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