Wednesday, 30 May 2012

RIP Doc Watson

Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, a National Heritage Fellowship, and eight Grammy Awards (including one for Lifetime Achievement) died on Tuesday, May 29 at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC following abdominal surgery last week.
Until we get more news, please refer to our colleagues at Bluegrass Today, Cybergrass or the NYTimes.
We are sad and will miss him. But through his wonderful personality and his beautiful music and picking, he will stay alive in our hearts and will be remembered by many.
Angelika Torrie
Co-Editor European Bluegrass Blog

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

High energy from the Low Countries

New releases from two prominent European bands whose new records are too infrequent: Blue Grass Boogiemen: Live at Cafe De Stad, recorded at a Blue Grass Boogiemen concert in central Utrecht, the Netherlands; and The Dark is Barking, a studio recording by Rawhide in Belgium. Both CDs have eighteen tracks of well chosen material, and both will be among the albums reviewed in the next issue of Bluegrass Europe.

Enrique Coria at the New Acoustic Gallery, 2 June 2012

Oliver Waitze of the New Acoustic Gallery (NAG) in Solingen, Germany, sends a reminder of the next concert at the NAG on 2 June 2012 at 8.00 p.m. - a classical recital by the Argentine guitarist Enrique Coria, known to the bluegrass world from his membership of the David Grisman Quintet. More information is on the news page of the NAG website. Tickets (€17) can be reserved now by phone (+ 49 0212 2474007).

New Acoustic Gallery
Neuenhofer Str. 122
42657 Solingen
Tel.: +49 0212/2474007; e-mail

26th Guildtown Bluegrass Festival, 20-23 July 2012

L-r: Scott Walker, Emory Lester, Kene Hyatt, Wayne Taylor

The Scottish Bluegrass Association announces that the lineup at its 26th Guildtown Bluegrass Music Festival (20-23 July 2012) in Guildtown, Perthshire, Scotland, will be headed by Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa (USA) and Rough and Rocky Road (CZ).

Also performing will be Goldrush, Home Made Jam, Dapper McDans, Blue Horyzon, New Redwing, Little Giants, Kentucky Cow Tippers, and John Weighell & Co. Full details, including online ticket purchase facilities, are on the SBA website.

L-r: Henrich Novak, Martin Vitasek, Eric Banik, Zdenek Roh, Vlado Krizan

Monday, 28 May 2012

Irish festival gains Arts Council support

The organising team of the 6th Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival in Co. Mayo, in the west of Ireland, held the official launch party on Friday 25 May in McGing's pub, Westport. The full house were treated to music by Mayo's top bluegrass band, the Rocky Top String Band (below), who have played every Westport festival so far and will open this year's event (29 June-1 July) with a show at the Clew Bay Hotel. The full festival programme includes two North American bands and the acclaimed Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys from Britain.

The festival enjoys the generous sponsorship of local businesses and venues, of the local government authorities in Mayo and Westport, of Discover Ireland, and - this year - the national Arts Council. More details are on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Peter Rowan in Europe, September and November 2012

Peter Rowan (photo: Tim Benko)

Thanks to Al Evers of A Train Entertainment for the news that Peter Rowan will be playing solo dates in England and Ireland in August/September 2012, as follows:

Wed. 29 Aug. The Old Queen's Head, 44 Essex Road, Angel, London N1 8LN, England (presented by Green Note)
Sat. 1 Sept. Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, Cotswold Airport, Gloucestershire GL7 6BQ, England
Mon. 3 Sept. Whelan's, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tues. 4 Sept. Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork, Ireland
Wed. 5 Sept. Leap Castle, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Thurs. 6 Sept. Crane Bar, Galway city, Ireland

Peter Rowan will be returning to Europe two months later for more shows in Italy and the Czech Republic, in distinguished European company:

With Red Wine (I):
Thurs. 15 Nov. La Maison Musique, Turin (Torino), Italy
Fri. 16 Nov. Bluegrass Party, Teatro Modena, Genoa (Genova), Italy
Sun. 18 Nov. Trezzo d'Adda, near Milan (Milano), Italy

