Sunday, 13 June 2010

Smoketown Strut from the 1970s to the 1990s


Those with memories of the bluegrass scene in Europe - and especially in Belgium and the Netherlands - in the 1970s and 1980s will find many evocative pictures in two internet albums set up by Jan Michielsen on Facebook. The above, taken in Peter Van Eyck's basement in Heverlee, Belgium, in the early 'seventies, shows (l-r) Jef Van Gool, Jan Michielsen, Peter Van Eyck, Magda and William. Jan adds:

As you will see, the '70s were definitely the 'moustache' era. Abdominal fat was still a thing to come, but the hair department was already in full swing! The concept 'dress code' hadn't been invented yet.

Jan was a founder member of Smoketown Strut; the band accompanied such touring bluegrass artists as Charlie Moore, Jim Eanes, and Bill Clifton & Red Rector (see the EBB for 1 Dec. 2007). The album of photos from the 1970s can be viewed here, and the corresponding album for the 1980s and 1990s here.

Jan, who is now guitarist and singer for 4 Wheel Drive (D/NL/B), intends to start work soon on a 4WD album.

Jan Michielsen, Paul van Vlodrop, Jim Eanes, and Lody van Vlodrop in a concert at 'The Home of Strictly Country', Rienk Janssen's house in Harpel, the Netherlands, 1981