Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Sawmill Road in Belgium, 17 November 2008

Following the post on the European Bluegrass Blog on 19 October, Bluegrass in Belgium reports that Sawmill Road (USA), the new band of veteran musicians from California, will be playing their only Belgian concert on 17 November 2008.

The concert will be in the Toogenblik, rue Cortenbach 11, 1130 Haren (near Vilvoorde), Brussels - 'easy to get to and the cosiest place for listening to a concert.' Entrance fee: 10 euro at the door, 8 euro for the 20 first reservations by e-mail. Bluegrass in Belgium says: 'Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear a great professional bluegrass band.'

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Sons of Navarone hit the spot in UK

The Sons of Navarone (Belgium) received a standing ovation after heading the bill for two nights at a mini-festival in Mickleham, Surrey, England, according to the latest issue of British Bluegrass News.

Phil Thrift describes them as 'a Hot Rize type band with perfectly balanced singing and choreography, which captivated the audience from beginning to end'; compares the Sons' instrumental and vocal work with Scruggs, Stanley, Sam Bush, and Jimmy Martin; and concludes: 'This band was awesome!!'

A photo from Mickleham and reviews of other shows by the Sons are on the band's website.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Petr Brandejs: Workshop and DVD news

More than 100 students and fourteen instructors took part in the 13th annual Petr Brandejs Band workshop on 17-19 October in Male Svatonovice, Czech Republic. All the bluegrass instruments and vocals, plus old-time banjo, were taught. The faculty included the best virtuosos and capable teachers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. A few Hungarians also took part - one of whom received (and accepted) an unexpected marriage proposal from her Slovak boyfriend on stage during the sold-out Saturday night show!

All the students were provided with a DVD full of photos, materials, and recordings prepared by the teachers. Also the unique two-and-a-half-hour Saturday show with all the instructors jamming on stage is available on a profi-made DVD. A TV short show (in Czech) can be found here. Petr Brandejs is already working on the next workshop, to be held in Novy Jicin (CZ) in March 2009, and another in Risør, Norway, in July.


Petr Brandejs's educational DVD Czech five-string banjo hits is scheduled for release in November 2008 by the G+W company, which also released his previous succesful Czech version of How to play five-string banjo (more than 2,000 copies sold). It contains fourteen songs best known in the Czech Republic associated with the five-string banjo. Most of them are country and bluegrass hits made popular with Czech lyrics. The breaks are described in great detail, along with a tab booklet. Contact:

Petr Brandejs
Bludovice 137, 74101 Nový Jičín
Czech Republic
Mobile: +420 777 122 569

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Lilly Drumeva in Nashville and Wisconsin

Early October 2008 Lilly Drumeva visited the United States; her stops included Nashville, TN, where she attended the International Bluegrass Music Convention, and several towns in the state of Wisconsin, where she performed with the Nob Hill Boys bluegrass band, based in Madison.

A highlight of the trip was the International Summit Meeting in Nashville, held on 30 September and 1 October at the Nashville Convention Center, part of IBMA’s conference program. Lilly was invited together with other bluegrass leaders from Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia to discuss issues of bluegrass music outside the US. The meeting was very fruitful and was a milestone for development of bluegrass music internationally.

Lilly’s schedule was very busy: during IBMA’s conference she performed also at the International Suite together with Nashville’s Al Goll on Dobro; she visited Aristo Media on Music Row and met with managing director Jeff Walker (Aristo is one of the distribution companies providing material for Lilly’s TV show in Bulgaria); she attended workshops and seminars, receiving singing lessons from Nashville’s vocal coach and singer Kathy Chiavola. The weather was beautiful and there was time for visits to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Opryland Hotel, and for a trip on the General Jackson riverboat.

After a full week in Nashville, Lilly continued her journey to Madison, WI. She was welcomed by John Fabke, mandolin & guitar player, radio presenter, and bluegrass activist in the area. Lilly was a guest on John’s radio program 'Pastures of plenty' in Madison and performed with his band the Nob Hill Boys in Fort Atkinson, WI. She was backed by Paul Kienitz on fiddle, Jon Peik on banjo & bass, and John Fabke on mandolin. Lilly received also lessons from Paul and played twin fiddle with him on stage. The weather was cold but sunny and there was time to visit some of Madison’s attractions and the house of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Spring Green, WI.

On the way home Lilly made a short stop in Chicago, IL. All in all, a very busy and exciting trip, doing business, meeting friends and playing lots of music.

The full text with photos of Lilly at the Summit and with Kathy Chiavola, Cia Cherryholmes, Al Goll, and the Nob Hill Boys, can be seen here.

Kruger Brothers specials at the IBMA 2008

Philip Zanon kindly reports:Kruger Brothers with Michael Cleveland and Terry Beaucom

At this years' IBMA the Kruger Brothers were performing in the Deering Banjos Showcase Hall. The line up of Deering Artists included Tony Trischka, a performance of Mark Schatz (playing Banjo) with Jim Hurst and Missy Raines, Mark Johnson and Emory Lester, Eddie & Martha Adcock (who played for the first time in public after his surgery, as reported by Richard Hawkins - The Bionic Banjo Man) and Terry Baucom who has received his own signature Deering Banjo during the event.

