Monday, 30 April 2007

Europe in Bluegrass Now

The 'Band to watch' feature in the May 2007 issue of Bluegrass Now magazine is devoted to the Ebony Hillbillies, whose banjo and dulcimer player, Norris Bennett, is a regular feature of EWOB Festivals and other bluegrass/old-time events in Europe. The same issue includes:

* a feature by Mary McWay Seaman on Carmel Sheerin & the Ravens, #1 European Bluegrass Band 2005, focused on the band's appearance at the IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2006 in Nashville;

*a large 'Eurograss' column by Petra Jones, covering festivals, concerts, and CD releases by European bands; and

*an article by the IBMA's Nancy Cardwell on Andy Owens and his close association with Druha Trava. Nancy, together with IBMA colleagues Jon Weisberger and Fred Bartenstein, will be attending the EWOB 2007 Festival at Voorthuizen, the Netherlands.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Bluegrass in Belgium (and elsewhere)

Bluegrass in Belgium reports that Rawhide is celebrating thirty years as a band - fifteen years with the present lineup - and has given a new look to its website. You are invited to send comments or condolences to the band by e-mail. Rawhide will also be playing at the 5th Fredericia Festival in Denmark on 25-6 May.

The Sons of Navarone are booked to play the Beleuvenissen Folk Festival this year for the third time, at Vounckplein, Leuven, on 6 July. Both Rawhide and the Sons of Navarone will be playing at the EBMA's 10th EWOB Festival at Voorthuizen, the Netherlands, on 17-19 May.

For other events, see the Bluegrass in Belgium calendar. Contact Bluegrass in Belgium via e-mail.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

EBMA's European Month of Bluegrass 2007 to starttoday

TriRhena Bluegrass in Basel, Switzerland, as the first concert shown in the EWOB guide tonight 24th April opens up the very extended European Month of Bluegrass. We are looking forward to welcome bands from the three countries touching boarders in Basel: MoonFire representing Switzerland, The Common Cryers from France and Blue Side of Town running for Germany. This is also the place, where the first EWOB T-Shirts and raffle tickets 2007 will be sold! Make sure to get yours at one of these numerous events, too!

Monday, 23 April 2007

Banjoree 2007: last call

Dear friends of the 5-string banjo,

Banjoree 2007 - June 8th through June 10th - comes close. There are still bookings possible, but it is necessary to register by May 1st, because we have to make compulsory bookings for the beds at the location ESW. After May 1st registrations can only be made as exceptions.

You find the news as usual on our website - among other things, a new page for lifts to Banjoree in Hagen. We are looking forward to a banjo-fest with many participants.

Best wishes from Hamburg, Dortmund, and Munich,

Veit Doehler, Andreas Benkhofer, Reinhard Gress

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Jim Irvine

Dee Hallett of the BBMA reports:

It is with deep regret that British Bluegrass Music Association announces the death of Jim Irvine of the Down County Boys. Dave Bresnen, chairman of the BBMA, states that, sadly, Jim apparently had taken his own life, having been found by the staff in a hotel room in London on Wednesday morning 18 April. The sincere and heartfelt condolences of the British Bluegrass Music Association and its members go out to Jim's family, his fellow musicians and many friends.

Jim Irvine of Coventry played banjo, guitar, and fiddle for many years with the Down County Boys, longtime holders of the title of #1 British Bluegrass Band. He was also the BBMA area representative for the West Midlands. The above photo is taken from the Cornish Bluegrass Association website.


Update 30 April: Peter Parker (the Down County Boys' fiddler) confirms that Jim's funeral will take place on Tuesday 8 May at 3.15 p.m. at Canley Garden cemetery and crematorium, Cannon Hill Road, Coventry, in the Charter Chapel. Flowers should be sent to the funeral directors, Henry Ison & Sons (Coventry) Ltd, 76-78 Binley Road, Coventry, CV3 1FQ; tel: +44 (0)24 76458665.

