Tuesday, 5 July 2011

3rd edition of Munich Bluegrass Festival a success

Angelika Torrie reports from the English Garden in the middle of Munich:

I'm just back from the 3rd edition of the Munich Bluegrass Festival held on the Hausler Hof, a farm in the green but actually quite close to Munich airport, and presented by the Munich Bluegrass Friends.

Ronny Nash & Whiteline Casanovas
The music presented marked an incredible improvement of the programme with regard to variety of bands, now coming from 6 European countries including Germany. Over the three days, the obviously growing local scene yet again was represented with strong performances by a new band formed by Philip Schöppe, the rocking Strictly Bluegrass (with clog dancer Silvia Plankl and some of her students on Friday and closing the festival on Sunday), the youngsters' band CoolGrass, the Rolling Hills,  the Munich Mountain Ramblers, and Farmer's Breakfast. As the day's themes went from 'Country Grass' on Friday, 'European Bluegrass Jamboree' on Saturday, and 'Bluegrass Gospel' on Sunday this broad variety was well captured and put into a great context, presenting the audience with all kind of different styles and flavours.

A great and inspiring moment was the lively presentation by 5-year old Niklaus, a student of Rupert Paulik's teaching programme, in particular his natural leader-attitude on stage impressed both audience and backup 'staff'. The future of bluegrass seems in safe hands in Munich!

Tennessee Stud (F)
A special highlight from the country grass on Friday was Tennessee Stud, who sparkled with a great selection of songs, brilliantly delivered by the  whole band and great singing by Sandrine, Philippe, Thierry, Jean-Marc, Pascal and Christian, with a decent use of drum set replacing the mandolin in this setup. Ronny Nash & his Whiteline Casanovas on Friday night, a very much asked-for country band with a strong touch of bluegrass represented by Rupert Paulik on mandolin and fiddle. In spite of some technical challenges they delivered an entertaining and musically inspiring show. 

Saturday with European bands - from Austria the Carolina Ramblers, Lambergrass from Italy, and MoonRise from Switzerland and as a closing highlight Album from the Czech Republic - reflected the broad spectrum of our music and the great networking that can happen at such a festival, as ties and commitments were made between bands and other festivals in Germany and Switzerland (a great development which was especially noted by the EBMA chairperson present).

The nightly jam sessions on Friday and especially Saturday kept many from sleeping, but nevertheless the festival went on Sunday morning not only presenting the best of local bluegrass bands but also the local mayor, Mr Klaus Stallmeister of Hallbergmoos, who figured as patron of the festival. He even showed musical talent by adding washboard to the Farmer's Breakfast band and a great song delivery of 'The auctioneer'.

The festival is definitely on track now and one can look forward to the 4th edition in 2012. Make sure not to miss this opportunity again; experience the local hospitality and the great food on the Hausler Hof. Thank you for such a great event!

Angelika Torrie
3rd time patron of Munich Bluegrass Festival