Thursday, 30 August 2012

Help Rawhide and the Sons to worldwide fame!

Bluegrass in Belgium sends this exciting news:

We just found out that Rawhide and The Sons of Navarone are on the list to be voted for top 1000 on Radio 2 (Belgian national radio).

Help these two bands with your vote to the worldwide fame they deserve! Do it NOW as the voting closes Friday at 8:00 European time.

Click here and look for Rawhide under ‘R’ and The Sons of Navarone under ‘T’ and click on the ‘+’ sign. Together they have three songs in the list, and you are only allowed to choose three, so...

For those who don’t understand Dutch, follow these instructions:
Next press 'volgende stap'
You can change the order by clicking the upside-down ‘V’
Next, press ‘volgende stap
Click on 'Ben je nog niet geregistreerd? Klik dan hier'
And register -

Voornaam * = first name
Naam = name
E-mailadres *= e-mail address
Aanspreking: * mevrouw = female; mijheer = male
Kies je wachtwoord: choose a password with minimum 8 positions
Geboortedatum = date of birth
postcode = postal code (if you’re not in Belgium, just put ‘1000’)

Click ‘registreer

That’s it. Thanks a lot!!!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Danilo Cartia in Rapallo, 30 Aug. 2012

Danilo Cartia (banjo, guitar, vocals) will present a one man show of bluegrass, blues, and ballads on Thursday 30 August 2012 at the Cafè Centrale, Piazza Cavour 8, Rapallo (Genoa), Italy.

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

Monday, 27 August 2012

Bluegrass Europe #85: deadline 10 Sept. 2012

Angelika Torrie, editor-in-chief of Bluegrass Europe, the official EBMA magazine, sends this message:

Dear bluegrass bands and bluegrass event producers in Europe,

The deadline to send in dates for BE #85 is 10 September!

Please send in your public gigs and concert dates between 15 October and 31 January 2013!

Thanks to all who used our spreadsheet to send in data for the last issue - it saved us a lot of time. Please use it again, either save from this message or download here. Again, we have to insist that we will only accept data sent in this format. We are really short of (wo-)manpower, so we really appreciate your effort and support. It's worth it, as many people refer to our listing, the more interesting it gets in all countries. Make sure YOU ARE IN THERE! IT'S FREE, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER!

Please e-mail back the completed form as soon as possible, no later than 10 September 2012.

If you don't get Bluegrass Europe in your mail, but you would like to, please consider a subscription at only €25/yr. Get it online here (starting a subscription in October is only half the price through 31 March).

We always have some space available for your advertisements, the rates are fair, and for a little more we also do the artwork. Please have a look at the data sheet and contact us here for more information.

Please also check out EBMA's website - we have many things bands could be interested in. For example, if you are an active member of EBMA, you are entitled to a free listing in every issue of Bluegrass Europe in EBMA's Bluegrass Guide, which is also online.

A next call will be sent sometime in November 2012 for the January-March 2013 issue.

Thank you for your contribution!

European Bluegrass Music Association & Bluegrass Europe

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Covered Grass - L.A. bound?

Thanks to Brian McNeal of the Prescription Bluegrass Blog for news of a major development affecting the plans of Covered Grass (D), who will be playing an official showcase at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2012 (24-30 Sept.) in Nashville, TN.

Covered Grass recently released on YouTube a new video written and performed by themselves: 'Goodnight, John Boy', a bluegrass tribute to the famous 'The Waltons' TV series from the early 1970s. The Prescription Bluegrass Blog reports that the video

reached various Walton forums and fans and finally actually ended up being viewed and enthusiastically received by the original actors in the series! Soon after the actresses Mary McDonough (Erin Walton), Kami Cotler (Elizabeth Walton) and Judy Norton (Mary-Ellen Walton) saw the video and placed links onto their Homepages, the Covered Grass fan base began to grow.

And it gets even better! On September 29th, in the Wilshire Ebel Theater in Los Angeles, a giant reunion party celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Waltons will take place. And the band has been invited to surprise the assembled actors of the beloved series with their song!

