Thursday, 30 August 2007

International Songwriting Competition deadline approaching

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is now accepting entries for 2007. One of the largest songwriting competitions in the world, ISC gives away over $150,000 in cash and prizes, including an Overall Grand Prize package of US$25,000 in cash and over $20,000 in merchandise. ISC offers artists the most exposure, the best judges, and the biggest cash prize, unmatched by any other songwriting competition. ISC winners benefit from extensive press and publicity, gaining exposure and recognition from an international music market of industry professionals and fans.

Read the full details here.

International Songwriting Competition
1307 Eastland Ave
Nashville, TN 37206
+1 (615) 251-4441

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Fiddler's curse published

Centerstream Publishing announces the publication of Randy Noles's new book Fiddler’s curse: the untold story of Ervin T. Rouse, Chubby Wise, Johnny Cash, and the Orange Blossom Special, a thorough revision of his acclaimed 2002 work Orange Blossom boys.

Fiddler's curse, based on new research into the relationships between Rouse, Wise, and Cash, ascribes the sole authorship of the 'Special' to Rouse. The full press release can be read here.

For interviews, please contact Randy Noles, +1 407-895-7505 or e-mail.

For review copies, please contact Ron Middlebrook, Centerstream Publishing. A link to Amazon for the book is here.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Infamous Stringdusters video on the Bluegrass Blog

Sugar Hill Records and the Bluegrass Blog announce the debut showing of Four days of infamy, a thirty-minute mini-documentary on the Infamous Stringdusters. Filmed by Craig Havighurst of String Theory Media during a four-day Colorado trip with the band during the winter of 2007, it shows the band on stage, backstage, in rehearsal, and in transit.

The entire film, narrated by John Cowan, will be available for online viewing - exclusively on the Bluegrass Blog - on 27 August. A brief preview can be seen online at the BB now. Once the full video is up, an icon in the left-hand sidebar of the BB will help readers find it quickly.

The Infamous Stringdusters are nominated for IBMA 2007 awards in the categories of Emerging Artist, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year (the Chris Jones song 'Fork in the road'). The Stringdusters are booked to appear at the Sixth International Bühl Bluegrass Festival in Bühl, south-west Germany, on Saturday 3 May 2008.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Bluegrass ambassador for Germany

The Bluegrass Blog reports that Jamie Dailey, lead singer and guitar player with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver since 1998, has just begun a twelve-day trip to Germany as temporary US ambassador and chairman of the delegation for the ACG (American Council on Germany).

The delegation will discuss, with the heads of state of Germany and other EU countries, issues including the nuclear programme in Iran, 2007 elections in Turkey, and the rise of China to superpower status. The trip begins in Munich and ends in Berlin at a gala dinner where Ambassador Dailey will perform, solo with guitar, three songs for the gathered heads of state.

Jamie's own songs have been recorded by artists such as Ricky Skaggs, and in 2008 he will begin touring with his new band, the Dailey Vincent Band. The Bluegrass Blog adds: 'Jamie has asked that the bluegrass community remember him in their prayers for these next twelve days as he travels and attempts to make a difference in this world.'

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Sweet Sunny South Festival, UK, 7-9 Sept.

The sixth annual Sweet Sunny South Festival, known as one of the premiere festivals of American old-time music, takes place at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel, Hastings, Sussex, southern England, over the weekend 7-9 September.

Featured artists include Kate Lissauer and the Buffalo Gals; Nick Peachey, multi-instrumentalist and singer who plays guitar, banjo, and a host of other instruments, with an original approach to American music; and for the first time in Hastings, the Foundlings, a trio from south Wales who play fiddle, guitar, and mandolin.

Tickets for the concerts on Friday and Saturday evening (£8.50 per night) are available via the Festival website or tel. +44 (0)1424 423230. As the venue is usually fully booked, early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. Thee festival weekend also includes workshops and informal picking sessions, all within a laid-back and friendly atmosphere.

