Wednesday, 17 August 2011

'You do it for the stories you can tell'

'Why would anyone drive two hours one way to meet people they've never met before and to play the same old songs they've played a hundred times over?' - that's what an uninitiated person may ask when told you're going to yet another bluegrass jam.

Dieter Stoll of Horse Mountain (D) opens his report on Serge Rieger's 3ème Rassemblement Bluegrass (see the EBB of 3 July 2011) with that question - and the event gave more than one very positive answer.

The Rassemblement was held on Sunday 14 August at the rural museum in Kutzenhausen, Alsace, France, with 300 people buying tickets - a much larger attendance than last year. Dieter's account describes how

one of those fleeting, priceless moments happened - something that's next to impossible to convey to an 'outsider'

- while waiting in line for Flammekueche (tartes flambées). Meanwhile, Walter Fuchs, organiser of the International Bühl Bluegrass Festival, who was also at Kutzenhausen, had a completely unexpected reunion, after nearly twenty years, with an old friend - the very popular Alsatian singer, composer, musician, recording artist, writer, and broadcaster René Egles. Walter adds:

Rene listened to my country radio programs for many years and became a bluegrass freak. He often works together with bluegrass musicians.

Kutzenhausen seems to have a special magic. Read both accounts, Dieter's and Walter's, in full in the next issue of Bluegrass Europe, the EBMA's official magazine.