18 February 2019

Welcome to the BIB

The Bluegrass Ireland Blog (BIB) keeps its calendar updated, publishes news received, and adds new features whenever they come to mind. Send in news or queries by e-mail, please; we can't send a direct reply to a comment on a post. The BIB does not do reviews or accept posts with 'marketing messages'.

Thinking of touring in Ireland? Look at the BIB's THINKING OF TOURING IN IRELAND? page (recently updated). Click on the 'Welcome' label below for more about the BIB's background, purpose, and uses.


17 February 2019

13th Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival (7-9 June): tickets now on sale

Thanks to Uri Kohen, head of the Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival organising team, for this news:

Tickets for the 13th Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival are now out and can be got via the Festival's website.

There are four different ticket options: one for each of the main concerts (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and one a combo Friday-and-Saturday ticket. Note that there are no full weekend tickets, and the Sunday main concert is sold separately.

Tickets for the two workshops (Songwriting with McKay & Leigh and clawhammer banjo with Montana Hobbs), Kids Concert (Kids Classics), and the Mystery Gig are sold on the door on the day only. All other gigs and sessions are FREE.

As in previous years, tickets are for individual concerts and not for the festival as a whole. It is important to book tickets in advance, as they are already selling fast.

Looking forward to see you all in Westport, Co. Mayo, 7-9 June!

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6th Cahirsiveen Mountain Roots Music Weekend, 3-6 May 2019

Thanks to Céline Kavanagh for the latest release from the Cahirsiveen Mountain Roots Music Weekend organising team:

Cahersiveen Mountain Roots Music Weekend is back again for its annual May Weekend feast of live music. Town will be alive with a variety of roots music performances and sessions... it’s getting better by the year, so check out the web or Facebook to see for yourself.

Acts listed on the website include the Cork Singers Club, Two Time Polka, the Dizzy Blues Band, Hank Wedel, Mules & Men, Ger Wolfe, Whistle, Mitch Depew & David Prat, John Nyhan, and Mick Power.

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16 February 2019

BAND 2019, 21-23 June: Year of the Guitar

Thanks to the organising team of the third BAND (Bluegrass And Nashville Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal) Festival for their latest announcement:

We are busy putting together a wonderful lineup for BAND 2019, with bluegrass bands and Nashville-inspired bands, some old friends, and some looking forward to playing for the first time in Dunfanaghy. In honour of the large number of incredibly talented, international guitarists who have accepted our invitation, and who will be travelling from countries far and wide, we have decided to nominate BAND 2019 as The Year of the Guitar!

Lineup announcements are coming soon! Keep an eye on our website and Facebook!

A video of highlights of BAND 2018 and its multi-national lineup can be seen here. You can sign up for e-mail updates about BAND 2019 here.

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Barwick & Siegfried (USA) return to Ireland in May

Following on from the BIB post of 24 Dec. 2018, thanks to Jon Hartley Fox (author of King of the Queen City: the story of King Records, and of much more on music and the arts) for this release:

The acclaimed American acoustic roots duo Barwick & Siegfried will be returning to Ireland in May for its third tour of the island. The duo of Kathy Barwick (guitar, vocals) and Pete Siegfried (mandolin, vocals) blends bluegrass, old-time country music, and folk into an engaging Americana fusion showcasing Pete’s exceptional lead vocals, Kathy’s amazing guitar work, and their sterling duet harmonies. Hailed by Bluegrass Unlimited as 'two like-minded lovers of song who’ve found musical gold in their pairing', the duo perfectly captures the power of two — two musicians, two voices, and two instruments — harnessed to a singular artistic vision.

The duo is touring in support of its third album, Stones and gravel, an honest, assured, and eminently tuneful album that showcases the magical blend of this celebrated duo from Grass Valley, California. Bluegrass Breakdown lauds Pete’s 'expansive tenor voice that can tell a story, croon a love song, and bring a tear to the eye, all in one song' and Kathy’s ability 'to make one guitar sound as strong as a band'.

Tour dates include:

Sat. 11th May: The Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone
Tues. 14th: McLynn’s, Old Market St., Sligo town
Thurs. 16th: House concert, Dorney Bridge, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Mon. 20th: Ballymore Acoustic Gigs, Mick Murphy’s, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare
Tues. 21st: The Mill Theatre, Dundrum, Dublin 14

The duo could add another show to the tour, on May 12, 13, or 17, if the situation warrants. Anyone interested in hosting a house concert or a pub show on those dates, please contact Jon Hartley Fox at jonfoxgv@yahoo.com. For more information and music clips, please see www.barwickandsiegfried.net.

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15 February 2019

A mystery solved

Many thanks to Tim (surname unknown) for solving a mystery that's been with the BIB for twenty months. In May 2017 Jim Purtell in the USA wrote in, asking whether anyone could locate a mural he had seen on the side of a pub somewhere in Co. Cork, based on the cover art (left) of the album Old & in the way - the name of one of the songs and also of the band, composed of Jerry Garcia (banjo), Vassar Clements (fiddle), David Grisman (mandolin, vocals), John Kahn (bass), and Peter Rowan (guitar, vocals).

