Thursday, 31 May 2007

Rounder Europe: new releases

New releases announced by Rounder Europe include Dry Branch Fire Squad - 30th anniversary special (RRCD 585); Ollabelle (MMACD 1027) by Ollabelle and Hop high (SIG 2004) by Crooked Still; and Echoes of leaving (RRECD 21) by the Dutch country band Cash on Delivery.

For further details see the Rounder Europe website.

International Bluegrass in Nashville

The European Bluegrass Music Association will once again be coordinating the International Suite at the World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN. There will be two shows, on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings - October 2 & 3 - starting at 10:45 pm.

We will welcome any non-US bluegrass group that will attend the WoB, to perform in the International Suite, preferably from all over the world. Several European bands that performed at the EWOB Festival 2007 already have indicated that they will be present.

If your group would like to participate, please contact Rienk Janssen at rienk@ebma.org.

Check out the International Suite's blog regularly for updates on the 2007 International Suite's program.

The Wilders on Radio Free Ulm, 24 May

Plattform 'Wilders im Ulmer Zelt' with Ike Sheldon & Nate Gawron

Radio Free FM Ulm, UKW 102.6 - Thursday 24 May 2007, 16.02 to 17.25

1 Jingle, 'Plattform'
1a Dinosaur Jr., 'Been there all the time'
2 Turbonegro, 'Do you do you dig destruction'
3 Wilders, 'Kansas City star' (CD)
4 Wilders, 'Honky tonk habit' (CD)
5 Wilders, 'Intro Illerberg' (live)
6 Steve Fisher, 'Stack O’Lee'
7 Wilders, 'Seven lonely days' (live in Illerberg)
8 The View, 'Same old jeans'
9 The Hold Steady, 'Stuck between stations'
10 Wilders, 'Settin’ the woods on fire' (CD)
11 Wilders, 'Won’t you sometimes think of me' (CD)
12 Wilders, 'Too much water' (CD)
13 Wilders, 'The blues come around' (CD)
14 Wilders, 'Kansas City railroad blues' (CD)
15 Wilders, 'Belshazzar' (CD)
16 Wilders, 'Honky tonk blues' (live in the studio)
17 Wilders, 'Two dollar bill' (live in the studio)
18 Wilders, 'I’m sorry I let you down (live in the studio)
19 Wilders, 'My final plea' (live in the studio)
20 Wilders, 'Ring of fire' (live in the studio)
21 Wilders, 'Long gone daddy' (live in the studio)
22 Wilders, 'Jawbone' (CD)

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Urban Roots II in Dublin, 21-4 June

For the second year in succession, the Airfield Arts Centre in Dublin, Ireland, is holding its 'Hoe Down on the Ranch', a midsummer festival of musical Americana, from Thursday 21 June to Sunday 24 June. Seven leading Irish bands will provide bluegrass and related music in a series of concerts, buskers are welcome, and a workshop in handling horses is also offered.

Full details are on the Airfield events schedule and the Bluegrass Ireland Blog. The Airfield estate - the last working farm within the Dublin city area - is an ideal location for the Hoe Down, the only festival of its kind in Dublin.

Jeanette Williams Band update

Because of scheduling problems at his other job, after eighteen years Johnny Williams has stopped playing with the Jeanette Williams Band and has joined Big Country Bluegrass. Johnny's replacement is an 18-year-old singer/guitarist from Yadkinville NC, Alyssa Emerson. Johnny reports:

'She is a great rhythm and lead player and sings great with Jeanette. Along with Jody King on banjo, Chase Johner on mandolin, and Jeanette on bass, this makes up a great combination of talent. While doing new material along with a few of the older requested hits, the Jeanette Williams Band is pleasing audiences everywhere they perform. Please consider them for your upcoming events for 07 or 2008. You can contact me for booking information at +1 434-489-8080 or by e-mail.'

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Ricky Skaggs in Prague, 27 July 2007

Petr Kuklík announces with great pleasure that a dream of many bluegrass fans will be fulfilled by 'Music in the Park', a special concert in Prague by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder on Friday 27 July 2007 as part of the band's European tour.