Omagh Festival launched

Richard Hurst, Festival organiser, with members of the Knotty Pine String Band

The 16th Annual Bluegrass Music Festival was launched on Tuesday at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. From Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September, the museum will become home to some of the biggest names in international bluegrass music as acts like the Steep Canyon Rangers, Lovell Sisters, and Malpass Brothers rub shoulders with the finest home-grown talent.

'We understand our visitors' desire for great music in great surroundings, two key ingredients that have played a crucial part in the success of this event,' commented Richard Hurst, the Folk Park’s Visitor Services Manager. 'It’s great to be able to invite back bands like Red Wine from Italy and Sunny Side from the Czech Republic, not only because they are eager to come back but because our visitors want them back.'

Representing all the musicians at the launch was local Omagh act, the Knotty Pine String Band - something of a privilege, according to the group’s fiddler, Declan O'Kane. 'We have found that bluegrass music has become very popular over the past fifteen years, in no small part to the success of events such as the fantastic Bluegrass Music Festival here at the Ulster American Folk Park. We travel across Ireland to attend all types of festivals which showcase bluegrass music and really enjoy the social scene involved as you are continually meeting up with old friends along the way. I think Ireland has really taken ownership of bluegrass music now and it’s wonderful as this is where bluegrass music has its roots.'

Tickets for the Festival are available from the hotline on +44 (0)28 8224 3292, while evening concert tickets and full festival information are also available at the festival website. Read the full release here.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Banjo books in PDF format

Hi everybody,

I just want to inform you that both of my books, Banjo instrumentals and The 5-string banjo in D tuning, are now available in PDF format. They are a little cheaper than the printed versions, and you save the shipping costs. If you are interested in the books, please contact me. To get more informations about them, please visit my website.

Best wishes,

Andy Glandt


Fox Tower Bluegrass Band (American Acoustic Music) *** 3unterwegs (Volkslieder und mehr zum Mitsingen) *** Familienprogramm *** Kinderprogramm *** Piece of Cheese (Irish & International Folk) *** Kralik & Glandt Trio (Bluegrass, Swing) *** Wolkenkratzer (ein vorwiegend lustiges Programm)

Monday, 20 August 2007

Just Grass News 20 Aug. 07

Patrick Russell of Just Grass reports:

Hello bluegrass fans and friends of Just Grass!

This spring and early summer has been exciting for Just Grass and bluegrass music. Our show for the Wiesloch German / American was a wonderful time of music, fun, and great food... We had a near-fatal accident when the wind blew the upright bass over...

Read the full report here, including details of Just Grass shows between 31 August and 13 October in Heidelberg, Landau, and elsewhere.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Kathy Chiavola in Europe

Kathy Chiavola will be playing several shows in Europe in the next few weeks. Her schedule includes:

August 29th: Paris TV show - Memorial tribute for Mick Larie; details TBA

August 31-September 1: Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, England

September 7: High Lane Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Venue, Stockport, 10 miles south of Manchester, England; tickets from Tom Travis, +44 (0)1457 861789

September 9: Toulouse, France; details TBA

La Roche-sur-Foron Festival and Band Contest, 2-5 August

Mountain music: the main stage at sunset

Thanks to Lilly Pavlak for news and photos of the Festival Européen de Bluegrass Music, held for the second time in La Roche-sur-Foron, a medieval town in the French Alps, between Geneva (Switzerland) and Mont Blanc.

Organised by Christopher Howard-Williams, chairman of the FBMA, the festival is supported by the town's mayor, the Tourist Bureau, and a staff of no less than 120 volunteers. This year there were twenty-plus hours of free concerts, with thirty bands from eleven countries: France, the Czech Republic, Spain, Estonia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Russia, Slovakia, and US. Lilly reports:

A festival of superlatives!... After the rain last year, this time the weather was beautiful. The whole city beat to the rhythm of bluegrass music, with bars hosting bands for a 'fringe' festival on Thursday evening and the local movie theatre playing Deliverance. Friday was a gala concert with French bluegrass comedy act Zip Code 2025, Bluegrass Stuff from Italy – last year’s contest winner – and headliners from the US Hickory Project... On Saturday this year’s winners of the European Bluegrass Pioneer Awards were proclaimed. The beautiful handmade wooden awards went to Jaanus Vainu from Estonia, Loek Lamers from Holland, and Petr Kus from the Czech Republic.

