Saturday, 30 January 2010

Irish Flatpicking

EBB editor's note: The following message from Frank Simon has been received, under the above title:

Please find attached, message for European Bluegrass blog.

To users of the EBB in general: Unfortunately, although e-mails can come through the link shown at the top of the blog, attachments to them do not, and nor does the address of the sender; so please put any text and contact data in the main body of the e-mail if you are using this link.

Frank, we look forward to receiving and publishing your news.

Ivor Ottley to move from Ireland to Sweden

Ace fiddler Ivor Ottley - originally from England but resident in western Ireland for the past seven years - is expected to move from Ireland to Sweden in the near future. His last performance in Ireland is likely to be in two weeks' time, as a member of Gone to Grass (see photo; Ivor is on the extreme left), during the Kinvara Area Music Collective's annual Mardi Gras celebration, which this year will take place on Saturday 13 February at the Kinvara Community Centre, Co. Galway.

Thanks to Pete Lamb (organiser of the Galway Americana Festival) for this news. Pete is in the centre of the above photo.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Crooked Still in Europe, 21-27 Mar. 2010

Thanks to FOAOTMAD for the news that alternative bluegrass band Crooked Still have a few dates this side of the Atlantic in March - five in England, and the last in Sweden:

Sun. 21 Mar. St Bedes's, Chorley, Lancashire
Mon. 22 Mar. St Bonaventure's Club, Bristol
Tues. 23 Mar. The Borderline, London
Wed. 24 Mar. The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Thurs. 25 Mar. City Memorial Hall, Sheffield
Sat. 27 Mar. Folk Music Gala 2010, Uppsala, Sweden

More details are on the band's website.

Sue Thompson and the Brandejs Band

A unique band put together (so far) just for this summer is called Sue Thompson and the Brandejs Band. The Band consists of a guitarist and vocalist (and a vocal teacher!) Sue Thompson (USA), Petr and Pavel Brandejs (banjo, bass), and a multi-instrumentalist, Ondra Kozák (all CZ).

The group is now accepting dates for the period of May–July 2010. So far they are booked at the Banjo Jamboree (the Czech Republic) and Risor Bluegrass Workshop and Festival in Norway. For booking and more info, contact Petr Brandejs by e-mail.

La Fuente de Musica: change in autumn 2010 date

Kate Lissauer (left, with fiddle, as leader of the Buffalo Gals (USA/UK) old-time string band) reports that a change has been made in the 2010 schedule of old-time music workshops in Spain, announced on the EBB on 19 November 2009.

Beverly Smith & Carl Jones (who were part of the successful Bluegrass Jamboree! tour in Germany and Switzerland in December) will host the autumn course from Sat. 25 September to Sat. 2 October 2010 instead of the following week, as originally announced.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Durango: new Coal Porters CD

The Coal Porters (UK), who claim to be the world’s first alternative bluegrass band, launched their latest album, Durango (Prima Records, distributed in the UK by Proper and in the USA by Burnside) with a party at the Arts Theatre Club, in London’s West End, on 25 January.

Durango is the Coal Porters’ ninth album – although the band’s been through a number of incarnations since it was formed in Los Angeles back in the late 'eighties. The new album was recorded in the southern Colorado town bearing the same name and was produced by the legendary Ed Stasium, who has worked with the Ramones, Talking Heads, Gladys Knight, and Mick Jagger.

Naturally, their set was almost completely made up from tracks on the new album, with the foot-stomping 'Roadkill breakdown', the very moving 'Permanent twilight' and 'No more chains' being highlights among their own original material along with a cover of the Undertones’ 'Teenage kicks'.

Currently the Coal Porters are Sid Griffin (mandolin, harmonica, autoharp and vocals), Neil Robert Herd (guitar, sporran and vocals), Andrew Stafford (bass), Carly Frey (fiddle), and Dick Smith (banjo).

Among other dates on their schedule, the Coal Porters will head the bill at this year's Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival in Ireland at the end of June.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

UK concert for Haiti earthquake relief

The Sutton Acoustic Music Club in southern England announces a concert to raise funds for relief in Haiti. Half the programme will be bluegrass, and prominent bands and musicians from the British bluegrass scene will take part.

The concert will be held in the Good Shepherd Hall, Station Approach, Tadworth, Surrey, on Sunday 28 February 2010. The lineup is:

A Band like Alice (Bluegrass) TBC
The Andy Smythe Band (Folk and Americana)
Biggin Hillbillies (Bluegrass)
Monroe's Revenge (Bluegrass) TBC
Acoustic Astronauts (Americana)
International Men of Mystery (South American and Folk)
The Grasshoppers (Bluegrass and Americana)
Butt of Lewis (Folk)

Also featured are Bob Winquist (fiddle) & Mike Aston (mandolin), Geoff Chapman (singer/ guitarist), and Fr Michael Elfred (guitar), priest in charge of the church.

