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.