Saturday, 29 October 2011

Pierre Bensusan: guitar news

Thanks to Lilly Pavlak, who forwards the news that French guitar wizard Pierre Bensusan (whose birthday is on Sunday 30 October) is launching his fully refurbished website.

He is currently on tour in Germany and Austria, with dates being booked in the US, UK, Australia, and possibly parts of Asia in 2012. The tour schedule at present is:

30-31 Oct. Concert and workshop at UFA-Fabrik, Berlin, Germany
4 Nov. Graz, Bruckl, Austria
5-6 Nov. Concert and workshop at Gitarrenbau Metzner, Warngau, Germany
8 Nov. Theater Drehleier, Munich, Germany
11-12 Nov. Workshop and concert at Guitarfestival, Oberhausen, Germany
17 Dec. Torino Folk Club, Turin (Torino), Italy
10-11 Feb. Le Triton, Paris, France

Online ticket purchase for these events, together with other news, is on the latest Pierre Bensusan e-newsletter.

As Pierre Bensusan is closely associated with the DADGAD guitar tuning, guitarists may also be interested in a recent release by Homespun, the leading producers of instructional videos for the bluegrass instruments (and others). Al Petteway presents Appalachian fingerstyle guitar in DADGAD tuning, with songs and tunes familiar in the old-time and bluegrass repertoires. Full details are here. Check out also the Homespun Instant Access delivery system, introduced last month, which among other features enables the user to slow down the video without affecting the pitch of the audio.

The Banjo Project: debut of Give me the banjo

Thanks to Havelock Nelson of Goodman Media (USA) for the news that the Banjo Project is about to release its documentary film about the history and the many faces of the banjo. The film, now entitled Give me the banjo, is to be broadcast by PBS in the USA on Friday 4 November.

Directed by Emmy® Award-winning writer/producer Marc Fields, and with banjo maestro Tony Trischka as music director, the film includes narration by Steve Martin and features artists including Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Mike Seeger, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Abigail Washburn. It is being shown as one of nine programmes in the PBS Arts Fall Festival.

A brief 'taster' of the film can be seen here on Vimeo, with the tune 'Sally Ann' played by Stevie Barr (banjo) and Wayne Henderson (guitar) as background music.

As the world prepares for the release, US photographer Darwin K. Davidson, who specialises in photos of bluegrass musicians, has produced a 2012 calendar entitled Women of banjo - full details are here.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Larkin Poe in Europe, Oct.-Dec. 2011

Tonight (Thurs. 27 Oct.) Larkin Poe (USA) are playing in Norway as part of a European tour that lasts till early December. They will then be returning to Britain in January 2012, to perform in the Celtic Connections 2012 festival with a show at Òran Mór in Glasgow on Friday 27 January.

After tonight they play two more shows in Norway (28, 29 Oct.), five in Sweden (31 Oct.-6 Nov.), two in the Netherlands and one in Belgium (8-10 Nov.), a further show in Norway (12 Nov.), three in Germany (14-16 Nov.), and more in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany up to 20 Nov., after which they will be playing in Britain (22 Nov.-1 Dec.). For several shows, Elvis Costello will be on the same bill. Full details, including location maps and online ticket purchase facilities, are on their website tour schedule.

Their 4-CD box-set Band for all seasons, which comprises their acclaimed series of mini-albums Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, originally released individually in 2010 and earlier this year, will be released on 14 November 2011.

'While featuring mandolin and dobro, this is not bluegrass. Electric guitar, bass and drums don't make it rock 'n roll. Un-poplike melodies and arrangements don't make it jazz. iTunes calls it folk, but that isn't it either. Take a bit of all of this and stir it up. In lesser hands it might be chaos. Larkin Poe turn it into a very smooth, well crafted piece of work. It's unique.' No Depression

For further information, guest lists, interview requests etc. please contact Geraint Jones @ G Promo PR. Phone +44 (0)1584 873211; mobile 07855 724798; e-mail

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Beppe Gambetta: hot news

Italian guitar wizard Beppe Gambetta will be teaching and playing this coming weekend (28-30 Oct. 2011) at the XXI Acoustic Guitar Weekend, Haus der Arbeiterwohlfahrt, Eugen-Bolz Strasse 1, Böblingen, Germany. The schedule includes a concert at 20:30 on Sat. 29 Oct. For more info tel. +49 7031 725934 or e-mail.