Everyone attending the funeral is invited for refreshments after the proceedings in the upstairs room at the Coventry Working Men's Club in Whitefriars Street, Coventry (next door to the Coventry Boys Club). Here is a map link. The link for a location map of the Canley Crematorium Coventry is here.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Bluegrass Europe #55 (April/May 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 April–May 2007 issue*

Bluegrass Europe #55: Andy Owens & Druha Trava: international bluegrass music(cover feature); EBMA's 10th EWOB; European news coverage; IBMA's International Outreach Fund; Liz Meesters: bluegrass for kids; CD reviews; concert & festival calendar; EBMA's European bluegrass guide

Strictly Country #217: 25th Big Bear Festival; Hugh & Katy Moffatt in Harpel; 14th Annual Picking Party; Folksong revival, part 5; Babes in the Grass; News, views, and reviews; Johanna & the Brand New Allstars + Banjöhead; Columbia Series # 82: Country music after WWII, part 3; new Paul Craft CD from SCR; BU National Bluegrass Survey

Bluegrass Buehne #158: Festival and concert reports; Claire Lynch; the International Cajun Trio; Roland Heinrich, Jimmie Rodgers and Johnny Cash; the Infamous Stringdusters; Renaud Martin in Australia, part II; tablature, 'Papa's banjo'; news and reviews

*This issue has been posted to subscribers

Thursday, 19 April 2007

The Crooked Jades in Europe

Rainer Zellner of the Music Contact agency reports that on 5-9 July 2007 the Crooked Jades will represent American old-time and folk styles at Germany's most important and largest World Music Festival - in Rudolstadt, in the beautiful Thüringer Wald region. Also on the bill for a special festival opening 'America' concert on 5 July are Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike and the 'Metal Grass' band Hayseed Dixie, led by the Reno Brothers.

The Crooked Jades are also planning another European tour from the end of September till mid October.

Full details of the coming European tour by the Wilders (2-28 May) can be seen on their website, on the Music Contact website, or here.

Hayseed Dixie are now in the second week of a tour in Britain and north-west Europe which ends on 7 May in Oslo, Norway. Full dates are on their website.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Tour Schedule: Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass

A full schedule of the European tour of Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass is available online at the link below. The tour was jointly coordinated by Strictly Country Records (Pieter Groenveld) and A.R.T. Promotions (Angelika Torrie). Don't miss this exceptional band on their tour through Switzerland, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands.


Sunday, 15 April 2007

Jamboree 2007 at Strakonice, 25-6 May

The Municipal Cultural Centre of Strakonice, Czech Republic, announces that Jamboree 2007, the biggest bluegrass and country music festival in Central Europe, will be held at Strakonice (about 90 km south of Prague) on Friday 25 May and Saturday 26 May.

Friday: Riding Horse Scene, 4.00 p.m. 'The Legends': Tomáš Linka & Přímá Linka, Petr Kocman & the PK Band.

Friday: Summer Cinema Scene, 7.30 p.m. First main concert: Flashback, Reliéf, Radim Zenkl Quartet (USA), Eliška Ptáčková & Band, Light Cavalry, Modrotisk, Robert Křesťan & Druhá Tráva with special guest Andy Owens (USA).

Saturday: Riding Horse Scene, 10.30 a.m. 'Bluegrass Session No. 7': Wejlet, Giant Mountain Boys, Kvintet, Carrabina, Wyrton, Luňáčkové, Album, BG Company, Burizon, and others.

Saturday: Summer Cinema Scene, 4.00 p.m. Second main concert: Vabank Unit, Poutníci, Monogram, Blue Gate, Druhá Míza Vojty Zíchy, Nová Sekce, Madalen, Petr Kůs & Fámy, Petr Brandejs Band, Banjo Duo, Country Cocktail, Stráníci, Cop, Semtex.

Rosťa Čapek and Míša Leicht will be the MCs for both evening concerts, and Zdeněk Schwager will be MC for 'Bluegrass Session No. 7'. In the Free Area of the Jamboree there will be horse riding, dance shows, an exhibition of old American cars, and jam sessions. For further details (in the Czech language), see the Jamboree website.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Forge Mountain Diggers in Sweden, Sept.-Oct. 2007

The Forge Mountain Diggers old-time band - David Bass (fiddle), Allison Williams (banjo, vocals), and Thomas Bailey (guitar, vocals) - will tour Sweden from 14 September to 5 October 2007. The tour schedule includes shows in Stockholm, Olofström, Tanum, Skellefteå, Örnsköldsvik, Gävleborgs län, Visby, Södertälje, Linköping, Oxelösund, and Eskilstuna.