However, though the band will be in the USA, all their funds had already been committed to getting to World of Bluegrass. They are therefore launching an appeal on Startnext for funds to cover flights from Nashville to Los Angeles for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A new video on Startnext, narrated by the band's mandolinist and lead singer Corina Aurin (in German, with English subtitles), explains the appeal.

Covered Grass can be reached through their website and on Facebook.

Covered Grass

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

4th International Bluegrass Meeting Birkenried, 7-9 Sept. 2012

Thanks to the Country & Western Friends Kötz 1982 e.v. and their president Peter Wroblewski for news of their 4th International Bluegrass Meeting in the beautiful setting of the Kulturgewächshaus Birkenried, 89423 Gundelfingen-Birkenried, Germany.

The three-day event (Friday 7 September to Sunday 9 September 2012) features Chris Thompson & Coral Creek Stringband (USA), the Sons of Navarone (B), G-Runs 'n Roses (CZ), Blue Side of Town (D), Driftwood (D), and supporting programme with Open Stage, Bluegrass Cafe, and more.

Chris Thompson & Coral Creek Stringband

A short list of local hotels, inns, and guest houses is given below. Early booking is recommended, as accommodation is much in demand during the holiday season.

Hotel Leipheimer Hof
Pension Merkle (in Ichenhausen-Hochwang)
Hotel Gasthof zur Post Leipheim
Pension Gästeparadies (in Kleinkötz on the B16)
Hotel Gasthof Rose
Landgasthof Jehle (in Burgau-Limbach; tel. +49 08222-1602)
Hotel Gasthof Goldener Löwe
Cafe & Pension Regina

More hotels and guesthouses can also be booked in Günzburg, Leipheim, Ichenhausen, or Gundelfingen. Spaces for campers and mobile homes are available at Birkenried. For further information, see the CWFK website, contact the CWFK by e-mail, or 'phone +49 08221 34671.

Outdoor and indoor concert settings at Birkenried

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Kruger Brothers premiere new work, 'The spirit of the Rockies', 25 Aug. 2012

Morris Public Relations of Nashville, TN, announce that the Kruger Brothers will premiere Jens Kruger’s 'The spirit of the Rockies' on 25 August at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, Canada. A symphonic piece for chamber orchestra, guitar, bass, and banjo, it demonstrates Kruger’s talents as a composer, arranger, and performer, and his ability to combine different cultural and musical traditions within his work.

The Banff Centre commissioned the work after hearing the Krugers’ 2010 album Appalachian concerto, composed for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet. Jens Kruger used the concerto format to draw comparisons between European and Appalachian music and to comment on the area’s cultural history.

His theme draws a contrast between the English who first settled in the Rockies, for whom the wilderness was something to be conquered, and later settlers with a different perspective, embodied in the Swiss guides who developed the mountain trails and retreats, and brought an awareness of beauty. 'The Spirit of the Rockies', he says, 'is our own falling in love and our own understanding of beauty and of the fact that we are part of this world, and it is a part of us.'

See the whole press release here.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Lilly of the West in Lithuania

Thanks to Lilly Drumeva in Sofia, Bulgaria, for this news:

Lilly of the West have just returned from the Visagino country music festival in Lithuania (17-18 Aug.). It was a first for the Bulgarian country music band to play in a stadium with such a huge audience, where they played songs from the album Swings & heartaches. Broadcast live on TV among leading country music bands from Slovakia (Allan Mikusek), Poland (Michael Lonstar & Ala Boncol), Austria (Tex Robinson), Denmark (Loneroad) and others, it was indeed a privilege. The superb musical atmosphere would not have been possible without the talented organisers and their dedicated volunteers who deserve much applause. All who attended will surely be happy to return to this beautiful Baltic country.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Frank Fairfield in Europe, 23 Aug.-15 Sept. 2012

Thanks to the British old-time music association FOAOTMAD for the news that multi-instrumental old-time musician Frank Fairfield from California will begin on 23 August a tour in Europe. After eleven shows in England and Wales, two in Ireland, and one in Scotland, he will be playing at the Incubate Festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands (14 Sept.), and at Global in Copenhagen, Denmark (15 Sept.). More details, including a full schedule, are here.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

IBMA announces Nancy Cardwell as new executive director

From the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA):

After reviewing over sixty-five applications for the position, the board of directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association is pleased to announce on 17 August 2012 that it has appointed Nancy Cardwell as the organisation’s new executive director.