With Druha Trava (CZ)
Wed. 21, Thurs. 22 Nov. Two shows confirmed; details TBA

A full bio of Peter Rowan can be downloaded from his website.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Twisted Timber release Freeride of our lives

Twisted Timber, based in Prague (CZ), came together as a band in 2009 and won the #3 European Bluegrass Band award at the 2011 European World of Bluegrass Festival. They will be playing tomorrow morning (26 May 2012) at the Jamboree in Strakonice. Thanks to the band for this news:

We're pleased to announce that our first album, Freeride of our lives, is set to be released in two weeks. This project was recorded in February and March of this year. It consists of fourteen original songs, dating back two years. The most recent... song was written between studio sessions :-). We hope you enjoy this project as much as we did creating it.

The album will be available at performances in two weeks. The album will also be available online shortly thereafter (please stay tuned for details). Matt will be bringing copies to the US for sale in July. We hope to see you out on the road this summer!

Twisted Timber: Petr Šolc (double bass), Matt Whitten (guitar), Zuzka Lišková (mandolin), Pavel Bařina (banjo), Jan Bartošek (fiddle)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

News from Lynne Butler

Lynne Butler (UK) sends the playlists for this week's shows in her 'Butler's Boudoir Bluegrass' and 'Lynne Butler’s Eurograss' series (see the EBB's separate 'Radio playlists' post). Lynne adds:

Welcome to this week's playlists/newsletter and I hope you are all well and enjoying some wonderful weather for a change. Apologies for the lack of newsletters lately but it's been very busy for me and I can't do it all! Rest assured that you are all, without exception, getting played regularly. The good news is that I have resumed the two separate shows each week on both stations, so that means the rotation of airplay for all of you is doubled :) ...

Also, if any of you have any news and events you wish people to know about, please feel free to e-mail me so that I can include them in this newsletter; and also please do get in touch with the radio station to put your dates up on the gig guide.

Lynne's e-mail newsletters contain much more information, including bluegrass events and bands of Continental Europe - such as the forthcoming tour in Britain by the Sons of Navarone (B).

The new #1 European Bluegrass Band receive their award

Thanks to Gretha Dijkstra for these (and more) photos of the new #1 European Bluegrass Band, Goodwill (CZ), receiving their award at the climax of the European World of Bluegrass Festival last weekend at Voorthuizen, the Netherlands.

In the spotlights: Petr Ježek (guitar), Zdeněk Dokoupil (dobro), Robin Tomáš (banjo), Tomáš Lasek (bass)

The screen shows the #1 winners

Ronald Groot, chairman of the EWOB board, presents the award to the band

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bluegrass Europe #84: deadline 10 June 2012

The editorial team of Bluegrass Europe, the official EBMA magazine, wish to remind all bluegrass bands and bluegrass event producers in Europe to send in not later than 10 June 2012 all dates for public gigs and concerts between 15 July and 30 November 2012 for inclusion in BE #84 (July-Sept 2012). The same deadline applies to all concert news, reviews, reports, and other material for this issue.

Dates should be sent in the Excel format downloadable here or from the 'BE Dates' page of the EBMA website. Completed entries can then be sent to the BE editorial office by e-mail.

Bluegrass Europe regularly carries Europe's leading Bluegrass Concert and Festival Calendar and the European Bluegrass Guide. The editor-in-chief, Angelika Torrie, adds:

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. We also have some space available for advertisements...

And please 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, and the same goes for the respective section on our homepage.

European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA)
Postal address: European Bluegrass Music Association
Holeerain 29, CH-4102 Binningen, Switzerland
e-mail
Bluegrass Europe on Facebook

Tickets on sale for 11th Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival, 20-23 Sept. 2012

In its latest e-newsletter, the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival, a founder member of the EBMA Festival Network, announces a stellar lineup for the 11th annual event, to take place 20-23 September 2012 in its new home of Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland. The weekend will consist of street & pub sessions & jams, nightly seated concerts, masterclass workshops (various instruments, styles & all levels), free outdoor concerts, local craft displays, a busking competition, and the late-night Festival Club. Top international artists appearing include:

Suzy Bogguss (USA), Paul Brady, Blue Highway (USA), Don Rigsby & Charlie Sizemore (USA), George Harper (USA), Mundy, Gerry 'Banjo' O'Connor, Beoga, Electric Ceili, We Banjo 3 (feat. Enda Scahill), Niall Toner, Chris Meehan & his Redneck Friends, the Barcelona Bluegrass Band (Spain), Bending the Strings, and Blackjack (Czech Republic).