From 12 November to 20 November Beppe will be touring in Germany with the Acoustic Guitar Night 2011, together with Peter Finger, Claus Bösser-Ferrari, and Tomasz Gaworek.

Nov. 12: Dessau, Marienkirche, 19:30
Nov. 13: Halle, Ulrichskirche Halle, 16:00
Nov. 14: Berlin, Zitadelle, Gotischer Saal, 20:00
Nov. 15: Oldenburg, Theater Laboratorium, 20:00
Nov. 16: Osnabrück, Lutherhaus, 20:00
Nov. 17: Wermelskirchen, Kattwinkelschefabrik, 20:00
Nov. 18: Gifhorn, Scheune, Deutsches Haus, 20:00
Nov. 19: Magdeburg, Pauluskirche, 20:00
Nov. 20: Dresden, Forum am Altmarkt, 20:00

He will continue solo to play three concerts:

Nov. 24: Landeck, Altes Kino, Austria, 20:00
Nov. 25: Graz, Die Brücke, Austria, 20:00
Nov. 27: Marbach am Neckar, Schlosskeller, Germany, 19:00

Subscriptions are open for the 20th International Beppe Gambetta Workshop (5-12 Aug. 2012) in Ambroz Pod Crvavcem, Slovenia. The guest teacher in 2012 will be American master and guitar champion Steve Kaufman. For information and subscriptions, call Stane Svigelj ('phone +386 4188 6460; e-mail).

Beppe's part in researches into the history of the harp guitar, and specifically the work and life of Italian virtuoso Pasquale Taraffo (1887-1937) who inspired the CDs Serenata and Traversata, can now be seen online.

The new Beppe Gambetta CD Live at Teatro Della Corte: the first 10 years on Gadfly Records is a live retrospective of the best moments of his Acoustic Nights, with a stellar cast of twenty-three guests. It is available from CD Baby and other suppliers, as well as at live shows. Finally, you can read Beppe's list of favourite restaurants throughout the world by going to his website and subscribing to his newsletter.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Punch Brothers in Europe, late January 2012

The Punch Brothers (USA) are scheduled to make a week-long tour in western Europe in the latter half of January 2012, supporting Amos Lee.

Details for three shows in Britain have been published on UKBluegrass.com. Two shows (16 and 17 January 2012) in the Paradiso, Amsterdam (NL), are already sold out. A show in La Cigale, Paris (F), is scheduled for 19 January. Location maps and online ticket-purchase links can be found on the band's tour schedule page.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Druha Trava in Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Thanks to Lilly Pavlak for this link to a very favourable review of a show last Wednesday in the CSPS (Czech social hall) at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by Druha Trava (CZ). The reviewer, Diana Nollen, writes:

This is bluegrass by way of rock, country, gospel, folk and Celtic influences. And it’s fantastic... This is one international band that makes you feel completely at home.

Read the complete review here on the Eastern Iowa Life website.

Danilo Cartia shows, 27-8 Oct. 2011


Danilo Cartia (I) reports that he will be playing the following two shows in and around Rome, Italy. Both shows begin at 22:00, and admission is free.

Thurs. 27 Oct. With Alex Valle (dobro, pedal steel) at Help Pub, Via G. Animuccia 24, Rome
28 Oct. Danilo Cartia Band at Etrusco Wine Book, Via Cassia 112, Cura (Rome)

Danilo Cartia website; MySpace; Facebook: Danilo Cartia; e-mail
ph. / fax +39 06 8273332
mob. +39 339 6908450

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Deadly Gentlemen in Europe, 21 Nov.-19 Dec. 2011

The Deadly Gentlemen (USA), playing 'epic folk and grasscore', will be touring in Britain, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland for a month from late November 2011. During most of this time, they will form part of Rainer Zellner's 3rd Bluegrass Jamboree! travelling festival.

