Friday, 27 July 2007

Nechville banjo featured in Acoustic

The current issue (#16) of Acoustic, the UK's only acoustic guitar magazine, includes a two-page illustrated feature by leading UK banjoist Leon Hunt on the Nechville Phantom banjo. Tom Nechville, inventor of the Helimount system and many other banjo design developments, will be attending several bluegrass events in Europe during September 2007.

Dobrofest 2007: a resonating success

Peter Radványi sends this message through the Dobrofest website:

Dear friends and members of the Dobro family,

I want to thank you one more time for your coming to Trnava. It was an extreme pleasure to meet you and listen to your super music. The combination of good weather, good music, and good people in audience made this year's Dobrofest real good. I believe that the late John Dopyera enjoyed the festival too. Dobrofest is over, but I hope that the dobro feelings we all have in those three festival´s days (and mostly at nights) will stay in your memory and heart forever. Don´t forget that old Dopyera´s slogan: 'Dobro means good in any language' and don´t stop to make this world better with dobro music.

THANKS to you all one more time. I wish you lot of dobro (not only in the liquid form as Dobrowitschka) wherever you are.

Resophonically yours,

Peter Radványi & all members of the Dobrofest staff

The Dobrofest lineup can be seen by clicking on the above copy of the poster. The next Dobrofest will be held at Trnava, Slovakia, in the last week of June 2008.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Music Contact news

Rainer Zellner of the Music Contact agency reports that the schedule for 2008 will include tours by the Infamous Stringdusters, one of the hottest new acts on the bluegrass scene in the USA, and a return visit from the Crooked Jades, who appeared earlier this month at the Rudolstadt Festival, Germany's biggest folk, roots, and world music festival.

Confirmed dates for the Stringdusters include the 6th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival in Bühl (Baden), Germany, on 3 May, and the Theatre at Lutherstadt-Eisleben, Germany, on 9 May.

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

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Transatlantic Bluegrass: a new forum

Nadine Highfield of Bluegrass Wales reports:

I'm pleased to announce Transatlantic Bluegrass, a new website and forum bringing together bluegrass enthusiasts from either side of the Atlantic. It’s a place where you can find bluegrass news and views, and talk about instruments and repair, artists and new releases, sound and recording, live gigs, and other bluegrass topics. We will be adding interviews and other features soon.

With its international focus, we hope that the forum will also encourage touring and travel for bands and musicians, as well as those wishing to attend festivals and bluegrass schools abroad. The website is at this location. We look forward to seeing you there!

Contact Nadine Highfield and Transatlantic Bluegrass by e-mail

Monday, 23 July 2007

Ricky Skaggs in Europe, 27 July - 4 Aug. 2007

Petr Kuklik announces:

Let me remind you of the event of the year, which will be held July 27th in Prague. Superstar Mr Ricky Skaggs will perform together with his Kentucky Thunder group at the festival MUSIC IN THE PARK. His performance will happen at 5 p.m. approx.

Don't miss this occasion to meet a real star.

The Prague performance by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder opens their European tour, which also includes one show in Ireland and five in the UK. Full details are on the band's tour schedule.

Mideando String Quintet in MySpace

The Mideando String Quintet report:

Hi, folks! We are in MySpace Music web: here.

In October we will represent the European bluegrass bands at the IBMA Festival in Nashville USA (1-7 Oct. 2007) as #1 European Bluegrass Band 2006/7, the title we won at the EWOB Festival 2006 in Voorthuizen, Holland. We will have with us our new CD, titled Tutte le direzioni ('All directions').

At the moment we are starting to organize our European 2008 tour; if you have interest in the Mideando String Quintet band, please contact us.

Have a good summer... CIAO from Italy!


Contact the MSQ:
tel. +39 049 8021556
cell +39 338 8227001

European Tour Management:
A.R.T. Promotions
Angelika R. Torrie
Holeerain 29 CH-4102 Binningen
tel. +41 61 4239691
fax +41 61 4239690

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Omagh Festival: new website

The award-winning Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, now has its own website, showing the full programme for this year's event (Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September); location map and details of accommodation in the area; and ticket prices, booking information, and contact data.

Advance booking is essential for the evening concerts on all three days. This can be done through the Park's ticket hotline, +44 (0) 28 822 43292, or online through Ticketmaster. Advance booking is not needed for the afternoon 'Bluegrass in the Park' programme on Saturday and Sunday.

This year's programme includes five USA acts headed by the Steep Canyon Rangers of North Carolina, who won the IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year Award last October. European bands taking part include Sunny Side (CZ), and Red Wine (I), both of whom have already made many friends among Omagh audiences.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Rienk Janssen joins IBMA board

The professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association has elected three new members to the IBMA's board of directors, as well as reelecting one incumbent for a second term.

