Thursday, 31 October 2013

Moniaive festival website: a new look

C. Paul 'Dobroman' Lyttle, organiser of the annual Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival in south-west Scotland, announces that the festival has a new home page, with the Broken Strings Band from Northern Ireland in the banner photograph (above).

The Moniaive bluegrass festival is also known as 'The Wee European World of Bluegrass Festival'. This year (27-29 Sept. 2013) it featured two bands from Scotland, three from the island of Ireland, and one (Stringcaster) from the Netherlands. Videos of all six bands in performance can be seen on the festival website.

Paul also sends a reminder that festival attenders who complete and send in their reply to a survey by 30 November may win two tickets to next year's event.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Danilo Cartia Band in Rome, 31 Oct. 2013

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia (I) announces that the Danilo Cartia Band will be playing bluegrass, blues, and ballads on Thursday 31 October (Hallowe'en night) at the American Embassy, Via Veneto, Rome, beginning at 7.00 p.m.

Danilo Cartia
Phone/fax +39 068273332; mobile +39 3396908450

Niall Toner and Friends in the Grey Fox Suite, IBMA 2013

Thanks to Niall Toner (IRL), to the photographer Darwin Davidson, and to Mary Burdette, assistant director of the renowned Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, for this photo of Niall and Friends performing in the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival suite at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2013 in Raleigh, NC, a month ago.

Shown in action are (l-r) Richie Foley, mandolin (slightly hidden); Niall, guitar; Dan Mahoney, dobro; and Missy Raines, bass. At the door, Niall's wife Moira; on the couch, Martino Coppo, member of the EBMA board and mandolinist/ lead singer of Red Wine (I).

Change in voting system for #1 European Bluegrass Band at Voorthuizen, NL

Thanks to Ronald Groot, Chairman of EWOB in Voorthuizen, NL, sends news about the organisation's decision to change the voting system for the # 1 European Bluegrass Band Award Voorthuizen. Here's the complete media release:
Handl, CZ, #1 EBB 2013

"The last years IBMA made it clear to the organization of the EWOB, that they can no longer guarantee a spot at their festival for a European Band and therefore also not for the winner of the #1 European Bluegrass Award at the EWOB Festival Voorthuizen.
The ROMP-festival in Owensboro, Kentucky, home to the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) and ROMP Festival has decided to step in and help us promote European Bluegrass. This year Goodwill from the Czech Republic presented European Bluegrass with great results.
We are happy that ROMP helps us to promote European Bluegrass and we are of course more than happy to work with them. The ROMP organization understands our idealistic voting system, but have asked us to introduce a jury component in the system, similar to their own procedure. This jury component was also suggested by several bands playing at EWOB 2013. Of course the EWOB organization is more than willing to combine the two systems, to make sure that the participating bands feel that a just and fair winner is chosen.

Therefore the voting system for the #1 European Bluegrass Band 2014 award will be different.
How is the winning band chosen in the European Bluegrass Band Award competition?
The winner of the #1 European Bluegrass Band Award will be chosen by all the musicians (almost 200) performing at the EWOB Festival and also by a jury of experts to judge all bands, with a 50-50 value to the votes of the bands and the votes of the jury.  This way the winner will be a vital expression of the musicians appreciation, as well as the result of an objective view from non band-members.
Who is eligible to compete for the European Bluegrass Band Awards?
Every European bluegrass band selected to perform at the European World of Bluegrass Festival is eligible for this professional awards competition, except the #1 European Bluegrass Band of the previous year. Non-European members of competing European bands must be official residents of a European country.
What are the benefits of winning the European Bluegrass Band Awards?
EWOB's award winners take home a title they can use to build their professional careers. Being a European Bluegrass Band Award winner is an impressive asset to any band's credentials when booking tours or trying to get press and radio attention. A smart band will include their European Bluegrass Band Award title in their bio and promotional materials for their whole career, not only for the year when it is current. If you have been a #1 European Bluegrass Band, you can make use of this title forever (but please use the year at the end of your title, to avoid confusion).
The results of the European Bluegrass Band Award competition are sent to hundreds of music publications and radio programmers, event producers, and bluegrass fans worldwide. The award winners are featured on our website and in Bluegrass Europe magazine.
The #1 European Bluegrass Band is featured as one of the headline artists at the following year's EWOB Festival. They are not eligible for the awards competition for that year. The organization of the EWOB would like to thank all who have taken the time to make these suggestions to help us to always improve our festival.
For more information go to:

Friday, 25 October 2013

Niall Toner Band for MERLEFEST 2014

Thanks to Niall Toner, EBMA European Bluegrass Personality of the Year 2012, the artist with currently the most downloaded Folk/Bluegrass CD to Worldwide Radio on Air Play Direct, for this update:
  • His Song, Lonely Souls and Broken Hearts featured in ABC Drama, NASHVILLE, and in HAVEN, TV drama based on Stephen King's Novel, The Colorado Kid. 
  • His instrumental, A Real Reel, featured in Grand Theft Auto IV, and 
  • his Songs recorded by Bill Wyman, Albert Lee, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Special Consensus etc ...
  • Now see Niall and his Band, at five performances, at MERLEFEST 2014!
Saturday, April 26 at 10.45 am, CREEKSIDE STAGE
Saturday, April 26 at 11.45 am, MAYES-PIT COHN AUDITORIUM
Saturday April 26 at 1.45 pm, CABIN STAGE
Saturday April 26 at 8.30 pm, AUTOGRAPH A
Sunday, April 27 at 11.45 am, AMERICANA STAGE

Further information :

The Tillers (USA) in Britain and Ireland, 2-15 Nov. 2013

The Tillers, a neo-old-time three-piece band from Cincinnati, Ohio, will make a two-week tour (2-15 November 2013) in Britain and Ireland in support of their new album Hand on the plow, which is due for release on 4 November on the Muddy Roots Music Recordings label.

Iris DeMent is quoted as saying: 'The Tillers… I could sit and listen to them all night long!' The band have released several earlier albums, and have won three Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for best Folk and Americana act (2009, 2010, 2013). While in Britain, they will be playing six dates with Pokey LaFarge (USA).

The official video for their song 'The road neverending' can be seen on YouTube. For further information, interview, session or guest list requests, contact Geraint or Deb Jones at G Promo PR (phone +44 (0)1584 873211; mobile +44 (0)7855 724798; e-mail).

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Epona Celtic at the Mazy Jam, 25 Oct. 2013

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

Dear friends, musicians and music lovers,

Next Friday 25th October 2013

Where: at the wonderful Zy’coop place, 9a rue de l’usine, 5032 Mazy. More details on our website!

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

Epona Celtic will be the featured guests.

Special Consensus touring Europe 1-10 November 2013

Special Consensus
Special Consensus is a superb bluegrass outfit in a classic vein but with more than enough modern sensibilities to attract every ear in this now pleasantly fractionating genre. The vocals are spotless, the playing as shiny as a newly minted penny, and music like this is the reason people come to love bluegrass… Special Consensus approaches this hallowed American musical form with boundless energy and an aesthetic reverence that tickles the ribs, tugs at the heart, and puts a restless two-step in boots and bare feet…
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Mark S. Tucker

Don't miss them on their upcoming European tour:
  • Fri 01 November, Brussels, Belgium, 8:30pm, Toogenblik, Rue Kortenbachstraat 11, 1130 Haren (Brussels)
  • Sat 02 November, Wadway/Wognum NL, 8.00 p.m., Partycentrum 'De Vriendschap'
  • Sun 03 November,  Basel, Switzerland, 5:00 pm, Jufa, Peter Merian-Strasse 30,
  • Tue 05 November, Vöhringen/Illertal, Germany, Illertal Cowboys Saloon, 8:00 pm,
  • Thu 07 November, Murten, Switzerland, Rest. Zum Stöckli im Löwenberg / 6:30pm
    E-mail / phone +41 (0) 79 460 43 17
  • Fri 08 November, Vichy, France, 9:00pm, WINTER BLUEGRASS WEEK END / Espace du Parc du Centre Omnisports de Vichy,
  • Sat 09 November, 10122 Torino (I), 9:00pm, FolkClub, Via Perrone 3/bis,
  • Sun 10 November, Trezzo sull'Adda, Milano, Italy, 9:30pm, Amigdala Theater, Viale Lombardia 31,