The Diggers are highly regarded old-time musicians. David Bass, in particular, was a member of the Freighthoppers, who recorded two albums for Rounder Records and earned a standing ovation at IBMA's World of Bluegrass ten years ago. Bluegrass Unlimited called the Diggers' first CD, The Forge Mountain Diggers, 'a breathtaking collection... that deserves to be an integral part of any serious music library'. They also have a MySpace site.

Friday, 13 April 2007

The first 10 days of EWOB month

This is just a (literally!) small impression of the first ten days of EWOB month 2007. The complete guide is available online at And in fact, dates span a period of 24 April to 29 June - what a long month.

Why not have EWOB month all year long ;-)

See you here - or there - or there!

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Roberto Dalla Vecchia: May-June gigs

Saturday 5 May: Roberto Dalla Vecchia in concert at 21:00, Sala Polifunzionale, Rahula Guitar Festival, Campoformido (UD), Italy

Saturday 12 May: Roberto Dalla Vecchia and Martino Coppo in concert at 21:00, Musicantando, Piazza S. Giovanni Battista, Madone (BG), Italy. Infoline: tel. +39 035 4997006

Sunday 13 May: Roberto Dalla Vecchia workshop at 15:00, Circolo musico-culturale, Auditorium Comunale, Il Cenacolo, Villa Estense (PD), Italy. Online Info: tel. +39 335 549 4108

Friday 18 May: Roberto Dalla Vecchia in concert (also guitar workshop, 12:00-13:00), 10th EWOB Festival, Voorthuizen, the Netherlands

Thursday 31 May–Sunday 3 June: 3rd Acoustic Guitar Workshop, Altissimo (VI), Italy; online info and registration

Saturday 30 June: Roberto Dalla Vecchia in concert with Paolo Sereno, Gabriele Posenato, and Dario Fornara at 21:00, Chitarre per Sognare, Anfiteatro Comunale, Colognola ai Colli (VR), Italy. Info: tel. +39 045 7651934

Contact Roberto Dalla Vecchia by e-mail

Forty-two bands to shine at 10th annual festival

EBMA press release

Award-winning festival starts again on Thursday, May 17th

Voorthuizen, the Netherlands – On May 17, 18 and 19 the tenth European World of Bluegrass (EWOB) Festival will take place in the Dutch village of Voorthuizen... At the festival forty-two bands from thirteen different European countries, and the USA, will perform on stage. Also there will be workshops, a trade show, a children’s programme, and of course people can ‘jam’ together to their heart’s desire...

Read the complete text of this release on the EBMA website.

Full tour schedule: The Wilders (USA)

03.05.2007, D-87435 Kempten, Stiftsgaststätten 20:30
04.05.2007, D-87435 Kempten, Turbinenhalle AÜW 14:30
05.05.2007, D-77815 Bühl, Bluegrass Festival 14:00
06.05.2007, D-86836 Untermeitingen, Four Corners Music Hall
07.05.2007, D-72070 Tübingen, Mancuso 20:00
09.05.2007 , NL-Wadway, Cafe de Vriendschap 20:00
10.05.2007, * NOT PUBLIC* 20:30
11.05.2007, D-73230 Kirchheim/T. , Club Bastion 21:00
12.05.2007, CH-6248 Alberswil (bei Willisau), Schweizer.Landwirtschaftsmuseum Burgrain Spring Bluegrass Festival
13.05.2007, D-88239 Wangen, Schwarzer Hasen 11:00
13.05.2007, D-76829 Landau, Altes Kaufhaus 20:00
14.05.2007 ** NOT PUBLIC ** 20:00
15.05.2007, D-85049 Ingolstadt, Neue Welt 21:30
17.05.2007, D-84478 Waldkraiburg, Haus der Kultur 20:00
18.05.2007, D-01979 Lauchhammer, Real Music Club 20:00
19.05.2007, D-01445 Radebeul, Karl May Festival
20.05.2007, D-01445 Radebeul, Karl May Festival
22.05.2007, D-55116 Mainz, Frankfurter Hof 20:00
23.05.2007, D-59439 Holzwickede, Haus Opherdicke 20:00
24.05.2007, D-89032 Ulm, Zeltfestival 20:00
25.05.2007, D-41564 Kaarst, Albert Einstein Forum 20:00
26.05.2007, D-64283 Darmstadt, Schlossgrabenfest - FRIZZ-W-M-Bühne 21:00
27.05.2007, B-6760 Virton, Hamawe Roots Festival 22:30
28.05.2007, NL-Zuidlaren, Big Bear Festival 16:00

