Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Jam à Mazy - 28 February - Red Herring

Thanks to Laurent Eeckhout for the reminder of this Friday's jam in Mazy (Belgium):

Dear friends, musicians and music lovers,

Next Friday 28th February 2014: Jam + concert by “Red Herring” (NL)

Where? At the wonderful Zy’coop place, 9a rue de l’usine, 5032 Mazy.
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 1 "standard" piece of the style which will be certainly played !

On Feb 28th, we will play: Saint Anne's Reel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwllcWC_FL4)

More details on our website

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

Musically yours,
Steve, Laurent & Pascal

European Bluegrass Summit 2014 - update

Invitation to join the 2014 edition of EBS (European Bluegrass Summit) and the European-exclusive
concert of the Lonesome River Band (USA) in Prague.
Registration deadline extended to 28 February. 40 spots left.

The summit as well as the concert of the Lonesome River Band in Prague will be held under the auspices of the Senate of the Czech Republic AND of the US Embassy and American Centre in Prague. Mr. Senator Petr Bratsky and the representative of the U.S. Embassy will personally welcome summit participants at the opening of the Summit on Saturday morning and will be a gest of the Saturday night concert.
Panel sessions aimed at providing practical insights and useful advice - More fun and extra-curricula activities planned throughout the weekend - Concert and award show: Lonesome River Band and 2014 EBMA pioneers & personality awards.
  • EBMA has a limited number of tickets left available for summit participants and their guests. Book now!
  • A number of hotel rooms at a special rate have been reserved in the OREA Hotel Pyramida****, Belohorska 24, Prague 6. Book now!
  • EBMA General Membership Assembly is on Sunday, 16th March.
  • Look up all about the European Bluegrass Summit 2014 here

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2014 EBMA Pioneers & Personality Award receipients:
2014 European Bluegrass Pioneers:
  • THE COUNTRY RAMBLERS (Switzerland)
  • PETR KUKLIK and JAN HONZA MACAK (Czech Republic)
European Bluegrass Personality 2013:
  • ROSTA CAPEK (Czech Republic) 

The Award Presentation ceremony will take place during the late concert of the Lonesome River Band on Saturday 15th March 2014, 20:30hrs.

Thank you for joining us!

Rienk Janssen, EBMA Chairman
Angelika Torrie, EBMA Summit Administration
Rosta Capek and Iva Loukova, Capek Instruments, Summit venue organisation

European Bluegrass Music Association

EBMA: Working together to support Bluegrass Music across borders.

IBMA WOB showcase deadline Friday 28 Feb.

IBMA's Joe Lurgio (e-mail) sends out this reminder to all bluegrass bands:

I’m writing to remind you that the application deadline for official showcase acts for World of Bluegrass 2014 is this Friday, 28 February 2014!
We’ve made the application process quick and simple with our new online application found by clicking HERE. To apply please include:

*Contact info for band members
*Contact info for band management or rep (if applicable)
*The following media:
  • Mp3 (max 8 MB)
  • Youtube link
  • Hi-Res color photo (8 MB)
  • Band bio
  • Payment of $25 to process application (credit card only for online submission)
If you prefer to apply using hard copies, please contact the IBMA office at 888-GET-IBMA for more information.

Showcasing at the World of Bluegrass events helps the music industry assembled discover emerging new bands, as well as established bands with new music or new personnel. Please share this information with anyone you think might be interested in a showcase opportunity.

For more information on showcasing please call the IBMA at 888-GET-IBMA or visit here.

Upcoming IBMA events:
Webinar: Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m. CST Sitting on Top of the Digital Marketing World
To sign up for the webinar click here.
2013 Free Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Band Sampler – to download visit here.
World of Bluegrass 2014 registration, tickets and hotel reservations:
Open to IBMA members Monday, 31 March 2014
Open to general public Monday, 14 April 2014.

Thanks and feel free to call or e-mail at any time with questions, comments, or suggestions.

Joe Lurgio
Convention & Membership Services Director
Office: 615-256-3222 – 608 W. Iris Drive, Nashville TN 37204

30 September–4 October 2014

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Happy birthday, 'Bluegrass in Ireland'!

Ray O'Brien of Waterford celebrates today the first complete year of his 'Bluegrass in Ireland' Facebook page as 'an open resource for bluegrass activity in Ireland'.

Ray announces: 'While it has been hard to juggle this page with other commitments, it has been a total joy to work on; and may I have many more happy years doing so.' Ray has already received many positive responses - to which the EBB adds its own congratulations.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Bluegrass Jamboreee 2013 recording re-broadcast, 22 Feb.