Cardwell grew up in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri while playing in a family bluegrass band. Nancy has written for music and entertainment publications since 1980. She joined IBMA as special projects director in 1994, writing publications for the trade association and serving as staff liaison for a number of committees that oversee professional development, webinars, Leadership Bluegrass, Special Awards, songwriter activities, and the Foundation for Bluegrass Music's 'Bluegrass in the Schools' programme. She is a former member of the board of trustees for the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky. and a graduate of Leadership Bluegrass (2000) and Leadership Music (2009).

Cardwell co-produced the Discover bluegrass: exploring American roots music DVD in 2004. She holds an education degree from Northwest Missouri State University and was the 2006 recipient of the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism. Her book The words and music of Dolly Parton: getting to know country's 'iron butterfly' was published by ABC-Clio in July 2011.

'It's an honour to continue to serve on the IBMA team in this new role as we work together for the future of bluegrass music', Cardwell said. 'I'm blessed with a creative and hard-working staff and board of directors, as well as a community of members from across the country and around the globe, who are passionate about the greatest music in the world. I look forward to seeing many of you at World of Bluegrass in Nashville, Tenn., 24-30 Sept., at our annual Business Conference / Awards Show / Bluegrass Fan Fest / Music Family Reunion!'

Nancy Cardwell has been a major force at IBMA for over seventeen years. The global bluegrass community will be well represented by this extremely hard-working and sensible woman as a new era in bluegrass leadership takes shape. Visit the recently redesigned IBMA website as they move forward.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tom Nechville in England and Norway, Aug.-Sept. 2012

Banjo-innovatory wizard Tom Nechville of Nechville Musical Products, Minnesota, USA, will be making the following appearances in England and Norway from the end of this month through the first half of September:

30 Aug.-2 Sept. Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, England: Ongoing banjo workshops and demonstrations
3 Sept. Banjos Direct in Norwich, England, 3.00-6.00 p.m.
8 Sept. Workshop at Stordahl Music in Moss, Norway, 4.00-6.00 p.m.
11 Sept. 12.00 noon Meet-and-greet at Eagle Music, Huddersfield, England
14-16 Sept. Cornwall Bluegrass Festival: Ongoing workshop and sales demo

The full text of an introduction to the 3 Sept. workshop at Banjos Direct can be read here.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Robirohi in Northern Ireland, 18-20 Aug. 2012

Robirohi, from Estonia, will be revisiting Northern Ireland for a three-day tour from Saturday 18 August to Monday 20 August, playing a gospel music festival, a church, and a house concert. Details are on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog.

Robirohi made a powerful impact at the 2007 Omagh festival with their intense harmony singing, and were booked to return to Northern Ireland shortly afterwards. Their fiddler, Tarmo Vardja, was killed in an accident just before the tour was due to start; despite this stunning blow, the band fulfilled their commitments (see the EBB, 10 Dec. 2007). Tarmo's name still appears in the band's lineup.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Steve Kaufman blogs his travels in Europe

US guitar maestro Steve Kaufman has spent the last week (5-12 Aug.) as an instructor at the 20th Beppe Gambetta International Acoustic Guitar Workshop in Ambroz Pod Krvavcem, Slovenia (left: an enthusiastic student at the workshop); has since played two concerts with Beppe Gambetta in Croatia; and will be playing more concerts in Italy this week.

He is describing his adventures in Europe in a blog, which can be read here.

Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival concert schedule

The Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival organisers announce the concert schedule for this year's event, held in the new location of Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland:

Thursday 20 Sept. 8.00 p.m. - 'Best of American, Irish & European'
Barcelona Bluegrass Band (E)
Blackjack (CZ)
George Harper (USA)
Bending the Strings (IRL)

Fri. 21 Sept. 8.00 p.m.
Suzy Bogguss (USA)
Electric Ceili (IRL)
Chris Meehan & his Redneck Friends (IRL)
We Banjo 3 (IRL)

Sat. 22 Sept. 7.00 p.m.
Blue Highway (USA)
Mundy (IRL)
Gerry O'Connor (IRL)
Niall Toner Band (IRL)
George Harper (USA)

Sun. 23 Sept. 7.00 p.m.
Paul Brady (IRL)
Don Rigsby & Charlie Sizemore (USA)
Beoga (IRL)
TBC: Busking Competition Winner

The workshop schedule will be announced shortly. For more details, including advice on accommodation, read the Festival release online.

News from IBMA for bluegrass associations

Dwight Worden (left), the IBMA board member responsible for bluegrass associations, sends his August 2012 newsletter to all associations with IBMA membership. Dwight says:

IBMA needs your enthusiasm, your input, and your participation. As IBMA modernizes and evolves, those of us with local association roots have the opportunity to help IBMA reinvent itself to be more responsive to local associations. Let your board representatives know what you think... Come to WOB, share your input, and together we can make a difference. This is a year of change for IBMA, and the time for us to renew our memberships and to be heard!

Dwight - who took part in the 3rd European Bluegrass Summit - also sends IBMA news (including the Fan Fest lineup), information on resources, and tips for association managers. Read the whole newsletter online.

Monday, 13 August 2012

More (and more) memories of La Roche 2012


... and shade

Thanks to Lilly Pavlak for a treasury of photos taken at this year's La Roche Bluegrass Festival (1-5 Aug. 2012) at La Roche-sur-Foron, Haute Savoie, France. In addition to the photos of band contest winners, for which a link appeared on the EBB last week, Lilly has put three further albums online, holding a total of 187 photos that show bands on and off stage, workshops, weather, food, the town, the mayoral reception in the Hôtel de Ville, and much more.

Album 1 (54 photos)
Album 2 (42 photos)
Album 3 (91 photos)

The international jury for the band contest

Headliner Ronnie Bowman

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Irish acts prepare for IBMA WOB 2012

The launch of Onwards and upwards - the first release by Ireland's Niall Toner on the prominent US bluegrass label Pinecastle Records - will be at Jack's Barbecue on Lower Broadway, Nashville, TN, on Tuesday 25 September. The launch party extends between 5.30 p.m. and midnight, with Niall himself performing at 9.00 p.m.

The launch takes place during IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2012 (24-30 Sept.), when both Niall and his compatriots and fellow Pinecastle artists I Draw Slow will be showcasing as part of US tours. These will include their performing (both separately and together) in the company of A-list bluegrass artists from the US scene. Niall is also preparing for radio and TV interviews and performances (involving two separate sets of American replacements for Clem O'Brien and Dick Gladney, his long-term Irish bandmates).

I Draw Slow's acclaimed album Redhills was released in the US on the Pinecastle label last Tuesday (7 August). Covered Grass (D) will also be appearing on the official showcase schedule during the World of Bluegrass Business Conference.

Jeff & Vida in Ireland and England, Aug.-Sept. 2012

Thanks to Geraint Jones of the UK agency G Promo PR for news of the English section of a three-week duo tour that Jeff & Vida (USA) will be making in Ireland and England, beginning later this month, in support of their widely acclaimed current album Selma chalk. Country Music People magazine called the album 'a sparkling mixture of bluegrass, country, and folk... full of energy and passion'.

The tour begins on 24 August at John Murphy's celebrated pub Colfer's, Carrig-on-Bannow, Co. Wexford, Ireland - the first of nine dates in the island. On 4 September the England section of the tour opens with a show in Birmingham together with the Toy Hearts, followed by twelve further dates. Full details are on the Jeff & Vida online tour schedule.