The band consists of Greg Liszt (banjo, vocals); Stash Wyslouch (guitar, vocals); Mike Barnett (fiddle, vocals); Dominick Leslie (mandolin, vocals); and Sam Grisman (double bass, vocals). Their tour schedule at present shows full details for six confirmed dates (21-7 Nov.) in Britain (details have already appeared on UKBluegrass.com), and one in Denmark (29 Nov.) at the Islandsbrygge Kulturhus, Copenhagen. Full details of the 3rd Bluegrass Jamboree! shows can be seen on the Jamboree website or below.

Carry me to home, the new CD by the Deadly Gentlemen, can be downloaded from the band's website. They are also responsible for the entertaining Bluegrass Intelligencer.

Kruger Brothers: 'Appalachian concerto' tour, 10-17 Dec. 2011

The Kruger Brothers perform 'Appalachian concerto' on 6 Oct. 2011 in Brevard, North Carolina

Thanks to Philip Zanon, technical director for the Kruger Brothers (USA/CH), for news of the coming European tour by the band, in which they will be performing their new composition 'Appalachian concerto' for the first time in Europe with the UNI Quartet (CZ), members of the National Theatre Opera, Prague. The following dates are confirmed at present:

Sat. 10. Dec. Concert Hall, Prague, CZ
Wed. 14. Dec. Kammermusiksaal, Tonhalle, Zürich, CH
Fri. 16. Dec. Grosser Saal, Musikshule Konservatorium, Bern, CH
Sat. 17. Dec. Tellspielhaus, Altdorf, CH

Tickets for the tour will go on sale on Tuesday 25 October. The full release (in German) can be read here.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

3rd Bluegrass Jamboree! Festival of Bluegrass and Americana Music - on tour 1-18 Dec. 2011


Rainer Zellner of the Music Contact agency sends details of the 3rd Bluegrass Jamboree! Festival of Bluegrass and Americana Music, which is supported by byte.fm, Akustik Gitarre, Folker, Bear Family Records, No Fences, Hillbillie Guesthouse, German Bluegrass Music Association, Dynamite! magazine, EBMA, and Bluegrass Europe.

For the centennial of the birth of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass Music, the Jamboree takes the theme 'The future of bluegrass' and presents three of the best young bands who are taking the old sound into new dimensions:

Della Mae (USA) 'The Daughters of Bluegrass' (see photo above)
The Deadly Gentlemen (USA) 'Epic Folk & Grasscore'
Cahalen Morrison & Eli West (USA) 'Mountain Roots'

Full details can be seen here or on the Jamboree website. The full tour schedule is:

1 Dec. Reithalle, 77654 Offenburg, 20:00
2 Dec. franz k, 72762 Reutlingen, 20:00
3 Dec. Kammgarn, CH-8200 Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 20:00
4 Dec. Amerikahaus, 80333 Munich (München), 20:00
5 Dec. Zehntscheuer, 88212 Ravensburg, 20:00
6 Dec. Haus International, 87345 Kempten, 20:00
7 Dec. Kulturfabrik, 91154 Roth, 20:00
8 Dec. Haus der Kultur, 84478 Waldkraiburg, 20:00
9 Dec. Harmonie, 53121 Bonn, 19:30
10 Dec. Bürgerhaus Sprendlingen, 63303 Dreieich, 20:00
11 Dec. Landesbühne, 06295 Lutherstadt-Eisleben, 18:00
12 Dec. Koppernik Theater, OREA Hotel Pyramida, Prague, CZ, 19:30
13 Dec. Schlachthof, 34127 Kassel, 20:00
14 Dec. Alte Mälzerei, 99817 Eisenach, 20:00
15 Dec. Domicil, 44137 Dortmund, 20:00
16 Dec. Kulturfabrik Löseke, 31137 Hildesheim, 20:00
17 Dec. Gutsscheune Varrel, 28816 Stuhr, 20:00
18 Dec. Albert Einstein Forum, 41564 Kaarst, 20:00

There will be a worldwide live radio broadcast of the full first show of the tour on Radio Wueste Welle in Tübingen via Internet radio on 2 December at 20:00-24:00 (Central European Time).

