Monday, 28 February 2011

More bluegrass news from the Czech Republic

Poutnici at the concert celebrating 40 years of the band (photo: Lilly Pavlak)

Petr Brandejs reports:

The last CzBMA Newsletter brings an interview with veteran bass player, singer, songwriter Petr Vacek; Lilly Pavlak's memories of banjo maker Robert Lauer (a Czech banjo maker living in Switzerland); a description of the concert celebrating 20 years of Monogram; and 10 years of bluegrass charity concerts in Usti na Labem. CD reviews include Poutnici celebrate 40 years - LIVE.

Slovakian dobro player Henrich Novak started a new bluegrass travel agency organising trips to places where bluegrass and country music started. More info at

Prague luthier Rosta Capek organised another concert in the theatre Koppernik. Mandolinist Mike Marshall played with his partner Caterina Lichtenberg (in her eighth month of pregnancy!) from Germany a lot of classical and Brazilian music. In the second half of the concert he was accompanied by Czech players - Ondra Kozak (g), Milos Klapste (bs), Pepa Malina (f), and Petr Brandejs (bjo), along with a phenomenal pianist, Petr Malasek. They played some bluegrass as well as some of Mike's original 'classics' like 'Gator Strut' or 'Scotch and Swing'. 400 listeners loved the show. Mike was also interviewed for the prestigious TV talk show 'Na plovarne'. Rosta is already working on preparations of Prague concerts of Gambetta and Crary, mandolinist Radim Zenkl, and more. 

Legendary guitar players Beppe Gambetta and Dan Crary are coming to the festival Jamboree in Strakonice in late May.

The Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver show in Prague has been sold out, but the organisers (band Monogram, which is the opening act) managed to add one more show on 17 May, which also sells fast.

Don Rigsby (right) & Midnight Call confirmed their appearance at the oldest European bluegrass festival - 39th Banjo Jamboree in Caslav on 18 June.

Honza Macak, Banjo Jamboree founder and father of Bluegrass Cwrkot's mandolin player Marek, is struggling with stomach cancer. Currently, he is undergoing chemotherapy.

Down County Boys start the 2011 season at the Lady Jane

Ron Stevens of the Heart of England Bluegrass Venue reports that on Wednesday 2 March the Down County Boys, one of Britain's longest established and most respected bands, will be playing the first show of the 2011 season at their new regular monthly bluegrass club at the Lady Jane, Hall Lane, Whitwick LE67 5PH, near Coalville in the north midlands of England. Admission is free. Ron adds:

This month there will be non-stop music from 8.30 through till 11.00 p.m. And it would be great to see you there.

A location map and other details are on the band's website, but as a further aid to getting there Ron gives a satellite navigation reference, LE67 5PH. The band are also on MySpace.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

European Summit concert: report on Polish country music website

Gdzie, jak nie w Bühl, w Badenii mógł się odbyć jubileuszowy koncert z okazji dziesięciolecia istnienia European Blugrass Music Association?

Thanks to Walter Fuchs, music director of the Bühl International Bluegrass Festival in south-west Germany, for the news that Polish journalist Pawel Minakowski was in Bühl on Saturday 19 February to attend the concert marking the 3rd European Bluegrass Summit, the first year of the German Bluegrass Music Association, and ten years of the EBMA.

His report, together with several photos of the bands taking part in the concert - Monroe Crossing (USA), 4 Wheel Drive & Jolanda Peters (D/NL/B), and G-Runs 'n Roses (CZ) - has since been published on the Polish country music website

More press coverage of the Summit and the concert will be reported in the European Bluegrass Blog in the next few days.

Paolo Dettwiler - to fresh woods and pastures new

'Where would we be without the foresight and energy of Paolo Dettwiler?' These words begin a major feature and interview by Richard F Thompson in Bluegrass Europe #78 (Feb.-Mar. 2011) - the last issue to be edited by Paolo Dettwiler, who founded the magazine and has published and edited it for thirteen years.