More in the article in Bluegrass Journal by Travis Tackett.

Beside all those class acts the Kruger Brothers were performing together with Michael Cleveland and Terry Baucom (Photo) and also Ron Block, long time member of Alison Krauss & Union Station (Photo).
Kruger Brothers with Ron Block

During on Saturday Jens Kruger participated in a huge Banjo workshop including Tony Trischka, Ron Block, Noam Pikelny. (Photo)
Jens Kruger in huge banjo workshop

Friday, 24 October 2008

Dutch bands and Irish festivals

Two of the leading bluegrass bands from the Netherlands will be playing next summer at bluegrass festivals in Ireland, where they have both made many appearances and become firm favourites over the last ten years.

The Blue Grass Boogiemen will be topping the bill at the third Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, to be held in Westport, Co. Mayo, on 26-28 June 2009. Two weeks later 4 Wheel Drive will be playing at the Athy Bluegrass Festival, on the other side of the country in Athy, Co. Kildare, on 9-12 July.

Places free in Mandolin Weekend Workshop

Oliver Waitze of the New Acoustic Gallery, Neuenhofer Str. 122, 42657 Solingen, Germany, invites intrepid mandolinists to jump on the Mando Express - two places are free in the Mandolin Weekend Workshop with J.P. Rübner which is just about to begin. Telephone: +49 0212/2474007.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

G2 on the Red Carpet

G2 at Fan Fest, Sat. 4 October 2008 (photo by Thierry Schoysman)

During IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2008 in Nashville, TN, a reception was held before the Awards Show for those involved in the show. The Bluegrass Blog laid down a red carpet in the reception room, and Katy Daley of interviewed many of those attending. The results can be seen on the Bluegrass Blog in a series of videos.

Episode 4 includes an interview with G2 (Sweden; #1 European Bluegrass Band 2007), in which the band talk about their prospective move to Nashville in a year or two.

FCMA award to Sierra Hull

Thanks to the Bluegrass Blog for the news that teenage mandolin prodigy Sierra Hull (USA) received on 27 September - coincidentally, it was her birthday - the Best Bluegrass Band award from the French Association of Country Music in the 6th French Country Music Awards. Also nominated were Rhonda Vincent, Becky Schlegel, and Dailey & Vincent.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Third Spainmusic Old-Time Week, 10-17 May 2009

Thanks to the British old-time music association FOAOTMAD for the news that after two successful years so far, the third Spainmusic Old-Time Week will be held from Sunday 10 May to Sunday 17 May 2009. The complete list of teachers will include the Bing Brothers from West Virginia, Tim (banjo) and Dave (fiddle), together with Kate Lissauer, John Whelan, and Peter Dunn, who offer one-on-one support to beginners, and workshops in backup guitar and singing with your instrument.

The venue is in the Andalusian mountains, north of Almeria, in south-east Spain. Full details, as given by Kate Lissauer, are here.

Kruger Brothers as a five-piece band?

The Bluegrass Blog reports that the Kruger Brothers are adopting a more all-the-way bluegrass format this weekend at the 6th Carolina in the Fall Festival, and may be using the new five-piece lineup in future if possible.

Playing with them at the festival will be bluegrass giants Adam Steffey (mandolin) and Bobby Hicks (fiddle). More details can be read here.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Europe at IBMA: more photos

Red Wine: Dino DiGiacomo, Stefano Cavallo, Martino Coppo, Silvio Ferretti, Marco Ferretti

Thanks to Thierry Schoysman of Bluegrass in Belgium for these photos, from among the many he took at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2008 in Nashville two weeks ago.

Red Wine (Italy) are shown above during their spot in the main evening showcase schedule on Tuesday 30 September; and G2 (Sweden) in the International Showcase, one of their many appearances in Nashville during the week.

Tobias Strömberg (dobro), Christoffer Olsson (guitar), and Jimmy Sunnebrandt (bass) of G2 in an intense vocal trio

A major event of World of Bluegrass 2008 for IBMA members from outside the USA was the two-day International Summit meeting; two-thirds of those attending came from Europe.

Members of the International Summit meeting, ready for the official photographer

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Mideando String Quintet: news update

Thanks to Stefano Santangelo of the Mideando String Quintet (Italy) for their latest news. The MSQ are an acoustic band performing original songs and covers arranged in their own style - blending elements of country, pop, rock, and jazz - on mandolin, mandola, mandocello, violin, nylon- or steel-string guitar, and electric bass, with up to five-part vocal harmony.

The MSQ were voted #1 European Bluegrass Band at the European World of Bluegrass Festival in 2006 and represented Europe at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2007 in Nashville, TN. During 2006 they were the only Italian band invited to the prestigious 40th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and they played also at the Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. In 2008 they were special guests at the FBMA's Festival Européen de Bluegrass Music at La Roche-sur-Foron in the French Alps.

The MSQ's most recent CD, Tutte le direzioni ('All directions'), like their previous album, Viaggio... ('Journey'), has had a lot of good reviews from the local and European press.