The concert begins at 7.00 p.m. and continues to 11.00 p.m. Admission is £10 on the door; donation boxes are also available, and there will be a raffle. All collections and ticketing are arranged by the church. For further info, contact Mike of the Acoustic Astronauts (+44 (0)7545326534).

Thanks to Richard F. Thompson of the BBMA for forwarding this news.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Bluegrass Europe #73

The deadline for Bluegrass Europe #73 (April-May 2010) is 5 March.

Paolo Dettwiler, editor of BE, has a new postal address:

Paolo Dettwiler
Liestalerstrasse 30
CH-4412 Nuglar

News, articles, letters, concert dates, and other material for publication can also be sent in by e-mail.

The banjo: from Africa to America and back

Thanks to Veit Doehler of Banjoree for this news of a broadcast on 31 January on the origins, history, and future of the banjo:

Liebe Banjoisten und deren Freunde,

wir sind gerade von einem treuen BANJOREE – Teilnehmer aus Hamburg auf diese Sendung aufmerksam gemacht worden: „Von Afrika nach Amerika und zurück, Die Odyssee des Banjos von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Von Christoph Wagner“ am Sonntag, 31.01.2010 · 15:05 Uhr

Das klingt alles sehr vielversprechend und spannend und soll euch deshalb auch nicht vorenthalten werden. Banjo-Features im Radio gibt’s ja selten genug.

Beste Grüße in den wahrscheinlich ebenfalls viel zu eisigen Rest der BANJOREE-Welt.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Belgium: concerts and other news

Les Impertinents (photo: Véronique Marchand)

Bluegrass in Belgium reports:

Dear friends

The Sons of Navarone give a free concert in Tervuren on Sunday 31 January at 20:00. The number of seats is limited, so you only get in by making a reservation by e-mail.

The Sons will also do a five-day tour in the UK in February. Details on their website. It seems the Sons are in great shape (except for one who has the 'flu and sounds more like a Snot of Navarone). They are on the cover of British Bluegrass News and will also be on the cover of the next issue of Bluegrass Europe magazine.

Belgium celebrates the arrival of a new bluegrassy band! Les Impertinents - with all except one member of the legendary Gold Rush.

Two American and one Dutch bluegrass bands are visiting Belgium soon: the Grascals, Hayseed Dixie, and 4 Wheel Drive. Check all details on the calendar of Bluegrass in Belgium.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

'If I needed you': video clip

Hi all,

Below is a link to the clip of 'If I needed you' from my new album [see the EBB post of 21 Jan.]: 'If I needed you'

Kind regards,

Lilly Drumeva
Lilly of the West
M: +359 888 660 990

Thanks to Richard F. Thompson of the BBMA for the news that issue #37 (Oct. 2009) of Vagabond, an English-language monthly publication, includes an article by Ani Ivanova about Lilly Drumeva and bluegrass in Bulgaria. It can be read here.

Friday, 22 January 2010

1st Inishowen International Guitar Festival, 5-7 Feb. 2010

The schedule for Beppe Gambetta's forthcoming tour in Ireland, as given by the European Bluegrass Blog on 4 January, has now been supplemented and updated. Full details can be seen on the Old Flattop website of Nigel Martyn, organiser of the tour.

Beppe Gambetta's final shows in the tour will be as part of the 1st Inishowen International Guitar Festival at Culdaff, Co. Donegal, Ireland (5-7 February), where he will be the leading bluegrass exponent among many prominent guitarists from Ireland, the rest of Europe, and the USA.

Nigel Martyn is also organising a tour in Ireland during the 'EWOB period' by Uncle Monk (USA), a progressive old-time duo formed by Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan. More details are on the Old Flattop website and on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog for 21 January.

Uncle Earl / Fox Tower concert, 17 May 2010

Thanks to Andy Glandt (D) for the news that the Fox Tower Bluegrass Band have organised the following concert:

Monday 17 May 2010
Uncle Earl (USA) & Fox Tower Bluegrass Band (D)
AmVieh-Theater, 07616 Beulbar, Germany (near Jena), 7.30 p.m.

This concert can be added to the list of Uncle Earl tour dates previously shown on the European Bluegrass Blog.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

May 2010: Worldwide Month of Bluegrass

The EBMA is now collecting dates of all bluegrass events happening in May 2010, and offers to feature any festivals in or near this period on the back of this year's EWOB Month T-shirt. Please send in information to the EBMA by e-mail.