Indrek Vainu (left) accepts the European Pioneer award on behalf of his older brother Jaanus from Christopher Howard-Williams of the FBMA

The winners of the band contest were:

#1 Kralik & his Rowdy Rascals, Czech Republic (shown above)
#2 Country Saloon, Russia (for the second year running)
#3 G-Runs & Roses, Czech Republic

The estimated 10,000 visitors during the festival period also enjoyed other attractions for all tastes and ages: the festival market, music market, pony rides, climbing wall, masterclass workshops, bluegrass gospel singing at Sunday mass, etc. Lilly concludes:

If you are planning to be in Europe for the first weekend of next August, don’t forget to stop by. For me it was the event of the year 2007!

Monday, 13 August 2007

Omagh Festival: tickets on sale

The Lovell Sisters

Tickets are now on sale for the Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Demand is extremely high following the announcement of the line-up for this year's event, and advance booking for evening concerts is essential. Almost 9,000 people attended last year’s festival.

This year (Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September) the line–up includes American acts Steep Canyon Rangers (the current International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artists of the Year), the Lovell Sisters (the next Dixie Chicks?), and the Malpass Brothers. Former festival favourites Sunny Side from the Czech Republic and Red Wine from Italy will also make a welcome return. The festival's new website gives in-depth information on the three-day programme, biographies of all artists, and a Ticketmaster facility for booking evening concert tickets.

‘Bluegrass in the Park’ afternoon sessions will take place as usual on Saturday and Sunday afternoon between 1.00 and 6.00 p.m. This popular element of the festival has been extended in 2007 to include sessions on Friday afternoon between 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. Visitors can also engage with the artists through a series of workshops and lectures. At instrument workshops you can spend an hour in the company of master musicians and improve your playing skills in both the old-time and bluegrass traditions.

A standard weekend festival pass for the 2007 event costs £35, and a full festival weekend pass will be £42. Individual evening concert tickets can be bought at £18; a ticket for the Sunday ‘Spirit of Bluegrass’ Gospel Concert costs £10. General admission to the 'Bluegrass in the Park' afternoon sessions costs £7 for an adult (£5 concession). General tickets are available from the BLUEGRASS TICKET HOTLINE on +44 (0)28 8224 3292; for further details log on to the new festival website.

Bluegrass Europe, Bluegrass Buehne, Strictly Country

On 17 July Rienk Janssen (editor of Strictly Country), Eberhard Finke (editor of Bluegrass Buehne), Friedrich Hog (a well known bluegrass journalist in Germany) and Paolo Dettwiler (editor of Bluegrass Europe) met in Ulm, Germany. The meeting took place in a very positive spirit, underlining the importance of the magazines and taking steps to assure their future.

Rienk Janssen plans to continue editing Strictly Country till 2011. Eberhard Finke will continue as overall editor of Bluegrass Buehne, with Michael Zumstein of the EBMA Board taking care of design and layout. Paolo Dettwiler is prepared to continue editing Bluegrass Europe till 2011, should the EBMA Board want him to do so. Friedrich Hog will take over the duty of editing the Concert Calendar in the middle part of the three magazines.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

EBMA looks to the future

The EBMA Board with guests (left to right): Dagfinn Pedersen, Rienk Janssen, Angelika Torrie, Paolo Dettwiler, Lilly Drumeva, Petr Brandejs, Michael Zumstein, Richard Hawkins, Jon Weisberger, Richard Hurst. Photo by Nancy Cardwell.

At the sixth EBMA General Membership Assembly on Thursday 17 May at the EWOB Festival, Voorthuizen, the Netherlands, the EBMA Board was re-elected for the next legal year of the association (1 July 2007-30 June 2008). The present chairman, Paolo Dettwiler, will resign in June 2008 to concentrate on other bluegrass-related projects. Two further Board members will be proposed in 2008 for election by EBMA active members. The association now has 355 paying members and an annual budget of around €8,000. A small surplus in 2006 will be set aside for future projects.

