Friday, 31 May 2013

BANJOREE 2013 in Schnega, about 100 km south of Hamburg

Thanks to Veit Döhler <> for the information of the bi-annual banjo event in the north of Germany.

Dear Banjo-Friends,
Finally and soon again we will have another BANJOREE – the 5th.

This time everything is new:
-       The date: September 13th-15th 2013
-       The location: Proitzer Muehle next to 29465 Schnega, about 100 km south of Hamburg in the beautiful Wendland  ( )
-       The concept: see

More information you will also find there.
In Proitzer Mühle there will be about 70 beds in very few single rooms, many 2-bed rooms and some multiple-bed rooms. The site and the rooms are much more beautiful than those in Hagen, where we have been before. And most important: the food is much better!

For registration (rooms and camping) please call Rainer Schwarz: .

We also will support car-pools again, so if you want a lift or can offer one, please call us. If you want to use public transport, you can take a train to Uelzen.
Please inform your musical friends as well – also invited are mandolinists, guitarists, bassists, violinists, ukulelists, doboists and whatever-ists.

Best wishes – keep on picking and jamming!
BANJOREE – Andreas, Veit and Rainer.

Maestro Ecole de Musique, Gaillac VOUS PROPOSE UN ATELIER D’HARMONIE VOCALE...

...animé par Sue Thompson de Seattle, Etats-Unis
Vous aimez chanter? Venez découvrir les harmonies en travaillant à l’oreille, sans avoir besoin de lire la musique. Nous apprendrons (en anglais et en français !) comment trouver l’harmonie au-dessus ou en-dessous de la ligne mélodique, dans différents styles de chansons, surtout les chansons bluegrass folklorique, country, blues, swing ...
Mardi, 4 juin 2013, 18h30 à 20h30 
Donnazac, salle de fêtes, (entre Cordes et Gaillac sur le D33)
Prix: 20 €

Pour s'inscrire, et pour plus d’informations, appelez le ou 
ou envoyez un mél:

In English:
Maestro Music School in Gaillac is putting on a Harmony Singing By Ear Workshop
Taught by Sue Thompson, from USA

Do you love to sing? Come and learn how to sing harmony by ear without needing to read notes, and without needing anyone else to teach you what notes to sing. We'll learn (in English and in French) how to find harmony parts above and below the melody of a song. Great for bluegrass, folk, country, swing and blues songs.

Tuesday June 4, 2013 from 18h30-20h30 
Location: Donnezac community hall (between Cordes and Gaillac on the D33)

To register, or for more information, call: or or email  

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Festival Muzikale Landdag in Drenthe (NL) on Sunday, 9th June

Thanks to Silvia Fledderus for this announcement:

On Sunday, 9th June, Boet'n Deure organizes the Muzikale Landdag. A great bluegrassfestival outside in the middle of woods in Drenthe (NE-Netherlands). Bluegrass, Oldtime, ten bands on one stage and plenty of room for jamsessions.

Time: from 11 am until 6 pm.
Entrance: free.

The following bands will perform on stage:
  • Babes in the Grass,
  • Bottle Up and Go,
  • Emmy and the Bluegrass Pals,
  • Except 2,
  • Goodtilnow,
  • Heavy Clay,
  • New Country Ramblers,
  • Stringtime,
  • Touch of Grass and
  • Velvet Joe & the Bluegrass Diamonds
Sound: All Acoustic.
More info:

Welcome to new EBMA members Rackhouse Pilfer (Ireland)

Welcome to EBMA, Fiachra & all the lads of Rackhouse Pilfer!

Rackhouse Pilfer just recently joined the EBMA and took advantage of placing an ad at a reduced rate in our magazine BLUEGRASS EUROPE.
They are a bluegrass / alt country band from Ireland and all band info can be found on their website

They've had some really great reviews in Ireland & the UK for their latest CD. Here's a link to find out more:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Danilo Cartia Trio in Rome, 30th May 2013

Banjoist, guitarist, bandleader, and singer Danilo Cartia (I) announces that the Danilo Cartia Trio will be playing bluegrass, blues, and other acoustic music on Thursday 30th May at the Frane Letterarie, Via San Martino ai Monti 7/a, Rome. Admission is free.

