Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Bluegrass heaven in the Czech Republic

The summer season in the Czech Republic was, as one probably expects, a very busy season indeed. The calendar on the main Czech bluegrass server listed around 3-5 smaller or greater festivals across the country per each weekend, and single band concerts sprang up just incessantly. It was a heaven for bluegrass freaks, but unfortunately one cannot be at all places at the same time.

These are the opening words of a major article by Peter Ruby (CZ), which will appear in the next issue of Bluegrass Europe magazine. The many events with which it deals include the Hradešínské struny ('Hradešín strings'), 16-17 July, which featured almost all the best Czech bluegrass (and country) bands; Country Vojtěchov in Moravia on the same weekend with close to twenty bands; the mass migration of Czech bands to La Roche-sur-Foron at the end of July, where they took all three main prizes; the week-long bluegrass workshop in Hustopeče (8-14 August); the 12th annual Starý dobrý western (Good Ole Western) festival near Vsetín; and the 'Discover Nashville' evening in the grounds of the US embassy in Prague, featuring the country band BlueGround, which consists of leading Czech bluegrass musicians.

Peter also mentions the concert by the Claire Lynch Band in Prague in August (see the video on this link) and his own band's trips to the North Wales and Guildtown festivals in Britain. His account ends with the 30th annual Bluegrass Marathon in Borovany near Tachov, western Bohemia (3-5 Sept.), and the growing numbers of Czech towns with open bluegrass jams. Read the full story in the next Bluegrass Europe.