At the EBMA Open Meeting on Friday 18 May, reports from members throughout Europe showed a general impression that bluegrass is clearly on the rise, with several new festivals and growing attendance numbers. The presence of Nancy Cardwell and Jon Weisberger as official IBMA representatives underlined the importance of the tenth EWOB.

Also on Friday 18 May, the Board met to review its current projects and goals for the next year, and welcomed as guests Nancy Cardwell (IBMA), Jon Weisberger (IBMA), Dagfinn Pedersen (Norwegian Bluegrass Music Association), and Richard Hurst (Ulster American Folk Park). The EBMA will maintain a presence at IBMA World of Bluegrass, and will also continue to host the International Suite there. A new edition of EBMA's European Bluegrass Directory will appear in 2008.

The board will meet at the 16th Annual Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park, Northern Ireland, with an agenda including the development of Bluegrass Europe magazine and an increase of EBMA's youth activities.

Read more in the current issue of Bluegrass Europe.

English banjoist aims at world speed record

Johnny Butten of Taunton, Somerset, England, will make an attempt on the title of World's Fastest Banjo Player on Saturday 15 September at the 4th Cornish Bluegrass Association Bluegrass Festival, Hendra Holiday Park, Newquay, Cornwall.

The present Guinness World Record (210 beats per minute) is held by the USA's Todd Taylor, whose version of 'Duelling banjos' can be seen on YouTube. Todd is currently featured in ads for Recording King banjos.

Johnny Butten also plays guitar (acoustic and electric), fiddle, mandolin, viola, cello, bass (electric and upright), resophonic guitar, and ukulele; has worked with such musicians as Bill Keith, Peter Rowan, Kenny Baker, Josh Graves, and Bob Black; and has won many international awards. In 1998 he was one of three nominees for a European Fiddle Player of the Year award in Vienna.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Roberto Dalla Vecchia: news

Roberto Dalla Vecchia, who now has his own MySpace site, will be touring the US with guitar wizard Mark Cosgrove in the coming fall. The schedule is still being completed (see below), so anyone who can propose a new date should contact Roberto.

Thurs. 6 Sept.: Roberto Dalla Vecchia in concert, 21:15; Acoustic Franciacorta 2007, Chiesa di S. Maria in Zenighe, Colombaro di Corte Franca (BS); info tel. +39 329 4504500

Fri. 21/ Mon. 24 Sept.: Roberto Dalla Vecchia Manne design clinics, Meet Fair, Milan, Italy

Sat. 17 Nov.: Roberto Dalla Vecchia and Mark Cosgrove in concert, 8:00 p.m., the Palace Theater, Maryville TN, USA; info tel. +1 865 983 3330

Sat. 24 Nov.: Roberto Dalla Vecchia workshop, 3:00 p.m.; Roberto Dalla Vecchia,Mark Cosgrove, and Rolly Brown in concert, 9:00 p.m.; 2007 Bucks County Guitar Summit, Lahaska, PA, USA

Sat. 1 Dec.: Roberto Dalla Vecchia workshop, 3:00 p.m.; Roberto Dalla Vecchia and Mark Cosgrove in concert, 8:00 p.m.; Hope Grange, Winlock, WA, USA; info tel. +1 360 785 4932; e-mail

Sun. 2 Dec.: Roberto Dalla Vecchia and Mark Cosgrove in concert, 3:00 p.m.; Scotts Mills, OR, USA; info tel. +1 503 873 9611

The four-day acoustic guitar workshop in Altissimo (VI) in June was a success. Photos can be seen here. Roberto also reports on his new Mannedesign DSR model guitar; on the UK-based internet radio and music community website Last.FM, one of the world's largest social music platforms, which enables users to create their own playlists; and on another acoustic-guitar-oriented website, FingerstyleWorld, with links to players, luthiers, events, etc.

3rd Picnic Festival at Namur, 1-2 September

The Picnic Team welcome every good music lover to the Picnic Festival's new location at Terra Nova in the Citadel of Namur, Belgium, on 1st & 2nd September 2007 - a friendly, happy, and family-party-people event.