Paolo has been the driving force behind many other initiatives for bluegrass music in Europe and abroad, in positions that include founder member and president of the Swiss Bluegrass Music Association, founder member and chairman of the European Bluegrass Network and EBMA, and international board member of the IBMA. He is the talent organiser for the annual Spring Bluegrass Festival Willisau, and recently resumed playing music with his father as members of the reactivated Country Pickers (CH).

Paolo contributes a valedictory editorial to Bluegrass Europe #78, which is also the last issue to appear in conjunction with the German-language magazine Bluegrass Bühne and the Dutch Strictly Country (where Rienk Janssen is retiring after forty years as editor). The first magazine to be devoted to bluegrass music throughout Europe, Bluegrass Europe remains unique and will continue as a quarterly under a new editorial team with many new features, free to members of the EBMA and available on subscription to non-members. For more details, see the Bluegrass Europe page on the EBMA website.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

An amicable divorce

The long-standing 'special relationship' between the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA) and the European World of Bluegrass (EWOB) Festival was brought to a friendly conclusion during the 3rd European Bluegrass Summit (18-20 Feb. 2011), held at Bühl, Germany.

The photos (taken by Lilly Pavlak) show Ronald Groot, representing the EWOB Festival organising committee, and Angelika Torrie, representing the EBMA board of directors, announcing the development on the final morning of the Summit in the conference room of the Bürgerhaus Neuer Markt, which was generously made available for the Summit by the city council of Bühl.

The two organisations will continue to cooperate while pursuing their separate objectives, and the European World of Bluegrass Festival has become a founder member of the EBMA's Festival Network. More details of the EBMA Festival Network will be published soon. The 14th EWOB Festival will be held on 2-4 June 2011 in 't Trefpunt, Voorthuizen, the Netherlands, which has been the location of the Festival since 1999.

More photos from the 3rd European Bluegrass Summit can be seen in an album on the EBMA's Facebook page.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Lilly of the West news

Lilly Drumeva reports from Bulgaria:

* Lilly of the West started the New Year with a series of concerts and TV appearances, the biggest of which was a mini bluegrass festival on 10 Feb. with the US black string band the Ebony Hillbillies. The concert was held at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia and was attended by more than 300 people. It was organised with the assistance of the US embassy and opened with a short speech by US ambassador James Warlick.

* Lilly of the West performed at the newly opened DA DA Cultural Bar in Sofia on 21 Jan., together with Irish fiddler and accordionist Eimear Friel. Next gig is scheduled for 25 Mar.

* Lilly of the West will perform on a St Patrick’s Day concert held on 18 Mar. in Sofia, together with guest musicians from Ireland.

* Lilly of the West will visit the Czech Republic for a short tour, featuring Czech fiddler Pepa Malina. Dates include: 19 Mar. Pilsen, Hi Fi club, 20:03 TBA; 21 Mar. Prague, U Vodarny club, together with Monogram. Lilly and Pepa have already worked together in the summer of 2010, playing gigs for the Sofia municipality. Pepa Malina will be also a special guest on the band’s new album.

* Lilly of the West will perform at the fist country music festival held in Bankya, 14-15 May. Other bands featured are Stetson (band of former LOTW bass player Tsetso Vlaykov) and Medikus (legendary Bulgarian pop band that has some country songs in its repertoire).

* In June, Lilly of the West will appear at the Greven Grass Festival, Germany, on 11 June. A Dolly Parton tribute concert is planned for 23 June, featuring guest singers. And on 26 June the band will play an open air concert in the Borissova Gradina park, part of the Friends of Chicago Festival held in Sofia.

* Lilly of the West has planned to visit the La Roche Bluegrass Festival (4-7 Aug.), as well as the Abaliget Bluegrass Festival in Hungary (12-13 Aug.). Lilly will collaborate again with Zsolt Pinter (Acousticure).