RADIO LINK http://188.40.63.198:8000/stream.m3u or http://www.wueste-welle.de/ (click on 'on air' down left).

Read full details here.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Charlie Parr November 2011 tour: update


Robin at Tin Angel Records (UK) sends an updated schedule for US old-time country blues musician Charlie Parr (National steel guitar, 12-string guitar, banjo), who toured Europe in Feb. 2011, and is set to return next month in support of the compilation album Cheap wine, recently released by Tin Angel Records. The schedule now stands as follows:

Tues. 1st Bush Hall, London, UK*
Wed. 2nd The Haunt, Brighton, UK*
Thurs. 3rd Berry Theatre, Winchester, UK*
Sat. 5th Cube Cinema, Bristol, UK*
Sun. 6th Cube Cinema, Bristol, UK*
Mon. 7th Button Factory, Dublin, IRL*
Tues. 8th Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, IRL*
Wed. 9th Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, IRL*
Sat. 12th Taylor John's House, Coventry, UK*
Thurs. 17th Mezz, Breda, NL (w/ Matt Schofield)
Sun. 13th House concert, Ghent (Gent), BE
Wed. 16th House concert, Nijksweg, NL
Thurs. 17th Mezz, Breda, NL (w/Matt Schofield)
Fri. 18th P60, Amstelveen, NL (w/ Matt Schofield)
Sat. 19th Tivoli De Helling, Utrecht, NL (w/ Matt Schofield)
Sun. 20th Hedon, Zwolle, NL (w/ Matt Schofield)
Tues. 22nd Crossroad Club, Oslo, NO *
Wed. 23rd Monarch, Berlin, D*
Fri. 25th Dortmund Theatre, Dortmund, D*
Sat. 26th Kampnagel, Hamburg, D*

* = support from Paul Curreri

The Tin Angel
Taylor John's House blog
Tin Angel Records

Jens Kruger at Berklee College, Boston

Bluegrass Today (the website formerly famous worldwide as the original Bluegrass Blog), carried an impressive report yesterday about Jens Kruger of the Kruger Brothers (CH/USA).

Kruger had a two-day Artist Residency at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., in the course of which he worked with an ensemble, gave private lessons to the College's banjo students, and did a two-hour clinic. According to Berklee staff banjo instructor David Hollender, 'the clinic included what was probably the most beautiful banjo playing I’ve ever heard', and Kruger's residency as a whole exceeded all expectations.

Further Banjo Artist Residencies at Berklee are scheduled for the coming months. Read the whole report here.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Fwd: STOLEN Jon Mann Mandolin and Loar Guitar

Martina Ruhmann sends the following Stolen Instrument alert:

Hello from Switzerland
This is a VERY URGENT CALL for help!
On October 16th, 2011 a very special Mandolin by Jonathan Mann, some other items of high personal value and a Loar Guitar 700VS were stolen out of the car of Klaus Wittich in the south of France. While Klaus is still in France trying to get his car fixed and organize things there, I am trying to spread the news, so hopefully the instruments will be found without damage.
See pictures of the instruments on left.
The Mann mandolin is one of a kind instrument and has a custom made armrest with a "K" out of mother of pearl and is in a silver Eastman fiberglass-case with a lot of stickers on it.

The Loar guitar has a number, which Klaus will add info for as soon as possible.

Please forward this message to all mandolin and bluegrass friends as soon as possible.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!!
Best regards and dear picking greetings
Martina

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

16th Annual Autumn Bluegrass Workshop, Male Svatonovice (CZ), 14-16 Oct. 2011

Thanks to Petr Brandejs, who reports:

The 16th Annual Autumn Bluegrass Workshop, run by Petr Brandejs and Jindra Hylmar, took place in the village of Male Svatonovice in the Czech Republic. Top Czech and Slovak instructors (including steel guitar and ukulele!), together with 130 participants [above], left this three-day event this Sunday afternoon.

David Kazimir and his banjo class

Nevertheless, the Saturday night show, including all the fourteen instructors and the band Relief, can be seen here (first you must install Microsoft Silverlight).