You can hear Jeff & Vida live at Music City Roots, Nashville. They formed part of Rainer Zellner's Bluegrass Jamboree! annual package tour in 2010.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Radio Stations, DJs, Artists and Music Industry Professionals Worldwide Take Notice

AirPlay Direct, an American based digital music service covering all music genres, has announced they now offer their services to all music professionals worldwide.  AirPlay Direct is a digital delivery system developed for artists, radio programmers and music industry professionals.

Artists / Labels can send secure broadcast-quality music and digital press kits to radio stations, booking agents, promoters and music supervisors worldwide. The AirPlay Direct system provides an environment for radio programmers and film or television music supervisors to connect to the latest music, browse the most downloaded artists, and immediately download music and related artist information.

Radio Programmers will find FREE music discovery services, unbiased radio charting and fast reliable digital delivery of broadcast-quality music. plus related artist information. AirPlay Direct is currently delivering some of the top artist "radio specials" and new CD releases to radio programmers around the world.

Some of the radio specials currently available for download and broadcast to all registered AirPlay Direct Radio Members are:
Johnny Cash "Number Ones"
Dolly Parton "Christmas Special"
John Lennon "The Final Interview"
"O Brother, Where Art Thou: 10th Anniversary Radio Special"
Del McCoury "Blue Side Of Town Radio Special" and many more titles.

Music professionals may read about the many services available and sign-up for a free membership online at

For more information contact:

URGENT - band wanted for the International Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival, Abaliget, 10-12 Aug. 2012

Péter Tölgyesi, EBMA national representative for Hungary, sends this urgent request on behalf of the International Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival, Abaliget, Hungary, which begins today:

Dear EFN members,

Our headline act, Candy Floss (SK), who had accepted to play at our festival for a very favorable price, cancelled their appearance due to injury of one of the members.

We're urgently looking for a foreign band playing bluegrass, that could play at our festival with the same conditions: accommodation, breakfast, dinner included with the travel expenses of 300-500 euros. If you know of a good act that might be interested, please let us know! Thank you.

Contact Péter by e-mail.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Reason #8 to go to IBMA's World of Bluegrass

Nancy Cardwell, acting executive director of the IBMA, has begun a countdown of reasons for attending the IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2012, just eight weeks from now. Reason #8 is a powerful one that should attract all bluegrassers, not just IBMA members: the jam sessions that take place in all corners of WOB. A hand-picked selection of YouTube jams from past WOBs is given:

2007: Jerry Douglas, Leroy Mack, Mike Witcher and others at the Beard Guitars booth
2007: Al Hawkes & Trae Buckner, 'Rocky road blues'
2007: All-star jam with Alecia Nugent, Dustin Benson, Thomas Wywrot, Eli Johnston, Rick Faris, & Jason Robertson
2008: Old-time jam (Thomas Bailey et. al.)
2008: Rob Ickes, Andy Leftwich, and Dave Pomeroy
2009: Late-night jam with Michael Cleveland
2009: Alex Hargreaves, Joey McKenzie, Drew Phelps
2010: Adam Steffey & Turner Hutchens, 'Bill Cheatham'
2010: Hallway jams!
*2010: Booth jam with members of Rockin' Acoustic Circus and Red Wine
2011: 'Down the road'

*EBMA members may note that Martino Coppo, EBMA board member and lead singer/mandolinist of Red Wine, takes part in this jam.

Danilo Cartia Band in Rome, 12 Aug. 2012

The Danilo Cartia Band is playing on Sunday night (12 Aug.) from 10.00 p.m. at the Lungo il Tevere (Ponte Cestio), Rome, Italy. Admission is free.

