Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Ken Orrick & Lost Highway in Britain, Feb.-Mar.

Ken Orrick & Lost Highway, from California, will be playing every night in Scotland, England, and Wales from 29 February to 9 March. Full details of the tour are on the Scottish Bluegrass Association website. The band's present lineup is Ken Orrick (guitar, lead vocals), Josh Tharp (banjo, vocals), Tracy Welzig (bass), Nick Haney (lead and rhythm guitar), and 18-year-old Matt Hotte (fiddle).

The SBA site also gives details of a brief Scottish tour (17-19 April) by Roll's Boys from the Czech Republic, with Lee Bidgood from North Carolina on fiddle instead of their longtime mandolinist Eda Kristufek, who is no longer playing regularly with the group.

Later in April, the Dick Smith/Mike O'Reilly Band - Dick Smith (banjo, vocals), Mike O'Reilly (guitar, vocals), Doug Bartlett (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) and Randy Graham (bass, vocals) - will begin touring England, Wales, and Scotland, ending in Bathgate, West Lothian, on 4 May. More details here.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Chris Stuart & Backcountry tour, 2007: photos & video

The band in Germany with Herbert Schildhammer and Monika & Eberhard Finke

The January 2008 newsletter from Chris Stuart & Backcountry reports:

We have photos of our November tour of Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland. And a bunch of videos of us playing in Wognum, the Netherlands, for the gig that our good friend Loek Lamers presented.

The newsletter includes a photo of the gig at the Dolder 2 in Switzerland, and CSB with agent Lilly Pavlak. Other photos and the videos are on the CSB website.

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder in Ireland, 2-3 Aug.

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder are scheduled to appear at the two-day UTV Country Fest in Dungannon Park, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, on 2 and 3 August, together with a galaxy of country music stars headed by George Jones. The festival is organised by J.W. Promotions; full details can be found here. Tickets will be available through TicketMaster.

The Skaggs Family Records schedule does not at present show any other European bookings for the band in August.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Dan Crary on 10 years of EWOB project

Strictly Country Records has received the following message from guitar maestro Dan Crary:

Congratulations to the EWOB and the European bluegrass bands and fans for their great success in bringing bluegrass music into full bloom in Europe. If Bill Monroe were alive, he would be very proud of you.

Bluegrass music itself is richer because our European colleagues play and perform the music with great skill and inspiration. Your 10 years of EWOB CD is a magnificent project. The great mix of European and touring American artists shows that our music is international, intercultural, and powerful. In a world where it seems everyone is disagreeing or arguing, the 10 years of EWOB project is a beautiful document to show that our music brings us together across oceans and issues.


SCR adds:

If you share our European World of Bluegrass vision and would like to be a sponsor, please contact Pieter Groenveld at Strictly Country Records/ Strictly Music by e-mail. There's NO MINIMUM contribution to be a sponsor. MONDAY night, JAN 28 (USA time) is the final print deadline to add your name to this historic double CD.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Dan Dorschel retires from Det Bruunske Pakhus

Dan L. Dorschel, producer of the Fredericia Bluegrass Festival, is taking early retirement from operating Det Bruunske Pakhus, in Fredericia, Denmark. In twenty-one years he has arranged over two thousand concerts and over a thousand other events.

The twenty-one years end on 1 February 2008, when Dan will step down to let others take over at the Pakhus. His home will still be in Denmark, and he will spend more time with his family and other hobbies, including music, travel, sailing, and kayaking. Dan says: 'Thanks to all for a great 21 years and more! I hope to see you all further down the road.'

Good wishes can be sent to Dan by e-mail

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

G2 on Swedish TV

The Bluegrass Blog reports that G2, the current #1 European Bluegrass Band, performed and were interviewed on Monday 21 January on 'Nyhetsmorgon' (The Morning Show), the highest rated morning television program in Sweden, broadcast on the TV4 national channel.

They played 'What would I say' and 'Where the tall grass grows' from their debut CD, Where the tall grass grows. The publicity section at their label Cosmos Records arranged the appearance on 'Nyhetsmorgon' - a major coup for a young band. Video clips can be found on the TV4 website.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Gibson to merge with Danish audio group

The Bluegrass Blog reports that the Gibson Guitar Corp. (incorporating Epiphone, Dobro, Flatiron, and many other brand names) expects to complete by the end of February 2008 a deal for a merger with the Danish TC Group, which manufactures professional audio equipment.