The 2010 EWOB logotype will be available for download to be used on flyers for your events shortly. As usual, the EBMA will present an information booth at the EWOB Festival in Voorthuizen, the Netherlands (13-15 May 2010), which is organised under the auspices of EBMA by the EWOB Voorthuizen committee.

Lovin' you - now out

Lilly Drumeva reports from Bulgaria:

My new album Lovin’ you is out now. It was recorded in two countries – Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, with Monogram and Lilly of the West. It will be available through CD Baby on my new website very soon. There you may hear sound clips, get photos and more info. A video to the song 'If I needed you' (with Jakub Racek) will be featured there soon. In the meantime, please write to me with your address, for a copy of the new album. I have attached some info.

All the best,

Lilly Drumeva
Lilly of the West
M: +359 888 660 990

Read full details of the new album Lovin' you here.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

IMFCON in Amsterdam, 8-9 Apr. 2010

Rienk Janssen reports that the International Music Festival Conference to be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 8-9 April 2010, welcomes speakers from all festivals in all musical genres. For more details, see the European Bluegrass Blog for 16 Dec. 2009. For any questions or comments, please contact:

Wyatt Royce
Conference Program Manager
International Music Festival Conference
+1 561-748-6775

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Boogiemen's new CD: Hits of Hank Williams

The Blue Grass Boogiemen (NL) are releasing on the CRS (Continental) label a new album, Hits of Hank Williams, originally commissioned by Starsound. The Boogiemen announce:

... Ever since we started playing together, Hank's songs have been an integral part of our repertoire... to say the least, we love his music, on and off stage, and we're convinced... that the world can never have too many albums with Hank's songs, whether they're well-known hits or not.

Hits of Hank Williams can be bought through PayPal on the Boogiemen's website, and there is a special New Year internet price of €12.50. Read more about the album here; reviews can be read here.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

European Bluegrass Directory, 2010/2011

Dear bluegrasser,

Every two years the EBMA edits a directory containing useful bluegrass contacts in Europe: bands, clubs, festivals, luthiers, promoters, radios, associations, publications... It is now time to prepare the 2010 update.

I'm looking for people in every European country who can help updating the data of their region. The idea is to start from the data of last issue. I have those in excel files in which you can update, add, and delete the data you know.

If you're interested in helping, reply to this message NOW. All suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!


Chèr(e)s bluegrasseus,

Tous les 2 ans la EBMA édite un annuaire contenant des contacts utiles pour le monde bluegrass européen: groupes, clubs, festivals, luthiers, organisateurs, radios, associations, publications... Il est maintenant temps de préparer la mise à jour 2010.

Je recherche des personnes dans chaque pays européen qui peuvent aider à mettre à jour les données de leurs régions. L'idée est de démarrer avec les données de la dernière édition. J'ai des fichiers excel dans lesquels vous pouvez rajouter, enlever, et modifier les données que vous connaissez.

Si vous souhaitez aider, répondez à ce message MAINTENANT. Toutes les suggestions sont les bienvenues. Merci d'avance!

Thierry Schoysman
Sons of Navarone
Bluegrass in Belgium

Contact Thierry by e-mail.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Bluegrass Jamboree! on World Wide Radio: 17 Jan., 15:05-17:45 (CET)

Rainer Zellner, organiser of the successful Bluegrass Jamboree! package tour, writes:

Hello all,

On Sunday 17 January, Radio WDR3 will broadcast a large part of the show plus interviews recorded 19 December 2009 in Kaarst, Germany. Steep Canyon Rangers, the Toy Hearts, and Beverly Smith & Carl Jones plus a festival finale session with all on stage. Public radio WDR3 covers a large part of Germany via antenna and cable and can also be heard worldwide.

The program is designed for the ambitious music-lover; you can hear classical, jazz, world music, and other exciting genres. It is the first time ever they will present a bluegrass show in an almost two-hour segment and put it right beside those other established styles!

Stream address
Info for the program

Look for Bluegrass Jamboree.

To convince this radio to broadcast bluegrass more, it would be very helpful to contact them after the show via e-mail and let them know you liked it! They will be surprised to receive mails from all over the world, I am sure.

Bluegrass Rules!

Rainer Zellner
Roots Music Booking and Production
Saarstrasse 8, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany
+49 (0) 7073 2250; fax +49 (0) 7073 2134; mobile +49 170 2134 999
UStID: DE146940684 (German tax number)
media download

Listen to the Bluegrass Jamboree! online
Sunday 17 January 2010, 4.05 p.m.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Bonne Année y'all!