Tickets and weekend passes are now on sale. Further details - including online booking and details of accommodation in the Tullamore area - are here and on the Festival website.
E-mail; 'phone +353 (0)87-281-7825.

Blue Frets at Four Green Fields in Rome, 24 May 2012

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia reports that the acoustic quartet Blue Frets (Danilo, guitar, vocals; Marie Keane, vocals; Michele Anselmi, dobro, harmonica, vocals; and Andrea Moneta, bass, vocals) will be playing on Thursday 24 May from 9.00 p.m. at the Four Green Fields, Via Costantino Morin 68, Rome, Italy. Admission is free.

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

Monday, 21 May 2012

New developments in the BBMA

John Wirtz (left), present chairman of the British Bluegrass Music Association (BBMA) reports:

Banjo player John Breese has been elected chairman, and he takes over at the end of my official term in September 2012.

Mo Jackson (Kitty Hawks and former production manager of FOAOTMAD’s Old Time News) is the new production manager for British Bluegrass News.

Gary Payne of A Band Like Alice, Home Territory, and numerous other bands over the years, has been awarded the Jan Jerrold Award for his contribution to bluegrass music.

There will be extended coverage of these items and happenings on the British bluegrass scene in the forthcoming summer issue of the British Bluegrass News, available by joining the British Bluegrass Music Association.  For details, go to the BBMA website and check the membership page.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Liz Meyer European Innovation of Bluegrass Music Award

The board responsible for organising and presenting the annual European World of Bluegrass Festival has instituted a new award - the Liz Meyer European Innovation of Bluegrass Music Award - to be presented each year, in addition to the European Bluegrass Band Award (based on the votes of musicians) and Audience Popularity Award (based on audience votes).

The first presentation of the new award was made last night (19 May 2012) to the Louvat Bros of Belgium, who had played on the Thursday night concert. The text of the award, as reproduced below, can be seen on their website.

Liz Meyer (1952-2011) was widely regarded as an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter, and always a great support to other musicians in her field.

In the earlier part of her career, Liz was best known for her innovative songwriting and for performing and recording with a succession of legendary musicians, including Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, and Jerry Douglas.

But beyond her own musical pursuits, Liz’s career is also typified by her generosity towards other musicians. Always willing and able to offer practical advice and creative outlets to aspiring musicians, she helped numerous European bluegrass artists to set and achieve new goals within their art form.

Liz’s own songwriting and musical arrangements stem from a broad range of influences. Likewise, her name is often cited by European bands as an inspiration for implementing aspects of their musical heritage into their songs in a way that is at once tasteful and innovative.

This award was devised both to honor Liz’s memory and to encourage promising musicians to bring their music to a broader audience. The European World of Bluegrass Board is proud to present this year’s Liz Meyer European Innovation of Bluegrass Music Award to the Louvat Bros.


The Louvat Bros, first recipients of the new award

EWOB 2012 - winners and winners and winners

Angelika Torrie, EBMA board member, reports:

EWOB 2012 is past already. Here are some first highlights:

Welcome back Louvat Bros! (Louvat Bros live at EWOB; photo by Hans Kelderhuis)

The Louvat Bros won the Liz Meyer European Innovation of Bluegrass Music Award 2012 at the European World of Bluegrass Festival in Voorthuizen, the Netherlands. This award, which rewards the most innovative European band in bluegrass music, is given in memory of Liz Meyer, who always encouraged promising and creative musicians throughout her career.