For more information, please contact Petr without hesitation; he will be looking forward to meeting you in Prague.

Petr Kuklík
Fax: 00420 241 403 818
e-mail

(alternative e-mail)

Thursday, 24 May 2007

UK Autoharp Day, 7 July

The second UK Autoharp Day in 2007 runs from 11.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. on Saturday 7 July at Ashley Green Community Hall, Chesham Road, Ashley Green, Bucks HP5 3PL, England.

Mike Fenton, a 1997 inductee into the Autoharp Hall of Fame, is the main tutor for experienced players, and Heather Farrell-Roberts for beginners. Chris Younger will give expert help on autoharp maintenance; CDs, instruments, and other items will be on sale; and luthier Alec Anness will bring his new harp for people to try out. The programme includes a jam session, open stage, and concert, and a bring-and-share supper.

Complete beginners, non-members, and other instrument players are welcome as well as experienced players, and loaner autoharps will be available. Further details are on the website. Contact the Advance Organiser, Sue Laughton, at +44 (0)1963 251026, or the Event Organisers, Alan and Judy Spindler, by e-mail.

The Mismountain Boys


Franco Fanizzi, Remo Ceriotti, Fabio Bestetti, Roberto Braiato

The Mismountain Boys Bluegrass Band from Bergamo, Italy, have just released their new CD Back to traditions, with twelve bluegrass standards from the Monroe/Flatt & Scruggs/Stanley Brothers/traditional repertoire. It can be bought through their website or at live shows.

Dressed in 'old frontier' Western-style outfits, the Boys play at a wide range of events: rodeos and horse fairs; rallies of vintage US trucks, cars, and bikes; folk and traditional music festivals; busker festivals; birthday parties, etc.

The band - named after Misma Mountain in Negrone - consists of Roberto 'The Hook' Braiato (mandolin, guitar, harmonica, background vocals), Remo 'Mr Cadillac' Ceriotti (5-string banjo, dobro), Franco 'The Captain' Fanizzi (guitar, lead vocals), and Fabio 'Cowboy's Smile' Bestetti (upright bass, background vocals).

Their website includes song lyrics, details of their instruments, and links to their videos on YouTube and their MySpace site. For further information, contact Remo Ceriotti at +39 349 3943194 or by e-mail.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

The Special Consensus: new mandolinist

Ashby Frank will be the new mandolin player/singer with the Special Consensus band, replacing Ron Spears, who is joining Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver as bass player in mid-June 2007.

Ashby Frank, who is currently with Alecia Nugent, and has played with many other artists including Marty Raybon, will make his first appearance with the Special Consensus at the Bean Blossom festival in Indiana on 13 June, and will be playing with the Special C. during their tour in Europe at the beginning of July:

Wed. 4 July: France: Place de l'hôtel de ville (open air), 51000 Châlons en Champagne, 9.00 p.m.

Fri. 6 July: France: Le Grand Séchoir, maison du pays de la noix (open air), 705 route de Grenoble, 38470 VINAY, 8.30 p.m.

Sat. 7 July: Switzerland: Grunderinseli Festival, Thun

Sun. 8 July: Germany: Sommersound 2007, Open air in the Stadtgarten of Gelsenkirchen-Mitte, 7.30 p.m.

Mon. 9 July: Germany: Gemeindehaus am Apostelplatz, Bochum-Harpen, 8.00 p.m.

Further details are on the A.R.T. Promotions website. The Special C.'s latest CD on the Pinecastle label, The trail of aching hearts, was officially released in the US on 15 May and has a featured review in the June issue of Bluegrass Unlimited.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Banjo Revolutionary in Europe, Sept. 2007

Tom Nechville of the Nechville Banjo Company reports:

Last summer I made a tour of Europe and attended festivals, jams, and workshops as a banjo designer, player, and professional repair and set-up man. I am planning a return trip to Europe in early September 2007. I am looking for festivals, or places to perform banjo workshops. If you have any events or suggestions during this time, I may be available.