From Blue Railroad Train (F):

Bienvenue 2010! et nous souhaitons à tous nos chers amis une Bonne Année pleine de bonnes choses et surtout de la Musique!

Blue Railroad Train: Jean-Marie Redon, Sharon Lombardi, James Field, Thierry Lecoq

Welcome 2010! and we wish all our good friends a Happy New Year full of great things and especially Music!

Kathy Kallick Band in Europe, May 2010

The Kathy Kallick Band bring their brand of 'hot bluegrass & cool originals' to Europe in May 2010. Kathy previously toured Europe four times with the Good Ol' Persons and twice with the Kathy Kallick Band.

Confirmed bookings to date - with (they hope) more to follow - include:
May 7: Copenhagen, Denmark
May 8: Willisau, Switzerland
May 9: Binningen, Switzerland
May 12: Dortmund, Germany
May 13: near Voorthuizen, Netherlands
May 14-15: European World Of Bluegrass
May 18: Hoofddorp, Netherlands
May 20: Vierzon, France

For this tour, Kathy is joined by band members Dan Booth (bass, vocals), Greg Booth (dobro, banjo, vocals), and Annie Staninec (fiddle), plus special guest Helmut Mitteregger (mandolin, vocals).

The band performs Kathy's song 'Wildflowers' on 30 Aug. 2009 here. The band's electronic press kit (with five tracks from their forthcoming album) is here.

Thank you & please don't hesitate to contact me for additional information -
Peter Thompson (e-mail)

Monday, 11 January 2010

Bluegrass events in Germany, 2010

Michael Zumstein reports that the German festival season begins with the 8th International Bluegrass Festival (14-15 May) in Bühl, with its international lineup including Uncle Earl (USA) (above). Bühl is followed closely by the second Greven Grass Festival (22-23 May), and two months later by the second Munich Bluegrass Festival (9-11 July).

Michael's own band Blue Side of Town (founded 1992) are now recording a new CD for release in March; it will include the title song 'Blue side of town', written by band member Niels Kaiser and Elke Sachsenmaier.

Also in southern Germany, the Wodan Halle in Freiburg will be presenting some fine music including the French Cajun band Le Clou (12 Mar.) and Uncle Earl (30 Apr.). And the Black Forest Bluegrass Jam, first held in autumn 2009, attracts lots of musicians from the French/Swiss/German border, forming a melting point for bluegrass and acoustic music in the area. More info here.

Other dates played by Uncle Earl in Europe - nearly all of which are in Germany - can be seen here. Also in Germany, there will be a European first-timer: the Gibson Brothers perform uniquely in Oldenburg on Sunday 11 April (see the EBB for 3 January).

Showcase Opportunity at World of Bluegrass

Postmark Deadline January 15**

In an effort to promote bluegrass and related forms of music, IBMA hosts artist showcase performances which help meet the industry's need to see what's new in the music, as well as open doors for acts by creating an opportunity to present themselves at the World of Bluegrass Business Conference. These presentations are one of the primary highlights of IBMA's convention, where more than 1600 music industry leaders gather annually.

Being a showcase artist helped us advance a year or two ahead in our career by getting in front of all the folks, fans and promoters that come to IBMA. We also got great media attention from the ads, website posts and many videos that were taken while we were there. We did interview's with Eddie Stubbs on WSM 650 AM,, Fox News in Nashville and Chris Jones with Sirius-XM. We took part in the DJ taping session with radio hosts around the world and also set up an article with Bluegrass Unlimited for 2010. It was an honor to be featured as a showcase band, be able to network and meet people all week and tell them of our music and what we have to offer. - Darin & Brooke Aldridge

Bands who apply to showcase at World of Bluegrass in Nashville next year are not required to be IBMA members, but are asked to submit a $25 fee to help defray the expenses associated with the selection process. Artists invited to showcase are extended complimentary registration for the full conference, but they must pay an additional $150 showcase fee and must be (or become) IBMA members upon accepting the invitation.

The showcases are designed to introduce any one or all of the following to the bluegrass industry:

* Emerging talent capable and willing to broaden their market
* Established bands who have significant changes in their act
* Artists who have significant, new recorded product.

The board-appointed Talent Committee's selection process involves a fair, but subjective evaluation based on each applicant's entertainment value, level of professionalism, potential appeal and quality of work. Depending on the number of acts which apply, the selection process takes approximately three months. IBMA makes the full selection criteria available upon request.

The dates for World of Bluegrass 2010 are September 27-October 3.