Banjo takeover on the Saturday night show

The next workshop by Petr Brandejs will take place in Novy Jicin (CZ) in March 2012.

Picnic Festival 2011, report

Thanks to Laurent Eeckhout for his report on the latest edition of Pcnic Festival (Belgium):
Rawhide
The 7th Picnic Festival took place in the unique setting of Terra Nova at the Citadel of Namur, Belgium for four days from 1st to 4th of September 2011, including two days of bluegrass! 
The festival started on Thursday evening with well known French band « Bluegrass 43 », opening for an amazing concert of « Sanseverino », a French « manouch style » guitarist and singersongwriter, who was surrounded by the bluegrass musicians Christian Séguret (mandoline), Jean-Marc Delon (banjo from Bluegrass 43), Christophe Cravero (fiddle) and J.D. Jouannic (doublebass) for an unique bluegrass adaptation of his songs, exclusively for the Picnic Festival ! French harmoniciste Thierry Crommen was invited as guest for a couple of songs.
Bluegrass Cwrkot
On Saturday, all bands tooking part of the traditionally « bluegrass day » of the festival were very appreciated by the audience. « The Straps», Belgium band from Virton opened the day with a mix of oldtime, bluegrass and cajun repertoire. They were followed by « East West », a Czech band who proposed an attractive modern programme with strong solo’s performances from all talented band members. #3 European Bluegrass Band 2010 « Rawhide » was one more time invited as they changed two band members and had a 80% new programme. Another band from Czech Republic « Bluegrass Cwrkot » (#2 Audience Popularity Award 2010) offered a great traditionnal show.
Hayseed Dixie
And finally the USA band « Hayseed Dixie » ended this sunny bluegrass day with the most energic and humoristic show as they are able to do it. When rock, pop and Belgian beers meet bluegrass!
Next edition of the festival is announced for 31th Augustus, 1st and 2nd of September 2012.
Pictures of all editions on www.picnicfestival.be

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Matuto: Brazilian bluegrass in Vienna and Copenhagen

Thanks to Rob Curto for news of the New-York-City-based band Matuto, who mix bluegrass and Americana with Brazilian roots music such as forró, maracatu, and samba. Their music, which can be heard on the band website, uses accordion, hollow-body electric guitar, upright bass, drums, and Brazilian percussion. Members of the group have worked with Tony Trischka, Bela Fleck, Steve Martin, and fiddler April Verch.

Matuto are looking forward to their first visit as a band to Europe: they arrive on 25 Oct. 2011 to showcase at WOMEX, the world music convention, in Copenhagen, Denmark. They will subsequently play at Reigen Live, in Vienna, Austria, on 29 Oct. at 8.30 p.m. Read their press release here.

And more photos from IBMA WOB 2011

Thanks to Lilly Pavlak (CZ/CH), winner of a Distinguished Achievement Award at this year's IBMA World of Bluegrass (WOB) in Nashville, TN, for many photos - and a link to even more photos - from World of Bluegrass 2011.

The photo on the left shows the members of Monogram (CZ), who took part in the official WOB showcase programme, enjoying the sun in downtown Nashville. Sixty-four of Lilly's IBMA 2011 photos can already be viewed in a Facebook album, and a second album is likely to follow.

Update 17 Oct.: A further 129 photos by Lilly can be seen on the second album, here.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Chris Jones in Swiss hospital

Singer, songwriter, bandleader, and broadcaster Chris Jones (USA) has just completed a tour in Europe with his Night Drivers band. He was about to fly home when he realised that he was not well and needed medical attention. As a result, he was taken to hospital in Baden, Switzerland. However, he is now recovered and was due to be discharged from hospital today for his return to the USA. Read the story on Bluegrass Today - where you can also read Chris's views on air travel for musicians.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

More photos from IBMA WOB 2011

Bluegrass Today published yesterday (10 Oct.) a further selection of fine photographs taken by Virginia photo-journalist Dean Hoffmeyer at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2011 in Nashville, TN (24 Sept.-2 Oct.).

