Monday, 18 January 2016

Mes Amis...

Tout d'abord, je vous souhaite une bonne année et j'espère que 2016 vous offrira tout ce dont vous pouvez espèrer.

De mon coté, je compte améliorer mon jeu de mandoline pour pourais comfortablement jouer avec mes amis et les voir plus souvent, réduire mon handicap au golf à un niveau plus respectable.... et terminer la décoration (parmis d'autres tâches ménagère en attente). Je peux presque aussi entendre ma femme me demander quand est-ce que le garage sera plus organisé!

Mais laissez-moi me concentrer sur le Bluegrass ici (surtout parce-qu'organiser le garage est trop effrayant!), et  laissez-moi dire que, si je suis membre du conseil EBMA, ceci est juste mon opinion personnelle.

Il y a eu un article récent sur une discussion abordant le rôle d'EBMA et de SPBGMA. Un des commentaires a été cité en relation au rôle d'EBMA. Ecrire un "compare et contrast" article parlant des deux organisations  basées aux USA et de EBMA serait un article en soi-meme. Cependant, j'aimerais parler de certaines choses que je voudrais voir en 2016.

Quand j’ai rejoint le conseil EBMA, et c’est toujours mon avis ici, je pensais que nous devions nous concentrer sur l’audience et les adhésions, et ceux-ci sont refletés dans la déclaration sur le site d’EBMA. Cela colle avec mon opinion sur les groupe d’adhesion:

- Prendre part au plus vastes aspects promotionnelles de l’oganisation et de Bluegrass.
- Le maillage d’un point central pour les fans et les musiciens.
- Un aspect soutien/développement
C’est la que mon vie non-Bluegrass m’interromp et demande: “si ce sont vos buts (buts généraux), quels sont vos objectifs (résultats spécifique et mesurables)?” Un des résultats tangibles est la bourse d’étude accordée à Tabitha Agnew et Evan Lyon pour aller à la ‘Sore Fingers Summer School’  (voir article de Novembre du blog). Le site continue d’être revu et affiné et il y a d’autres initiatives en cours qui seront discutées et annoncées dans les mois a venir.

Mais la grande question pour moi, en tant que member du conseil EBMA, est  la suivante:  à quel point EBMA représente le Bluegrass en Europe? Ne vous méprenez pas! Il y a un niveau énorme d’implication au sein d’EBMA pour promouvoir, supporter, discuter et faire la publiciter de tous les aspects du Bluegrass en Europe, et des nombreuses heures de travail bénévole vont dans ces activités, mais j’aimerais voir plus de participation de la part de mes amis Bluegrass en France, Allemagne, Belgique, Pays-Bas et tous les autres pays européens.

Quand je pense au Bluegrass, mes premieres pensées ne sont pas sur IBMA ou SPBGMA, ou meme EBMA! Mes premieres pensées vont aux fans du Bluegrass que je rencontre et au coté desquels je m’assoie lors des festivals et des concerts, aux musiciens qui passent du temps à parler (ou jouer) après les concerts avec des fans et aux bénévoles innombrables qui travaillent à mettre en place des évènements locaux et des festivals, et a mener leur association nationale de Bluegrass.

L’EBMA travaille très dur pour revoir and améliorer sa présence sur les réseaux sociaux (blog, site internet, page facebook, etc), et nous avons les moyens d’aider nos voisins Bluegrass dans tous les pays Européens à annoncer les évènements à venir, les concerts, les jam sessions et les écoles de musique. En 2016 je voudrais voir plus d’associations nationales de Bluegrass, d’organiseurs des festivals de Bluegrass et des promoteurs de concerts nous parlant à nous à l’EBMA de ce qui se passe dans vos regions et de comment nous pouvons vous aider à faire passer le mot pour votre compte; après tout, nous sommes tous des fans de Bluegrass aussi!

Merci à Tina , Tom & Lou ...

