Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Paris: Tomorrow night - Thursday, 1st May

It's with pleasure that we forward this message from Sarah Novaro of Sawmill Sessions in Paris:

Demain soir - jeudi 1er mai

Notre rendez-vous mensuel (tous les premiers jeudis de chaque mois) se prépare demain soir à la péniche Anako (61 quai de Seine 75019 Paris) avec en première partie à 20h15 : Jimmy Josse dans un répertoire mêlant Folk, Blues, Bluegrass et Country.
Au plaisir de vous y retrouver avec vos instruments !
L'équipe Sawmill

Monday, 28 April 2014

Baltimore Fiddle Fair, 8-11 May 2014

Thanks to Declan McCarthy for the interesting information about in Baltimore, West Cork, Ireland:
One of Europe's best small music festivals, The Baltimore Fiddle Fair takes place from 8th to 11th May. From humble beginnings in 1992 this remarkable festival has grown a little in size and a lot in stature and truly does get better with age. Its reputation is built on its consistent ability to present world-class acts in intimate settings in the beautiful seaside village of Baltimore in West Cork and once again they present a line-up that is simply amazing.
International acts include, from Scotland, legendary fiddler Aly Bain with Sweden's Ale Möller, amazing songstress Eddi Reader and the sensational new chamber/folk quartet RANT, from England the incredible Dezi Donnelly, Mike Mcgoldrick, John Joe Kelly & Damien O' Kane and the hilariously comedic New Rope String Band, young Swedish duo Ana Lindblad & Ryan Drickey and some cracking acts from the USA including new old time duo from Seattle Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, New York fiddle duo Stephanie Coleman & Cleek Schrey, perhaps the best young fiddler in North America Brittany Haas, and California-based Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas with Irish fiddle queen Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.
Top class Irish acts include the only surviving member of The Dubliners, John Sheahan with Eamon Keane, Donegal fiddlers Tara Connaghan & Ronán Galvin and the critically acclaimed multi-national contemporary folk band This Is How We Fly.
These intimate concerts will be held in unique venues across Baltimore, from garden amphitheatres to ancient castles to cosy marquees, and all in one of the most stunning festival settings on the planet.  The Baltimore Fiddle Fair will also include a host of additional events including top class workshops, art exhibitions and a plethora of great sessions in and around the village.
For many musicians and music lovers, the annual pilgrimage to the Baltimore Fiddle Fair is the musical highlight of the year and this years festival promises to be no exception!
Tickets for the 22nd anniversary Baltimore Fiddle Fair are on-sale now.
For full line up, schedule and ticket information, log on to HYPERLINK ""
For further information contact Declan McCarthy, T: +353 86 3753380 / Email

Press release: Wookalily launch kickstarter campaign for debut album...

Thanks to Adele Ingram of Wookaliliy for this exciting news:

Wookalily - Debut Album

Kickstarter project now live...

We have embarked on an exciting project to record our debut album (12 songs in total) with past and present members of the band. Years of playing, writing, laughing and performing all coming together to create an unique and eclectic album.
We have funded the project ourselves this far but we've hit a block in the road. These things are expensive!!! The money you pledge will be used for mixing, mastering, duplicating, distributing and marketing our songs.
We have 12 musicians in total including guest vocalists all with a different tones and qualities. We are from different musical backgrounds and walks of life but have joined forces to make a transatlantic, ericana vibe with lots of off-beat quirky zaniness.It's a celebration of the life and times of Wookalily. It's been a great experience to make this music and we hope you all get to enjoy it as well. We are using Millbank Studios in Lisburn and the much sought after and talented sound engineer Michael Mormecha.
A word from Michael..."it's the first of it's kind to come out of Northern Ireland and it's been really fun to make"

To pledge click here and a big thanks in advance from all of us at Wookalily.

We were delighted to have launched our residency in The John Hewitt Bar, Belfast at the beginning of April this year. We have various opening acts on from 9:30pm and we take to the stage from 10pm finishing up around 11:30pm. It would lovely to see you there some Friday night. We have some more exciting gigs coming up throughout the year. For tour dates click here. We are also excited to be working on tour dates of US for 2015. Watch this space!!!