Danilo Cartia
Phone/Fax: +39 068273332
Mobile: +39 3396908450

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bluegrass activity in Belgium, May-June 2013

Bluegrass in Belgium reports a busy time for bands in late May and late June, including the new Low Country Bluegrass Festival:

2013 2013 2013 2013
date band details info
May 30 The Sons of Navarone CC 't Aambeeld
Della Faillelaan 34
2630 Aartselaar
't Aanbeeld
May 31 Good Company Mazy Bluegrass, Irish & Old time Jam
Zy'coop, 9a rue de l'Usine,
5032 Mazy
Bluegrass Jam
June 26 The Sons of Navarone Warwick Barsey Hotel
Av Louise 381, Brussels
June 27 The Sons of Navarone GC Elzenhof - tuinfeest
Kroonlaan 12, 1050 Elsene
June 29 Bluewire
Louvat Bros.
The Old Time Hayride (NL/GER)
Ed Kooyman en Herman Van Haeren
Rocks & Ivy
Low Country Bluegrass Festival
Venusstraat 10, 2520 Oelegem
June 30 Blue Maxx kerk Oelegem
Gospel tijdens de ochtendmis
June 30 Shenandoah Special
Blue Maxx
East West (CZ)
The Henry Brothers (UK)
Blackjack (CZ)
Low Country Bluegrass Festival
Venusstraat 10, 2520 Oelegem

Jam in Mazy (B) on 31st May with "Good Company"

Dear friends, musicians and music lovers,

Eighth «Mazy Bluegrass, Irish & Old time Jam», this
Friday, 31st May 2013

What it is about: to offer a friendly meeting place for fans of Bluegrass, Irish, Old time music and more globaly, for fans of acoustic music who wish to share musical moments between players or listeners.

When: these musical meetings are scheduled to the last Friday of each month. So the next jam will happen on Friday, May 31th, 2013.

Where : at the wonderful Zy'coop place, 9a rue de l'usine, 5032 Mazy.

Opening hours :

Doors open at 19h30
Jam from 20h to 21h30
Open stage from 21h30 to 21h50
Concert from 22h to 23h

Last jam for the road …

Who: fans of Bluegrass, Irish and Old time Acoustic music, with their instrument or not, beginners or advanced … cheerfulness required !

What: The purpose of the jam is to let the musicians to propose tunes to each other, spontaneously, following the felling of the moment. However, to allow to everybody to be comfortable, we will suggest every month 5 "standards" pieces of the style which will be certainly played!

More détails on our web site :

Rate :

Take part to the jam for a symbolic coin of 2,00 € !!!
Thank the musicians performing the concert of the evening according to your appreciation by participating in the hat...

Organising team: Steve Louvat, Laurent Eeckhout (Picnic Festival) & Pascal Similon from (Atelier Guy Ness). Thanks to all volunteers for their help

Become friends on Facebook now:>

Looking forward to meet you there numerous,

Musically yours,

Steve, Laurent & Pascal

New Slovak Bluegrass band: "Bill Faster"

Great news from Richard Ciferský

Hello Bluegrass fans,
Bill Faster (SK)
we would like a introduce you to our new fresh bluegrass band with an original sound and unique concept: "BILL FASTER". And why Bill Faster? “BILL” from Bill Monroe (the “father of Bluegrass music”) is combined with the word “FASTER” because time is constantly moving and so too is bluegrass. This means that while we keep traditional bluegrass in our hearts, the new face to our band allows us to offer an exciting, contemporary sound. Please keep the name of our band BILL FASTER in your mind because we know you will hear about us down the road and we hope to see you somewhere then. Please check us out on our new website
We are currently working on a new single and music video, but we are ready to book shows for 2014. Just contact our booking agent Richard and inform him of your interest. He will be happy to answer any of your questions. His email is If you would like to contact a band member, you can find more details on our website.
Thanks to everyone for crossing your fingers for us and also don't forget to “like” our Facebook page.
See you down the road!