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

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Foundation for Bluegrass Music grants to honour Earl Scruggs and Warren Hellman - deadline now 22 Aug. 2012

The Foundation for Bluegrass Music, under the auspices of the IBMA, is funding grants this year in honour of two major innovators in the world of bluegrass music: Earl Scruggs (d. 28 Mar. 2012), father of bluegrass banjo playing, and Warren Hellman (d. 18 Dec. 2011), who created, funded, and grew his California-based 'Hardly Strictly Bluegrass' free event into one of the largest of its kind in the USA. Foundation president Greg Cahill says:

In remembrance of these two highly creative individuals who have left huge footprints in the history of American music in the areas of performance and event production, we will allocate funds to foster innovation in the world of bluegrass music. We are very pleased to honour the memory of these brilliant men in this way.

A fund of $8000 has been earmarked to support public projects that foster innovative development in the world of bluegrass music. Individual grants ranging from $2000 to $4000 will be given in memory of Earl Scruggs and Warren Hellman. Of special interest are bluegrass music-related projects and programs that involve education or youth.

This is a competitive application process, and candidates must meet the Foundation’s Grant Application Guidelines. The Foundation deadline for applications has been extended for a week from 15 Aug. to 22 Aug. 2012; grants awarded will be announced no later than 1 Oct. 2012, with funds available after 1 Jan. 2013. More information and a downloadable application form are on the Foundation website. The latest newsletter, announcing the new deadline, can be read here.

Los Hermanos Cubero EP reviewed in FolkWorld

Thanks to Los Hermanos Cubero (E) for the news that their 7" vinyl EP has been reviewed by Pío Fernández in #48 of the online magazine FolkWorld; you can read the review here.

The four-track record (side A, 'La calle abajo' / 'La mandolina Castellana'; side B, 'No quiero soñar nunca mas' / 'Palote de otoño para Abril') is now available for €6.00 from Carajillo Records online store.

Omagh festival celebrates its 21st birthday

The 21st annual Bluegrass Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, will run from Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September, with some of the biggest names in bluegrass and old-time music. Throughout the weekend, multi-award-winning acts from the USA and Europe will perform in the festival marquee and at six stages set against the unique backdrop of the outdoor museum.

This year’s lineup includes Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (USA), Don Rigsby & Midnight Call (USA), Mandolin Orange (USA), the Branchettes (USA), Spirit Family Reunion (USA), Old Man Luedecke (Canada), the Blue Grass Boogiemen (NL), Covered Grass (D), and the Toy Hearts (GB), as well as bands from all parts of Ireland: the Clew Bay Critters, I Draw Slow, the Watery Hill Boys, the Broken String Band, Northern Exposure, and the Knotty Pine String Band.

Open-mic sessions give up-and-coming bands the chance of fresh exposure. The photo above shows Cup o’ Joe, a young trio from Mowhan, Co. Armagh, together with chief festival organiser Richard Hurst (on left-handed mandolin).

A full press release is on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog. More information on events and pricing are here, where tickets can also be booked online or on the telephone booking line on 028 8224 3292. You can also follow the Ulster American Folk Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Redhills by Irish band released on Pinecastle today

The Irish 'neo-old-time' band I Draw Slow have had their acclaimed CD Redhills released today on the prominent US bluegrass label Pinecastle Records. Read all the details on the news page of the Pinecastle website.

The Water Tower Bucket Boys: in Britain and Ireland, Sept. 2012

Thanks to G Promo PR for the news that the Water Tower Bucket Boys from Portland, OR (USA), will be touring Britain and Ireland next month (4-28 Sept. 2012). The WTBB in their four-piece configuration - Kenny Feinstein (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Gordon Keepers (upright bass, vocals), Jason Oppat (drums, harmonica, banjo-uke), and Josh Rabie (fiddle, harmonica, guitar, vocals) will be playing seventeen dates in England and Scotland, five in Ireland, and one in Wales. Full details are given on the band's online tour schedule.

The tour is being made in support of their current five-track EP Where the crow don't fly. The official video of 'Meet me where the crow don't fly', shot on Glastonbury Tor last summer, can be seen and heard here.

For further information, interview requests, guest lists etc. please contact Geraint Jones @ G Promo PR; phone +44 (0)1584 873211; mobile +44 (0)7855 724798; e-mail.