* Lilly Drumeva’s new radio program 'In the mood with Lilly' (Saturday, 16:00-18:00 on Radio Sofia, 94.5 FM) is in full swing. Guests included famous Bulgarian musicians as well as foreign diplomats.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Lynne Butler's 'Bluegrass around the World' radio show

Thanks to Lynne Butler (UK) for info on her 'Bluegrass around the World' radio show on UK Country Radio with the playlist for tonight's broadcast. Apologies to Lynne for not posting the news in time for the show (20:00), but it is repeated on Friday at 16:00. Lynne adds:

From next month the show will permanently be called 'Butler's Boudoir Bluegrass' to help save confusion, but don't worry for those around the world. Yes, the show will be more focused on UK and European bluegrass music; I will put aside 15 minutes or so within the programme to feature music from around the globe too. I do hope you will continue to join me each week. Also, please check out Facebook for all the information relating to the UK bluegrass scene with links to the European scene. Please forward this message to anyone you think might be interested in joining the group too.

Had a great time at the EBMA summit and brought back with me more bluegrass music from Europe that I have not played on here before - I know you will enjoy it all.

I shall keep you posted of further links to find out about what's going on in the bluegrass world of music here in Europe and the US, as and when they are available to me. Meanwhile please post all your information, photos, gig dates, etc. onto this group's wall - that includes all you festival organisers. Let everyone know.

Have a great week , have fun!

For more about Lynne, see the Prescription Bluegrass Blog.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bluegrass tours in western Canada this summer

Thanks to Sheena McCorquodale, secretary of the Mid Island Bluegrass Society on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, who writes:

I thought that perhaps some of your members might be interested in planning a tour to our lovely island in July this year. We have a wonderful tour that has developed with a festival on all 5 weekends of this July, 3 Bluegrass and 2 Folk/Roots, all close together on the protected east coast of the island. Total tour: under 300 km, perfect for RV travellers.

For more information, check our website, or for more tour information go here. Let me know if there is any other information that you would need.

Sheena McCorquodale
5320 Island Hwy W
Qualicum Beach BC
250-757-9991; e-mail

Banjoree 2011: register now!

Thanks to Veit Döhler and Andreas Benkhofer, who send greetings and best wishes from Hamburg together with the following news on Banjoree 2011, which will be held at Hagen, Germany, on 13-15 May 2011:

Das BANJOREE 2011 in Hagen (Westfalen) rückt immer näher. Nun kann man sich schon seit einigen Tagen für die Veranstaltung anmelden. Viele haben die Gelegenheit schon wahrgenommen und sich einen Platz gesichert.

Andere noch nicht. Deshalb hier nochmal der Hinweis (bevor es zu spät ist…): Anmeldungen zum BANJOREE 2011 sind jetzt möglich!

Schon jetzt wissen wir, dass wir eine Menge bekannter Gesichter wieder sehen werden, aber auch viele neue BANJOREE Teilnehmer begrüßen können. Wir und die Tutoren der Workshops freuen uns auf jeden einzelnen von Euch. Es wird wieder eine spannende Veranstaltung, egal ob man Anfänger oder Profi ist, egal ob man Banjo, Dobro, Gitarre, Mandoline, Geige, Bass oder sogar Autoharp spielt.


BANJOREE 2011 in Hagen, Germany, gets closer and closer. Meanwhile you can register for the event for a couple of days. Many have already taken the chance to register and thus secured themselves the attendance.

But some did not yet. For them we provide this little cue (before it is too late…): registration for BANJOREE 2011 is possible now.

We already know that we will meet again many well known participants from earlier BANJOREES, but will also see many new faces this year. We and the tutors of the workshops are looking forward to meet every single participant. It will be an exciting event, no matter whether you are beginner or professional, whether you play the banjo, dobro, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, or even autoharp.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

More on Travers Chandler & Avery County

Following our post of 10 February about Travers Chandler & Avery County (USA) and their recent CD State of depression, the European Bluegrass Blog thanks a correspondent who points out that the musicians on the album include several who are not in the current band lineup but deserve to be given credit.

We're happy to fill this gap: the musicians who made the CD, according to the Patuxent Records website, are Travers Chandler (mandolin, vocals), Adam Poindexter (guitar, vocals), Blake Johnson (bass, vocals), Mark Delaney (banjo), and Nate Leath (fiddle).