Any act wishing to showcase at the 2010 IBMA Business Conference should submit the following to IBMA by January 15, 2010:

* Five complete promotional packages for each act making application. Must include a CD work representative of the act. May be a demo, studio cuts not yet released or a completed project (please remove any shrink wrapping)
* If sending a demo or non-completed work, you are encouraged to express to the committee the status of the work and/or expected completion/release.
* Complete contact information on the group
* A $25 application fee, payable to IBMA.

International Bluegrass Music Association
2 Music Circle South
Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37203
+1 615.256.3222

This release can be viewed here in its original form.

Coming events in Norway

Ila Auto

Dagfinn Pedersen, EBMA board member, reports from the Norwegian Bluegrass Music Association that no fewer than five bands are currently about to release, or are working on, new CDs. The hard-working Ila Auto, whose debut CD won the Norwegian Best Country Album 2006 award, will release their third CD - predominantly original material, all in Norwegian - on 18 January, on the Universal Records label, with full national TV and radio promotion package.

Risør Bluegrass Festival (15-17 July 2010) is receiving the first significant financial support from central or local authorities in its nine years of existence. The festival website will soon open for enrolment in the workshop (for all bluegrass instruments, plus harmony singing and clawhammer banjo). EBMA members travelling to Risør from outside Norway will be eligible for a 50% discount. Dagfinn's full report, which will appear in the next Bluegrass Europe, can also be read here.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Who says we need men in bluegrass?

Kent Miller, on behalf of the Swiss Bluegrass Music Association, writes:

We are happy to report that all of the traditional spring/summer/autumn festivals will have a 2010 edition. Willisau (8 May), arguably the biggest and most international of them all, has announced that Kathy Kallick (USA) and Uncle Earl (USA) will be in their line-up this year. They put on a festival with two stages! Who says Switzerland is small? And who says we need men in bluegrass? There are usually supplementary concerts by some of the bands that come down from NL or DE, so stay tuned for those. Visitors should watch our home page for jamming news during the year. Some jams go through the whole summer, some take a little break.

I'm looking forward to a wonderful bluegrass and old-time year in Switzerland and around Europe. We haven't been able to do quite as much as we usually do or would like to with and for bluegrass lately, but life is a process of changes. Go Green Bay Packers! Oh, sorry, wrong hobby. Go Bluegrass!

New from Denmark

Spencer Sorenson reports on behalf of Bluegrass Music Denmark (BMD):

Bluegrass Music in Denmark has just completed a successful year, in which ten concerts were presented in Copenhagen. Highlights of the year were the visits of Special Consensus (USA) in October and our annual multi-concert, or Bluegrass Night. This year there were three groups – Bluegrass Boulevard from Denmark, an overdue reunion with Monogram from the Czech Republic, and the first-time visit of the Sons of Navarone. Through the year we had bands from the US, Sweden, and Czech Republic as well as some of our local Danish bands.

Our spring program is in place, and we are presenting concerts by Cold Mountain Band from Sweden; G-Runs 'n Roses from the Czech Republic; John Lowell and John Moore from the USA; Grassride from Sweden; Bluedolls, a new band from Denmark; Kathy Kallick from the USA; and a double concert with Special Blend and the Copenhagen Mountain Boys.

Danish bluegrass was well represented at the IBMA Congress in Nashville this fall, as a group of about a half dozen took the trip across the Atlantic. All came home very pleased with the trip and ready to enjoy more bluegrass. They recommend a trip to IBMA for all bluegrass fans.

Our new website (in Danish) has improved communications with our members, and proved to be a popular addition to our services.

Contact Spencer Sorenson by e-mail.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Hayseed Dixie in Europe, 2010

The notorious Hayseed Dixie (USA) will soon begin their 'Killer grass' tour, to mark the release of their new album Killer grass. The tour is planned to run from the middle of February to around the end of October.

At present the band's itinerary lists dates in the following countries:

Ireland (18-22 Feb.)
Scotland (24 Feb.-1 March)
England (2-22 Mar.)
Spain (25-27 Mar.)
Italy (30-31 Mar.)
Switzerland (1-4 Apr.)
Austria (5-6 Apr.)
Germany (7-18 Apr.)
Denmark (20-23 Apr.)
Sweden (24 Apr., 10 May)
Norway (25 Apr.-1 May)
Finland (4-8 May)
Luxemburg (12 May)
Netherlands (13-16 May)
Belgium (17 May)
England and Wales (19-27 May)

More details of locations are on the band's website.

Ozark band coming to Europe?

The Men of the Week at Bill Monroe's family home, Rosine, KY; C.J. is in the centre, with guitar

C.J. Lewandowski & the Men of the Week (USA) are a traditional bluegrass band from the Ozark Mountains, based in St Louis, Missouri. In the 26th SPBGMA Midwest Convention (15-17 Jan. 2010) they have been nominated for six awards. Their latest album, The old school, can be bought through their website.