Eddie Adcock, already in the IBMA Hall of Honor as a member of the 'classic Country Gentlemen', is reelected to represent artists and composers.

Janet Davis, of the Janet Davis Music Company in Arkansas, represents merchandisers and luthiers.

Rienk Janssen of the Netherlands, editor of Strictly Country magazine, event producer, record distributor, member of the EBMA board of directors, and EWOB coordinator for the EBMA, represents international members.

Dwight Worden, president of the San Diego Bluegrass Society in
California, represents associations.

Each was elected to a three-year term which begins on 1 October 2007.

The board is IBMA's governing body which sets policy and determines long-range goals and priorities for the association. Members serve without compensation and bear the full expense of attending IBMA events and board meetings held at least twice each year.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Mick Larie

Mick Larie on stage, 4 July 2007

Pioneer in bluegrass music in France, Mick Larie died suddenly on 11 July. Mick had been playing bluegrass mandolin since the late 1960s with his old friend Jean-Marie Redon. They had set up together some of the most renowned French bluegrass bands in the 1970s and '80s, and recorded several albums. He was sincerely fond of this music and collected magazines and records. He had coproduced about forty television broadcasts on bluegrass music for Canalweb. Mick will remain one of the great figures of French bluegrass on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Winner of Deering banjo

Jo Oost and his Little Wonder

The European World of Bluegrass Festival organising committee reports on the result of the EWOB 2007 raffle:

The Deering Vega Little Wonder banjo has been won by Jo Oost from 't Haantje, NL. The winning ticket number was 00329.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Gary Ferguson and David Miner in Ireland, 13-29 July

This will be Gary’s third year in Ireland in a row. In 2005 he toured with Gail Wade, and last year with David. David joins Gary once again this year and the two are preparing for a very busy musical adventure. The trip starts at the Athy Bluegrass Festival on 13 July and continues through 29 July with sixteen scheduled appearances during that time! The duo will be traveling and playing all over Ireland. You can find the complete schedule for the tour, as well as listen to some samples of Gary and David’s great sound, here; the schedule is also on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog.

Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble in Ireland, 12-20 July

The Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble from eastern Kentucky, with special guest Alice McLain White, are about to begin a tour in Ireland.

Berea College has been a focal point in Appalachian culture since 1855. The College's Bluegrass Ensemble owes much to the work of the remarkable McLain Family (Raymond W. McLain was at the EBMA's EWOB Festival a few years ago in Bill Clifton's 'Pick of the Crop' band).

Thurs. 12th: ­O'Donovan's Hotel, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, 9.30 p.m.
Fri. 13th: ­Glen Theatre, Banteer, Co. Cork, 8.30 p.m.
Sat. 14th: ­Private party
Sun. 15th: ­Private party
Mon. 16th: ­Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork; with Gary Ferguson and David Miner, 8.15 p.m.
Tues. 17th: ­The Local Bar, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, 9.30 p.m.
Wed. 18th:­ Sixmilebridge Folk Club, Gallagher's, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare, 9.30 p.m.
Thurs. 19th:­ Private party
Fri. 20th:­ St John's Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry

Enquiries to John Nyhan, +353­ (0)87 792177.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

A German gift to American roots music

Laurie Lewis spent Independence Day celebrating the 76th birthday of Chris Strachwitz, founder of the Californian Arhoolie Records company. Laurie remarks in her latest newsletter:

It's fitting that Chris celebrates his birthday on the same day as Uncle Sam. For one thing, Chris's life is a study in independence, and for another, this German immigrant has done as much as any living person to preserve and promote American traditional music of all stripes.

Christian Strachwitz was born in 1931 in Groß Reichenau, Lower Silesia, Germany (now Bogaczów, Poland), emigrated to the United States in 1947, and founded Arhoolie in 1960. The label's catalogue includes blues, cajun, zydeco, gospel, jazz, tejano, world music, and old-time and bluegrass artists such as Del McCoury, Vern & Ray, Rose Maddox, J. E. Mainer, and Snuffy Jenkins.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Bluegrass in Belfast for Nashville

On Friday 29 June the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, celebrated the 200th anniversary of its sister city, Nashville, TN, with a free concert of country music and bluegrass at the Clarendon Dock, as a prelude to the two-day Belfast Maritime Festival.

Artists taking part included Kevin Montgomery (USA), singer Bap Kennedy, and singer-songwriter Brian Houston, with bluegrass and old-time music represented by Eilidh Patterson and Broken Strings.

Mr Bill Purcell, mayor of Nashville, explains the strong musical links between Ulster and his city in a video report by the Irish News TV channel, which can be seen here. It also gives some good views of members of Broken Strings.