Richard Ciferský
On behalf of BILL FASTER

The Giant Mountains Band (CZ) releases first CD

Thanks to Lucien Holmes for this news:

The Czech bluegrass outfit Giant Mountains Band, winners of the Caslav (CZ) Banjo Jamboree in 2010, are proud to announce their first CD, „Long Lonesome Road." The disc features original songwriting from American mandolinist Lucien G. Holmes and stellar musicianship from the band. The CD is available for download or purchase (10€, including shipping).
Have a listen or get it today at

Date announced for 15th Spring Bluegrass Festival Willisau, Switzerland

Paolo Dettwiler of the Spring Bluegrass Festival, Switzerland writes:

Hi all bluegrass lovers!

the 14th edition of the Spring Bluegrass Festival Willisau was a huge success with the highest number of spectators ever!

The Stroatklinkers (NL) at 14th Spring Bluegrass Festival
Looking back to the good co-operation we are pleased to announce that the 15th anniversary edition will take place on 

Saturday, 24th May 2014

Many thanks to all and best regards

Paolo Detttwiler
Member of the organizing committee

Monday, 27 May 2013

Chris Twomey, pioneer of autoharp in Ireland, passes

Niall Toner sends from Ireland the sad news of the death of Chris Twomey, one of the pioneers of bluegrass and old-time music in Ireland, after a long illness. The photo, taken in 1966 by Niall's wife Moira Toner, shows Chris on guitar and Niall on 'tater-bug' mandolin in the back yard of Parnell Terrace, off Pouladuff Road, Cork.

Niall and Chris first met on the folk scene in Cork in 1966, and became at once firm, life-long friends and musical partners, performing first as 'The Kinfolk', later in 'Paddy's Goatskin and String Band'. In the late 1960s, with a repertoire largely drawn from the Carter Family and the New Lost City Ramblers, Chris, Niall, and Niall's brother Colm formed the Lee Valley String Band.

More details are on Niall's own blog and on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog. Chris's music can be heard on his CD Midnight on the water and with the Lee Valley String Band on CD and YouTube.

Seeking for CDs of European bluegrass bands for Review/Airplay

Thanks to Niall Toner for his request:

Greetings from Ireland. I have been asked by Brian McNeal of the Prescription Bluegrass Blog in the USA to present a couple of reviews of European Bluegrass CDs each month. I am reviewing CDs of Red Wine and Aragon Mill Bluegrass for June, but need a supply of European CDs to continue through 2013.
So here's a request to European bluegrass bands to send me their CDs for review! All CDs sent will also be considered for Air-Play on my Roots Freeway Radio Show on RTE Radio One, which returns to the National Airwaves on June the 1st.
CDs, with Press Releases should be addressed to my home as below.
Thanks in advance, yours, Niall.
Niall Toner Music
Teach Burren
Co Carlow

EBMA is happy to let you know, these reviews may also be used in our printed magazine, Bluegrass Europe!

One-Day workshop on How to Sing Harmony by Ear, in Bonn, Germany

Sue Thompson, harmony expert and
vocalist in the band Field & Thompson
Sue Thompson, harmony expert and vocalist in the band Field & Thompson, will teach a one-day workshop on How to Sing Harmony by Ear, in Bonn, Germany on Sunday June 23. Learn how to figure out high and low harmonies and how to blend voices for a great bluegrass sound, all in a fun, friendly, low-stress environment. 