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Locust Honey String Band - Dates in UK & Ireland

Locust Honey String Band
Chloe Edmonstone & Meredith Watson

On February 5th, Locust Honey String Band will release 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind' and this will coincide with an extensive tour of the UK and Ireland (see dates below). On their tour dates, Locust Honey String Band - Chloe Edmonstone (fiddle, guitar & vocals) and Meredith Watson (guitar, resonator guitar & vocals) -  will be joined by John Miller on bass.

When the much-respected publication No Depression says good things about a release it is always worth paying attention and having a listen and, regarding 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind', No Depression said 'Grab a copy... and put on your dancin' shoes' and I would agree with that.

Listening to 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind' I would say that the advice regarding the dancing shoes should be heeded. On the album, Chloe and Meredith are joined by Hilary Hawke of Dubl Handi and through the fourteen tracks it is likely that your feet will be moving in a very lively and Old Time fashion to such tracks as 'Boogerman' and 'McMiche's Breakdown'. The album is a mixture of traditional tunes such as 'Logan County Blues' and 'Four Cent Cotton' as well as their versions of some Country classics - 'Whose Should Will You Cry On' (Kitty Wells) and 'Just One More' (George Jones).

Get yourself a copy of 'Never Let Me Cross Your Mind' - better still, get along to one of their concerts and buy your CD there. See you at one of the shows!!

Locust Honey String Band · 2016 UK & Ireland Tour Dates

  • Thu 25 Ewerby, Lincs. Ewerby Reading Rooms
  • Fri 26 Belchford, Lincs. St Peter & Paul Church
  • Sat 27 Norwell, Notts. Norwell Village Hall
  • Sun 28 Braceborough, Lincs. Braceborough Village Hall
  • Mon 29 Rainham, Kent The Oast House Community Centre
  • Tue 1 Birmingham Kitchen Garden Café
  • Wed 2 London Green Note
  • Thu 3 Kineton, Warks. Kineton Sports & Social Club
  • Fri 4 Clows Top, Warks. Clows Top Victory Hall
  • Sat 5 Chinley, Derbyshire Chinley Community Centre
  • Sun 6 Moreton, Staffs. Millennium Community Centre
  • Mon 7 Sarratt, Herts. The Cock Inn, The Old Barn Sessions
  • Tue 8 Leicester The Musician
  • Wed 9 Towersey, Oxfordshire The Three Horseshoes
  • Thu 10 Barry, South Wales West End Club
  • Fri 11 Newcastle upon Tyne Studio at Live Theatre
  • Sat 12 Scarborough Woodend Gallery
  • Mon 14 Hawick Venue TBC
  • Tues 15 Glasgow Woodend Bowling and Tennis Club
  • Wed 16 Edinburgh Private House Concert
  • Sun 20 Stranraer The Grapes
  • Tue 22 Cookstown, N. Ireland The Red Room
  • Thurs 24 Listowel, Co. Kerry St. Johns Theatre
  • Sat 26 Naul, Co. Dublin The Séamus Ennis Arts Centre
  • Sun 27 Roscommon JJ Harlow’s
  • Tue 29 Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare Sixmilebridge Folk Club

Saturday, 16 January 2016

A message from Becky Buller....

Becky Buller, chair of the IBMA Songwriter Committee, here. Are you a songwriting member of IBMA?  We want to hear from you!

We have started sending out e-mail blasts to the entire IBMA membership list to let everybody know about:  what our writers are doing, the music we’re creating, workshops we’re conducting, camps we’re teaching at, albums of at least 75% original material we’re releasing, issues affecting us that we need to be made aware of, and more.

Please let us know a month in advance about songwriting-focused events you have coming up or products that you have coming out and we’ll do our best to help you get the word out about them, both through our e-mail list and social media.