Best regards,

Tom Nechville
9700 Humboldt Ave S.
Bloomington, MN 55431
Phone +1 952-888-9710
Fax +1 952-884-4500
E-mail

Banjo Revolution - Rev it up!

An article by David McCarty, 'Nechville banjos: serving the denizens of Planet Banjo', appeared in the March 2007 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited.

New Acoustic Gallery news

Oliver Waitze of the New Acoustic Gallery in Solingen, Germany, will give a guitar flatpicking workshop from 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. at the Banjoree 2007 in Hagen on 9 June 2007.

Concerts at the New Acoustic Gallery in 2007 include

27 October: Duo Vibracão

18 November: Sara K.

30 November: Beppe Gambetta

Two new events are scheduled for the New Acoustic Gallery in 2008: a concert by the Krüger Brothers in April 2008, and a banjo workshop in May 2008 with the living legend Bill Keith.

If you wish to receive the NAG newsletter, contact:

Oliver Waitze
New Acoustic Gallery
Neuenhofer Str. 122
42657 Solingen
Tel.: +49 (0)212/2474007
E-mail

Ricky Skaggs in Europe, July/Aug. 2007: update

UKBluegrass.com reports that Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder have announced more UK dates for their European tour this summer. In addition to their appearances in Prague, Czech Republic (27 July), and in Athboy, Co. Meath, Ireland (28 July), they will be playing at the Cambridge Folk Festival (29 July), The Sage, Gateshead (30 July), Glasgow Old Fruit Market (31 July), Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton (2 August), and London (3 August).

Further dates may be announced. Full details can be seen on the band's tour schedule.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

EWOB events, 21 May-30 June

A full list of all EWOB events, continually updated, is on the main page of the EBMA website.

May 20-21-22
NL ODOORN, Theehuis Poolshoogte in de Staatsbossen, Boswachter Meelkerweg, +31 599 662134, boetndeure@hotmail.com, Boet’n Deure Festival: Sunday, 14:00 - Peter O Ruby with All Bells & Whistles (CZ)
Monday, 19:00 - Water Flow (NL-SK)
Tuesday, 19:00 - Suzanne & Jim (USA), Kristen Grainger & Dan Wetzel (USA)

Monday, May 21
D 49565 BRAMSCHE, Universum, Grosse Strasse 38, +49 5481 81746, mmalcher@gmx.de; Looping Brothers Festival: Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA); Si Kahn (USA), Looping Brothers (D)
D ULM, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
D VÖHRINGEN, Illertal Cowboys, brambus@smile.ch: Still on the Hill (USA)
NL BUITENPOST, nursing home for the elderly, 14:30 (not open to the public): Suzanne & Jim (USA)

Tuesday, May 22
CZ CHEB, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
D VILLINGEN-SCHWENNINGEN, Scheuer, brambus@smile.ch: Still on the Hill (USA)
NL 9062 EJ OENTSJERK, Stania State, Rengersweg 98/B, 19:30, +31 58 2562736; Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA), Si Kahn (USA)

May 23–4
NL 2131 BC HOOFDDORP, Het Oude Raadhuis, Hoofdweg 675, +31 23 5563707, scr@pietergroenveld.com; Bluegrass Festival Hoofddorp: Wed., 20.30 - Si Kahn (USA), Kristen Grainger & Dan Wetzel of True North (USA); Thurs., 20.30 - Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA)

Wednesday, May 23
CH CHUR, Werkstatt, brambus@smile.ch, Still on the Hill (USA)
CZ PRAHA, andy@andyowens.com Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
D 59439 HOLZWICKEDE, Haus Opherdicke, 20:00, www.musiccontact.com, The Wilders (USA)
NL 2381 ZOETERWOUDE, Café de Meester, Zuidbuurtseweg 57, info@scharpff.nl; 9th MIDWOB Mini Bluegrass Festival: Except-2 (NL) (TBC), Moscow Balalaika (RUS) (TBC), Blue Grass Boogiemen (NL)
NL ZUIDWOLDE, Klein-kunsttheater, +31 528 321950, +31 6 26552185, www.freewebs.com/stichtingfermate: Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA), Suzanne & Jim (USA), Willem Noordstrand (NL)