Thanks to Dagfinn Pedersen who texted us results of the annual EWOB awards late at night:

European Bluegrass Band 2012:
#1 Goodwill (CZ)
#2 East-West (CZ)
#3 (ties) Jaywalkers (UK), Rawhide (BE), and Sunny Side (CZ)

Audience Popularity Award 2012:
#1 G-Runs 'n Roses (CZ)
#2 Sunny Side (CZ)
#3 The Old Time Hayride (GE/NL)

Pictures will follow as soon as we get some; please send yours as an attachment to blogebma.news@blogger.com, giving your name and e-mail address on top of the message. Thanks!

Kristin Andreassen in Europe

Kristin Andreassen (USA; formerly of Uncle Earl) announces:

I'm in France! This month I'm on tour with Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard (playing keys & fiddle & singing in his band). Jeff is one of my favorite songwriters and he also draws really cool comics and art. Here's a cool Polaroid [above] from yesterday's festival in Lyons.

Sat. 19 May: Lyons (Lyon), France – Festival Nuits Sonores
Sun. 20 May: Bordeaux, France – El Chincho
Mon. 21 May: Toulouse, France – Le Saint Des Seins
Tues. 22 May: Marseilles (Marseille), France – La Machine à Coudre
Wed. 23 May: Genoa (Genova), Italy – La Claque Theater
Thurs. 24 May: Lausanne, Switzerland – Le Bourg
Fri. 25 May: St Gallen, Switzerland – Palace
Sat. 26 May: Ticino, Switzerland – Gwenstival
Sun. 27 May: Vittorio Veneto, Italy – Bianconiglio
Mon. 28 May: Rome, Italy – Locanda Atlantide
Tues. 29 May: Turin (Torino), Italy – Spazio211
Wed. 30 May: Zurich, Switzerland – El Lokal
Thurs. 31 May: Freiburg, Germany – Swamp Bar
Sat. 2 June: London, UK – Field Day Festival

Yesterday I went for a jog around this field [above right] of mustard greens in Dijon. How perfect is that? (World's prettiest Comfort Inn can be seen in the background).

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Ferretti, Koch, Krüger in BU tributes to Earl Scruggs

The May 2012 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine carries a special commemorative feature marking the passing of Earl Scruggs, with a major obituary and assessment by Pete Wernick.

Among more than thirty other musicians - predominantly prominent banjo players - who contribute personal memories of Earl and his effect on their lives are Silvio Ferretti (above right) of Red Wine (I), Jens Koch (left) of G2 (S), and Jens Krüger (below) of the Krüger Brothers (CH/USA).

Photo: Lilly Pavlak

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Douglas Flint Dillard, 6 Mar. 1937-16 May 2012

Lilly Pavlak forwards the sad news from The Boot website that Douglas Flint 'Doug' Dillard died last night at the age of 75. He was highly influential both as a banjo-player and as a member of the Dillards, a band perhaps better attuned than any other at the time to the new audience for bluegrass that came from the folk music 'revival'. Lilly's own photos (above and below) show the members of the original Dillards band, with Doug in brown hat, on stage at the awards show during IBMA's World of Bluegrass in 2009, when the Dillards were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

The picture that heads Doug's own website shows him with his characteristic smile and his Gibson Granada. He recalled that the first time he heard Earl Scruggs was on the car radio while he was driving: the effect was such that he drove into a ditch and had to be towed out. 'Scruggs pegs' were later installed on his banjo by Earl himself. More details are on the VVN/Music website, on his own bio page, and on Bluegrass Today.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Danilo Cartia and Letizia Sampaolo in Rome, 17 May 2012

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia (I) announces that he and Letizia Sampaolo (vocals, guitar, autoharp) will be playing at the HELP! Pub, Via Animuccia 16, Rome, Italy, on Thursday 17 May from 22:00. Admission is free.

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

Tom Nechville and Europe

Banjo innovator Tom Nechville of Nechville Music Products plans to be in Europe from 28 August to 18 September 2012. Details are being arranged, as reported in the spring 2012 issue of Nechville News, the company's online newsletter. Among many other items of news in the latest 'Nechville Insider' e-mail bulletin, Tom reports:

Nechville sponsored the Jack Hatfield Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy this year with the donation of a custom Classic Flex-Tone banjo. Nechville’s comfortable radiused neck was Flux-mounted on a prewar flathead-style one-piece-flange traditional body. The lucky recipient of this unit was Anne Christenson from Stockholm, Sweden, a member of the Swedish bluegrass band, the Hillfillies.