I can be reached at:

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Bluegrass Bands, it's time to apply! - La Roche Bluegrass Festival - August 4-7 2016

La Roche Bluegrass Festival 2016 has already been announced and information to bands willing to apply to play at La Roche Bluegrass Festival 2016 was just sent out (by the way, anyone who has not received the email and wishes to apply should write to
Festival growth 2006-2015
Nonetheless, before looking to the future, some useful data collected from the Special 10th Anniversary Festival in 2015 and presented in a Press Release few days ago need to be shared (see figure) to show how the festival has grown in those years.
These data are important because have caused some of the intentions and conditions of the festival to be restated, and some changes have been planned for the festival 2016. Let's see what they are about.

What remains unchanged
  • It will be a European festival dedicated exclusively to Bluegrass music, promoting a variety of Bluegrass stules and closely related genres in different venues around the town.
  •  It will be a festival for established European acts to play to large audiences, for new and upcoming European bands to showcase their talents, and for European fans to see top US acts as they seek to increase exposure outside the USA.
  • It is a volunteer based organisation with all concerts free, funded by private and public sponsorship and revenue generating operations, where musicians and spectators feel welcome, want to come back and recommend it to their friends.
What's new
The Front Country from California have been already booked to play at the festival in 2016, and at least one more US band and two or three from Europe will soon be booked.

The Workshop
The 2016 workshop will run August 2-4 and, like in the previous years, workshop bands will open the festival on the Main Stage on August 4.
The instructors will be the Rapidgrass Quintet's members and will teach guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and fiddle. All are seasoned and/or professional music teachers. Mark Morris (guitar) and Coleman Smith (fiddle) have already taught many times at La Roche Bluegrass Workshop with the Hickory Project; nevertheless they will be supported by the usual team of French instructors.

The Band Contest
The Rapidgrass Quintet is offering $5,000 to the winner to perform at the Clear Creek Bluegrass Festival in Colorado at the end of June 2017. The winning band will also receive €2,000 to headline La Roche Bluegrass Festival in 2017. The number of the contest finalists is reduced to eight; each day two bands will be playing, from Thursday to Sunday.
The process to apply the contest remains unchanged, as the criteria for judging the bands do (band cohesion, originality, instrumental and vocal technique, stage presence).
Each year the contest starts again from scratch and any winning band may reapply.

Lunchtime Sessions
They will take place on the secondary stage between midday and 03:00pm, three bands playing each day. Two of the bands will be from US. The remaining will be young or new European bands, and at least one will be invited to come back and perform on the main stage in 2017.

Conditions for European Bands
Because of the number of workshop students, the bands will be able to stay in the available two schools only from Thursday to Sunday (plus Wednesday if playing at the Street Festival). For further details about travel allowance and meal tickets refer to website.

If you have never been in La Roche and want to figure it out, check out the Video Channel on Daily Motion to see a full diaporama about the 2014 festival, and some clips of concerts and other events/activities around the festival. You will fall in love with La Roche!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

2016: Invito per i miei vicini

(Precedentemente pubblicato in inglese 2016: Calling on my neighbours)

Prima di tutto, permettetemi di augurarvi un felice Anno Nuovo. Spero che il 2016 vi porti tutto ciò che più desiderate.

Per quanto mi riguarda, vorrei migliorarmi nel mandolino per sentirmi a mio agio quando suono qualche brano con gli amici e per riuscire a stare al passo con loro; poi vorrei ridurre le mie carenze nel gioco del golf e raggiungere un livello più rispettabile…. Non ultimo, vorrei finire di sistemare (per esempio, riordinare la casa, che rimane sempre una delle ultime cose) e accontentare mia moglie che mi chiede sempre quando il garage sarà finalmente più in ordine!
Ma qui permettetemi di parlare di Bluegrass (soprattutto perché la sistemazione del garage mi spaventa troppo!), e lasciatemi dire che, anche se sono un membro del Consiglio EBMA (European Bluegrass Music Association), questa che leggerete è soltanto la mia opinione personale.