Stolen Mandolin From Popular Switzerland Store

Owner Franz Elsener, of the well known music shop, Musikhaus Saitensprung, reported this Weber mandolin as missing in late January. Franz sends the following message:

"I'm sorry to report that on Saturday 29 january 2011 a Weber Big Sky Mandolin (serial number 161301) was stolen out of our store showroom. Must have been hidden under a large coat as the case and the warranty card is still in our storage room. Please let me know if ever somebody hears something about the whereabouts of this beautiful instrument."

This new Weber mandolin will really stand out in a crowd. If you see this instrument, or have any information at all, you may contact Franz here:

Musikhaus Saitensprung
Unterstadt 27
Schaffhausen, Schaffhausen CH-8200

Telephone: +41-52-6258111

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa at Guildtown 2011

Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa (USA) will be the headline act at the Scottish Bluegrass Association's Guildtown Festival on 29 July-1 August 2011. The band consists of Mark Delaney (banjo), Emory Lester (mandolin), Kene Hyatt (bass), and Wayne Taylor (guitar) himself, who is on the front of this month's Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.

Also appearing at Guildtown will be G-Runs 'n Roses (CZ), the current #1 European Bluegrass Band, together with leading Scottish bands. The centenary of Bill Monroe's birth will also be celebrated. Tickets for the festival are now on sale. For more details, and more news, see issue #11 of Bluegrass & More, the SBA e-magazine.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

US old-time musicians at Baltimore Fiddle Fair, Ireland

The organisers of the Baltimore Fiddle Fair, held annually in Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland, have announced some of the main artists taking part in this year's event (5-8 May 2011).

In addition to fiddlers and their music from Ireland, Scotland, and the Shetland Islands, American old-time music will be strongly represented by the Foghorn Trio and Stephanie Coleman with Cleek Schrey.

The organisers expect to confirm more of the programme in the near future. Fiddle enthusiasts are advised to keep an eye on the Fiddle Fair website.

Monday, 14 February 2011

EBMA member launches new internet bluegrass radio station

Thanks to the Prescription Bluegrass blog in Colorado, USA, for the news that an EBMA member has recently founded a new 24-hours-a-day bluegrass radio station, Bluegrass Planet Earth.

The member is Colonel Tom Taylor (see the European Bluegrass Blog for 15 Apr. 2009). Read more about Col. Taylor and Bluegrass Planet Earth here.

The Coal Porters at the IBMM, 15 Feb. 2011

Gabrielle Gray, director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY, reports that the IBMM will host an evening of music and light refreshments tomorrow (Tues. 15 Feb. 2011) at 7.00 p.m., as part of its Centennial Concert Benefit Series. The Coal Porters (UK; above left), led by Louisville native Sid Griffin, will provide the music, as part of their 2011 Winter American tour.

The concert will be broadcast live on Radio Bluegrass International, the museum's free online radio station, and will also be recorded and broadcast at a later date by public radio station WNIN. Read more in the IBMM's latest e-newsletter.

Two events in Odenheim, 15 and 29 Apr. 2011

Markus Weber of the Country-Club Odenheim in western Germany reports:

Hello everyone,

I told you some weeks ago that we will have a great bluegrass event here in Östringen-Odenheim (about 15 miles away from the R'nG-Club). Meanwhile there's also another great event going on here.

On 15 April the American singer David Lee Howard) will be at the Linsabauch-Bar in Odenheim (Untere Klosterstraße 6, 76684 Östr.-Odenheim). This little bar is directly in the center of our town - 50 meters away from our city hall. This event will start at about 8.30 p.m.

On 29 April our '3. Bluegrass- und Folk-Abend' will take place at the Blumensaal in Odenheim (Eppinger Straße 23; about 150 meters away from the Linsabauch). This building is at the corner of the streets to Tiefenbach and Neuenbürg. Our guests will be the Beggars from Australia. I think we will begin at about 8.00 p.m.

I would really appreciate to see you there. Best wishes,


Hide Your Chickens! Henhouse Prowlers (USA) to Tour Europe in March

Henhouse Prowlers are from Chicago, Illinois and they've been busy touring the USA...but this will be their first trip to Europe. HP are the current winners of the "2010 RockyGrass Band Competition" in Colorado.