Location: Musikschule Metronom
Von-Sandt-Straße 22, Bonn
Time: 10:00-17:00 (with a lunch break)
Fee: 60 Euro

For more information please contact: Sabrina Palm, phone +49-228-9156391. To register please contact: Musikschule Metronom, phone +49-228-474748. To learn more please visit:
 (English) or (Deutsch)

Sue Thompson
Contact in France until June 30:
+33 (0)6 01 79 43 13 cell 
+33 (0)1 45 31 52 15 landline
USA: +1 206 783-2097

Scottish Autoharp Weekend 9-11th Aug. 2013

Thanks to Sharon Loughrin, the Northern Ireland representative of the British Bluegrass Music Association, for forwarding this news of the 2013 Scottish Autoharp Weekend (9-11 August), which includes a special Irish dimension. Nadine White of UK Autoharps announces:

Although the autoharp is not one of the usual bluegrass instruments, given the history of the autoharp in old-time country music and with such seminal recordings as those of the Carter Family and the Stonemans, the autoharp has always been linked to this genre.

This year, two of the workshop leaders and performers in the Saturday night concert would be of special interest to the bluegrass community:

· Bob Fish from Wales (With a huge professional background as a singer and performer, Bob is singing and writing songs in the bluegrass genre. He's appearing on his own at the Autoharp Weekend, but can be seen elsewhere performing as half of the bluegrass and country duo 'White Doves')

· Maeve Toner from Dublin (Younger sister of Niall Toner, Maeve has an authoritative and distinctive style with old-time and quirky songs).

Maeve Toner launched her CD Just for the record in Dublin a month ago, and her report on the 2012 Scottish Autoharp Weekend can be read on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog.

The 2013 Weekend will be held in Moniaive, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the location of the annual Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival. More information, including booking and accommodation details, is on the UK Autoharps website. Click on the link to 'Future events' and follow links to 'Scottish Autoharp Weekend'.

Lilly of the West will host bluegrass & country music festival in Bulgaria

"Country West Fest" 2013".

Bulgaria, a small country in south-eastern Europe will have a new festival dedicated to country and bluegrass music. "Country West Fest 2013" will take place on 29/30 June, in the town of Bankia, near the capital Sofia. It will feature Bulgarian bands: Lilly of the West, Statson, Kaliana, Medikus and Cash only. A special guest will be Italian singer and mandolin player Martino Coppo (Red Wine) who is also a board member of the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA).

"Country West Fest 2013" is a milestone for the development of bluegrass and country music on the Balkans. It is the first festival dedicated to authentic American music in Bulgaria and promotes American culture. "Country West Fest 2013" has received funding support by the Sofia Municipality and will be featured in the capital's cultural calendar. It will also become part of the European Bluegrass Festival Network and will be announced in numerous music guides. Visitors will enjoy an exciting weekend at country pub "Saloon" which offers unique western atmosphere with excellent American food and outdoor entertainment such as horse-riding. The show will be presented by Bulgarian radio legend Toma Sprostranov.

"Country West Fest 2013" is organized by Bulgarian country and bluegrass pioneers Lilly of the West. The band was formed in 1996 by Lilly Drumeva in Sofia. They have released 9 albums to date and have toured throughout Europe and the United States. You may find music and lots of videos at

For more information:

Official website:


Friday, 24 May 2013

New Kruger Brothers CD from NAG

The New Acoustic Gallery (NAG) at Wuppertal, Germany, announces that a new CD by the Kruger BrothersRemembering Doc, can be ordered at a unit price of €17.90 from the Gallery's online shop. The album is a collection of new recordings of songs from Doc Watson's vast repertoire, plus a recording of the Kruger Brothers' performance of 'Shady Grove' with Doc at the MerleFest 15th anniversary celebration.

Tel.: +49 (0)202/94672730; e-mail.

The NAG's May 2013 newsletter can be read or downloaded in pdf format here.

New Acoustic Gallery
Schloss Lüntenbeck - Lüntenbeck 1
42327 Wuppertal

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Red Wine Showcasing at IBMA WOB 2013 in Raleigh, NC

Martino Coppo, EBMA board member and mandolinist/lead singer of Red Wine (I), reports:

Dear friends and Bluegrass lovers,

Red Wine is thrilled and excited to announce that, for the 4th time in its history, the band has been invited to showcase at the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, next September.