C.J. Lewandowski & the Men of the Week are interested in touring in Europe in the near future, and would welcome contacts with European promoters and event organisers. Contact:

The Men of the Week
P.O. Box 493
Dittmer, MO. 63023, USA
+1 573-434-6126

Welcome new citizen!

Congratulations to Ondřej Plucha of the award-winning Czech band Blackjack and his wife on the birth of their beautiful daughter Alice, and all the best to the little family!
Angelika Torrie
EBMA Chairperson

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Wilders in Britain and Ireland, May 2010

Thanks to the UK old-time music association FOAOTMAD for the news that the Wilders (USA) will be touring in Britain and Ireland from 6 May to 30 May 2010. The tour is organised by the Brookfield Knights agency, and full details of the tour are on the websites of the band and the agency.

New moves for Bononia Grass

Thanks to Luca Bartolini for this news from award-winning Italian band Bononia Grass:

First of all we’ve changed our lineup, again, since last January. We are very happy because Maria Grazia Branca joined our band. This is a sort of welcome back to bluegrass! She played for about twelve years with Red Wine touring the most important festivals around Europe and US, but since 2002 she was out of the bluegrass scene. She is the best choice for Bononia: she is a wonderful player and her experience and enthusiasm can really make the difference; it’s amazing, for me, to share some music with her again! She is playing with us since September and so we started focusing on our next CD. Grazia gave us an extra-shift working on this project!

The recording will take place in the next weeks and we will try to do something really different; we will have some original songs penned by Paolo Ercoli (our Dobro player) and also something from the old-time tradition. We try to change a little direction working on our own sound, always keeping in mind the traditional sound. It’s a big challenge for us!

We have a brand new website. We decide to redesign again the site! We hope to count a lot of visitors!

We have a Face Book profile and a Face Book fan page; please feel free to join us and leave a message, we will be more than happy to answer you and share all the news we may have!

Speaking about spring and summer, we are in contact with some festivals. We all hope to be able to give some news about our gigs in the next weeks!

Gian Luca Naldi (banjo, vocals), Paolo Ercoli (dobro, vocals), Giovanni Stefanini (mandolin, lead vocal), Luca Bartolini (guitar, vocals), Maria Grazia Branca (double bass, vocals)

The bluegrass year ahead in France

Christopher Howard-Williams of the France Bluegrass Musique Association reports:

I start by wishing you all a very happy new year. Let's hope bluegrass in general, and the European scene in particular, enjoy a prosperous and fruitful year. I will see some of you at Bühl.

The south-west region of France, around Toulouse-Bordeaux, has become very active recently with a new association created in 2009 called 'Bluegrass en Gascogne', based in Mirande (home of an important country music festival). They are organising their second bluegrass jam weekend on 30-31 January near Rodez, hosted in the home of a musician who can sleep ten guests. For more information on this meet and on the association, please e-mail Georges Baret.

In the same region a new bluegrass band called Mama Dalton and the Bluegrass Boys is playing a gig near Toulouse on 15 January. I say 'new', but one of the musicians played with Spasmodic Bluegrass Convulsion, famous for being the driving force behind the Toulouse Bluegrass Festival in the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, don't forget if you are in Paris to visit the Saturday afternoon jams at AEGC. These take place every Saturday during school term time in the west of Paris at Garennes-Colombes.

The line-up for the Craponne Country Rendezvous is complete and includes three excellent bluegrass acts: the Grascals, Bradley, Gulley, and Fox, and the Quebe Sisters. Craponne is France's other major country music festival, hosting almost exclusively US bands (mainly from Texas). The festival is always one week before La Roche Bluegrass Festival, always showcases some good bluegrass, and has a fine campsite where FBMA squat a large area. The two festivals enjoy a special relationship and have brought bands over on exclusive partnerships for the past three years (Hickory Project, 3 Fox Drive, Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain) and again in 2010 (Bradley, Gulley, Fox). You may like to take in both festivals with a week's holiday in between (a three-hour drive): Craponne 23-25 July; La Roche 29 July-1 August.

France Bluegrass Musique Association
+33 450 03 42 04
(Mobile) +33 647 714 435
E-mail Christopher Howard-Williams
145 rue de la Croix
F - 74800 La Roche-sur-Foron

Bluegrass in the Netherlands, 2010

Rienk Janssen (with thanks to Adri Richter) reports:

On 16 January Leiden's Annual Picky Party will be held, organized by Adri Richter and Geert van Schoonderwoerd den Bezemer. This is an invitation only event, but it does not hurt if anybody who would like to go there contacts Adri by e-mail to see if there is still room...