The Country Pickers Ride on the CP Special

The Country Pickers from Switzerland are about to release a new project entitled „CP Special“. The title tune was written by their banjo player Hermann Merath. The release celebration on October 25, 2013 will take place at Kulturhotel Guggenheim, Liestal and illustrious guests such as Walter Fuchs of the „Hillbilly Guesthouse“ on and Geri Stocker of Swiss national radio will be present. A few last minute tickets at CHF 30.- (includes a copy of the new CD) are available by writing an email to Paolo Dettwiler.
„CP Special“ features nine newly recorded songs from the current Country Pickers repertoire as well as ten selections from past musical endeavours by band members Röbi Brunner (dobro), Hanspeter Gasser (bass), Paolo Dettwiler (mandolin), Tom Lochbrunner (guitar) and Hermann Merath (banjo).
The Country Pickers will be playing quite a bit over the next few months promoting their new „CP Special“ project and more dates will be added soon.
  • Friday, 25 October 2013: CD release celebration, Kulturhotel Guggenheim, Liestal, Switzerland
  • Saturday, 16 November 2013: 7. SBMA FanFest, Kaserne, Bülach, Switzerland
  • Friday, 22 November 2013: Dorfstübli, Maulburg, Germany
  • Saturday, 23 November 2013, 4th SwissGrass Night, Jufa, Basel, Switzerland
  • Sunday, 24 November 2013, dolder2 KultUhrBeiz, Feuerthalen, Switzerland
  • Saturday, 22 February 2014, Caffè Mooi, Guggenheim, Liestal, Switzerland
  • Saturday, 22 March 2014, Caffè Mooi, Guggenheim, Liestal, Switzerland
  • Saturday, 29 March 2014, Caffè Mooi, Guggenheim, Liestal, Switzerland
  • Monday, 09 June 2014, 32nd Big Bear Festival, Zuidlaren, Netherlands

Tumbling Bones in Europe, April-May 2014

Tumbling Bones warming up for a show with Roni Stoneman, 'First Lady of Banjo', at this June's Folk & Bluegrass Festival in Westport, Ireland

Tumbling Bones from Portland, Maine, USA, consists of Jake Hoffman, Peter Winne, and Kyle Morgan, who use guitar, upright bass, round-neck resophonic slide guitar, clawhammer banjo, mouth harp, intense trio harmonies and skilled buckdancing to deliver old-time music, blues, early bluegrass, country music of the '40s and '50s, and original compositions with vitality, depth, and passion.

Tumbling Bones made an acclaimed appearance on NPR’s 'A Prairie Home Companion' with Garrison Keillor, and have played innumerable live shows in the USA and abroad. Their debut EP Risk not your soul (2011) reached the top ten on the Roots Music Report's folk radio chart, and their first full-length album is in preparation.

Having toured Britain and Ireland in 2012 and 2013, they are preparing a return trip in the spring of 2014 which will include the Ulster American Folk Park in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland (which has hosted the Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival every September since 1992). Moving to continental Europe, they will join the lineup at the 12th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival (2-3 May 2014) in Bühl, Germany, along with Della Mae (USA) and other acts.

Promoters and event organisers in Europe who are interested in booking them in May 2014 can contact Tumbling Bones through their website or by e-mail.

The video above shows them playing earlier this year at Ireland's premier house-concert venue, the Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, run by Arnie and Sharon Loughrin. Sharon says:

I couldn't stress enough that they're a band not to be missed if you're anyway near a venue they're playing.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Danilo Cartia Band: Oct.-Nov. 2013 schedule

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia (I) announces that the Danilo Cartia Band will be playing the following shows in the next few weeks:

18 Oct. American Roots Night, Locanda Atlantide, Via dei Lucani 22/B, Rome, 22:30
20 Oct. Private event, Bolsena
24 Oct. Help Pub, Via Giovanni Animuccia 24, Rome, 21:30
25 Oct. Locanda Don Chisciotte, Via dei Sabelli 85, Rome, 22:30
26 Oct. Private event, Orvieto, 15:00; Charity Cafè Via Panisperna, Rome, 22:00
31 Oct. American Embassy, Rome
14 Nov. Blue Pub, Fonte Nuova, Rome, 21:30
16 Nov. Bar Celestino, Via degli Ausoni 65, Rome, 22:00
22 Nov. Teatro Anghiari, Anghiari, Arezzo, 22:00

Phone/fax +39 068273332; mobile +39 3396908450

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

1st December is deadline for applications to play at EWOB 2014 
YOUR band should play at the
European World of Bluegrass Festival 2014
Join us for EWOB on MAY 29-30-31, 2014


We want to see your band on the EWOB stage
Applications close on December 1, 2013.

No extension will be possible. 

  • Your band can compete for the European Bluegrass Band Awards and the EWOB Audience Popularity Awards!
  • European bluegrass bands perform alongside great touring bands from the USA & Canada.
  • Showcase your band for European bluegrass festival & concert organizers, agents, managers, radio DJs, & music press - a great investment in your band's future.
  • Meet & jam with wonderful musicians from around the world
  • Take part in the excellent EWOB workshops - a virtual bluegrass music school at every EWOB Festival
For all necessary info, please go to Sign Up now > Bands and read musician info (Band FAQ).