For further info, contact:

Associazione Musicale MIDEANDO
Via P. Vergerio 6, 35126 PADOVA, Italy
+39 (0)49 8021556; cell. 338 8227001
MySpace site

Red Wine (I) USA Fall Tour 2008

Our own "old" Wino-Man Martino Coppo reports:

Guthrie OK, on stage

Red Wine just completed its 13th USA tour with a renewed line up that saw young Marco Ferretti (banjo player Silvio Ferretti's son) jumping on board on guitar, along with old Winos guitar player Dino Di Giacomo from Milano.
The band has been very busy at the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Nashville TN from Sept. 29th to Oct. 2nd, playing the IBMA Showcase on Tuesday 30th Sept. and several after hours showcases during the week.
After partying and jamming all nights, on Friday 3rd early morning we drove directly to the airport to catch a flight to Oklahoma City, and to play the same day at OIBF Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival in Guthrie, OK.
On Saturday 4th, right after our 2nd set, we drove back to the airport and flew to San Francisco, to play for the second time at the massive Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in the Golden Gate Park (Sunday 5th Oct.). This amazing Festival drives more than 600.000 people for a free 7 hours a day weekend of music on 5 different stages! In the middle of our set at Porch Stage we received a surprise visit by superstar Tim O'Brien, who joined us on fiddle for a couple of numbers. What a thrill! For those interested, Tim will also be our special guest at the first Red Wine "Bluegrass Party" scheduled for 13th and 14th February 2009 at Teatro della Gioventù in Genova, Italy.
It's been a short but very exciting tour and we're looking forward to our next US tour in 2009.

Back stage with Tim O'Brien

Crowd at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival!

Friday, 10 October 2008

New Acoustic Gallery Newsletter, October 2008

The Duo (Trio) Vibracao will hold a CD presentation concert on 25 October 2008 in the Forum Produktdesign, Solingen, Germany. Their CD A jazzy note, released during the summer, has been getting a very good reaction and a lot of airplay.

On 24-6 October 2008 Jesper Rübner will give a Mandolin Weekend Workshop on themes including bluegrass, fiddle tunes, and improvisation, for all levels of players. Numbers attending are limited to fifteen, and enrolment for the course costs €175, which includes an evening concert on 25 October with the Trio Vibracao (Jesper Rübner, Oliver Waitze, Max Schaaf).

Spencer Bohren will also be giving a concert on 9 November 2008 (VVk €10, AK €12). For more info, contact

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

G2 at IBMA's Awards Show 2008

G2 at the awards stand (photo by Tami Roth)

The G2 Bluegrass Band from Sweden (#1 European Bluegrass Band 2007) represented Europe at the IBMA Awards Show, where they had a warm welcome as presenters of the awards for Recorded Event of the Year and Guitar Player of the Year. G2's banjo-player Jens Koch took the opportunity to invite US musicians to cross the Atlantic, where 'tens of euros' can be made by playing bluegrass in Europe.

G2's day-by-day experiences of World Of Bluegrass 2008 are shown in a blog on their website. Details of the larger European presence at IBMA appeared on the European Bluegrass Blog on 14 September.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Kruger Brothers to be touring Europe in 2009

Philip Zanon, the Kruger Brothers' long-time manager, sound-engineer etc, reports:

Double Time Music recording artists The Kruger Brothers are going to be touring in Europe from March 18 through April 10, 2009. The Kruger Brothers are a acoustic virtuoso trio that originally lived in Switzerland. They were introduced to the US audience at MerleFest 1997 and have been on extensive and successful tours in the USA since then. In 2003 they re-located to North Carolina and have won an Award of Excellence of the National Endowment for the Arts for Banjoist Jens Kruger's symphonic piece 'Music From The Spring'.

On this tour the Kruger Brothers will be performing their original composition as a trio (Banjo, Guitar, Bass). For a recent report, please read the latest article of Travis Tackett of the where the Kruger Brothers performed at the Deering Banjo Showcase at the 2008 IBMA World of Bluegrass in Nashville TN.

For the upcoming Euro Tour, the dates that have been booked so far are:
March 21 - Erstfeld, Switzerland
March 28 - West Yorkshire, UK
April 1 - Bern, Switzerland
April 5 - Zurich, Switzerland
April 7 - Prag, CZ

The tour details will be published as soon as tour booking is complete. Ticket sales should go online at the end of October-early November 2008.

We are now booking dates in between these anchor dates. Interested promoters or venues please contact Philip Zanon for details.

Philip Zanon
Double Time Music, Inc.
6137 Statesville Rd.
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Phone +1 336 262 6900
Fax +1 336 667 3960

Friday, 3 October 2008


Congratulation to all the winners of the 2008 IBMA Awards! A list of all Award receipients is shown on the IBMA website.
Please visit The Bluegrass Blog - news at the speed of bluegrass for excellent reports by Brance. The most impressive story of this year's awards is that after only one year together, Jamie Dailey & Darrin Vincent took home SIX AWARDS!
More to follow soon, if you would like to contribute to the European Bluegrass Blog with a report, please send us a note.