Irish band's album for release on Pinecastle

I Draw Slow, the 'neo-old-time' band based in Dublin, Ireland, will have their second CD, Redhills, reissued on 7 Aug. 2012 by the prominent US bluegrass label Pinecastle Records, as the first result of the band's joining the distinguished Pinecastle artist roster.

Customers who pre-order Redhills from the Pinecastle website will also receive a free digital copy, delivered on the release date, and will receive the single 'Goldmine' instantly after their purchase. Read the full details on the latest Pinecastle e-newsletter.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

John Dowling banjo workshop in London, 24 June 2012

Thanks to UKBluegrass.com for the news that John Dowling (GB) will be giving a five-hour banjo workshop in London on 24 June, followed by a concert by John's band Doghouse Central. The workshop is limited to twenty participants, but is open to all levels of players, and family and friends can attend the concert free of charge. Full details are on a pdf form downloadable from the UKBluegrass.com page.

John Dowling is the only European banjo player who has won the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, USA. He has also been an instructor at the Banjo Camp Munich, and video footage from the Camp can be seen on his website. The photo above shows him playing the banjo in a Cornish tin mine (because of the natural acoustics, among other reasons). You can see and hear John playing in the mine on the 'Underground' page of his website.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Dial 0039 for 'Bluegrass Made In Italy'

Thanks to 0039 (formerly Bononia Grass) in Bologna, Italy, who report:

We can finally say that our CD DIAL will be out in a few days. We’re very excited - this is the debut CD of 0039! We've changed a lot in the last two years (name & lineup) and we decided that it was time to move on. So we made a big work of research to put together songs that really fit with our new kind of bluegrass - 'Bluegrass Made in Italy' - and that are, as much as possible, unheard in the bluegrass world. We have also five original songs penned by Paolo Ercoli that give us the opportunity to say (and play) our own bluegrass 'opinion'…

Now that DIAL will be out, we feel that it’s about time to grow even a little more. In a few days we will be playing at EWOB, and this summer we’ll play in La Roche, so there is no better way to show DIAL to the European audience. We have a lot of new projects, and we’re already working very hard to achieve all the goals.

Coming back to our CD, we’re more than proud of DIAL and we have to thank the fantastic guests we have on it: Mike Guggino (mandolin, vocal) and Nicky Sanders (fiddle), both of Steep Canyon Rangers; the dobro of Andy Hall in an instrumental that he wrote just for us; Rafe Stefanini (fiddle) on two songs with a clear old-time flavor. This project took a lot of time and work for us, and the result we had is the perfect synergy of a great team with the studio (Duna Studio in Russi, Italy), Paolo Varratta (designer), Stefano Goldberg (photographer), and of course our record label, ARYA Edizioni Genova.

There's so much we’d like to say about DIAL, but above all we hope that people will enjoy DIAL as we enjoy playing it!

0039 (l-r): Paolo Ercoli (resonator guitar, vocals), Giovanni Stefanini (mandolin, vocals), Marco Ferretti (banjo, guitar, vocals), Maria Grazia Branca (upright bass, vocals), Luca Bartolini (guitar, vocals)

Track list:
1 Gone for good (Paolo Ercoli)
2 Trouble in mind (Richard Jones)
3 Keep movin’ on (Paolo Ercoli)
4 Poplar Bluff (Ed Haley)
5 Love grown cold (Johnny Bond)
6 Lonesome for you (Paolo Ercoli)
7 Over you (Paolo Ercoli)
8 I know whose tears (Joe Newberry)
9 Hall of us (Andy Hall)
10 Lazy John (trad.)
11 Cheatin’ kind (Paolo Ercoli)
12 Bound to ride (Flatt & Scruggs)
13 Wannabe country music star (Charles Humphrey III)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Gérard de Smaele: new website

Thanks to banjo player, enthusiast, and researcher Gérard De Smaele of Fauroeulx, Belgium, for the news that he has a new website. The features include not only ample information about his own performing, recordings, and publications, but an ample liens (links) section which should be very useful to anyone interested in the banjo.