!! Agents & managers of artists who do not play bluegrass music, please do not contact us!!
The EWOB Festival is only for bluegrass and bluegrass-related music.

New album coming from Richard Bennett

Lonesome Day Records has announced that a new recording from guitarist/vocalist Richard Bennett will be forthcoming in 2014. The label had released his Last Train From Poor Valley album during the summer of 2012, a project that had been cut several years earlier.
Tracking for the new record got started last week, with a core band featuring Adam Steffey on mandolin, Ron Stewart on fiddle, and Mark Schatz on bass. Richard is also expecting to cut three songs with Tony Rice.

Material will include several of Bennett’s original songs.

Here a few photos from the first session that Lonesome Day’s Randall Deaton shared.


Lynne Butler: yodelling workshops

Musician and broadcaster Lynne Butler (UK) sends her thanks, and a message, to bluegrassers in Europe:

First of all I have to tell you that I have stopped doing the radio shows, as work commitments have just increased so much that I cannot give my time to them as much as I could to deliver a quality programme. However, if my circumstances change in the future, I might very well resume them.

I just want to thank you all for your support over the last five years and hope that you got something from the airplay that I gave you and the coverage of the festivals. Do please feel free to contact direct, though, for continued airplay.

Secondly, if any of you are interested, by popular demand I am running two yodelling workshops down here in the Henley area [on the Thames in southern England]. I have been asked for two years if I would run them so I have set two up. If you would like to learn to yodel for a giggle and you wish to have a yodelling workshop in your area, then provided you can get enough numbers I would be prepared to run one. For further details please visit

I hope you are all well and wish you all the very best for the future with your music.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Book quickly for the Special C. in Brussels!

Bluegrass in Belgium announces that only fifteen seats remain unbooked for the concert by the first-class American bluegrass band The Special Consensus from Chicago at Toogenblik, Rue Kortenbachstraat 11, 1130 Haren (Brussels) on Friday 1 November, starting at 8.30 p.m.

All seats must be reserved in advance. Tickets can be booked by e-mail, at €10 if reserved before 20 October, and €12 if reserved after. The Brussels concert will open the Special C.'s November tour in Europe, details of which are on the EBB post for 30 September.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters in Europe, May-June 2014

Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters (USA) are preparing a tour on this side of the Atlantic for early summer 2014, arriving in Europe on 22 May and returning home on 10 June. The band (shown above; photo by Mary Hills) are well described in their online press kit:

The powerhouse duo of Amy Gallatin and renowned resophonic guitarist Roger Williams joined forces a few years ago to explore their mutual love of country standards, served up with an acoustic treatment in the bluegrass vein. The result is a toe-tapping blend of heartfelt vocals, soaring harmonies, and red-hot picking, traditional yet modern and distinct.

Enhancing them are J.D. Williams (mandolin, vocals), Roger's son and a Berklee College of Music student, and Eric Levenson, doyen of New England bluegrass bass players and formerly with Joe Val & the New England Bluegrass Boys and later with Boston City Limits. The band's music can be heard here, and many performance videos are on their website.

The tour schedule at present includes the European World of Bluegrass Festival at Voorthuizen, NL (29-31 May), Wadway, NL (4 June), Toogenblik, Brussels (6 June), and the Big Bear Festival, Zuidlaren, NL (9 June). Other dates are being considered, so if you can offer an appearance to this unique group, please contact Amy by e-mail.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Event listing in Bluegrass Europe #89 (Oct.-Dec. 2013)

8 October 2013

The Official EBMA Magazine
with Europe's leading Bluegrass Concert & Festival Calendar
and the European Bluegrass Guide

Dear bluegrass bands and bluegrass event producers in Europe,

I am aware this is very short notice and I do understand if you will not respond to the message. However, there is a possibility to add your concert dates to the calendar in our upcoming magazine. The issue will be printed in about two weeks.

The deadline to send in dates for BE#89 is NOW!

Please send in your public gigs and concert dates between 1st November 2013 and 28th February 2014!

We can only consider dates that are entered in our Excel spreadsheet, which you will find in the attachment or by download here:
We have to insist that we will only accept data sent in this format. 

Please email back the completed form to as soon as possible, no later than 10th October 2013.

If you don't get Bluegrass Europe in your mail, but you would like to, please consider a subscription at only 25EUR/yr, get it online here: (only 6.25EUR per issue!). Your subscription also supports EBMA's endeavours to promote Bluegrass Music in Europe - so hey, why not subscribe today!?

We also have some space available for your advertisements, our 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.