Adele Ingram

Upcoming Bluegrass events in Belgium

Thanks to Richard Hawkins for passing on this calendar of bluegrass events in Belgium.
May 1The Henhouse ProwlersVorselaar
address TBC
facebook page
May 3The Sons of NavaroneMelsbroekse Weifeesten 2014

May 15The Sundowners
CC Palethe Overpelt
Jeugdlaan 2
May 17BlueMaxxCafé-zaal Aurora
6127 BL Grevenbicht (NL)
June 6Amy Gallatin and Stillwater (USA)Toogenblik
Kortenbahstraat 11
1130 Haren-Brussels
info 022459365
June 7 and 8Banjo workshop by Steve LouvatHôtel "Les Roses"
2, Quartier Latin
B-6890 Libin
info 061/65.65.26
June 27-28Rawhide
The Tennessee Studs (NL)
The Campfire Collaboration(NL)
The Moonshine Brothers(S)
...more bands to be announced
Low Country Bluegrass Festival

For more information about Bluegrass in Belgium, refer to:

Concert in Paris for Tony Rice: 11th May 2014

Thanks to Christopher Howard-Williams for this wonderful information:

On Sunday 11th May 2014, FBMA is hosting a benefit concert for Tony Rice with Sanseverino, Massoubre & Séguret, Quartier Français, Grasstics and Muddy Hill Boys.
The concert will be at La Maroquinerie, 23 rue BOYER, 75020 Paris at 7:00 pm.
Price 16€80 including charges.
All proceeds will be donated to the Tony Rice Foundation.

Instrumental Workshops 21st June 2014 in Moniaive, Scotland

Thanks to C. Paul Lyttle of  Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival about the information of these fine INSTRUMENTAL WORKSHOPS JUNE 21ST 2014 IN MONIAIVE

Hello Bluegrassers,
Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival will be holding a Bluegrass Workshop on June 21st 2014 in the Memorial Institute, Chapel Street, Moniaive.
The workshop will commence at 11am and run through until 5pm with a break for people to go and get some lunch in one of the hotels or The Green Tea Rooms.
Instruments to be taught are:
  •     double bass
  •     autoharp
  •     guitar (and singing)
  •     banjo
  •     fiddle
  •     dobro
  •     mandolin
The cost will be £10 per person.
Please feel free to ring Paul on +44(0)1848 200272 or send an email reply if you wish to ask questions or book in for the workshop.
It is safe to assume we will meet in the Craigdarroch Hotel in the evening for a bluegrass session. The George Hotel will also welcome musicians.
Thank you and best wishes,
Paul Lyttle

The 6th Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival will be held on September 26th -28th 2014 with 6 top class acts from Scotland, England and the United States of America.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Danilo Cartia news 17.4.2014

You're in Rome, Italy, right now and don't know what to do? Here's somewhere to go!

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

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

George Shuffler

George Shuffler (11 April 1925 - 7 April 2014) was buried on Thursday, 10 April in his hometown of Valdese, North Carolina. A full account by broadcaster Becky Johnson of the funeral - 'George Shuffler laid to rest', with many photos - was published on Friday on Bluegrass Today.
For those who are not yet familiar with his contributions to bluegrass music, a comprehensive outline by Richard Thompson was also published on Friday on Bluegrass Today, under the title 'George Shuffler: a career overview'. At the end of this feature is a link to where you can find tributes paid to him by such acclaimed musicians as Jack Lawrence, Tom Gray, and James Alan Shelton.

Source: The Bluegrass Ireland Blog

DELLA MAE - touring Europe 29 April - 13 May 2014

Della Mae
Thanks to Glenn Blackman for sharing tour details of the upcoming Della Mae European Tour:
Della Mae -
Della Mae - "Empire"(Official Video)
In a relatively short period of time, Rounder Records recording artist, Grammy Nominee Della Mae has become a sensation in the music world. Commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent to spare, the Boston-based combo mines time-honored elements to create music that's unmistakably fresh and contemporary. Make sure to catch one of their amazing shows.