Anders Fauerskov, chief executive officer of TC Group, will remain based in Denmark, and serve as chief operating officer of the new combined Gibson Guitar Corp. It is expected that Gibson will retain the Nashville headquarters and factory, and will take on more staff.

Foghorn Duo in Ireland, 5-12 Feb.

The Foghorn Stringband from Portland, OR, has toured several times in Ireland in recent years. In February 2008 Caleb Klauder (mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Sammy Lind (fiddle, guitar, banjo, vocals) of the Foghorns will be touring as a duo for one week, playing at Galway, Belfast, Dublin, and other locations. Full details are on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Four Wheel Drive at Westport in June

Four Wheel Drive will be the headliners at the second annual Folk and Bluegrass Festival on 27-9 June at Westport, Co. Mayo, in the west of Ireland.

Friday 27 June will be dedicated to folk music, with a concert lineup headed by Gavin Glass. Saturday 28 June is bluegrass day; Four Wheel Drive will be in concert at the Westport Inn Hotel, which is offering a special package rate for the weekend.

Four Wheel Drive have played several times at most of the major bluegrass festivals in Ireland. Their new CD, Another town, will soon be available through CDBaby.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Second old-time music week in Spain, 3-10 May

FOAOTMAD (Friends Of American Old Time Music And Dance) announces that Dave Bing (of the Gandydancer string band of West Virginia) and Kate Lissauer (of the UK-based Buffalo Gals band) are hosting the 2nd Spain Music Week (3-10 May 2008) in Casa Nueva Luna, a restored farmhouse in the El Fonte valley of the Andalucian mountains of south-east Spain. The organisers say:

This is a holiday for fiddle- and banjo- players and anyone, playing another instrument or not, who wants to be around fiddles and banjos for a week of shared adventure, musical and otherwise.

Dave Bing and Kate Lissauer will each offer classes on both instruments. Workshops will focus on traditional fiddle and banjo style, technique and repertoire, as well as on encouraging all participants to play together formally and informally. Some individual assistance for beginners and for those wanting to learn other instruments will be available. Out-of-class time is spent on hiking, swimming, climbing, photography, eating, partying, jamming, daytrips to the beach or mountaintop, or to places of cultural or historic interest, and night trips to the taverna.

The price for the week is £475, which includes room and full board of delicious home-cooked vegetarian and omnivorous fare, tuition, and use of all facilities. Travel is not included, but we will assist with organising transport to and from Almeria airport. Places are strictly limited, so we encourage early booking.

For further details or assistance with booking and other transport issues, contact Kate Lissauer by e-mail; tel. +44 (0)1373 474 110; or post to Kate Lissauer, 5 Christchurch Street West, Frome, Somerset BA11 1EH, UK.

Leadership Bluegrass 2008 Class

The twenty-five members of this year's IBMA Leadership Bluegrass Class include Richard Hurst of the Ulster American Folk Park, who organises the annual Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival at Omagh, Northern Ireland, and is a prospective member of the board of directors of the EBMA. Roger Ryan of the Country Music Association of Ireland is the only other class member from outside North America. Katy Leonard, now an IBMA staff member, who did her thesis at the University of Limerick on bluegrass in Ireland, is also in the class.

The full list and more details of the Leadership Bluegrass programme can be seen here. Contact the IBMA office for information on future Leadership Bluegrass programmes: +1 615 256-3222; e-mail.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Darrell Scott & Casey Driessen in Europe

Darrell Scott, award-winning and Grammy-nominated songwriter, record producer, and member of Steve Earle’s Bluegrass Dukes, will be playing at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, and will then tour the Netherlands with fiddler Casey Driessen.