We are especially happy with the good feedback we continue to receive about our latest CD, RED, and our current lineup, with Silvio Ferretti on banjo, Marco Ferretti on guitar, Lucas Bellotti on electric bass, and Martino Coppo on mandolin.

Some other RW selected dates for the summer:

July 6 Thun Bluegrass Festival, Switzerland
July 19-21 Guildtown Bluegrass Festival, Scotland
August 24 Agriturismo Pian Della Castagna, w/Tony Trischka, Italy

Looking forward to seeing some old friends and make some new ones out there!

Martino Coppo

Red Wine pics by Stefano Goldberg: below, the band in concert with Peter Rowan

Four US bands on stage in 11th Bühl Festival finale

Thanks to Walter Fuchs, director and MC of the International Bühl Bluegrass Festival in Bühl/Baden, Germany, for this copy of one article from the ample coverage of the 11th Festival (4 May 2013) in the local press.

The article, by Klaus-Peter Maier, was published in the Badische Neueste Nachrichten. The photo, by Daniela Busam, shows the festival finale, bringing together on stage the four US bands who comprised this year's lineup - the Roys, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Monroe Crossing, and the Deadly Gentlemen (whose name is literally translated in the article headline).

Next year's Bühl Festival will return to the full two-day format, and will be held on 2-3 May 2014.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Lilly Drumeva releases first bluegrass recording in Bulgarian language

Lilly Drumeva, Bulgarian bluegrass pioneer and founder of Lilly of the West, has written and recorded a new song in the Bulgarian language. The title is “Кънтри в душата” ('Country in my soul'), inspired by her love and passion for country and bluegrass music. She sings about the best years of her life, spent on the road with her band, moments of joy and happiness.

The song was recorded in two countries: Bulgaria and Slovakia. Instrumental tracks and arrangement are by talented Slovakian band Candy Floss featuring Michal Barok (mandolin), Dusan Hronec (guitar), Simona Schmidtova (banjo), Michal Kovac (fiddle), Anton Naroda (double bass). Lead and harmony vocals were added in Sofia by Lilly Drumeva, mixed and mastered by sound engineer Stamen Ianev.

“Кънтри в душата” ('Country in my soul') is inspired also by John Denver’s 'Take me home, country roads', which is one of the most popular country music songs in the world. Lilly deliberately quotes fragments of its chorus, in order to raise more attention. In Bulgaria the term 'bluegrass' is relatively unknown and people only hear about it through country music.

Enjoy Lilly’s new song and photos of Lilly of the West on YouTube. A professional video will be released very soon.

Lilly Drumeva discovered bluegrass and country music twenty years ago and it changed her life. Since 1996 she has toured throughout Europe and the United States, releasing nine studio albums to date. She is the founder, main musician and manager of Lilly of the West. She presents Bulgarian bluegrass and country music on Bulgarian national radio and TV.

For additional information, e-mail.

Lilly of the West

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

La Roche Bluegrass Workshop with Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Thanks, Christopher, for sharing these great news!

July 30 – August 1, 2013

La Roche sur Foron, France

“Dare to  join that jam”

Workshop #5 now open for enrollments.

  Hickory Project, our resident band, are taking a hiatus this year and we are pleased to announce that Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen are stepping into the breach, alonside our regular team of French tutors. This means the workshop will once again be international and bi-lingual – and of the  highest standard.

The workshop aims to help players of all levels who want to jam but aren’t quite sure if they are good enough or how to get started. With just the basic chords and a few standard songs and tunes, anyone can play in a jam and this workshop will show you how to break away from tablature so you can have fun using the chords you already know.