The Borderline
United Kingdom
De RomaAntwerpBelgium
Muehle HunzikenRubigenSwitzerland
International Buehler Bluegrass Festival
Bluegrass in Basel - JUFABaselSwitzerland
Musikhuset PostenOdense CDenmark
Musikhuset AarhusAarhus CDenmark
Blues Garage
Hannover / Isernhagen
Savoy TheatreHelsinkiFinland

Contact Glen for more information:
Glenn Blackman
WBA Entertainment, Inc.
PH: +1-615-278-965
PH: +44-20-8133-0152

Monday, 14 April 2014

Radio playlist - Peelgrass - 6 April 2014

2nd Bluegrass Meeting in Sarzana, Italy scheduled for Friday, May 30th, 2014

Thanks to Danilo Cartia for keeping us up to date with his various activities. In particular this information about the 2nd BLUEGRASS MEETING as part of the 17th Acoustic Guitar Meeting, in Sarzana, Italy.
Danilo is very happy because this year he has a lot of requests from local bands in Italy and plus there are various workshops on offer. One with Tim O'Brien, one on banjo, guitar and dobro, too. So, if you're not going north to the EWOB Festival and Tradeshow in the Netherlands, consider travelling to beautiful Italy.  
Sarzana (Italian pronunciation: [sarˈdzaːna]) is a town and comune in the Province of La Spezia, of Liguria, Italy, 15 km east of Spezia, on the railway to Pisa, at the point where the railway to Parma diverges to the north.

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

US banjoist in Europe

Thanks to John Lawless of Bluegrass Today for this interesting news:

Dan in Spain, source:
After 22 years as a firefighter in Washington state, when he got retired, Dan Monte Calvo’s ambitious scheme was, “to play my banjo in as many different countries as possible, meet as many people as I can and spread the love of bluegrass music and the banjo around the world.” He flew to London in December 2013 and began his banjo pilgrimage, writing and playing songs along the way. His two daughters are taking turns traveling along, and one, Emma, a film school grad, is helping him chronicle this adventure.
Here's the report on Bluegrass Today and here is a direct link to Dan's travelogue, The Dan Project. Enjoy travelling along!

More on Los Hermanos Cubero (Spain)

Thanks again to John Lawless, fearless journalist specialised on international news at Bluegrass Today, for this cool piece of information: The Cubero Brothers (Los Hermanos Cubero) appeared on Mapa Sonoro, aired on Spanish public television on Sunday, 6th April. The show, which translates roughly as Sound Map, also is available internationally on Spanish language cable channels. Read full article on Bluegrass Today.
And here's the link to the video online at RTVE. Enjoy!

Bluegrass trip organized by Belgian travel agency

Valère Dekens informs that, following the success of the movie "Broken Circle Breakdown", the Belgian travel agency Joker offers a bluegrass journey from 23 September through 5 October. To our regret the plans don't include a visit to Raleigh, NC, where at the same time (29 September through 4 October) IBMA's World of Bluegrass (Conference & Tradeshow, Award Show and Bluegrass Ramble) is held. However, here's the information:

Reisorganisatie Joker organiseert voor het eerst een bluegrassreis naar de bakermat van dit muziekgenre: de Amerikaanse staten Kentucky, Tennessee en Virginia. Deze reis is bedoeld voor Vlaamse en Nederlandse bluegrassliefhebbers en vindt plaats van 23 september tot en met 5 oktober 2014. Gedetailleerde info vind je op or on Facebook.

Beppe Gambetta Acoustic Night 14

Thanks to Beppe Gambetta for the news about the Beppe Gambetta Acoustic Night 14

Since Tuesday April 8th, Beppe Gambetta Acoustic Night 14 tickets are available on line on:[evento]&id_evento=1171548 and on

