Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Bluegrass in eastern Europe

Lilly Drumeva, EBMA national representative for Bulgaria, reports:

This summer was a busy one for Lilly of the West. We traveled to Hungary (Budapest concert), France (La Roche bluegrass festival), and the UK (Sevenoaks bluegrass festival). You can see detailed reports on my website. Half of the new album has been recorded in Sofia, mid July as well. The next session will be in Prague late September with Monogram.

I made contact with musicians and festivals in Rumania. One is a singer-songwriter 7-days event in Calafat, on the Danube river. They would welcome a bluegrass band as well, but you have to have a song in Rumanian in the repertoire. Dan Vana, the organizer, has also a radio show and is a musician himself. Another contact is Maria Gheorghiu in Bucharest. She is a well known folk singer and has her own show on Rumanian national radio. There is a country club in Timishoara where bluegrass music could be played. One of the contacts there is Sandy Deac, leader of country music band Desperado. I plan to visit Rumania soon and report more in detail about the acoustic scene there.

Early September in the town of Lovech, Bulgaria, I visited the festival of the 'Poets with guitars'. It is a singer-songwriter event, organized by the municipality. It is mostly singers with acoustic guitars, but there are also bands who play folk, blues, country... and why not bluegrass? Musicians get free accommodation, meals, and some gifts from the committee.

In the next months Lilly of the West will have the following gigs:

9 Oct. Stara Zagora, Il Mondo Club (promotion of Tullamore Dew whiskey)
21 Oct. Sofia, Hungarian Embassy (together with Zsolt Pinter and Geza Kremitsky from Acousticure, Hungarian national day)
25 Nov. Sofia, Bulgarian National Radio, Studio 1 (concert is going to be recorded for the Golden Fund, with special guest Rayko Pepelanov on guitar)
10 Dec. Sofia, Czech Cultural Center (Christmas show)