Monday, 6 August 2012

More photos from La Roche 2012

The Sons of Navarone (B) playing their 'victory set' with Ron Snippe of Lazy Tater on guitar

Lilly Pavlak sends congratulations to the winners in the La Roche band competition, together with these and many other photos...

The Sons receiving their award

Lazy Tater (NL) playing a 'fringe' show in the town

Lazy Tater receiving their award

Candy Floss (SK) on stage, looking out over the audience; they had to go home before the awards were presented

More photos by Lilly can be seen on a Facebook album. Thanks, Lilly!

Sons of Navarone #1 at La Roche

Bluegrass in Belgium reports, live from the French Alps:

We're very proud to announce that the Sons of Navarone (B; above, photo by Ann Janssen) were voted 1st by the international jury at the European bluegrass band competition at La Roche-sur-Foron. Lazy Tater (NL) were 2nd and Candy Floss (SK) 3rd.

After the award ceremony, the Sons were joined by Ron Snippe of Lazy Tater to play a set (as Jef Van Peer had to fly home earlier on). There were about 35 seconds to prepare a set with Ron, but he did really great on guitar and harmony singing. Thanks, Ron, and thanks to the La Roche Festival.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

More talent for Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival 2012

Apologies to Chris Keenan for delay in posting this news, which appeared on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog on 26 July:

The Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival is pleased to announce further updates to its impressive lineup for September!

Joining us in our new home town, Tullamore, 20-23 September... newly confirmed: Michael J. Miles [left], Rachael Hester, Rick Shea... these are in addition to Suzy Bogguss, Blue Highway, Blackjack, George Harper, Barcelona Bluegrass Band, Niall Toner, Bending the Strings, Gerry O'Connor, Paul Brady, Mundy, etc!

Four days and nights of concerts, workshops, sessions, and jams, busking competition, free outdoor music, craft exhibits, late-night festival club...

Weekend passes at Ticketmaster.
Further details: website; e-mail; 'phone +353.87.281.7825

Lynne Butler goes to Abaliget

Radio presenter and performing artist Lynne Butler (UK) is having a busy summer, attending as many festivals as possible - the next being the International Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival at Abaliget, Hungary (10-12 Aug.). As a result, her radio shows 'Butler's Boudoir Bluegrass' and 'Lynne Butler's Eurograss' radio shows (see the EBB's separate 'Radio playlists' post) are repeating previous festival coverage: this week, the Didmarton Bluegrass Festival in England, to be followed by a two-part programme on the Cornish Bluegrass Festival.

Cross-Atlantic traffic, 2012-13

The latest e-newsletter from the US agency Mountain Music Entertainment announces that Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice

will be heading to Europe in May of 2013. This will be the first time this band configuration has traveled to Europe. They are extremely excited for the week-long opportunity to tour overseas.

The band have become standard-bearers for traditional bluegrass with the release of their third Rebel CD, The heart of a song, including the chart-topping song 'A far cry from Lester and Earl'. Confirmed dates for their European tour include:

Sat. 18 May 14th Spring Bluegrass Festival Willisau, Switzerland
Sun. 19 May Bluegrass Deluxe, Basel, Switzerland
Mon. 20 May 32nd Big Bear Festival, Zuidlaren, the Netherlands

Thanks to Paolo Dettwiler for these dates.

The e-newsletter also gives further details on the US tours by Irish artists I Draw Slow and Niall Toner, scheduled for autumn 2012 in support of their upcoming Pinecastle Records releases (see the EBB for 11 July). Both acts will play a two-night stand (2-3 October) with the Lonesome River Band. Among their separate dates, Niall Toner will return on 20 Oct. to the Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series where he MCed last year, and I Draw Slow will perform (4-5 Oct.) at the Albino Skunk Festival in Greer, SC.