The quartet is interested in performing " much as we can in Europe, and we work hard." The band welcomes any radio station interviews/appearances if at all possible during their debut tour of Holland, Belgium & Germany in March 2011:

03/03 : Wirwar : Turnhout [B]
04/03 : N9 : Eeklo [B]
05/03 : De Piek : Vlissingen [NL]
06/03 : Jail [first gig/inmates only] : Turnhout [B]
06/03 : Crossroads Café [second show] : Antwerpen [B]
07/03 : Café Tielemans : Boekel [NL]
08/03 : Den Eik : Gierle [B]
09/03 : Café De Blokhut : Leuven [B]
10/03 : Café Mac Boll : Olen [B]
11/03 : Antik Café : Wôlfersheim [D]
12/03 : TBA Lichtenvoorden [NL]
13/03 : GC De Kriekelaar [first gig] : Schaarbeek [B]
13/03 : Ace Café [second show] : Rumst [B]

Contact Email: Ben

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Media coverage of 3rd European Bluegrass Summit

The Acher- und Bühler Bote newspaper in the Baden area of south-west Germany contains a half-page interview by Klaus-Peter Maier with Angelika Torrie, chairperson of the EBMA, about the forthcoming 3rd European Bluegrass Summit, which will be held in Bühl on 18-20 February 2011 with a record attendance of almost fifty participants.

The interview also mentions the role of the EBMA after its first ten years, the new German Bluegrass Music Association, the Bühl International Bluegrass Festival, the continuing appeal of bluegrass music 100 years after the birth of Bill Monroe, and the concert which will form a high point in this year's Summit. There are also photos of Angelika Torrie and of 4 Wheel Drive, who will be part of the concert lineup on 19 February.

Read the whole interview (in German) here. More media coverage can be seen on the Summit page of the EBMA website.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Dutch DJ at Donna Ulisse show in Nashville

The latest e-newsletter from Donna Ulisse (USA) includes a report from her show on 21 January at the world-famous Station Inn, Nashville, TN, with the above photo and caption:

It was a special treat to have DJ Peter van Zeijl all the way from the Netherlands in the audience. Peter has an internet radio station where he plays folk and Americana music. Check it out at Songcraft Radio. He also has a weekly show on his local public radio station.

Read the full newsletter here.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Travers Chandler & Avery County (USA) planning tours abroad

For bluegrass promoters and event organisers: Travers Chandler & Avery County, a young but highly experienced traditional band from Asheville, North Carolina, are seeking to build tours in Canada, Europe, and Australia. Their new album State of depression (released on Patuxent Records in December 2010) debuted this month at #7 on the Bluegrass Music Profiles Albums Chart and is getting extensive airplay in Europe, Australia, and Canada.

All their members - Travers Chandler (mandolin), Eddie Gill (guitar), Jessica Smith (bass), Tony Mabe (banjo), and Merl Johnson (fiddle) - have worked with today's greatest old-school bluegrass bands including Danny Paisley, Karl Shiflett, James King, and the Bluegrass Brothers, and have multiple IBMA awards among them. A recent performance by the band on the world-famous Wheeling Jamboree can be seen here.

Their mission is to deliver excellent bluegrass entertainment through the music of pioneers such as Charlie Moore, Red Allen, Buzz Busby, Jimmy Martin, Dee Gunter and Walter Hensley, Earl Taylor, and many more, together with songs from old country soul singers like Vernon Oxford and Mel Street, and original material that fits the mould.

Check out their schedule, promoters' reactions, press coverage, and more on their website and contact them by e-mail or telephone (+1 828 252 4679).

10th Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival: 22-25 Sept. 2011

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (photo: Tim Benko)

Chris Keenan, EBMA board member and organiser of the annual Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Longford, Ireland, announces:

Greetings to all!
The date will soon be upon us - 22-25 September! Come celebrate with us on our 10th year! Here's just some of the great artists who are appearing at the festival this year:

Guy Clark
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
Blue Highway
Four Men and a Dog
Gerry 'Banjo' O'Connor
Tony Trischka & Territory
Leroy Troy
Pete & Joan Wernick
Barcelona Bluegrass Band
Carter Brothers
Niall Toner
George Harper
...and more to be announced soon!