On EBMA's website we have many things bands could be interested in. For example, a free listing of active members of EBMA, which is also included in every issue of Bluegrass Europe in EBMA's Bluegrass Guide.

Thank you for taking time to contribute!

Angelika Torrie
European Bluegrass Music Association

European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Bluegrass Jamboree 2013 news

From the Music Contact agency:

Dear friends of Bluegrass/ Folk/ Americana,

The 5th Bluegrass Jamboree! - Festival of Bluegrass and Americana Music on tour presents 19 shows in 19 days in November and December:

RED TAIL RING Neo-Traditional Folk Roots
+ Festival Finale Session

This package tour, with three acts plus a grand finale with everybody on stage, invented a new format in Europe. A large coach bus is chartered and tours 15 people with a strict daily travel routine to about every region in Germany, with a stop over in Prague (Praha), Czech Republic. A production and investment of enthusiastic bluegrass impressario Rainer Zellner (head of Music Contact agency in Germany) that is unheard of in Europe so far. Since its debut in 2009 it has raised the visibility of bluegrass and related roots-music styles in Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic drastically.

The tour venues include theatres and high-profile art centres which are observed and covered very well by the art scene media. So far all editions have been presented and documented in length by high-profile radio stations, as well as print media. The Bluegrass Jamboree is well known and loved for opening doors to such great acts as the Steep Canyon Rangers, Michael Cleveland, Della Mae, the Deadly Gentlemen, or Audie Blaylock & Redline. Legendary Bear Family Records label is among the many supporters as well as the European Bluegrass Music Association and many others. The festival tour will be available to most countries in Europe beginning 2013 (November-December). Booking has started already.

Please check and promote the tour dates below in as many ways as possible.
A video preview can be seen here.

27.11.2013 77654 Offenburg Salmen 20:00
28.11.2013 72762 Reutlingen franz k 20:00
29.11.2013 63303 Dreieich Bürgerhaus Sprendlingen 20:00
30.11.2013 88212 Ravensburg Zehntscheuer 20:00
01.12.2013 81675 München Amerikahaus 20:00
02.12.2013 86199 Augsburg ParkTheater Göggingen 19:30
03.12.2013 84478 Waldkraiburg Haus der Kultur 20:00
04.12.2013 88471 Laupheim Schloss Großlaupheim 20:00
05.12.2013 44137 Dortmund Domicil 20:00
06.12.2013 28816 Stuhr Gutsscheune Varrel 20:00
07.12.2013 31134 Hildesheim Bischofsmühle 20:00
08.12.2013 01097 Dresden Dreikönigskirche 20:00
09.12.2013 CZ-Praha Hotel Pyramida 19:30
10.12.2013 34127 Kassel Schlachthof 20:00
11.12.2013 53121 Bonn Harmonie 19:30
12.12.2013 10961 Berlin Passionskirche Kreuzberg 20:00
13.12.2013 06295 Lutherstadt Eisleben Landesbühne 19:30
14.12.2013 95233 Helmbrechts Bürgersaal 20:00
15.12.2013 91154 Roth Kulturfabrik 20:00

Planning for 2014-15
THE TOY HEARTS (UK) January 2014

More Music Contact information and contact details are on the EBB post of 1 Oct. 2013.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Niall Toner at IBMA World of Bluegrass 2013

Irish singer, songwriter, bandleader, and broadcaster Niall Toner announces, from his experiences at IBMA's World of Bluegrass over the years, that

this year's event in Raleigh, NC, was the best ever... IBMA in Raleigh was just like having all my birthdays on the one day! The city is a very welcoming place to be, and when it's also full of all one's musical heroes, how can you go wrong?

Things went right for Niall, culminating in his being invited to play at next year's Merlefest, the world's most prestigious roots music festival. During IBMA week in Raleigh he performed seven showcase gigs, on vocals and guitar, accompanied by Richie Foley from Cork on mandolin and a galaxy of American musicians: Missy Raines, Tom Driessen, or Rob Parks (bass), Pete Wernick (banjo), and Dan Mahoney (dobro).

Niall thanks all the above musicians, his PR teams in Make Welcome Entertainment and Pinecastle Records, his Irish band members Dick Gladney and Clem O'Brien, and IBMA and EBMA, especially Rienk Janssen. More details in Niall's own words, together with a photo from one of the showcase gigs, are on Niall's blog.

Monday, 7 October 2013

International bluegrass as seen at IBMA

(photo: Bluegrass Today)

As an American bluegrasser encountering the wider world of bluegrass for the first time, Tara Linhardt had good experiences at IBMA's World of Bluegrass 2013 - as shown in her feature 'The I in IBMA' on Bluegrass Today.