Apart from the abundant jam sessions, there will be stage shows by the Lovables, Except-2, Lucy & the Man, Robert Allen Trio, Babes in the Grass, André Hendriks, New Lowland, Emmy & the Bluegrass Pals, Lazy Tater, Rocks & Ivy, Cajun Craze, Bont & Bluegrass, Heavy Clay, Whiskey Rose, and Brock & his Bluegrass Bunch.

Dolly, I Beg Your Pardon has a program of workshops and concerts for schools, elementary as well as high-school level.

Peter de Moor has renamed his Fiddle Tunes website, with a cool search option to browse through (up to now) 2,600 tunes.

The Northern Picking Party in Valthermond will be held on 27 March (invitation only; e-mail).

On Sunday 6 June this year's Boet'n Deure Muzikale Landdag will take place in Odoorn. Bands who would like to perform can apply by e-mail.

The 28th edition of the Big Bear Festival in Zuidlaren will be on 24 May - for more info e-mail Rienk Janssen.

Moving On: Changes on EBMA's board of directors

Richard Hurst, organiser of the Ulster American Folk Park's award-winning Annual Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival has resigned from the position of Chairperson of the European Bluegrass Music Association [EBMA]. Taking up the post in May of 2008 he strived to build upon the invaluable work carried out by his predecessor Paolo Dettwiler. Working with a team of passionate and committed board members throughout his short tenure, Richard has mixed feelings about his decision citing work and family commitments as the reason behind the move. "Work commitments within National Museums Northern Ireland and at home in Donegal, have just reached the point where something has to give. I have enjoyed the experience of being on the EBMA Board immensely and obviously leave the scene with more than a tinge of sadness and regret. Working with fellow board members has been a joy in itself and their continued commitment to the development of Bluegrass music in Europe is something I will continue to admire and support as an Association member in the years to come. I wish Angelika, Rienk, Petr, Dagfinn and Martino a fair wind into the future and will ensure that our annual Bluegrass Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park continues to promote the EBMA and its work at every opportunity possible".
At their first Skype-Conference on 23rd December 2009, and as recommended by Richard Hurst ("I just want to say that the endeavour, commitment and devotion shown consistently by Angelika makes me think that she is more than able to lead the organisation in the coming weeks and months ahead"), the remaining board members unanimously elected Angelika Torrie as their chairperson. Angelika accepted the challenge, and while Rienk Janssen will take over responsibility for membership administration, the board will be looking for a reliable replacement for the actual bookkeeping - preferably in Switzerland.
Although the EBMA board of directors is sad to see him leave, we send out to Richard Hurst a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU for his work for EBMA over the past months and wish him all the power he needs for all committments at home and at work. And of course we look forward to meeting with him again on the occasion of one or the other bluegrass event.

On behalf of the EBMA board of directors
Angelika Torrie, Chairperson

Lovin' you - new album from Lilly Drumeva

Lilly Drumeva has released a new album entitled Lovin' you, featuring Monogram (CZ) and Lilly of the West (BG). It contains fifteen tracks of traditional bluegrass, country, and swing; among them two duets with Monogram's singer/guitarist Jakub Racek. A video to the song 'If I needed you' will be posted shortly on YouTube.

A new website is being designed to launch the new album. Lovin' you will be soon available through cdbaby. Samples of tracks from the new album can be heard on MySpace, till the physical CD is out.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

New Acoustic Gallery newsletter, Jan. 2010

Oliver Waitze of the New Acoustic Gallery (NAG) sends the Gallery's January newsletter and all good wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year.

Mike Marshall's mandolin workshop will be held at the NAG on Sunday 17 January 2010 from 13:00 to c.17:00. Marshall has been a pioneer of acoustic music making for over thirty years, playing bluegrass, jazz, blues, Brazilian, and other music, and is the founder of the Mandolin Symposium Camp in Santa Cruz, California. The workshop will range from how to hold the instrument to playing solo Bach. Admission: €60.

A report by Martina Ruhmann of the concert in the NAG by Trio Vibracao on 31 Oct. 2009 can be read on the NAG website.

Oliver Waitze's 'Flatpicking bis Gypsyswing' workshop will be held from 31 July to 7 Aug. 2010 at the Albergo Poderino San Cristoforo, near Volterra in the heart of Tuscany, Italy. More info is available here or direct from Oliver Waitze via his own website or by 'phone (+49 0212/2474007).

New items coming into the NAG's stock of instruments include Oskar Graf guitars, a baritone guitar by Marc Beneteau, an AJL Gypsy guitar x-O 503, a Nechville Eclipse Banjo, and a Collings CW Dreadnought. Read the whole NAG newsletter here.

