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