We hope to see you in Longford in September!

Monday, 7 February 2011

European tutors at Steve Kaufman Kamps, 12-25 June 2011

The 16th Annual Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamps will take place in two successive weeks (12-18 June 2011 and 19-25 June 2011) at Maryville College, Maryville, TN, USA, seventeen miles (27 km) south of Knoxville, TN. The $800 tuition fee includes room, meals, classes, concerts, workshops, clinics, and tons of jamming.

The Flatpicking Team for week 1 includes Tyler Grant, Jim Hurst, Steve Kaufman, Robin Kessinger, Marcy Marxer, and Roberto Dalla Vecchia. The Flatpicking Team for week 2 includes J.P. Cormier, Mark Cosgrove, Dan Crary, Beppe Gambetta, Mike Kaufman, Kenny Smith, and Uwe Kruger.

Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamps have regularly won the Gold Award voted by readers of Acoustic Guitar magazine. More details and downloadable registration forms are here.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Online music licensing in Europe

Thanks to Archie Warnock, IBMA member and a graduate of the IBMA's Leadership Bluegrass programme, for drawing attention to 'Online music licensing – a way out of the maze', an article by Phil Hardy in the online magazine of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The first words are: 'The European digital music licensing landscape is in turmoil.' Moves are, however, in progress to bring about (as one possibility) a global repertoire database (GRD) which would provide a single, complete, and authoritative account of the global ownership and control of musical works and sound recordings. Read the whole text here.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

3rd Red Wine Bluegrass Party, 20-21 May 2011

Thanks to Martino Coppo of Red Wine (I) for this announcement of the Third Red Wine Bluegrass Party.

The Party, with Red Wine as hosts and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (USA) as illustrious guests, will be held on two successive nights, Friday 20 May and Saturday 21 May, at the Teatro della Gioventù, Via Cesarea 14, 16121 Genoa (Genova), Italy, beginning at 21:00.

For details of booking, click on the poster image for an enlargement. A location map for the theatre is on the Party website.

Friday, 4 February 2011

New EBMA page on Facebook

EBMA on Facebook
I just finished designing a new Facebook as a birthday present on the actual 10th birthday of EBMA (4 February 2011). If you have a Facebook profile, please check it out and 'like' it.

EBMA goes twitter

If you are interested, you can follow our blog on twitter: if you follow @ebma_tweet, you'll get a tweet each time a new post goes on this blog.

Thank you for following EBMA!

Angelika Torrie
Chairperson EBMA

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Chris Strachwitz in the New York Times

Laurie Lewis (USA) notes in her latest e-newsletter that she will be taking part in commemorating the 50th anniversary of Arhoolie Records on this coming weekend, and celebrating the life's work in many forms of Americana music of the label's founder, Chris Strachwitz, whom Laurie calls

a truly remarkable man whose quirky musical tastes have really made a difference in my life.

The newsletter also gives a link to a recent New York Times article by Larry Rohter about Chris Strachwitz, born in Germany (1931) into an aristocratic family as Count Christian Alexander Maria Strachwitz.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Niall Toner Band represented by US agency

The Niall Toner Band (IRL) is now represented in the USA by the Mountain Music Entertainment agency, which has a distinguished roster of American bluegrass artists.

Mountain Music Entertainment has just issued a release about the band for US bookings, with the image shown on the left and a link to a video documentary on the band. Read the whole release here.

12th Spring Bluegrass Festival at Willisau, 28 May 2011

The organising committee of the Spring Bluegrass Festival in Willisau, Switzerland, has announced the full programme for the 12th edition of their successful event. Their updated website features short presentations of all bands appearing (in German).

The 12th Spring Bluegrass Festival takes place on 28 May 2011 at the Swiss Agricultural Museum in Alberswil, next to Willisau, Canton Lucerne, Switzerland.