Recentemente è stato pubblicato un articolo che riportava un dibattito sul ruolo della IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) e della SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America). Uno dei commenti riguardava il ruolo della EBMA. Scrivere un pezzo per tentare un confronto tra le due organizzazioni statunitensi e la EBMA sarebbe già un articolo, ma in realtà qui vorrei parlare di alcune delle novità che vorrei vedere nel 2016.

Ho ancora ben presente il momento in cui ho aderito agli obiettivi generali del Consiglio della EBMA, chiaramente riportati anche sul sito, secondo i quali la EBMA dovrebbe richiamare e coinvolgere sempre più appassionati, musicisti e gruppi Bluegrass, e offrire loro un punto di raccordo e comunicazione in rete. La EBMA dovrebbe inoltre partecipare agli aspetti promozionali e organizzativi più ampi delle iniziative Bluegrass, fornendo supporto per il loro sviluppo.
Ma a questo punto, la parte di me che non appartiene al Bluegrass si inserisce e domanda: “Se questi sono gli obiettivi generali, quali sono gli esiti specifici e misurabili?” Un risultato tangibile, ad esempio, è stata la borsa di studio per Tabitha Agnew e Evan Lione, che consentirà loro di partecipare alla Summer School Sore Fingers (vedere l'articolo pubblicato sul blog nel mese di novembre). Inoltre sono ancora in corso i lavori di aggiornamento e perfezionamento del sito EBMA, e altre iniziative in via di elaborazione saranno discusse e annunciate nei prossimi mesi. Tuttavia per me, in qualità di membro del Consiglio EBMA, la grande domanda è questa: la EBMA quanto rappresenta la musica Bluegrass in Europa? Non vorrei essere frainteso. Da parte del Consiglio c’è un forte impegno a promuovere, sostenere, pubblicizzare e discutere tutti gli aspetti della musica Bluegrass in Europa; molte ore di lavoro sono totalmente e volontariamente impegnate da queste attività. Però vorrei percepire, vedere una maggiore partecipazione da parte dei nostri amici Bluegrass in Francia, Germania, Belgio, Olanda e da ogni altro paese presente nel continente europeo.

Quando penso al Bluegrass, il mio primo pensiero non è per l’IBMA o la SPBGMA, e neanche per la EBMA! E’ per i fan del Bluegrass che incontro e accanto ai quali mi siedo a festival e concerti; è per i musicisti che dopo i concerti passano il tempo a parlare (o a suonare) con i fan e per gli innumerevoli volontari che lavorano per mettere su eventi locali e festival, e per gestire le proprie associazioni nazionali Bluegrass.

La EBMA sta lavorando alacremente per aggiornare e rendere migliori i suoi social media (blog, siti web, pagine di Facebook, ecc.). Abbiamo i mezzi per sostenere i nostri vicini Bluegrass in tutti i paesi europei, per diffondere le notizie su eventi imminenti, concerti, jam session e scuole di musica. Nel 2016 mi piacerebbe vedere nascere ancora più associazioni nazionali ; vorrei che un maggior numero di organizzatori di festival e concerti Bluegrass si tenessero in contatto con noi al CMA, per informarci su quello che sta succedendo nella loro area e per progettare insieme come contribuire alla diffusione delle loro novità.

Dopo tutto, anche noi siamo fan della musica Bluegrass!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Bluegrass Festival Ashville - Assen, NL - 5th March 2016

The 2016 festival season will be starting very soon in The Netherlands!

The Bluegrass Festival Ashville will be taking place on Saturday March 5th at De Bonte Wever in Assen and the Blue Grass Boogiemen, Herman Brock Jr, Stroatklinkers, Swamp, Pick'n'Shovel and Pine Needle Miners are just some of those appearing.
Here is a great promotional video for the festival...

There is full information about the festival on their website including early-bird tickets for just €17,50!

As well as the concerts, there will be jamming and much more...visit the Bluegrass Festival Ashville website and learn more.