The Jamboree finale

Thanks to Rainer Zellner of the Music Contact agency, who writes:

I just found out: the recording of the 2013 show of the Bluegrass Jamboree! - Festival of Bluegrass and Americana Music in Dortmund (5 Dec.) will be broadcast again tomorrow. This is nationwide 'high-culture' radio, and they present bluegrass music along with their usual world music, jazz, and tango programmes.

Carper Family
Red Tail Ring
Foggy Hogtown Boys
Festival Finale Jam Session

Sat. 22 February, 13:05-15:00 WDR 3

Rainer Zellner
Roots Music Booking and Production
Saarstrasse 8, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany
+49 (0) 7073 2250; fax +49 (0) 7073 2134; mobile +49 170 2134 999
UStID: DE146940684 (German Tax Number)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Danilo Cartia shows in Rome, 21-2 Feb. 2014

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia (I) announces that he and Letizia Sampaolo (vocals, guitar, autoharp) will be presenting bluegrass, blues, and other acoustic music at the Locanda Don Chisciotte, Via dei Sabelli 58, Rome (San Lorenzo) on Friday 21 February. The following night (Saturday 22 Feb.) at 23:00, Danilo will play a few doors away at The Odd Room, Via dei Sabelli 51. Admission to both shows is free.

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

Monday, 17 February 2014

Where to stay in the West of Ireland, 13-15 June 2014

For anyone who likes the idea of visiting the west of Ireland in the middle of June and hearing bluegrass music, Uri Kohen, founder and producer of the Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival in Co. Mayo, has this message:

Coming to Westport for the Festival?

We’ve been talking to some of the festival’s biggest supporters and they’ve put together some great weekend accommodation deals. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we reckon you’d be hard-pressed to find better.

Sincere thanks to the Harbour Mill Apartments, Clew Bay Hotel, and Wyatt Hotel for their unflinching support over the years.

Follow the link for more info.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Lluís Gómez to teach banjo at Virton workshop week, 7-12 Apr. 2014

Thanks to Lluís Gómez (above) of Barcelona for the news that he will be the banjo teacher at this year's Musique Acoustique workshop week at Virton, south-east Belgium.

The workshop week runs from 2.00 p.m. on Monday 7 April to 11.00 a.m. on Saturday 12 April 2014, and is held at the Institut De La Sainte Famille, Rue de Montmédy 2, 6760 Virton. A location map is here.

Lluís is one of two new teachers, the other being Gilles Kusmeruck (FR) on Cajun accordion. A total of fourteen classes are offered, with the number of students limited to ten per class. Other well known teacher-instrumentalists from the European bluegrass scene include Henrich Novak (SK), dobro; Roberto Dalla Vecchia (I), flat-picking guitar; and Jesper Rübner-Petersen (DK), mandolin. Full details are on the Musique Acoustique website.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Special Consensus record tribute to John Denver

Preorder Special Consensus' Country Boy: A                                                            Bluegrass                                                            Tribute to                                                            John Denver                                                            for $11.99.                                                            Preorders will                                                            receive their                                                            copy signed +                                                            a free ipick                                                            sticker. + All                                                            Special C                                                            titles are                                                            $11.99. +Watch                                                            the video for                                                            Wild Montana                                                            Skies
Compass Records announce that the next album by the Special Consensus (USA) will be a tribute to the late John Denver, in which the band will be joined by friends from the top ranks of bluegrass music.

Country boy: a bluegrass tribute to John Denver is scheduled for release on 25 March 2014, and is produced by Compass Records co-founder Alison Brown, who plays banjo on one track along with Special C. leader Greg Cahill. Other guest artists include Dale Ann Bradley, Jason Carter, Mike Cleveland, John Cowan, Rob Ickes, Jim Lauderdale, Claire Lynch, Peter Rowan, Buddy Spicher, and Rhonda Vincent. More details are in an article by John Lawless on Bluegrass Today, including Greg Cahill's account of how the project was conceived, and a video of one of the numbers in performance.

Special Consensus, who regularly and frequently tour in Europe (most recently in November 2013), maintain a busy year-round touring schedule, reaching an eclectic demographic through appearances at festivals, listening rooms, bluegrass-in-the-schools programmes, and symphony appearances. Their 2012 release Scratch Gravel Road achieved a Grammy-nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Country boy: a bluegrass tribute to John Denver can be pre-ordered from Compass; the first 100 pre-orders will receive a signed copy.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

'Americana Club' launched on PopStop internet radio

The new two-hour record programme 'Americana Club' was launched last night by veteran country music broadcaster and historian Walter Fuchs on the internet radio station PopStop. The playlist can be seen by using the link on the EBB's 'Radio playlists' post. 'Americana Club' will be broadcast every Wednesday night, with frequent repeats during the week.