The bands appearing on two stages at the all-day event are:

- Special Consensus (USA) [photo above]
- Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike (USA)
- Ila Auto (Norway)
- Downtown Ramblers (Sweden)
- Sunny Side (Czech Republic)
- The Old Time Hayride (Germany/Netherlands)
- The Country Pickers (Switzerland)

Advance ticket sales have been strong so far and a sold-out festival is likely. The organising committee is looking forward to meeting old and new friends as well as a formidable set of bands from all over Europe and the USA.


Paolo Dettwiler

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Sore Fingers Week 2011: latest news

John Wirtz reports from Europe's premier instruction camp for bluegrass and old-time music:

Just about 80 days left before Sore Fingers Week 2011! You’ve got just enough time to go around the world as Jules Verne would have you believe…

This will be the sixteenth Sore Fingers Week and as usual, we have an amazing lineup of tutors to teach and entertain you at Kingham Hill School this year.

As expected, the banjo players have booked up with alacrity! Two classes, Tony Trischka’s and Greg Cahill’s, are already full to bursting so we have added a third tutor to cater for those five-string masses out there.

Leon Hunt who, without doubt, is the UK’s top player, will be joining the teaching team once again. We have plenty of room in his class for the time being. But we don’t expect that to last…. So don’t delay if you wish to spend a week with this incredible player and teacher.

Leon’s latest project, the Scoville Units, is beginning to make waves in all corners of the UK and their recent CD release is getting rave reviews in the press. Deservedly so, as it is a masterpiece of musical wizardry and probably the best acoustic album to hit the shelves for a while. The band are just amazing, live and on record. Leon’s playing is perfect and blends with all the other instruments to remind everyone that the band, though experimenting with well known tunes, are not too far removed from their bluegrass roots. Anyone hearing this album would want to find out what makes this phenomenon of the 5-string banjo tick! Sore Fingers Week gives you the opportunity to get close to this man, a firm favourite on both sides of the Atlantic.

And what if you are reading this but not a banjo player? Well, Sore Fingers Week offers courses in all the instruments found in a bluegrass or old-time band, and all levels of ability are catered for, from complete beginner to advanced picker.

There are still places on most courses and in particular the Old Time and Bluegrass Fiddle courses. We are also short of beginners. Remember, we strengthened the beginners team this year to include individual tutors for Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, and Banjo. If you are starting out, this is the place to be at Easter - and fear not, you don’t have to be well advanced to come along. Sore Fingers Week is exactly for you, a place to learn from whatever level of ability you are at.

I don’t think any of our past students would argue that the best place to be at Easter is Kingham Hill School to improve their playing skills. Not only do you learn a lot but you will make a lot of friends and have a great time away from all the Hum Drum of everyday life. Complete escapism!

Check out the website for more info on the tutors and the rest of the event. The full list of tutors is:

Autoharp - Lucille Reilly
Bluegrass Banjo – Tony Trischka (full)
Bluegrass Banjo – Greg Cahill (full)
Bluegrass Banjo – Leon Hunt
Bass – Richard Partridge
Dobro – Mike Witcher
Bluegrass Fiddle – Barbara Lamb
Guitar – Jim Hurst
Mandolin – Matt Flinner
Old Time Banjo – Bob Carlin
Old Time Fiddle – Jock Tildesley
Singing – Kathy Chiavola
Beginners Banjo – Martin Blake
Beginners Fiddle – Eleanor Cross
Beginner Guitar - Guy Rogers
Beginners Mandolin – Dan Norton

Mandolin stolen! - Mandoline gestohlen!

On January 29 this Weber Big Sky mandolin was stolen out of our store. The serial number is 161301, the case and warranty card is still in our storage room. In case you’ll see this mandolin anywhere please let us know.

Am 29. Januar 2011 ist aus unserem Laden die WEBER Big Sky Mandoline gestohlen worden . Die Seriennummer lautet 161301, der Koffer und die Garantiekarte sind noch bei uns. Falls Sie dieser Mandoline irgendwo begegnen oder falls sie Ihnen angeboten wird, bin ich Ihnen dankbar, wenn Sie uns benachrichtigen.

Franz Elsener
Musikhaus Saitensprung
Unterstadt 27
CH-8200 Schaffhausen
Tel. 052 625 81 11
Fax 052 624 86 68