Oliver Waitze
New Acoustic Gallery
Neuenhofer Str. 122
42657 Solingen, Germany
Tel.: +49 0212/2474007

Grascals in Europe, Feb. 2010

Thanks to Thierry Schoysman of Bluegrass in Belgium for the news that the multi-award-winning Grascals (USA) will be playing the following concerts in Europe at the end of February:

26-27 Feb. Schützenhaus Albisgütli, Uetlibergstrasse 341, 8045 Zurich, Switzerland (as part of the 26th Internationales Country Music Festival (29 Jan.-21 Mar. 2010))

28 Feb. Handelsbeurs, Kammerstraat 19, Ghent, Belgium

More details are on the Grascals' tour schedule.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Bluegrass on the Tube

EBMA board member Dagfinn Pedersen reports:

I have just been thrilled by Alison Krauss singing 'A living prayer' for me on a professional video with very good sound. The last couple of weeks I have enjoyed videos by IIIrd Tyme Out, Jimmy Martin, Lester Flatt, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Bill Monroe, Doyle Lawson, and a number of other bluegrass greats. All thanks to Bluegrass On The Tube, a website dedicated to bring you the best bluegrass videos on YouTube.

Anyone can have free access to their extensive bluegrass video library; but in addition they will send you a link to a new song every day. All you have to do is become a member, that is signing up with your first name and your e-mail address. A great inspiration every day in your mailbox. Here is the Alison Krauss video, and here you find the Norwegian artist Jonas Fjeld and Chatham County Line (USA).

Colorado Case Company enters the German market

The Colorado Case Company reports in its January 2010 newsletter:

... we have received another export development grant from the State of Colorado. If you recall last year [see the European Bluegrass Blog for 3 June 2009] we won a grant to explore and develop an export market in the UK. That project went very well and so we applied again. We were shocked and excited about winning an even larger grant in 2010. This grant is for the development of the Germany market and will involve travel to the Musikmesse trade show in Frankfurt.

The Musikmesse will be held on 24-27 March 2010. Among other news, the CCC now offers to supply instrument makers with cases embroidered with the luthier's own logo. Read the full Colorado Case Company newsletter here.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Bluegrass Europe #72 deadline: 10 Jan. 2010!

The deadline for the next issue of Bluegrass Europe is 10 January. Paolo Dettwiler, editor of BE, will welcome any news of what will be happening in the new year in your district. Festivals, concerts, workshops, CD releases, etc. planned for February-March are the most urgent issues, but news of festivals and of all major events during the year is also welcome, as this is the time for planning holidays...

Material can be sent in by e-mail.

Beppe Gambetta in Ireland, 28 Jan.-6 Feb.

World-class acoustic guitarist Beppe Gambetta will be playing seven shows in Ireland at the end of this month and in early February. The complete schedule, as it stands on his website, is as follows:

Jan. 28 Out To Lunch Festival, Black Box, 18-22 Hill Street, Belfast, +44 2890 232403
Jan. 29 Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre, Naul, Fingal, Co. Dublin, +353 1 802 0898
Jan. 31 Colfers Bluegrass and Americana Weekend, Carrig-on-Bannow, Co. Wexford, +353 51 561159
Feb. 1 Kilworth Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork, +353 87 792 1771
Feb. 4 The Crane, Sea Road, Galway, +353 91 587419
Feb. 5-6 Culdaff Inishowen Guitar Festival, McGrory's, Culdaff, Inishowen, Co. Donegal, +353 (0)74 937 9104

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Gibson Brothers (USA) to perform exclusively at Oldenburg State Theater Sun, 11th April 2010

Picture: Eric & Leigh GibsonDC Bluegrass Union Fall ConcertNovember 2009Photo by Kendall Barrett

As an exclusive arrangement, the Gibson Brothers (USA) have been invited by the organisers (advised and supported by Oldenburg's own Klaus Grotelüschen, owner of Hillbillie Guesthouse) to play the beautiful State Theater in Oldenburg, Germany, on Sunday, 11th April, 7.30 pm. It is their first time in Europe.

"To say they've got the classic brother duet thing down is an understatement; they own it"
says Michael Eck of "No Depression".

Tickets may be ordered from mid-February at the theater directly.
Ticket hotline phone +49 (0)441 22 25-111, fax + 49 (0)441 22 25-221
open from Mon - Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat 10am through 1pm,

Saturday, 2 January 2010

More good wishes for 2010

Kent and Rosi Miller sent the above image along with the good wishes of the Swiss Bluegrass Music Association.