Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Czech Bluegrass Spring VI: Prague, 19 Apr. 2010

The final instalment of Lilly Pavlak's diary of major bluegrass events in the Czech Republic this spring:

Next Monday (19 April) I did some sightseeing. There is so much to see in Prague. I also went to an exhibition by the Charles Bridge, about the life work of Marko Cermak. Called as his last book, Marko Cermak: posledni romantik (The Last Romantic).

The first Czech bluegrass album, Pisne Americkeho zapadu ('Songs of the American West'); the Greenhorns and White Stars

I could see there all his recordings, awards, books, paintings, comics, and illustrations of the famous books for boys by the Boy Scout writer Jaroslav Foglar and others.

Because of the censors, the Greenhorns had to change their name to Zelenaci; it was forbidden to use English names

In the evening the very last event was waiting for me. In the sold-out Gong Theatre started a release party for Monogram's last CD – Hit the road. The CD exceed thirteen songs, eleven of them are originals written by the band members. Monogram are Jakub Racek (guitar), Jarda Jahoda (banjo), Zdenek Jahoda (mandolin), and Pavel Lzicar (bass). They started immediately with the firework of their wonderful music.

I loved where the boys thanked the most important women in their lives: their mothers enabling them to learn to play musical instruments, and wives, that they did not ban it. The awaited moment came and the 'Godfather' Misa Leicht of the band Cop from Pilsen showed up on stage with a bottle of champagne and poured it over the new CD. So the CD was baptised! Misa stayed on stage and performed two songs with the band.

Everybody was laughing, when they told us, as they were invited to play a bluegrass festival in Rumania and they put on some costume wigs and shirts and play very fast 'Rumanian' bluegrass. People calmed down by Jakub's beautiful love song 'Cure for you' and stand by the instrumental by Jarda Jahoda, 'Kyril', about the terrible storm which felled thousands of trees some years ago. I also loved the 'California dream'.

Many songs and instrumentals from the new CD followed. You can order the CD on their home page and I can kindly recommend it to you. I am sure some of you can remember their performance at the IBMA Fan Fest 2005.

What a great conclusion of my Czech holiday. The next day I already was on my way back to Switzerland, already looking forward for the next trip, to the European World of Bluegrass Festival in Holland (13-15 May).

Lilly's photos of the award winners at EWOB 2010 can be seen here.