The new show has received coverage in the regional press; articles from the Badische Tageblatt and Acher und Buehler Bote (Badische Neueste Nachrichten) are shown here. As Walter is also director and MC of the International Bühl Bluegrass Festival (2-3 May 2014), the festival's headline act, the all-women band Della Mae (USA), are also featured.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Danilo Cartia Band at 'Defrag' in Rome, 15 Feb. 2014

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia (I) announces that the Danilo Cartia Band will play bluegrass, blues, and acoustic music at Defrag, Via Delle Isole Curzolane 75, Rome, on Saturday 15 February 2014. Also on the bill will be Vintage Factory and Old River Folks. The show begins at 10.00 p.m.

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

New Pinecastle single and album from Irish group

I Draw Slow, the Irish 'neo-old-time' band, have released the first single, 'Valentine', from their upcoming album, White Wave Chapel on the US Pinecastle label. A video for the song, shot at the Hacienda Bar in Dublin and starring Irish actor Aidan Gillen (known for his TV roles in 'Game of thrones' and 'The wire') alongside Louise Holden and the band, can be seen below and on the websites of the band and the label. The single is now available to radio via AirPlay Direct; the album is due for release in Ireland this month and in North America on 8 July 2014.

Pinecastle Records rereleased I Draw Slow's debut CD Red hills in 2012; it wound up in the Top Ten of many 2012 lists. They have since made several tours in the USA, and are scheduled for two further tours in 2014, playing such prestigious festivals as Grey Fox, Merlefest, Rockygrass, and Pickathon.

The distinguished history of Pinecastle can be read here.

More good news for Bühl Bluegrass Festival

The Badisches Tagblatt newspaper for the Baden region of Germany has published a feature (left above) on the nomination of Della Mae (USA) for the 2014 Grammy Awards. The all-women band, based in the Boston (Mass.) area, will be the headliners at this year's International Bühl Bluegrass Festival (2-3 May 2014).

This world oft can be, their latest album, was nominated for the Best Bluegrass Album award. As Walter Fuchs, director of the Bühl festival, points out, this is a remarkable achievement for such a young group. The photo shows the members of Della Mae attending the awards ceremony on 26 January.

The festival celebrates a further boost in its new poster (above right), which reflects the sponsorship this year by the Josef Oechsle company, suppliers of agricultural and other machinery and equipment.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Walter Fuchs presents 'Americana Club' on PopStop from 12 Feb. 2014

This coming Wednesday (12 Feb. 2014), Walter Fuchs - broadcaster, country music historian, and director of the International Bühl Bluegrass Festival - will present the first of his 'Americana Club' programmes, from 20:00 to 22:00 on PopStop - Das Musikradio.

'Americana Club' programmes will be repeated. Times of broadcasting may be changed, so listeners should check with PopStop's schedule. Details of Walter's career, publications, and awards can be found on his page of the PopStop website.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Grazztrio CD now available on the Internet

Thanks to Lluís Gómez in Barcelona, who sends good wishes and the news that Three sheets to the wind, the new CD by Grazztrio (see the EBB for 3 Jan. 2014), is now available on the Internet at iTunes and Cd Baby.

Three sheets to the wind, comprising twelve original compositions, has already received glowing reviews from the USA:

Europe has been a good home to bluegrass music for several decades now, with great musicians and bands emerging in the UK, the Czech Republic, and Italy, among others. We now have a bright new light coming from Spain with the instrumental trio Grazz. Grazz has the energy and creative spark that is often reminiscent of Tony Trischka's Skyline group at its best: complex lines and interplay often driven by the energetic, edgy banjo of Lluis Gomez. But what makes Grazz most unique is the fact that they're playing their own tunes on the improbable combination of banjo, mandolin, and bass.

What should be a limiting trio format seems freeing to these folks, as they push the possibilities and change up the textures to keep things fresh and unique. 'Caraman' is a great example of the array of sounds here; changing textures is the name of the game as the lead role is passed around from bass to banjo and mandolin then back to bass and mandolin before Gomez drives the tune into a new tempo. On 'No Se', the occasional bowed bass of Maribel Rivero doubles the mandolin melody before trading off with some complex banjo lines. And then there's the simply beautiful 'Alta Mar', showcasing the range of expressiveness in Oriol Gonzalez's mandolin.