Thursday, May 24
CH BERN, Mahogany Hall, brambus@smile.ch, Still on the Hill (USA)
CZ PLZEN, andy@andyowens.com Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
D 89032 ULM, Zeltfestival, 20:00, www.musiccontact.com, The Wilders (USA)

May 25–6
CZ STRAKONICE, Jamboree 2007: Flashback (CZ), Relief (CZ), - Radim Zenkl Quartet (USA), Eliska & Friends (CZ), Light Cavalry (CZ), Modrotisk (CZ), Robert Krestan a Druha Trava with Andy Owens (CZ/USA), Wejlet (CZ), Country Cocktail (CZ), Kvintet (CZ), Carrabina (CZ), Wyrton (CZ), Lunackove (CZ), Album (CZ), BG Company (CZ), Vabank Unit (CZ), Poutnici (CZ), Monogram (CZ), Blue Gate (CZ), Nova Sekce (CZ), Petr Kus & Famy (CZ), COP (CZ), Semtex (CZ), Petr Brandejs Band (CZ), & others
DK FREDERICIA, Det Bruunske Pakhus, +45 72106710, 5th Bluegrass Festival: Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA), Blue Railroad Train (F), Rawhide (B), & others

May 25–8
UK GAINSBOROUGH, Friends Of American Old Time Music And Dance, Spring Camp

Friday, May 25
CH STÄFA, Rössli, brambus@smile.ch, Still on the Hill (USA)
D 41564 KAARST, Albert Einstein Forum, 20:00, www.musiccontact.com: The Wilders (USA)
NL 7876 AD VALTHERMOND, ‘t Veurof, Zuiderdiep 71, +31 591 513103: Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA)

Saturday, May 26
CZ KOSTELEC, afternoon, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
CZ ROSTIN, evening, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
NL 3286 LS KLAASWAAL, Newland, Rijksstraatweg 30 - 21:00, +31 186 571312: Hillbilly Boogiemen (NL)
NL WESTERBROEK, Scheepswerf Leeuwerke, 20:00: De Stroatklinkers (NL)

Sunday, May 27
B 6760 ETHE/VIRTON, Farm Roiseux at Hamawé, decoseb@swing.be, Hamawé Roots Festival: The Wilders (USA), Ugly Buggy Boys (B), Oak City Jazzband (B), The Straps (B)
CZ ZLIN, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava, USA-CZ
NL ASSEN, Radio Drenthe, Podium 30, programma by Lukas Koops and Egbert Meijers (not open to the public) t.g.v. 25th Big Bear Festival, 10:00-12:00: Suzanne & Jim (USA)
NL 1715 GZ WADWAY/SPANBROEK, Café de Vriendschap, Wadway 22, +31 229 571448: Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA)
NL ZWOLLE, De Verhalenboot, Thorbeckegracht, 15:00: Roasted Barley, Blue Dew (NL)

Monday, May 28
CZ POZLOVICE, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
NL 9471 KA ZUIDLAREN, De Kimme op terrein Dennenoord, 13:00, +31 599 312663, rienk.janssen@planet.nl, 25th Big Bear Festival: Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass (USA), The Wilders (USA), Suzanne & Jim (USA), De Stroatklinkers (NL)

Tuesday, May 29
CZ BRNO, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)
CZ TISNOV, andy@andyowens.com, Andy Owens & Druha Trava (USA-CZ)

May 31–June 3
IT ALTISSIMO (VI), 3rd Roberto Dalla Vecchia Acoustic Guitar Workshop

Thursday, June 14
CH BASEL, 2nd Bluegrass in Basel Festival: Blue Railroad Train (F), 4 Wheel Drive (NL), Larry Wilder & the Stumptown Stars (USA)

June 28–30
SK TRNAVA, DobroFest 2007: Diabolske Husle a Henrich Novak (SK), Todd Livingston Band (USA), Pascal Mesnier (F), Tony Balloco’s Dobro Mafia (IT-D), Czas na Grass (PL), Grasscountry (SK), Waterflow (NL-SK), Big Daddy Wilson & Mississippi Gravediggers (USA), Fragment (SK-CZ), Petr Kus a Famy (CZ), & others

EWOB 2007 Festival awards

On Saturday 19 May, third and final night of the EBMA's European World of Bluegrass 2007 Festival, the following awards were made.