European bluegrassers appearing in this batch include Jens Koch of the G2 Bluegrass Band (S), Martino Coppo of Red Wine (I), Jakub Racek of Monogram (CZ), and Lilly Pavlak (CZ/CH), recipient of an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award. The photos can be seen here.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band - for Europe in 2012

L-r: Keith Little, Michael Witcher, Peter Rowan, Paul Knight (photo: Robert Hakins)

Thanks to Al Evers of A-Train Entertainment for the news that the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (USA), in its latest configuration, is now available for bookings in Europe for the end of August and beginning of September 2012.

The new Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band consists of Peter Rowan (guitar, vocals); Keith Little (banjo, vocals); Paul Knight (bass, vocals); and Michael Witcher (dobro, vocals), replacing Jody Stecher and bringing a youthful dynamism to the band. The PRBB played the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Ireland (22-25 Sept. 2011); Peter joined them after playing a week in the Czech Republic with Druha Trava.

Legacy, the band's debut recording for Compass Records, was released in September 2010 and earned a 2010 Grammy nomination. Featuring traditional and original compositions, it is produced by Compass owner/recording artist Alison Brown and features special guests Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Ricky Skaggs, and Del McCoury. It can be bought here.

Festival organisers and promoters in Europe who are interested in booking this exceptional band should contact:

Al Evers
A-Train Entertainment
401 Grand Avenue, Ste. 300
Oakland, CA 94610
tel: +1 510.893.4705
fax: +1 510.893.4807
e-mail

Ricky Skaggs in International Festival of Country Music: Europe, 26 Feb.-4 Mar. 2012

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow (10 October 2011) for the International Festival of Country Music to be held at Wembley Arena in north-west London, England, on Sunday 26 February 2012 - the first of four Festival shows in western Europe in the course of a week. The big news for bluegrass enthusiasts is that the lineup will include Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.

The International Festival of Country Music ran for twenty-three years (1969-91) at Wembley, presenting major figures in country music and bluegrass to the British public. It was founded by Mervyn Conn, who is now relaunching the Festival at Wembley in response to demand, and is also presenting the stellar lineup, headed by international country superstar Reba McEntire, in Northern Ireland, Switzerland, and Germany.

The full schedule is:
Sun. 26 Feb. 2012 Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, England
Wed. 29 Feb. Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Fri. 2 Mar. Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland
Sun. 4 Mar. SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany

Further details, including media contact data and the full lineup for Wembley, can be seen here.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Yonder Mountain String Band for Europe 2012

Chris Keenan (EBMA board member and organiser of the annual Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Longford, Ireland) announces that the Yonder Mountain String Band (left) of Nederland, Colorado, USA, will be available for bookings in Europe during the spring and/or summer of 2012.

The YMSB, known as 'the original Jamgrass band', formed in 1998 and consist of Jeff Austin (mandolin), Ben Kaufmann (bass), Dave Johnston (banjo), and Adam Aijala (guitar). Festival organisers and promoters who are interested in presenting them in Europe next year should contact Chris Keenan by e-mail or mobile phone (+353.87.281.7825).

Rita Hosking to tour UK with new album, 11-23 Oct. 2011


Californian singer-songwriter Rita Hosking will be playing twelve dates in Britain this month - ten in England and two in Scotland. Her fourth and latest album Burn is due for release on 10 October, the day before the tour begins.

Hosking's previous albums have received widespread critical acclaim, and she has been compared to Iris DeMent and Gillian Welch. She will be accompanied on the tour by veteran English folk-blues singer-songwriter and guitarist Michael Chapman.

Full details, including venue locations and online ticket booking facilities, are on her tour schedule. For further information, guest lists, interview requests etc., please contact Geraint Jones of G Promo PR (phone +44 (0)1584 873211; mobile +44 (0)7855 724798; e-mail).