Further details will be announced soon on the full tour schedules for each artist. Read the MME e-newsletter here.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa in Europe

On 9 July Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa, with special guest Mike Scott on banjo, left the USA for a performing (and sightseeing) tour in Norway, the Netherlands, and Scotland, culminating in the Scottish Bluegrass Association's Guildtown Bluegrass Festival. Today, Bluegrass Today carries a report by Wayne Taylor on their experiences in Europe, together with many photographs from all the countries they visited.

Czech bluegrass in east Tennessee (8 Aug. 2012) and on film

Thanks to the Prescription Bluegrass Blog and to Ruth Ellen Gruber for news of the Czech Bluegrass Project, an evening of Czech and Slovak bluegrass music to be presented at 8.00 p.m. on 8 Aug. 2012 at the Down Home, 300 West Main St., Johnson City, TN.

Lee Bidgood, Richard Cifersky, Ed Snodderly, Daniel Boner, and Jeff Elkins will perform the music of Druha Trava (photo above), the Greenhorns, and more - Czech translations of bluegrass classics, as well as original Czech material in both Czech and English. There is an optional $5 cover charge.

All takings at the concert will go towards the making of a documentary film on Czech bluegrass, currently being prepared by Lee Bidgood and Shara Lange, and recently featured on Ruth Ellen Gruber's Sauerkraut Cowboys website. Ruth's post includes a link to a YouTube video of Lee Bidgood jamming with Lubos Malina in the Czech Republic. The film's website also gives details of the 8 Aug. concert.

A recent report on Druha Trava by Don Gonyea on America's National Public Radio can be heard and read here. The Prescription Bluegrass Blog post includes a video of Druha Trava on stage performing 'Who's that knocking on my door'.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

4th 'Bluegrass im Elsass' in Kutzenhausen, 29 July 2012: updates

L-r: Theo Sauer, Joel Espesset, René Egles, Roland Engel, Serge Rieger (photo: Knut Schilling)

Thanks to Walter Fuchs, country music historian, broadcaster, and organiser of the International Bühl Bluegrass Festival, who reports:

The 4th Bluegrass Meeting in Kutzenhausen, Alsace, is history. It showed that 'Bluegrass music in Alsace is very much alive and progressing.' The farmhouse in the neighborhood of the rural museum was packed as never before. Folks from France and Germany sat together like a big family. Food, wine and beer was excellent, and everybody had a good time. And of course the music: all groups and bands were in a good mood and presented some fine music - Joe Altheoser Bluegrass Project, Dieter Stoll & George Baehr, and of course the Dapper Dan Men.

In the afternoon the famous Alsatian singer/songwriter René Egles showed up, and together with some of the bluegrass musicians he sang 'Ring the bell' (Gibson Brothers) and an Alsatian song. Later in the evening I was suddenly surrounded by seven or eight musicians playing a breakdown, and I was forced to do a flatfoot dance, then René Egles jumped in, grabbed me by the arm, and we did a kind of an improvised folk dance together. We made history. You can watch the last thirty seconds on YouTube - 'René Egles et Walter Fuchs'.

Update 1 Aug.: Thanks to Dieter Stoll, who writes:

I just finished editing a 22 minutes medley of the afternoon show by George Baehr and myself. You may want to add that to Walter's account of the event.

... and we're happy to do so.

Update 2 Aug.: Thanks again to Walter, who sends the cutting below of Knut Schilling's newspaper report (in German; click on the image for a legible reproduction). Walter adds: 'My impression: Kutzenhausen is on its way!'

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

New video by Covered Grass

Thanks to Volker Fisher, banjo-player of Covered Grass (D), for this news:

We released a new video and we would be very happy to find it at the European Bluegrass Blog. The YouTube link is here. A screenshot [above] and a band picture [below] are added to this mail.

The video is a bluegrass tribute to the famous TV series from the early '70s - written and performed by Covered Grass. 'The Waltons' ran weekly on German television, and the goodnight ritual at the end of each episode was the inspiration to this song. Please share if you like it and visit our homepage.

In the last week of September this year, Covered Grass will be playing an official showcase performance at IBMA's World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN - the first German band ever to do so.