At the EBMA/EWOB stand in the World of Bluegrass exhibition hall (shown above), Tara learned about the European World of Bluegrass Festival from Pieter Groenveld (who earlier this year received one of the first EBMA European Bluegrass Pioneer Awards). Her article also includes a five-minute video of Red Wine (I) performing at a showcase and getting a very warm response to their medley of Italian songs.

Understandably, the strongest impression was made by the Ozaki Brothers, who received an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award for their role as pioneers of bluegrass in Japan - having embraced American music at a time when it was both extremely difficult and dangerous to do so. Read more and see a video of part of their acceptance speech here.

Al Ras 2013

Following the news on the EBB post of 30 September, banjoist and bandleader Lluís Gómez of the Barcelona Bluegrass Band sends this poster image for the coming Al Ras Bluegrass & Old Time Festival  to be held near Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, on 16 November 2013. 

It includes all the times of acts on the programme, together with information on organisations, associations, and businesses that are supporting or sponsoring the festival.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Watery Hill Boys launch new album, 11 Oct. 2013

The Watery Hill Boys (also on Facebook) of Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland, have brought their blend of old-time music and early bluegrass to festivals throughout Ireland and also to shows in continental Europe, including the La Roche Bluegrass Festival (F) and a string of venues in Catalonia, Spain.

They now announce that nearly three years after their well received debut CD, they are about to release its successor, Somebody's been usin' that thing, at a special launch, with very special guests, in the Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, on Friday 11 October. The show will start at 8.30 p.m. and everyone in the audience is promised a free copy of the CD. Seats can be booked online.

The Watery Hill Boys are (as shown in the CD cover image above, l-r) Dónal Black (banjo, mandolin, guitar, vocals), Jim MacArdle (guitar, autoharp, vocals), and Neil Conlon (bass, vocals). The resemblance of the image to a well known photo of Byrd Moore's Hot Shots is believed to be entirely intentional.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Europeans in the October 2013 Bluegrass Unlimited

The October 2013 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine includes two fine articles on Europeans who are making significant contributions to bluegrass music, either in their homeland or in the Mother Country itself - Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers, the hardcore traditional band from Finland, and Sim Daley, from Cornwall, UK, who is now a luthier and musician resident in Nashville, TN.

Nathan D. Gibson's 'From Helsinki’s chilly sidewalks to the red hot Georgia clay with Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers' includes showing how Syren's hard-driving 1950s honky-tonk style developed from Finnish conditions, and also his innovative ways of getting gigs:

Sometimes groups are really eager to play at a certain venue... Their mind is on the venue, which is wrong. The mind should be on the fans. And when the mind is on the fans, you always find the walls.

In 'From somewhere over the bluegrass rainbow: the not-so-dueling passions of banjoist & luthier Sim Daley', Casey L. Penn outlines Daley's unusual career path - from being a fisherman struggling under conservation restrictions, to being one of the most sought-after instrument craftsmen in Nashville, as well as playing banjo in the Tina Adair Band.

Covered Grass (D) get a very favourable review from Bill Foster of their latest album Toogaroo. And the issue also includes a letter from Steve Read in England, who describes (with photograph) how his compatriot Peter Ainsworth built a banjo with a square pot.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Fifth Red Wine Bluegrass Party with the Kruger Brothers: Genoa, 9 Nov. 2013

RED WINE (Genoa)
Ticket €20,00

The 5th edition of the Red Wine Bluegrass Party this year hosts in the prestigious and picturesque setting of Teatro Gustavo Modena a super-eclectic trio of musicians and virtuosos, the Kruger Brothers.

Jens Kruger on banjo and Uwe Kruger on guitar and vocals, along with their old friend Joel Landsberg on bass, after years of bringing music bluegrass, old-time, and folk in their native Switzerland, decided to make the big leap and, in the late '90s, they moved to Wilkesboro, North Carolina, a small rural town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, where the percentage of bluegrass and old-time musicians, however, is the highest in the world.

From there, within a few years, the Krugers became one of the most popular and interesting acts of the acoustic music scene in general, managing to merge with exceptional musical sensitivity and technique the local musical tradition with their cultural European background, shot through with the baroque and classical. Their show, funny and surprising, is like a roller-coaster ride: rhythms, atmospheres, and emotions alternate in a crescendo that culminates with final 'fireworks'!