Celtic Connections:
Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. ABC, Darrell Scott Band
Jan. 31, 12:00 p.m. The Festival Club
Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. Glasgow Concert Hall: Transatlantic Sessions with Casey Driessen
Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. Glasgow Concert Hall: Transatlantic Sessions with Casey Driessen

The Netherlands with Casey Driessen:
Feb. 4, 8:30 p.m. De Schalm, Westwoud
Feb. 5, TBA NPS Radio 6 Live, Hilversum
Feb. 5, 8:30 p.m. In The Woods, Lage Vuursche
Feb. 6, 8:00 p.m. Paradiso, Amsterdam
Feb. 7, 8:30 p.m. Transvaria (Musemix), The Hague
Feb. 8, TBA De Slotplaats, Bakkeveen

Darrell's new album Modern hymns, due for release in April 2008, features Del McCoury, Alison Krauss & Mary Gauthier, Sam Bush, Danny Thompson, Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, and many others. He is the winner of the Americana Music Association’s 2007 Song of the Year, with 'Hank Williams’ ghost', from his sixth album, The invisible man. The video for the song is on YouTube.

Hayseed Dixie in Europe, 24 Feb.-19 April

Hayseed Dixie (USA), the bluegrass-rock band incorporating Dale and Don Wayne Reno, will bring their 'No Covers' tour to Europe for eight weeks, beginning on Sunday 24 February in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The tour will also include five shows in Ireland (27 Feb.-2 Mar.), fifteen in England and Wales (4-31 Mar.), eight in Scotland (21-9 Mar.), four in Norway (2-5 Apr.), two in Sweden (6-7 Apr.), four in Denmark (8-11 Apr.), three in Germany (12-15 Apr.), and one each in the Netherlands (13 Apr.), Austria (16 Apr.), and the Czech Republic (17 Apr.), with a final show in London (19 Apr.)

Full details are on the band's website. Thanks to for the news.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Englishman breaks record with American Made Banjo

The January 2008 issue of the American Made Banjo Co. announces that on 15 September 2007 Johnny Butten of Taunton, Somerset, England, won the title of 'fastest banjo player', awarded by the Guinness Book of Records, using a Kel Kroydon Style 10 banjo, made for him by the American Made Banjo Co.

He played 'Duelling banjos' at a speed of 260 beats per minute (bpm) at the 4th Cornish Bluegrass Association Bluegrass Festival, Hendra Holiday Park, Newquay, Cornwall, UK, breaking the previous US-held record of 210 bpm.

Johnny will be seen at the 23rd Annual Joe Val Bluegrass Festival on 15-17 February 2008 at the Sheraton Hotel Framingham, Framingham, MA. For more about him, see here or his website.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

10 years of EWOB: update

Updating the EBB post of 31 December 2007: the print deadline for 10 years of EWOB, the new compilation from Strictly Country Records/Strictly Music, the Netherlands, is now 20 January.

The 2-CD set has forty-eight tracks by thirty-four of the best European bands, plus fourteen US/Canadian guests. For those who already have the annual EWOB CDs, please note: ten songs on 10 years of EWOB have never appeared on previous EWOB CDs, and all tracks have been remastered for improved sound.

The full text of the SCR release is here.

Bonne année, y'all!

Blue Railroad Train dans le studio de KTBC/ in the KTBC studio (Austin, Texas, USA): Philippe Perrard, Jean-Marie Redon, Sharon Lombardi, James Field, Thierry Lecoq

Pour un merveilleux 2007, plein d'aventures musicales, nous vous disons Merci. Et nous vous souhaitons un très heureux 2008, plein de bonheur, de joie, et de la musique !

For a wonderful 2007, full of musical adventures, we say Thanks. And we wish you a very happy 2008, full of joy and music!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Mastergrass Society at Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands

The MasterGrass Society meets at the Café de Meester, Zuidbuurtseweg 57, 2381 AE Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands. Their first bluegrass jam session of 2008 takes place on Wednesday 9 January at around 9.30 p.m.

Their 10th Midwob Festival will be held on 7 May as part of European World of Bluegrass Month 2008. If you’d like to see again a bluegrass band that has previously played at Midwob, you can ask through the Mastergrass website before 1 March, or at any meeting of the MasterGrass Society at Zoeterwoude. For more details, contact the Mastergrass Society by 'phone (+31 (0)71-5801537) or e-mail.

