Thursday, 7 January 2010

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