Thursday May 8, 8:30pm
Friday May 9, 8:30pm
Saturday May 10, 8:30pm

Piazza Borgo Pila 42, tel. +39 010 5342300

ACOUSTIC NIGHT 14 - The New Generations


The 14th edition of the Beppe Gambetta Acoustic Night is dedicated to "The new generations". Young emerging musicians will be Beppe Gambetta's guests in the traditional Genovese appointment with the independent world of acoustic music. The theme comes from the desire to investigate the new vibrations coming from a generation that grew up in the context of a "globalized" world, characterized by the ease of traveling and meet (even if only virtually) with artists from other cultures.
In an era characterized by great dynamism and technical communication is important to even ask this question: has the music of the younger generation the power to make positive changes as has happened many times in the past? Acoustic Night 14 is fed to this question and goes in search of opportunities to go beyond the cultural void of "talent shows", in which the appearance is more important than passion and poetry.
On the stage of the Teatro della Corte, in his usual role of artist, conductor and producer, Beppe Gambetta will open a window on an International group of young independent artists who have established themselves in a world far removed from that of the pure show business. It will be an itinerary intended to highlight new talent and new trends, through a dialogue that promises to be exciting and engaging: the Californian Rushad Eggleston is a great virtuoso on the cello, he explored the expressiveness of the instrument bringing it up to the extreme limits in technique and repertoire. An eclectic and eccentric artist, he has a compelling energy and an extraordinary ability to connect with the audience. The singer Aoife O'Donovan comes from a family of artists from the Boston folk scene. She is a charming artist with a refined voice, she has a strong charisma on stage and has to his credit already stellar collaborations and International awards. Mike Witcher from San Francisco is the rising star of the Dobro guitar (resonator guitar), constantly on the road with different bands, he is bringing his instrument to new levels of excellence.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Arthur 'Guitar Boogie' Smith (1921 ~ 2014)

Arthur Smith died on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at his home. The 93 year-old entertainer was born in Clinton, South Carolina, USA.  He grew up in Kershaw, S.C., where his father worked in a cotton mill and was the leader of his own “brass band”. Brass bands were common throughout the USA in the 1800’s – early 1900s.

As a child, Smith played trumpet in his father’s cotton mill group and absorbed all kinds of music - from the Big Bands to rhythm and blues, Gospel and jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. 

Around the age of 6, Smith started writing his own songs – more than 500 songs in his lifetime. He played in a Dixieland group with his brothers Ralph and Sonny, and later mastered the mandolin, fiddle, guitar and other instruments.

Smith was 15 when he cut records for RCA’s budget Bluebird label at the Andrew Jackson Hotel in Rock Hill. The band’s name was ‘Smith’s Carolina Crackerjacks’. The session produced no hits. However, when Smith was 24, he did have a hit song with “Guitar Boogie”. The kid with the hot guitar licks had then made a name for himself around the world.
Smith, June Carter and Johnny Cash

Nashville, Tenn., producer and musician Tim Smith remembers mentioning his famous uncle to Paul McCartney in London around 1982: “I told him my father was a great musician and that my uncle was Arthur ‘Guitar Boogie’ Smith,” Tim Smith recalled. “He (McCartney) didn’t say a word. He just walked over to a road case in his studio and opened it up. It had slots like an old record store counter and was full of 45s. He thumbed through and pulled out a 45 of ‘Guitar Boogie’ from the ’50s and told me it was one of his very favorite records. He wanted to know all about Arthur. It was a great moment.”

“Guitar Boogie” was recorded on acoustic guitar with help from Don Reno on rhythm guitar and Roy Lear on bass. That song would go on to influence generations of musicians including Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Glen Campbell and Roy Clark to name but a few. A young Paul McCartney played the “Guitar Boogie” in his audition for a Liverpool, England band that later became ‘The Beatles’.

Smith’s hit record single helped inspire a 'country-boogie' trend and led to Smith’s contract with the MGM record label in 1947. Such country stars as Vince Gill, Glen Campbell and Roy Clark all stated that Arthur Smith influenced their interest in the guitar.

Smith was a music innovator, TV pioneer, radio personality, successful businessman and Sunday School teacher: He was important on many levels. His radio career had begun in 1941, hosting live shows on WSPA in Spartanburg. In 1943, he moved to Charlotte as a radio personality at WBT. He began appearing on WBTV in 1951. The success of Smith’s daily and weekly programs enabled him to promote his traveling country and gospel music package shows which made personal appearances across the South.

In 1955, Arthur Smith recorded “Feuding Banjos,” which featured Smith’s tenor banjo with Don Reno’s 5-string banjo. The instrumental became a popular bluegrass tune that was featured as the theme song for the 1972 film “Deliverance” -- but giving no credit to Smith.

The mild-mannered Sunday School teacher showed a he was no “easy mark” and took on Warner Brothers movie company after his novelty song “Feuding Banjos” was used in the movie “Deliverance without credit or royalty payments.” Smith filed a lawsuit and won a substantial settlement.

In 1992, “Dueling Banjos” was used in a commercial for Mitsubishi automobiles. Smith said this experience was much more pleasant than the one he had with Warner Brothers. Although he never disclosed how much money he made from the lawsuit, Smith pointed to a picture of a 42-foot yacht on the wall of his office and noted, “Warner Bros. bought that boat for me.”