Monday, 7 January 2008

A new bluegrass artist

The Petr Brandejs Band, portrayed by 9-year-old Zuzanka Brandejs. Congratulations to Zuzanka for her assured and sensitive use of colour and form, and for the way in which the composition centres on the banjo (played by her Daddy).

Mideandos on Ludomentis

The Mideando String Quintet from Italy (#1 European Bluegrass Band 2006) report:

Hi and Happy New Year!

You can buy our new CD Tutte le direzioni ('Every direction') on the Ludomentis website... a preview is on our MySpace site.

We want to inform you that we are also available for gigs.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

L.Bow Grease: new folk/bluegrass trio

'Singing Banjoman' Andy Glandt of Germany reports that he has joined UK-born Dave Jackson (guitar, vocals) and Guntmar Feuerstein (mandolin, vocals) to form a new trio configuration of the folk/country/bluegrass band L.Bow Grease.

Dave and Guntmar have had long careers as performers and songwriters, including hit-parade success. Their two earlier L.Bow Grease albums, Pickin’ on the porch (ruhrfolk 4003) and Greased lightning (ruhrfolk 4004), bridge the gaps between Celtic and American folk, traditional music, and modern pop. Andy is a respected international bluegrass musician and entertainer who has released eight albums under his own name and appeared on several compilations.

The new trio are scheduled to tour the USA from 25 September to 15 October 2008 and are also available for all other parts of the world. Their one-sheet flyer can be seen here. Contact:

L.Bow Grease, c/o Kopfhörer Studio, Harpener Feld 11, D-44805 Bochum, Germany; e-mail.

Andy Glandt, Emil-Wölk-Str.29, D-07747 Jena, Germany, +49-3641-331001; e-mail.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Picnic Festival, Namur, 6-7 September

Toute l'équipe du Picnic Festival vous souhaite ses...

Meilleurs Voeux pour cette Nouvelle Année 2008

Et en guise de cadeau, découvrez le DVD du Picnic Festival 2007
sur la page d'accueil de notre site.

Rendez-vous les 6 et 7 septembre à la Citadelle de Namur pour la quatrième édition, avec une affiche exceptionnelle...


The Picnic Festival Team wishes you a...

Happy New Year 2008

As a gift, there's the video of the Picnic Festival 2007 on the main page of our website.

Please note on your calendar the 4th edition next 6 and 7 September at the Citadel of Namur with an extraordinary schedule...

Krüger Brothers at the New Acoustic Gallery

Oliver Waitze reports that the outstanding Krüger Brothers (CH/USA) will be performing in concert at the New Acoustic Gallery, Solingen, Germany, on 11 March 2008 at 7:30 p.m. Admission: €25. Tickets can be reserved by 'phone (+49 (0)212/2474007) or e-mail.

The Flatpicker's tunebook is available from the NAG. For more details, see the European Bluegrass Blog post of 24 November.

The first news has been received of one of the many instruments stolen from the NAG in February 2006. A Prucha Elban banjo was seen in Hank's Guitar Shop, Denmark Street, London, in June 2007, but it has since disappeared.

The NAG is also offering reductions ranging from €200 to €1,300 on several Deering banjos. For more details, see the NAG website.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Bluegrass Europe #60

The next issue of Bluegrass Europe, the magazine of the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA), will be #60 (February-March 2008), marking ten years since the magazine was first published.

The editor, Paolo Dettwiler, who is also chair of the EBMA, wishes to remind everyone that the deadline for news items, concert dates, advertisements, and other material to appear in the next issue is Friday 18 January.

Bluegrass Europe
Paolo R. Dettwiler
Steinenweg 8
CH-4133 Pratteln
Phone: +41 61 821 83 63
Fax +41 61 821 83 64

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Don Rigsby & Midnight Call at Oldenburg, 4 May

Don Rigsby

Klaus Grotelüschen reports that Don Rigsby & Midnight Call (USA) will be going on from their appearance on 3 May at the 6th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival to appear at 19:30 the next day, Sunday 4 May, in concert at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater in Oldenburg, Germany.

The Staatstheater is the prestigious 650-seat opera house which was opened up to bluegrass last year by the Claire Lynch Band, as described in the European Bluegrass Blog on 9 May 2007.