If you wonder what innovations will come out of bluegrass over the next few decades, turn to groups like Grazz - they've got the creative spark and desire to push the envelope, and with this CD they've certainly proven they're worth keeping an eye on in the future. (Matt Flinner)

Grazztrio gives a fun and fascinating view of the string band, as viewed through an Iberian prism. The trio offers a freedom and a looseness that is compelling, drawing the listener in to recognise that this is mesmerising music that is well arranged and expertly executed. (Jake Schepps)

Grazztrio also some has really nice T-shirts (above), offering a special package (T-shirt + CD) for €16 plus shipment.

Lluís Gómez: website; e-mail

Friday, 7 February 2014

The Isaacs in Northern Ireland and the Netherlands, 24-30 Mar. 2014

The Isaacs (USA), unquestionably one of the most outstanding gospel groups in bluegrass music, will be visiting Europe late next month for a brief tour, comprising three dates in Northern Ireland followed by three in the Netherlands.

The tour dates, as shown on the Isaacs' online schedule, are as follows. Thanks to Sharon Loughrin of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, for information on the Northern Ireland concert venues.

24 Mar. Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, 7.00 p.m.
25 Mar. Craigavon Civic Centre, Craigavon, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, 7.00 p.m.
26 Mar. The Spires Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 7.00 p.m.
28 Mar. Zwolle, the Netherlands, 7.00 p.m.
29 Mar. Hilversum, the Netherlands, 7.00 p.m.
30 Mar. Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 7.00 p.m.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Niall Toner to judge at Chris Austin Song Contest, Merlefest 2014

Irish singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, bandleader, and broadcaster Niall Toner, who received the European Bluegrass Personality 2012 award a year ago and released his book The nuts and bolts of songwriting in June 2013, will be one of the panel of judges at this year's 22nd Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Other members of the panel, chaired by Jim Lauderdale, are Charles Humphrey III (bass-player for the Steep Canyon Rangers) and Darrell Scott.

The panel will conduct the first round of judging in Nashville, and the final round at MerleFest 2014, to be held at Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on 24-7 April, where Niall is also scheduled to play several sets. More details are on the MerleFest website. The deadline for entry in the contest is just two weeks from now - 19 February 2014.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Supporting PineCone - the second round

Following the news on the EBB on 22 January, the North Carolina association PineCone (the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music) is grateful to those all over the world who supported it in the first round of voting which could make a great deal of difference to its work for traditional music in North Carolina. That help is needed again, and all it costs is a click of the mouse.

PineCone is among the NC non-profit organisations that are in the running to receive a 'technology makeover'. The two organisations with the highest number of votes will receive new office and network equipment worth a combined value of $35,000 from Milner, Inc.

The clicks given in January helped to bring PineCone through to the second and final round of voting.  Anyone, anywhere in the world, can help PineCone by voting for it - just once in 24 hours, but this can be done every day from now on, up to and including Sunday 16 Feb. Help can also be given by spreading the word, and by Liking and sharing the voting site on Facebook, Twitter, and favourite social media sites.

Danilo Cartia in Rome, 5 Feb. 2014

Banjoist, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Danilo Cartia (I) announces that he will be playing bluegrass, blues, and acoustic music in Rome on Wednesday 5 February at 21:30 in the Comò Bistrot, Viale Gottardo 95.

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

Music Contact news, Feb. 2014

Rainer Zellner and his Music Contact team send the latest news on tours by bands in bluegrass and related music in Germany and adjoining countries during 2014. Please note: the latest news can now be seen on the Music Contact Facebook.

Plans are now under way for the 6th Bluegrass Jamboree (25 Nov.-14 Dec. 2014), and some dates have already been booked for 2015 as well as 2014.

Foghorn Stringband

As announced in November, the European Bluegrass Blog is now putting Music Contact tour information before its readers in a new way, with links to the schedules as they appear on the Music Contact website. These contain more information, including links to venue websites and contact data. The EBB also gives links both to bands' own websites in English, and to Music Contact information ('MC bio') about them in German.

Foghorn Stringband (USA); MC bio
Tour schedule 2 May-24 May

Rainer Zellner
Music Contact
Saarstrasse 8, D-72070 Tübingen, Germany
Tel. +49 7073 2250; mobile +49 170 2134 999
UStID: DE146940684