MUSIC CONTACT Rainer Zellner
Roots Music Booking and Production
Saarstrasse 8 D-72070 Tübingen Germany
+49 (0) 7073 2250 Fax: +49 (0) 7073 2134

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

IBMA's International Outreach Program: Application Deadline April 16

Over the last three years, IBMA has made financial resources available to foster the development of bluegrass music outside of the U.S. Twenty nine grant applications have been funded during that time for a total of $50,000.00.

In 2007, the board has allocated $20,000.00 in additional funds earmarked toward achieving two main goals:

1) Use IBMA World of Bluegrass events to expose international attendees to professional development opportunities and worldwide connections in the music.

2) Offer direct support to bluegrass professionals and organizational development efforts which foster the music's opportunities outside the USA.

Of the total allocated this year, $13,000.00 will be made available as scholarships for World of Bluegrass events (which can be used for registration fees, travel and/or accommodations) as well as other international activities which can be hosted during the convention. The remaining $7,000.00 will be available to fund new bluegrass projects which foster international cooperation and development outside the US.


Any IBMA professional member (organization or individual) based outside the US can apply for these financial resources in 2007 and must do so before April 16, 2007.

A special International Outreach Committee is responsible for the review process and will make decisions regarding grants by May 31.

For a complete set of criteria and application process, contact IBMA at

Friday, 6 April 2007

Claire Lynch in Europe, 1-6 May 2007: full tour dates

Karl Heinz Siber of Muff Musik Promotions in Germany sends the complete schedule for the Claire Lynch Band tour in the first week of May:

Tuesday 1 May: D-74343 Sachsenheim, Germany; in the Schlosshof or Kulturhaus (depending on weather), 7.00 p.m. Contact Muff Musik by e-mail.

Wednesday 2 May: Bluegrass Fest, Culture House Zrkadlovy Haj, Bratislava, Slovakia, 8.00 p.m.

Thursday 3 May: Hotel Newland, Klaaswaal, the Netherlands, 9.00 p.m.
[Recordings will be made for a Claire Lynch DVD. Admission €15,- (pre-sale), €17,50 at the door. Thanks to Ruud de Bruin for this information.]

Friday 4 May: Museum Erve Kots, Eimersweg 4, 7137 HG Lievelde, the Netherlands. Admission €15,-. 9.00 p.m. Info and bookings, +31 (0)544 373701, (0)575 518990, (0) 543 466294; website

Saturday 5 May: 5th International Bluegrass Festival of Bühl, Burgerhaus Neuer Markt, Bühl, southern Germany, 5.00 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.

Sunday 6 May: Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, Oldenburg, northern Germany, 7.30 p.m.

The Oldenburgisches Staatstheater is a classical theatre capable of seating 700 and with fantastic acoustic properties. Karl reports: 'As far as I know this is the most classy venue ever used for a bluegrass concert in Germany. The director of the Staatstheater is regarding this as an experiment that, if successful, could develop into a series of annual bluegrass concerts on the stage of the Staatstheater. The event has been made possible by two corporate sponsors from Oldenburg.'

Jason Thomas, formerly a member of Kane's River, will be playing mandolin and fiddle with the band, in place of David Harvey.

For more details, contact Karl via e-mail.

The sound of the Blue Mountains

Karl Heinz Siber reports from Germany:

The Frankfurter Rundschau, a major German newspaper with national distribution, carries an article about the 'rediscovery of bluegrass music in Kentucky' in its weekend edition of Saturday 17 March. The complete article ['Der Sound der blauen Berge' by Frederik Jötten] is now available in the online edition of the paper, at this link.

On the positive side: after so many years of near-total negligence by the major media it is nice to finally see a piece of solid and serious journalistic work devoted to bluegrass music, without the otherwise customary sneering or ridiculing side blows. The author obviously was in Nashville during World of Bluegrass week 2006, and was particularly impressed by two aspects: the musicianship and devotion of the jammers and the fact that so many youngsters are getting into bluegrass music.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Rounder Europe: new releases

Rounder Europe announce that their latest releases in bluegrass and allied fields of music include Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, More behind the picture than the wall; Uncle Earl, Waterloo, Tennessee; Donna Hughes, Gaining wisdom; and Linde Nijland sings Sandy Denny. Linde Nijland and Annemarieke Coenders form the popular Dutch duo Yggdrasil.