European Bluegrass Band 2007:

#1 G2 (Sweden)

#2 Meantime (Slovakia)

#3 Kreni (Czech Republic)

G2* will hold the title of #1 European Bluegrass Band for the next twelve months, and will represent Europe at the IBMA's World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN, in 2008.


Audience Popularity Award:

#1 4 Wheel Drive (Netherlands)

#2 G2 (Sweden)

#3 Rawhide (Belgium)

Rawhide also received a special award as the only band to have performed at all ten European World of Bluegrass Festivals.

*The Bluegrass Blog noted G2 as a band to watch in September 2006, when they had been together for less than a year.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Suzanne and Jim in Europe, 17-28 May



Suzanne Jaroszynski and Jim Hale are powerful, sensitive, and versatile performers of pre-bluegrass American music and dance. As well as delivering old-time music in all its many forms, they have a range of themed programmes for different occasions, which can be seen at their website.

Their schedule in Europe includes:

May 17-19: EWOB Festival, Voorthuizen, the Netherlands

May 20: Stadskanaal, NL

May 22: Odoorn, NL

May 23: Zuidwolde, NL

May 27: Radio-Assen, NL

May 28: Big Bear Festival, Zuidlaren, NL

Contact them at:
SUZANNE AND JIM
P.O. Box 9109
San Rafael, CA 94912
Phone: +1-415-302-7713

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Bluegrass at the Staatstheater

From a report by Karl Heinz Siber of Muff Musik to the IBMA-L list:

Well, the fateful day arrived on May 6 when the Claire Lynch Band had the privilege of being the first bluegrass band ever to perform in the 650-seat Oldenburgische Staatstheater in Oldenburg, Germany, a town of about 130,000. The band seemed pretty overwhelmed when they first stepped onto the stage in the afternoon and saw the magnificent interiors of this opera-house type of venue with its giant chandelier at the ceiling and the three or four levels of galleries and loges rounding out the oval-shaped room.

Almost 400 tickets had been sold for the concert, surpassing even the boldest expectations and enough to fill almost all seats on the parquet floor. The Claire Lynch Band rose to the occasion and delivered a great performance of their intricate and sophisticated music. The audience seemed a bit reserved at first (somehow befitting the venerable location) but, after a few songs, warmed up and even gave applause for solos in the middle of songs, something which could not be taken for granted in a venue with this classical aura. Some songs even received roaring ovations, and at the end the band was called back on stage for three encores.

The Generalintendant (director) of the Staatstheater, Markus Müller, personally witnessed the concert and declared afterwards that there will be a sequel to this in 2008, and that this might well turn into a series of annual bluegrass concerts at the Staatstheater.

Needless to say that all of us who were involved in this enterprise are proud and happy that this could be accomplished. Our thanks go out to the Claire Lynch Band for functioning as such great and impressive ambassadors for bluegrass music, paving the way for others to follow.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Record crowds at Bühl Festival

The 5th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival on Saturday 5 May drew a record attendance to the Burgerhaus Neuer Markt for its most ambitious lineup, featuring the Claire Lynch Band (USA), the Wilders (USA), Turquoise (F), the Sacred Sounds of Grass (D), and Roland Heinrich & the Jimmie Rogers Experience (D).

The organizing committee is especially proud that the GelbeSeiten (Yellow Pages 'phone directory) for the Baden-Baden/Rastatt region devotes a page, with colour illustrations, to this year's festival. Is this a first for a European bluegrass event? Walter Fuchs, the moving spirit, chief organizer, and MC of the Bühl festivals, reports:

'The 5th Bühl Bluegrass Festival was the best we ever had. With five bands and nearly 800 visitors, it's hard to top. But we will work hard for next year to have 850 - then we are completely sold out, we'll have to send people away. The next festival will be held on 3 May 2008.'

