 during the Second Edition of the Picnic Festival in Namur, Belgium, the live video footage has been put on a DVD, together with extra information about the band.

Interested in booking the Sons for a gig? Order your free copy of the DVD: send your details to this link and it will be posted out 'on the fly'.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Lineup for EWOB Festival 2007 Announced

The EWOB Committee Voorthuizen, in cooperation with EBMA, has announced the lineup for this year's EWOB Festival on May 17-19, 2007. The details of the schedule are still being worked on, but they will be published in the Official EWOB Guide 2007, issued in conjunction with Strictly Country/BLUEGRASS EUROPE/ Bluegrass Bühne magazines (free to subscribers).

European Bands
Acousticure, Album, Astro & de Vries, Blackjack, Blueland, Blue Mountain Boys, Blue Railroad Train, Blue Side of Town, Bononia Grass, Carrivick Sisters, Except-2, 4Wheel Drive, Funny Grass, G-runs & Roses, G-2 Bluegrass Band, High on Grass, JB’s Band, Jiri Kralik & the Rowdy Rascals, Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers, Kralick & Glandt, Kreni, Lilly Drumeva, Lonesome Mountaineers, Looping Brothers, Meantime, Mideando String Quintet, New Lowland, Petr Brandejs Band, Portrait, Quartier Français, Rawhide, Red Wine, Roberto Dalla Vecchia, Rolls Boys, Sons of Navarone, Waterflow

Guest Bands from the USA
Andy Owens & Druha Trava, Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass, Si Kahn, Suzanne & Jim, Tangleweed, True North

Monday, 5 February 2007

Boogiemen put bluegrass on the map

In the past twelve months the Blue Grass Boogiemen have played many shows in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland, and made a big impact in their Netherlands home territory at the Lowlands and Noorderslag festivals. The Boogiemen report:

We finally put bluegrass music on the map there and proved that this type of music can work very well on big pop/rock festivals, as long as it's being played with the right energy and enthusiasm it deserves. We want to reach as many people as possible.

The CD Who's afraid of the Boogiemen?, released last year, won some great reviews in the bluegrass press. In 2007 a CD of Hank Williams songs recorded by the band will be released by the Starsound label in March as part of its 'Hits of...' series. In April a reprint of Elvis in Nederland by Dutch writer Rob van Scheers will appear, accompanied by a CD of Elvis Presley songs, recorded by many Dutch musicians – the Boogiemen contribute their version of Bill Monroe's 'Blue Moon of Kentucky' which Elvis covered for his first Sun single.

The dance show 'Gutsman de Voorstelling', for which the Boogiemen created the soundtrack, will be playing in theatres all over Holland throughout 2007. It is hoped that the soundtrack will be available on CD some time. The Boogiemen are also developing a programme about bluegrass music for schools, and recently did a show of this type at the Insula College, Dordrecht.

New Release from Strictly Country Records

The Dutch bluegrass and related music label Strictly Country Records has released a new project by songwriter/singer Paul Craft. The title already shows his mastery: "Too Bad You're No Good" (SCR-62). Paul Craft is backed by some of bluegrass' finest musicians and singers, including Alison Krauss, the Osborne Brothers, the Seldom Scene, Ronnie McCoury, Robbie McCoury, Jason Carter , Mike Bub and many others.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Still on the Hill tour, May 2007

Still on the Hill: Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mulhollan

On 31 January the EBB carried the news that Verein Over Easy Productions will present the US duo Still on the Hill on 17 May 2007. Paul Rostetter of Brambus Records reports that at present the Still on the Hill tour includes five other confirmed dates in Switzerland and two dates in Germany between 16 and 25 May. A couple of dates remain open. For further details contact Paul via this link.

Uncle Earl

The all-girl neo-old-time band Uncle Earl recently completed a tour of the UK. Their new CD Waterloo, Tennessee is now available to pre-order through their website for shipping before the release date of 13 March. Preview tracks can be sampled at their MySpace site.

Photos on the Uncle Earl website include an album taken during the September 2006 Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Longford, Ireland, many of which show the Dutch honky-tonk/Western swing band Ranch House Favourites.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Roberto Dalla Vecchia: new dates for 2007

A schedule of forthcoming dates for guitarist Roberto Dalla Vecchia appeared on the EBB in December. The following dates have now been added:

Saturday 10 February: 'Vo' on the folks', Sala della comunità, Vo' di Brendola (Vicenza). Tel. 339 5060122. Tickets Euro 11,00. Tony McManus in concert at 21:00; opening act Roberto Dalla Vecchia.

Friday 18 May: 10th EWOB Festival, Voorthuizen, the Netherlands.

For further detail see the calendar on Roberto's website. A few places are still available at the workshops on the schedule.

In November the title track from Roberto's last CD, Grateful, made the final at the USA Songwriting Competition. The instrumental was chosen from among thousands of tracks submitted from around the world on any instrument and in any type of music.