Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The 2008 European Bluegrass Band Awards

Acousticure receive their award as #1 European Bluegrass Band; with Ronald Groot, festival committee chairman (left) and Angelika Torrie, EBMA board of directors (right). Photo by Lilly Pavlak

The weather was almost perfect for the 11th European World of Bluegrass Festival, sponsored by the European Bluegrass Music Association on 1-3 May. Attendance remained at peak level, the little Dutch town of Voorthuizen bursting with bluegrass music for 3 days as bands performed throughout the village, and musicians jammed in every corner of the festival venue. The EWOB 2008 Festival featured 41 wonderful bands from 15 countries, including special USA guests Sally Jones & the Sidewinders, Appalachian Uprising, and Dick Staber & Judith Chasnoff, and EWOB's first groups from Norway (Ile Auto and The Holstein United Bluegrass Boys) and Spain (Lluis Gomez Quartet and Autopista 6).
The EWOB 2008 Festival in the Netherlands is the apex of the 30-day European World of Bluegrass, fostering the growth of bluegrass music in cooperation this year with 195 European festivals and events taking place during the "International Bluegrass Month" of May. The EWOB Festival is a music festival and professional convention with trade show and workshops, and hosts the annual European Bluegrass Band competition. In 2003, EWOB became the only European festival ever to win the International Bluegrass Music Association's prestigious Bluegrass Event of the Year Award.
We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2008 European Bluegrass Band Awards, chosen by the EWOB 2008 Festival musicians as their reigning champions:
#1 European Bluegrass Band 2008: Acousticure
, Hungary
#2 European Bluegrass Band 2008: Petr Brandejs Band, Czech Republic
#3 European Bluegrass Band 2008: Four Wheel Drive, NL/G/B
In addition to the professional band awards, the EWOB Festival audience always elects its own favorite groups from the three days of showcase performances:
#1 Audience Popularity Award, EWOB 2008: Bluegrass Cwrkot, Czech Republic
#2 Audience Popularity Award, EWOB 2008: Blackjack, Czech Republic
#3 Audience Popularity Award, EWOB 2008:
Sunny Side, Czech Republic
The #1 European Bluegrass Band 2008, Acousticure, is the first bluegrass band from Hungary to appear at this colorful international gathering, performing at the past 2 European World of Bluegrass Festivals. An energetic 4-piece group of impressive multi-instrumentalists, Acousticure keeps the sound crew hopping with frequent instrument changes. Their young spokesman, mandolin-fiddler-guitarist Zsolt Pinter, has spent enough time in the USA to speak English like a native, and has a remarkable command of bluegrass-country vocals. Acousticure's musical vision playfully fuses bluegrass influences from old-time to newgrass, often incorporating their native Hungarian folk music. (An example of the latter, Kis Kece Lanyom, can be heard on the European World of Bluegrass 2007 CD from Strictly Country Records.) The US bluegrass scene will get a chance to experience Acousticure onstage in Nashville at the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) World of Bluegrass convention in October 2009, where they will perform as the #1 European Bluegrass Band.
Zsolt Pinter: fiddle, guitar, mandolin, vocal
Geza Kremnitzky - mandolin, banjo, vocal
Peter Gyergyadesz - bass, vocal
Andras Toth - guitar, banjo, dobro, mandolin, vocal
Congratulations to all the EWOB 2008 award winners, and many thanks to all the talented musicians who traveled to Holland to share their music at the EWOB 2008 Festival. It was unforgettable.