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Chatham County Line in Europe, 25 Oct.-6 Nov. 2011


Chatham County Line (USA), who recently toured and recorded in Europe with Norwegian superstar Jonas Fjeld, will be playing a two-week tour in Europe in October and November, including five dates in England, one in Scotland, five in the Netherlands, and one in Belgium:

25 Oct. The Coalition, Brighton, England
26 Oct. St Bonaventure's Parish Club, Bristol, England
27 Oct. Jazzcafe, London, England
28 Oct. Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, England
29 Oct. Stereo, Glasgow, Scotland
30 Oct. Gateshead Old Town Hall, Newcastle, England

1 Nov. Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL
2 Nov. Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, BE
3 Nov. Vera, Groningen, NL
4 Nov. Burgerweeshuis, Deventer, NL
5 Nov. Porgy & Bess, Terneuzen, NL
6 Nov. Roepaen, Ottersum, NL

More details, including online ticket facilities, are on the band's tour schedule.

Europe at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2011

Thanks to the distinguished Virginia photo-journalist Dean Hoffmeyer for permission to use his striking photo of three prominent European bluegrass musicians at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2011 in Nashville, TN, last week.

From left to right: Niall Toner (guitar) of the Niall Toner Band (IRL), Jimmy Sunnebrandt (bass) of the G2 Bluegrass Band (S), and Martino Coppo (mandolin) of Red Wine (I). Niall writes that the photo

was taken on Wednesday evening as we were warming up for my showcase at the EBMA suite. Martino was standing in for Clem [O'Brien, NTB], and Jimmy was doing ditto for Dick [Gladney, NTB], and I owe a serious debt of gratitude to these two superb musicians for the job they did with me, and at relatively short notice.

Mideando String Quintet available for 2012 bookings

Stefano Santangelo (extreme right in above photo), mandolin player of the Mideando String Quintet from Italy, reports that the band is available for bookings in Europe during 2012.

The Mideando String Quintet won the title of #1 European Bluegrass Band 2006/7 at the European World of Bluegrass Festival, and as a result played at the IBMA World of Bluegrass 2007 in Nashville, TN, where they presented the award for Dobro Player of the Year to Rob Ickes.

The MSQ's 'Acoustic World Music' is a fusion of pop with some influences of bluegrass and jazz, played on acoustic guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, violin, mandocello, and electric bass, and with lead singer and up to five-part vocal harmony. Original songs are written in Italian and English.

Their previous CDs Viaggio ('Journey') and Tutte le direzioni ('All directions') have received many good reviews, and airplay on many European and American radio stations. At present the band are working on a new CD. Their a cappella version of the traditional song 'Talk about suffering' was chosen to appear on the compilation 10 years of EWOB.

More details are on the MMSQ website, MySpace, and Facebook. Contact:

Stefano Santangelo
Via P. Vergerio n.6
35126 Padua (Padova), Italy
tel. +39 049 8021556
mobile +39 338 8227001
e-mail

Monday, 3 October 2011

Grascals in Europe: update

Thanks to Glenn Blackman of WBA Entertainment, Inc., for a reminder that - as reported on the European Bluegrass Blog on 4 August and 18 September - the multi-award-winning Grascals (USA) will be playing several dates in Europe next month, including the state opera house in Oldenburg, Germany. The confirmed schedule is as follows:

Wed. 12 Oct. Garage, Christiesgate 14, 5015 Bergen, Norway
Thurs. 13 Oct. Cosmopolite, Soria Moria, Vogts gate 64, Oslo, Norway
Fri. 14 Oct. Dokkhuset, Dokkparken 4, 7014 Trondheim, Norway
Sat. 15 Oct. Grosse Haus, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater‎, Theaterwall 28, 26122 Oldenburg, Germany

The WBA press release can be seen in full here. The band is also on MySpace and Facebook.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - available for European festivals, summer 2012

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (USA), whose original Will the circle be unbroken album was a milestone in the public perception of bluegrass and traditional country music, are now available for booking by European festivals for the summer of 2012.

Immortalised for the album and its sequels, and for iconic hits such as 'Mr Bojangles' and 'Fishin' in the dark', the multiple Grammy- and CMA-award-winning Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are country-rock pioneers, country radio hitmakers, and modern-day standard bearers for the Americana scene. They continue to release new, vibrant, and relevant music.

Promoters and event organisers who wish to feature this legendary band should contact their booking agent Steve Lassiter (e-mail; 'phone +1-615-297-0100) or Clearview Artist Management (e-mail; 'phone +1-615-852-5265).