New: the Festival website now displays many photos taken during the Festival, together with newspaper articles and reports.

The Claire Lynch Band ended their whirlwind tour with a resounding success at the prestigious Staatstheater in Oldenburg on Sunday 6 May (see new post). The Wilders' tour in Europe continues till 28 May - full details are on the Music Contact website.

Monday, 7 May 2007

High Lonesome goes high-tech and worldwide

Owensboro, KY, 7 May 2007: While it might seem ironic that a musical art form known for its resistance to any electric instrument would benefit from the world’s most recognized state-of-the-art electronic medium, those who run the International Bluegrass Music Museum are confident that their new internet service is going to be bluegrass heaven to fans old and new around the globe. RBI: Radio Bluegrass International, a non-commercial, 24-hour internet radio station, makes its debut on Tuesday 1 May 2007 and will stream from the museum’s website.

The fully licensed and encrypted stream, emanating from the only international bluegrass museum in the world, will feature programming based on the museum’s personality and collections — with input from bluegrass fans around the world. RBI will consistently expand its content, utilizing the museum’s daily contact with legends, luminaries, and up-and-coming artists to provide bluegrass news, classic tracks, new releases, disc reviews, in-studio performances, international recordings, archived radio shows from around the world, vintage vinyl, festival announcements, festival recordings, and museum news. Interactive extras such as forums, blogs, and calendars will be added as the station grows. Longer range plans include multilingual bluegrass programs from around the world, vintage and classic music from the museum’s vast collection of rare recordings, a fully translated multi-lingual RBI host website, and streaming the museum’s exclusive audio and video interviews with iconic musicians from bluegrass music’s first generation. 'With RBI, we will provide listeners a satisfying, educational bluegrass experience while serving as a worldwide electronic extension of the museum', said the museum’s assistant director, Mike Lawing.

After a free trial period ending 5 July 2007, RBI listeners will pay $4 per month to access an uninterrupted stream. IBMM members however, will receive unlimited access as part of their annual membership. Although the 1 May launch will serve as something of an 'Open House' to the new station, the official 'Grand Opening' will begin Friday 18 May at 8:30 a.m. CST with a show hosted by Lawing and engineer/program director Rob Calhoun.

Bluegrass music is so named because of Kentucky native Bill Monroe and his band, the Blue Grass Boys. Monroe’s birthplace and grave are only a short drive from the museum in Owensboro. The music he created has become so universally associated with the State of Kentucky that on 19 March 2007 Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher signed Kentucky House Bill 71 into law, designating bluegrass as Kentucky’s official state music. 'This is a great opportunity to share Kentucky’s music, bluegrass, with the entire world', said Governor Fletcher. 'The International Bluegrass Music Museum has opened new doors in sharing Kentucky’s music heritage worldwide'.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum is the only museum of its kind in the world and is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of bluegrass music for fans around the world.

Gabrielle Gray, IBMM Executive Director

International Bluegrass Music Museum, 207 East 2nd Street, Owensboro, KY 42303; phone +1-270-926-7891; fax +1-270-689-9440; News Release Museum Contact: Mike Lawing (e-mail)

"Just Grass"

Live Bluegrass Concert presenting "Just Grass". Heidelberg, Germany based bluegrass band "Just Grass" is happy to announce their next show on Saturday, 12 May 2007, 2 - 5 pm at the Rod and Gun Club in Oftersheim/Heidelberg. For more information about the band contact Patrick Russell at this link or phone +49 6222 58 58 98.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Jeanette Williams wins major songwriting contest

Blue Circle recording artist Jeanette Williams, who toured Europe with her band earlier this spring, has won first place at the prestigious 2007 Chris Austin songwriting contest (Bluegrass Category) for her original song, 'Enough of you'. The contest is held every year at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC. Previous winners have included Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via, and Jeanette Williams's husband, singer/songwriter Johnny Williams.