Smith’s hobbies were boating and sports fishing. He founded ‘Arthur Smith Sportfishing Tournaments’ which ran for almost 20 years on the Carolina coast, Florida, New York and the Great Lakes.

Smith’s business interests also included the first recording studio in the Carolinas. Founded in 1957, the Charlotte studio not only recorded Smith’s records, but national artists such as Johnny Cash, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, the Statler Brothers and many more.
Smith, with Earl & Louise Scruggs at Johnny Cash's home

In 1965, the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown rented the studio for three hours and cut “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” which later ranked No. 72 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

For 25 years, Smith produced, marketed and syndicated national radio programs hosted by Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash and others. Smith’s own show, “Top of the Day,” ran for 30 years – and with one sponsor.

Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff often said that he was surprised Smith could make it in the country music business without living in Nashville. “Arthur never wanted to move out of Charlotte; Arthur did it his way.”

Whether it was radio, TV, personal appearances or through recordings, Smith told an interviewer in 2007: “I was always thankful to have an audience. We stood for the people.”

Note: All photos courtesy of the Smith Family Collection. 

[ED: This piece was written using several sources, including personal recollections and recent newspaper tributes to Arthur Smith.]

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Didmarton Bluegrass Festival 2014

29-31 August 2014

Thank you, Camilla, for sharing these interesting news !

We'd be very grateful for any support you are able to offer in mentioning the Festival in news items or social media - we are relaunching the Festival this year and hope to support the UK bluegrass scene by making it a brilliant success! Many thanks. 
Earlybird tickets are now on sale [April 1st] for one of the UK's premier bluegrass music events at one of the quirkiest of Festival sites.
Held on the weekend of 29-31 August 2014, on a vibrant, operating airfield in the heart of Gloucestershire, UK, Didmarton Bluegrass Festival once again promises three days of outstanding music and entertainment, real ale and brilliant late-night bonfires, all with the hum of propeller planes and if you're lucky - the odd Spitfire flying overhead! 
Now in its 26th year, the Festival is proud to host another stellar line-up of bluegrass, old-time and Americana artists. You can expect everything from banjo-led, red-hot instrumental tunes, to songs from the American gospel and country traditions, brought to stage by some of the country's greatest musicians and reputedly the best live sound on the UK acoustic Festival circuit. 
There's much more than the Main Stage on offer too, with a host of entertainment that includes the open mic sessions, craft stalls, traditional dance displays, an ale and cider bar, and instrumental workshops for every ability, all in a fun and friendly environment. 
EarlyBird tickets (Fri-Sun), which includes camping, are now on sale at just £45 (under 14s go free). 
Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, 29-31 August, Kemble Airfield, nr Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND in the Czech Republic, 22-25 May 2014

Thanks to Petr Kuklík, recent recipient of an EBMA Pioneer Award, for this exciting information:

It's our great pleasure to introduce and welcome a famous legendary bluegrass group from the USA, the one and only NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND at the JAMBOREE 2014 Festival in Strakonice city at the southwest of the Czech Republic, which will be held on May 23rd - 25th.
This is definitely a unique occasion to see a legend of bluegrass music on our continent, at one of only three exclusive concerts in the Czech Republic only. Well, if you want to see a bluegrass legend you have to come to the Czech Republic – JAMBOREE 2014 Festival. For more information go to our web site:

Also thanks to Ivana Loukova for the additional information, where the only other place to enjoy the NBB will be: in the OREA Pyramida Hotel in Prague. The poster design is by IBMA distinguished achievement award winner 2007 Marko Čermák:
graphic design by: Marko Čermák

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Sawmill Sessions - Old Time & Bluegrass Jam / Thursday, 3rd April 2014

Thanks to Sarah Novaro of the Sawmill Sessions - Old Time & Bluegrass Jam for the information about the upcoming Jam Session, with a concert by Emilie Vidrine & Tee Franglais in the first half, in Paris:

Bonjour, Jeudi 3 avril prochain sera notre prochain rendez-vous à la péniche Anako (toujours face au 61 quai de Seine 75019 Paris) ! En préambule de notre habituelle rencontre mensuelle autour de différents répertoires Old Time & Bluegrass, vous dégusterez cette fois-ci du Cajun avec Emilie Vidrine & Tee Franglais. N'oubliez pas vos instruments!
L'équipe des Sawmill Sessions