Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Bluegrass on the air and on CD in Ireland

Niall Toner reports that NTB 3, the new CD by the Niall Toner Band, will be launched on Sunday 25 May over the national broadcasting station, at Studio One, RTE Radio Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Ireland, starting at 7.30 p.m. Niall says:

NTB3 is another collection of original material, and includes songs co-written with Barry and Holly Tashian and Peter Rowan. Ten songs and two instrumentals, as well as a video interview/documentary shot by Kate Bradbury at Athy 2007, with comprehensive sleeve notes explaining the background to all the tracks, and a beautiful sleeve design by bass-totin' graphic artist Kelvin Busher.

Sample tracks can be heard on the NTB MySpace page. At the launch, two programmes in Niall's 'Roots Freeway' series will be recorded in front of a live audience, with NTB as the house band, and special guests Prison Love, Bray Vista, and Carmel Sheerin & the Ravens (#1 European Bluegrass Band 2005). Admission on the night will be by ticket only; seats can be booked by e-mailing Roots Freeway or the show's producer, Aidan Butler. Niall adds:

RTE are also celebrating May as International Bluegrass Music Month by broadcasting a series of radio shows on Thursday nights during May, called 'The Bluegrass Sessions'. Among the artists featured will be Bela Fleck, Ricky Skaggs, the Punch Brothers, the Paperboys, Steve Kaufman, and Greg Cahill. These shows are hosted by Niall Toner and Sandy Harsch.

Also during May, each edition of 'Roots Freeway', which is broadcast on Tuesdays at 9.00 p.m., will contain a twenty-minute segment telling the story of bluegrass music, from its beginnings with Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers, right up to today's modern masters like Chris Thile, Tony Trischa, Pete Wernick, and Peter Rowan. These mini-documentaries are intended as an introduction to bluegrass music.

The Niall Toner Band can be heard live at the EWOB Festival in Voorthuizen, the Netherlands, on 1 May, and elsewhere in the Netherlands on 2 and 3 May.