Fellow band member Chase Johner was awarded third place in the MerleFest mandolin contest.

Coal Porters turn the water on

Sid Griffin of the UK Coal Porters band reports that the Coal Porters' new album, Turn the water on, boy!, will be released on Prima Records Ltd in September 2007.

Produced by Sid Griffin in London, it was mixed by famous producer/engineer Ed Stasium (Phil Spector, the Smithereens, Belinda Carlisle, Jeff Healey Band) in Colorado, USA. Turn the water on, boy! features a guest appearance on mandolin by Chris Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros, Desert Rose) and a dobro guest slot by England’s own Rick Townend.

The band's personal appearance schedule in England for this summer includes:
July 4: Chelmsford, Essex - Alter States Club at the Bassment pub, 21:30

July 7: Folkstone, Kent - Wye Fayre, Ashford, Kent, 16:00

August 4: London - Fruitstock, Regent’s Park, 15:00

August 5: London - Fruitstock, Regent’s Park, 16:00

New: the Bluegrass Blog Brasil

Erio Meili of the Sao Paulo Bluegrass Music Association reports that as this year's contribution to the International Bluegrass Music Month of May, the SPBMA has just launched the Bluegrass Blog Brasil. It appears in two columns, one in Portuguese and one in English.

The first two posts are a summary of news from this year's MerleFest, and a unique interview with Béla Fleck (the first IBMA banjo player of the year ever) on Sunday about his first southbound tour with the Flecktones and the surprising vintage New Grass Revival performance at MerleFest on Saturday (the second most attended MerleFest day ever). Erio adds:

I would like to thank also our friend Bob Cherry who allowed us to reframe our newsletter bar link (noticias) on our home page with the syndication of the latest bluegrass news and also with the Cybergrass calendar.

New (8 May): Erio Meili adds:

We offer now also a 30-second jingle ('tailormade for the media') on our brand new BBB. So you may click on it and listen to the tune 'Tio Bastião' (Uncle Bastian) on our page. We just produced it today in our domestic studio 'B'. We have it available off-line also in 'Banjo' tab format, and it comes with a public domain clause which means 'Take it, but don't take it away!' You may discover 'Tio Bastião' and enjoy some more great 'B' flavor.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

New Acoustic Gallery: new contact data

EBMA member Oliver Waitze of the New Acoustic Gallery, Neuenhofer Strasse 122 (B229), 42657 Solingen, Germany, has a new e-mail address. The New Acoustic Gallery itself has a new website address, though the old one is still serviceable.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Baldassari meets O'Carolan

One of the best modern American bluegrass mandolinists interprets one of the most distinguished composers in the history of Irish music - Butch Baldassari has released a new CD, Music of O'Carolan, Ireland's bard. The harpist Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) was a prolific composer whose work, drawing on the aristocratic harp tradition on one hand, and influenced by contemporary Continental art music on the other, enriched Irish traditional music.

Baldassari presents twenty tunes, with himself on mandolin, mandola, and bouzouki, and John Mock on guitars, whistles, concertina, and harmonium. The CD can be bought for $15.00 at the SoundArt Recordings website.

Bluegrass welcomes royal visitor to Virginia

The Bluegrass Blog reports:

As part of the official welcoming ceremony for the Queen of England’s visit to Virginia, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys will headline a special tribute to the state’s musical heritage. The show is scheduled for 1.00-5.00 p.m. on Thursday 3 May in Richmond’s Capitol Square, and the public is invited to attend.

Bluegrass and traditional string music are well represented on the show, with guitarist Wayne Henderson, fiddler Montana Young, bluegrass band No Speed Limit, and Gerald Anderson and Spencer Strickland all slated to appear along with the good Doctor. A number of blues, country, and jazz acts from Virginia will also appear, and there is no admission fee.

The Queen is visiting the US to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony. She will sample bluegrass of another sort this weekend when she makes a trip to Churchill Downs for the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby. More details about the Queen’s visit to the US can be found on the British Monarchy Media Centre web site.