Rounder Europe also now has in the stores A hundred miles or more, a collection of 16 Alison Krauss recordings without Union Station, including her work for the film soundtracks of Cold Mountain and O brother, where art thou? and her collaborations with John Waite on 'Missing you', with Brad Paisley on 'Whiskey lullaby', and with James Taylor on 'How's the world treating you' from the tribute album Livin', lovin', losin': songs of the Louvin Brothers.

Low Country Boys: summer in Washington

The Low Country Boys of Co. Down, Northern Ireland, will perform on the National Mall in Washington, DC, this summer as part of the 41st Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. They appear - with Bushmills whiskey, Belleek china, and many other things - as part of a special festival programme celebrating the culture and arts of Northern Ireland.

The Festival takes place from 27 June to 1 July and from 4 to 8 July 2007, opening daily from 11.00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Evening events start at 6.00 p.m. Details are on the Smithsonian website.

The Low Country Boys - Ireland's only bluegrass gospel band, and probably the only bluegrass band in the world recording original material in the Ulster Scots tongue - released their CD Sangs o Bairns an hame (an a wheen aboot drink forbye) at the end of 2006, as the first part of a set. Volume 2 is due for release in spring 2007.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

The Osborne Brothers: live in Germany

Pinecastle Records of Columbus, NC, announce that The Osborne Brothers: live in Germany 2 CD/DVD set is available in stores today - the first of several unreleased Osborne Brothers recordings that will be made available to the public in the next few years.

The rare archival footage was recorded on 30 July 1989 in Streekermoor, Germany, during a European tour with the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Sonny Osborne's liner notes tell it how it is: 'This is just about as good as you will ever remember the Osborne Brothers.' Their hits 'Kentucky', 'Georgia mules and country boys', 'Midnight flyer', 'Tennessee hound dog', and 'Rocky Top' are among the 22 songs presented on two CDs, and 27 tracks on the DVD. Musicians with Bobby and Sonny Osborne include Terry Smith (bass), Terry Eldridge (guitar/vocals; now with the Grascals), and Steve Thomas (fiddle). Cuts from Live in Germany can be heard on the Osborne Brothers' online press kit.

The Osborne Brothers: live in Renfro Valley is being re-released for the first time on DVD today (3 April). Recorded on 6 August 1992 at the Barn in Renfro Valley, Kentucky, it features nine favorites from the Osbornes.

Press info: Ethan Burkhardt; phone +1-828-894-0322 x225

Music Contact news

The April 2007 newsletter of Rainer Zellner's Music Contact agency includes full dates for the Wilders tour (3-28 May), including the festivals at Bühl, Germany (5 May); Willisau, Switzerland (12 May); Radebeul, Germany (19-20 May); Ulm, Germany (24 May); Virton, Belgium (27 May); and Zuidlaren, the Netherlands (28 May). The Crooked Jades will appear on 6-8 July at the Rudolstadt festival in Germany.

'Hillbilly Bluegrass', a touring 'Festival of Authentic Country Music', is announced for autumn 2008.

Music Contact
Rainer Zellner
Roots Music Booking and Production
Saarstrasse 8 D-72070
phone +49 (0)7073 2250; fax +49 (0)7073 2134; e-mail

Managing Assistant Kirsten Spiegl; phone +49 (0)7073-913588 (13:30-18:30 p.m.); e-mail. To download promo photos and text, use this link.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

The .357 String Band: autumn tour in Europe

Gijs Cals of the Sedate Bookings agency reports that the .357 String Band from Milwaukee will make a European tour in October. The first concerts have already been booked.

The group combines bluegrass with country and punk. Their music can be heard on their website and MySpace site. The Dutch label Rosa Records will release a new album by the band, which will be available during the tour. For bookings and further details, contact

Gijs Cals / Sedate Bookings
Lambertusplein 26
5921JJ Venlo
The Netherlands
Telephone +31 (0)6 41 77 27 27; e-mail.