On the 'Publications' page of the site, his thesis Banjo attitudes can be read in full in French with new intro, conclusion, and references. An English translation is in progress. Gérard adds:

Ne manquez pas l'exposition 'Dylan' à la Cité de la Musique et la Banjo Collector's Gathering qui se tiendra cette année en octobre à Ferrum en Virginie.

Infamous String Dusters streaming live

We've just had word that the Stringdusters' show next Saturday 12th May will be streamed live from 12am Middle European Time. Follow this link to find out more!
 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

10th Bühl International Bluegrass Festival

Left: Marie-Josée Dandeneau of Oh My Darling (Canada); right, Alecia Nugent (USA)


The Gibson Brothers (USA)


Bluegrass Stuff (I) with Tabea Anderfuhren (CH)



Thanks to festival director Walter Fuchs (above, giving a video interview in the Johannesplatz) for forwarding these photos taken by Klaus-Peter Maier, Daniela Busam, and Manfred Sperl at last weekend's 10th Bühl International Bluegrass Festival in south-west Germany. Walter reports that the festival exceeded all its previous successes, with an overall audience of about 2,000 for the two days of indoor and outdoor concerts.
G-Runs 'n Roses (CZ) on the outdoor stage...


... and twin fiddling on the concert stage

Bluegrass 43 (F) cutting up


Fiddlesticks from Oh My Darling

Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers: new lineup, new CD, great reception

Thanks to Jussi Syren, who reports from Finland:

Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers are now a five-piece band. Fiddler Nelli Ikola has joined the group. Their latest album, Shave and haircut, had a wonderful review in Bluegrass Unlimited, and the next album will be out in October.

The BU review includes the words: 'Make no mistake about it, these guys deliver the goods: this is hard-driving bluegrass with an edge not heard since the likes of Red Allen.'

Word: new CD from the Acoustic Burgoo

Thanks to Ben Walters of the Virginia-based band Acoustic Burgoo for the news that the band have just released Word, their third full-length album. All of the fifteen tracks can be heard on their website, where the album can be bought either as a CD or in several download formats. Ben adds:

The band would love to make it out to Europe someday. We play a mix of styles, but mostly bluegrass- and old-time-inspired.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

New Niall Toner CD recorded in Nashville

Irish singer/songwriter, bandleader, broadcaster, and recording artist Niall Toner, the 'Godfather of Irish bluegrass', has just returned from recording his new album at the Loud Studio in Nashville, TN. The album, produced by Keith Sewell, is scheduled for worldwide release by Pinecastle Records in September 2012, during IBMA's World of Bluegrass. Nine new songs by Niall, together with new versions of his recent releases 'William Smith Monroe' and 'Tomorrow', will be included.

The above photo (from an original by Fiaz Farrelly) shows Niall with some of the artists assisting the recording: (l-r) Jake Burns (engineer), Keith Sewell (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, piano), Niall, Rob Ickes (Dobro, Weissenborn guitar), Ashby Frank (mandolin), Viktor Krauss (upright bass). Among those whom Niall thanks for their help are Martino Coppo of Red Wine (I) and Jimmy Sunnebrandt of G2 (S). More details are on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog.

Niall will also be making two appearances in the Carlow Arts Festival in Ireland next month, when he will present a bluegrass workshop on 10 June and lead his band in a special concert on 13 June. The Mountain Music Entertainment agency, which represents him in the USA, has issued an online press release, drawing attention to his achievements on AirPlay Direct and the forthcoming album, and suggesting voting for him in the Emerging Artist of the Year category in this year's IBMA awards.

More concert news from Belgium

Bluegrass in Belgium reports that the extremely talented Louvat Brothers will play at 15:00 on Sunday 13 May 2012 at Le Cabaret des Oiseaux, Chemin du Halage 3, Lessines.

A week later, the Jaywalkers (above) from the UK will play on 20 May at La Porte Noire, 67 Rue des Alexiens, 1000 Brussels. Reservations are essential, and admission is €15. Doors open 18:30; performance commences 19:00. Food is available. For information and/or reservations, e-mail.