Saturday remains 'Bluegrass Day' with some great bands from Belgium, Holland, and France: Jefferson Louvat & Thierry Massoubre (B, F), Quartier Francais, the Louvat Brothers & guests (B, F), Zip Code 2025 (F), and the Blue Grass Boogiemen (NL). Celtic music is represented on Sunday by Camping Sauvach, Alka Celtes Airs, La Varda, and Cecile Corbel. Links to the bands' websites are on the Picnic Festival website.

All the above bands will play on the outside main stage (with shelter provided in case of rain); other bands will play in a real 'Irish Pub'. Other halls are provided for food and for children's entertainment (music instruments, toys in wood, games, etc.). The Festival also offers stands with stringed-instrument makers (Tom Nechville, Richard Baudry), good regional food, and information on hearing troubles (more details on the Festival website). MC work will be in French, Dutch, and English. Admission is free to under-14s.


The Festival and details of upcoming concerts by Rawhide and the Sons of Navarone are also featured on the Bluegrass in Belgium website.

Youth in bluegrass

The Bluegrass Blog has just posted an item on youth in bluegrass. It includes a link to a story on about the English band Miles Apart, all of whose members are 18 years old and met at the Sore Fingers Week instruction camp.

Miles Apart consists of John Breese (banjo), Michael Giverin (mandolin/ vocals), Kieran Mooney (double bass), and the twin sisters Charlotte (mandolin/ guitar/ vocals) and Laura Carrivick (fiddle/ dobro/ vocals), who took part in the Tenth EWOB Festival at Voorthuizen in May.

The EBMA's youth officer, Liz Meesters, is interested in any bluegrass activity involving young people in Europe. Contact Liz by e-mail.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Uncle Earl at Stone Valley, 8 November

Uncle Earl (Abigail Washburn, K. C. Groves, Kristin Andreassen, and Rayna Gellert) on the front of their latest CD, Waterloo, Tennessee

The all-girl new-wave old-time band Uncle Earl will be performing in concert at 20:30 on Thursday 8 November at Erve Kots (Stone Valley), Lievelde, the Netherlands. We await news of other dates that the band may be playing in Europe. Uncle Earl is featured in the August 2007 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.

For further details, contact Stichting Stone Valley Roots Music, Jacob Catsstraat 17, 7131 WP Lichtenvoorde, the Netherlands. Tel: +31 (0)544 373 701; e-mail.

New Outlaws CD gets heavy airplay

Myles Watson (bass), Sean Hughes (guitar, vocals), Diane Treanor (fiddle, vocals), Brian Walsh (drums, vocals), Tom Hanway (5-string banjo, vocals); Barry Lenard (button accordion) out of shot

Tom Hanway reports that Ireland’s top country deejays are giving heavy rotation to Empty mansions (Sharpe CD 310), the groundbreaking CD by the Outlaws, a contemporary country band based in Co. Monaghan, Ireland. Empty mansions has earned 'album of the week' and the coveted #1 spot on radio stations throughout Ireland.

The Outlaws blend traditional styles, including bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, Irish, Tex-Mex, and honky-tonk, into a fresh, contemporary alt-country sound. They recently toured the Highlands of Scotland, winning over new audiences, who welcomed the sound of 'a real country band', like the classic honky-tonk bands of decades ago.

Tom Hanway, author of the Complete book of Irish & Celtic 5-string banjo and co-designer of the Stelling SwallowTail banjo, was banjo-player for Carmel Sheerin & the Ravens when they won the #1 European Bluegrass Band 2005 title.

Read more here.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Guildtown Festival, 10-12 August

The Scottish Bluegrass Association sends a reminder that its 21st Guildtown Bluegrass Festival will be held at Guildtown, six miles north of Perth, Scotland, on the A93, from Friday 10 August to Sunday 12 August inclusive.

FEATURING - Jimmy Gaudreau & Moondi Klein (USA), Goldrush, New Redwing, Deep River Band, Craig Duncan & Friends (USA).

Download the programme at the SBA website for full details of pricing and discounts for the whole weekend wristband (including camping) or for individual concerts.

BOX OFFICE - Tel: +44 (0)1259 214 908