And it is no coincidence that Jens Kruger has just received the prestigious Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music, 2013, the coveted prize that the famous American actor (a musician himself and longtime lover of bluegrass and old-time) makes available to a banjo player who stood out in the previous year. The award, in addition to a big check of $50,000.00 paid by Martin himself, also provides for the participation in some of the most popular television shows of America, including the David Letterman show, where the Kruger Brothers with Steve Martin appeared on last Friday (27 September).

Advance ticket sale: Disco Club, Via S. Vincenzo 20R, Genoa (Genova), tel. 010 542422
Happy Ticket

The Kruger Brothers with Steve Martin on the David Letterman Show, 27 Sept. 2013
The Kruger Brothers, 'Carolina in the fall'
The Kruger Brothers website

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

'Sunny Dogs' in the US: part three

Thanks to Andy Glandt of Jena, Germany, for the final instalment of his account of the US tour last month by the duo Sunny Dogs (Andy, banjo; Rudi Mund, guitar):

In Minnesota and Iowa we have so many friends that we got a lot of invitations to play at house parties. That is a lot of fun, because mostly you get to know other musicians and it ends in a big jam. There is no time to write. So, sorry that I'm writing this from home. This afternoon we were back in Jena.

Yes, these house concerts - that's what we did most time of the last two weeks except one nice concert in an opera house in Corning, IA, and another one at Tom Nechville's workshop in Bloomington, MN. We met so many nice people and got already some offers for next year.

We want to thank everybody who helped us to make this tour possible. There are too many to name them all here. Hope to see you around and keep picking,


Musician and Songwriter

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Music Contact tour news, October 2013: updated

Rainer Zellner and his Music Contact team send the latest news on tours by bands in bluegrass and related music in the October 2013 Music Contact newsletter.

The Henry Girls (IRL) Irish Americana Folk (also available for festival bookings and for touring in autumn 2014)
1 Oct. Feuerschlosschen, 53604 Bad Honnef, 20:00
2 Oct. Schloss Großlaupheim, 88471 Laupheim, 20:00
3 Oct. Clubheim, 89269 Voehringen-Illerberg, 20:00
4 Oct. Sudhaus, 72072 Tübingen, 20:00
5 Oct. Baywa, 74564 Crailsheim, 23:00
6 Oct. Beavers, 63897 Miltenberg, 20:00
8 Oct. Haus International, 87435 Kempten, 20:00
11 Oct. Scheuer, 78048 Villingen, 20:30
12 Oct. Loni Übler Haus, 90482 Nuremberg (Nürnberg), 20:00

Zydeco Annie & the Swamp Cats
4 Oct. Jazzclub, 38304 Wolfenbuettel, 20:00
5 Oct. Alter Bahnhof Anderten, 30559 Hannover-Anderten, 20:00
17 Oct. Canada Music Club, 86551 Untermauerbach, 20:00
18 Oct. IBIZA, 82399 Raisting, 20:00
19 Oct. Kulturgewächshaus, 89423 Birkenried, 20:00
24 Oct. Cotton Club, 20095 Hamburg, 20:00
25 Oct. Kulturscheune Land Art, 24875 Havetoftloit/Torsballig, 20:00
26 Oct. Countryfest bei Sylvia, Hamburg, 20:00
9 Nov. Kulturbrettl, 94110 Wegscheid, 20:00
14 Nov. Kulturbühne Nuts, 94110 Traunstein, 20:00
15 Nov. Davis, A-1004 Vienna (Wien), Austria, 20:00
16 Nov. Bluegarage, A-8525 Frauental, Austria, 20:00
17 Nov. Burg Trausnitz, 84028 Landshut, 12:00
23 Nov. Winterlust, 84489 Raitenhasslach, 12:00
24 Nov. Winterlust, 84489 Raitenhasslach, 12:00
25 Nov. Jazzclub, 93326 Abendsberg, 20:00
28 Nov. SWU-Energie, 89081 Ulm, 18:00
6 Dec. PiK, 87700 Memmingen, 20:00
13 Dec. Leipfinger Firma, 84172 Vatersdorf, 19:00
14 Dec. Geburtstagsfeier, CH-5032 Aarau, Switzerland, 19:00
27 Dec. Kofferfabrik, 90762 Fürth, 20:00
30 Dec. Schrottgalerie, 85625 Glonn, 20:00
10 Jan. 2014 Jazzkeller, Dinkelsbühl, 21:00
16 Jan. Wunderbar weite Welt, 65817 Eppstein, 20:00
17 Jan. Nellie Nashorn, 78176 Lörrach, 20:00
18 Jan. Besenbar, CH-8476 Unterstammheim, Switzerland, 20:00
24 Jan. Kammgarn, A-8971 Hard, Austria, 20:00

Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike Girls (USA; new all-women lineup; Bluegrass-Americana)
5 Oct. Country Festival, Curlinghalle im Sportzentrum, CH-3818 Grindelwald, Switzerland, 18:30
6 Oct. Gaststätte Blau Gelb, 60431 Frankfurt, 14:00
10 Oct. Salmen, 77652 Offenburg, 20:00
11 Oct. Klosterhof, 72127 Kusterdingen, 20:00
12 Oct. Zehntscheuer, 88212 Ravensburg, 20:00
13 Oct. Private concert, 20:00
16 Oct. Blumenpark Seidemann, A-6176 Völs, Austria, 20:00
17 Oct. Rattlesnake Saloon, 80995 Munich (München), 20:30
18 Oct. Haus der Kultur, 84478 Waldkraiburg, 20:00
19 Oct. Scheuer, 78048 Villingen, 20:30
20 Oct. Werner Richard Saal, 58313 Herdecke, 19:00
23 Oct. Der Club, 42579 Heiligenhaus, 20:00

New Country Rehab (CAN) 'Canada's answer to the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons'
2 Nov. Sudhaus, 72072 Tübingen, 20:00
3 Nov. Jubez, 76133 Karlsruhe, 20:00
4 Nov. Kulturbackstube, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria, 20:00
6 Nov. 7180 Bar, 74564 Crailsheim, 20:30
7 Nov. Laboratorium, 70186 Stuttgart, 20:00
9 Nov. Haus der Kultur, 84478 Waldkraiburg, 20:00
10 Nov. Rattlesnake Saloon, 80995 Munich (München), 20:30
11 Nov. el Lokal, CH-8001 Zürich, Switzerland, 20:00
12 Nov. Clubheim, 89269 Voehringen-Illerberg, 20:00
13 Nov. Objekt 5, 06114 Halle, 21:00
15 Nov. Transvocale Festival, 15230 Frankfurt/O., 22:30
20 Nov. La Habana, 29640 Schneverdingen, 20:00

5th Bluegrass Jamboree! (25 Nov.-17 Dec.)
Red Tail Ring (USA), Carper Family (USA), Foggy Hogtown Boys (CAN)
27 Nov. Salmen, 77652 Offenburg, 20:00
28 Nov. franz k, 72762 Reutlingen, 20:00
29 Nov. Bürgerhaus Sprendlingen, 63303 Dreieich, 20:00
30 Nov. Zehntscheuer, 88212 Ravensburg, 20:00
1 Dec. Amerikahaus, 81675 Munich (München), 20:00
2 Dec. ParkTheater im Kurhaus Göggingen, 86199 Augsburg, 19:30
3 Dec. Haus der Kultur, 84478 Waldkraiburg, 20:00
4 Dec. Schloss Großlaupheim, 88471 Laupheim, 20:00
5 Dec. Domicil, 44137 Dortmund, 20:00
6 Dec. Gutsscheune Varrel, 28816 Stuhr, 20:00
7 Dec. Bischofsmühle, 31134 Hildesheim, 20:00
8 Dec. Dreikönigskirche, 01097 Dresden, 20:00
9 Dec. Hotel Pyramida, Prague (Praha), Czech Republic, 19:30
10 Dec. Schlachthof, 34127 Kassel, 20:00
11 Dec. Harmonie, 53121 Bonn, 19:30
12 Dec. Passionskirche Kreuzberg, 10961 Berlin, 20:00
13 Dec. Landesbühne, 06295 Lutherstadt-Eisleben, 19:30
14 Dec. Bürgersaal, 95233 Helmbrechts, 20:00
15 Dec. Kulturfabrik, 91154 Roth, 20:00

The Toy Hearts (UK)
16 Jan. 2014 Wodan Halle, 79098 Freiburg, 20:30
17 Jan. Zehntscheuer, 88212 Ravensburg, 20:00
21 Jan. Neue Welt, 85049 Ingolstadt, 20:30
24 Jan. Schlosskeller, 71672 Marbach, 20:00
25 Jan. Loni Übler Haus, 90482 Nuremberg (Nürnberg), 20:00
27 Jan. Private concert, 51491 Overath

Foghorn String Band (USA) - their first tour in Germany (May 2014)
2 May Bürgerhaus, 77815 Bühl

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (USA) (May 2015)

'Hillbilly Boogie' - Country and Roots; Free Radio Tübingen, accessible worldwide on the internet here; every Friday 21:00-23:00 

Rainer Zellner Roots Music Booking and Production Saarstrasse 8, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany +49 (0) 7073 2250; mobile +49 170 2134 999
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