Frank Solivan (mandolin) has taught for many years at Bluegrass camps and the band Bearfoot grew out of one of his regular camps in Alaska. Danny Booth (bass – and also from Alaska), Chris Luquette (guitar) and Mike Munford (banjo) are also experienced tutors and share the same ambition: put down those tabs and join that jam! They will be supported by Amanda Kerr, also from the Alaska Bluegrass camp experience!

We have Sue Thompson back to run the vocal harmony workshop, ably supported by Mathilde Cousin. James Field will be on hand to teach effective rhythm guitar; Raphaël Maillet (Fiddle), Dorian Ricaux (guitar and mandolin), Pierre-Yves Lechat (banjo) and Pierre Bastide (dobro) complete the line up of tutors.

Mornings will be devoted to the main instrument or vocal workshops and in the afternoons there will be a variety of activities allowing you to look at other instruments (or singing), to slow jam or to join a “band lab”, where you can start to actually work as a band.

So if you’re after some good music, lots to learn, plenty of variety and late night jams, this workshop is just for you.

The workshop takes place in the high school and students and some tutors will live full time on site.

The workshop is open to seasoned players as well as anyone who can play the basic Bluegrass chords and a few simple, standard Bluegrass tunes, and who wants to be able to express themselves more freely in a jam situation.

The cost is €120 for the workshop + €75 euros for accommodation and food. The workshop is organised by Pierre Bastide who can be contacted on

More information can be found via the workshop link from the festival website at

Monday, 20 May 2013

Eighth Mazy jam in Belgium, 31 May 2013

Thanks to Steve Louvat, Laurent Eeckhout, and Pascal Similon for this news:

Dear friends, musicians and music lovers,

Eighth Mazy Bluegrass, Irish & Old-Time Jam next Friday (31 May 2013)

A reminder:

Goal: to offer a friendly meeting place for fans of Bluegrass, Irish, Old time music and more globally, for fans of acoustic music who wish to share musical moments between players or listeners.

When: these musical meetings are scheduled to the last Friday of each month. So the next jam will happen on Friday 31 May 2013.

Where: at the wonderful Zy’coop place, 9a rue de l’usine, 5032 Mazy.

Opening hours: Doors open at 19:30
Jam from 20:00 to 21:30
Open stage from 21:30 to 21:50
Concert from 22:00 to 23:00:
Last jam for the road…

Who: fans of bluegrass, Irish, and old-time acoustic music, with their instrument or not, beginners or advanced… cheerfulness required!

What: The purpose of the jam is to let the musicians propose tunes to each other, spontaneously, following the feeling of the moment. However, to allow to everybody to be comfortable, we will suggest every month five 'standard' pieces of the style which will be certainly played!
This 31/05/2013 :

Roanoke (G)
Mason's Apron (A)
Ground speed (G)
Back up & push (C)
Cripple Creek (A)

More details on our website!

Rate:Take part to the jam for a symbolic coin of €2!!!
Thank the musicians performing the concert of the evening according to your appreciation by participating in the hat...

Organising team: Steve Louvat, Laurent Eeckhout (Picnic Festival)
and Pascal Similon from 'l’Atelier Guy Ness'
Thanks to all volunteers for their help.

Become friends on Facebook now.
Looking forward to meet you there numerous,

Musically yours,

Steve, Laurent, & Pascal

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Niall Toner to launch book on songwriting, 8 June 2013

Irish singer, songwriter, bandleader, and broadcaster Niall Toner (above), recipient of the EBMA's European Bluegrass Personality of the Year 2012 award, will soon launch a new book at an arts festival near his home in Co. Carlow, Ireland. Details are given in the press release below.

On Saturday 8 June at 4.30 p.m. in Borris House, bluegrass maestro and Blackstairs Mountains resident Niall Toner launches his book The nuts and bolts of songwriting. He will give the audience a live demonstration of his teachings, and then talk about his career as a musician with actress Caitríona Ní Mhurchú. Tickets are only €10 and can be booked here. Copies of the new book will be available immediately following the event.

The Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas is part of the Carlow Arts Festival. Other speakers on this day in Borris include Martin Amis, Paolo Tullio, Paul Murray, Olivia O'Leary, John Boyne and others. Liam O Maonlai will perform that evening.

Danilo Cartia Trio in Rome TONIGHT

The Danilo Cartia Trio (I) present bluegrass, blues, and other acoustic music tonight (Saturday 18 May) at the prestigious location of the Enoteca Letteraria Archeologica e Barocca, Via delle IV Fontane 130, Rome.

The event begins at 20:30 and includes food and wine. Admission is €15 (students and unwaged €12). For information and bookings, e-mail or 'phone +39 0645 43 50 15.

Danilo Cartia
Phone/fax: +39 068273332
Mobile: +39 3396908450

Friday, 17 May 2013

1st Bluegrass Meeting at Sarzana, Italy, 24 May 2013

Danilo Cartia (I) sends this reprint of his article in the latest issue of Bluegrass Europe, the official EBMA magazine ('Rivista Ufficiale della Associazione Europea di Musica Bluegrass').

The 1st Bluegrass Meeting will be held a week today (Friday 24 May 2013) at Sarzana, Italy, as part of the 16th Acoustic Guitar Meeting (22-6 May). Workshops, jams, and stage performances will be included, of which the high point will be the Italian Bluegrass All-Stars - Danilo Cartia (banjo), Massimo Gatti (mandolin), Anchise Bolchi (fiddle), Leo Di Giacomo (guitar), and Icaro Gatti (double bass), with special guests.

See also Danilo's advance information, which appeared on the European Bluegrass Blog on 6, 19, and 20 March 2013.

Danilo Cartia
Phone/fax: +39 068273332
Mobile: +39 3396908450

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Spectator's view of the EWOB 2013

EWOB 2013 is far already (it seems) - but as people get home from their exciting and enriching weekend, the reports on the festival experience start flowing in. Here's Ton Dentinger's - he'll be back in 2014!

Last weekend, we had the 16th EWOB festival and for the 15th time in Voorthuizen, and it gets better every year. The opening act on Thursday was the G-Runners Bluegrass Band from Italy and I was pleasantly surprised, they did an excellent job on their first appearance at EWOB. Later we had the Belgian band Blue Maxx with bluegrass veteran Jan Michielsen.
Lazy Tater (NL), photo: T. Dentinger
In the evening the organization had merged the concerts of the Looping Brothers and Si Kahn into one 50 minute concert. The evening was closed out by Rawhide from Belgium, and before they started they were surprised by receiving the "Liz Meyer" Bluegrass Innovation Award.
On the second day we enjoyed the Czech band Handl, with overactive Radim Duda on mandolin they presented an excellent set of bluegrass. New at EWOB was Trativod, also from the Czech Republic, who had more of an Old Timey feel, with Karel Novotny on clawhammer banjo. The evening was closed out by the excellent musicians of G-Runs'n RosesAfter two songs they were interrupted by Pieter Groenveld (who sound engineered the festival on all three days in his customary excellent way) for the presentation of their new CD .
Bluedust (IT), photo: T. Dentinger
Saturday, day three, brought a string of Scandinavian bands, but the highlights for me were the Italian Bluedust, the Czech band Sunny Side (with two new members, but still hardcore bluegrass) and the Field & Thompson band. James Field voice blended well with that of Sue Thompson, and mandolinist Percy Copley (who also played banjo) was very good.
On this evening the awards were distributed. The #1 EWOB 2013 Audience popularity award went to Sunny Side (who also won in 2005 and 2010). The #1 European Bluegrass Band award went to Handl and for once I can agree with the result. And the members of Handl were beside themselves from joy!
As always, the atmosphere at the festival was fabulous, people from all over Europe attending, playing and discussing music. The venue was good as well, of course. I didn't attend any workshops, but I heard that they were good and entertaining. My wife and I have already decided to return next year. See you there!

Ton Dentinger