Tim writes:

I first saw this mural back in 1996 whilst on a family holiday when I was about 15, so it's been there a while. We were just driving past and didn't get a chance to go in, but on a cycling trip in 2005, made a point to go and check it out and grab a pint of the black stuff! It was a really lovely rustic pub back then and has since been scrubbed up a bit...

It's called Vincent Coughlan Bar & Restaurant and is in Ballydehob, Co. Cork. Found some pics here. Have a great day!

Thanks again, Tim; we're delighted to have this information. BIB readers can find the best view of the mural near the end of the bar's photo gallery - it reproduces just the figures of the musicians, without the background or lettering of the original artwork. In 2009 (Google Street View) the words 'MURPHY's IRISH STOUT' appeared round the figures. See the BIB for 30 May 2017 for links to more about the album and band.

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14 February 2019

Tickets now on sale for Kristy Cox and Sideline tours

Thanks to Dave Byrne jr for this major announcement from the mygrassisblue.com team:

We’ve finally put the tickets on sale for both our Kristy Cox and Sideline tours this year, due to commence in eighty-six and a hundred and forty-five days respectively.

Tickets for all gigs are available through online purchase via the website (http://mygrassisblue.com/). Tickets can also be purchased through retail locations nationwide for select gigs as highlighted on the website.

Of course tickets are also available through established regional venue ticketing channels and may also be available for purchase at the door. That said, we do recommend advance purchase to avoid disappointment, especially for the final performance of both tours in the intimate setting of Dublin’s Unitarian Church.

Full tour schedules are on the BIB calendar and the mygrassisblue.com website.

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Del McCoury - a life in bluegrass

On 2 Feb. the BIB mentioned the major article by Richard Thompson that had appeared the previous day on Bluegrass Today to mark the eightieth birthday of Del McCoury. We remarked that it 'includes many tributes to Del by friends and colleagues, and serves also as a comprehensive history of his career in bluegrass'.

Richard has now followed this up with a further major article, 'Del McCoury - a 60 year career overview', an even more systematic chronicle of Del's career, with a discography and two performance videos. Not to be missed.

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Watch again on TG4

TG4 Súil Eile announces that the first episode of the 'Celtic Connections' music series is now available to watch here on TG4's online streaming service. It includes Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards (USA; photo), whose tour of Ireland last month culminated with the 27 Jan. concert at Dublin Castle with Jerry Douglas and Teddy Thompson as part of Tradfest.

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13 February 2019

News on the Staghorn front

The BIB editor writes:

If whoever is looking for a Stelling Staghorn banjo (see the BIB for 11 Feb.) will get in touch with me by e-mail, I now have some information.

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12 February 2019

The Petersens - back in Branson, MO

John Lawless reports in Bluegrass Today on the Petersens (USA) and their recently completed third tour of Ireland, from which it's clear that all went well. Their banjo player Ellen Petersen is quoted:

Our favorite parts of Ireland are the people and their love of music. People listen very intentionally to the music and take everything to heart. Everyone is also very hospitable and feels like family.

Read more on Bluegrass Today, where the band has a promotional video and some photos from the tour in these islands. More photos (one by Ronnie Norton) are on their Facebook.

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Springtime in the Black Forest (continued)

Following the BIB post of 21 Jan. on the 17th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival (Fri. 17-Sat. 18 May 2019) in Germany, thanks to Matthias Buschert, Bühl city press officer, for these photos of two of the acts on the lineup: the Henhouse Prowlers (USA; above), who have toured Ireland several times, and Dieselknecht (D; below left) from Dortmund. These two bands will be in concert on Friday night (17 May) in a programme designed for a younger generation of listeners - the members of Dieselknecht were in heavy metal and punk rock before turning to their present course. For the high-powered US acts on the main Saturday programme, see the Festival web page, where a flyer can be downloaded.

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11 February 2019

Stelling Staghorn wanted - by whom?

The BIB editor writes:

The following anonymous message has just been received in the form of a comment on the BIB's headnote:

I am trying to find someone that has a Stelling Staghorn
if you know of anyone can you give me a number or email mail thank you

I can't reply, unfortunately, because when a message comes as a comment it bears no address. This is why the BIB's headnote says 'Send in news or queries by e-mail, please; we can't send a direct reply to a comment on a post.'

There must be at least one Staghorn somewhere in this island; but an owner might be reluctant to have contact data given out to an anonymous enquirer. So please - if you're the person looking for a Staghorn, send me by e-mail your name and address; and then anyone who may have one can get in touch with you about it.

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Travelin' McCourys win bluegrass Grammy award

The BIB editor writes:

In the 2019 Grammy awards, the winners in category 48 ('Best Bluegrass Album') are the Travelin' McCourys for their album under the same name. Congratulations to the Travelin' McCourys - and to the other nominees, including of course our friends of Special Consensus, who over the past three weeks have almost certainly done the most travelin'.

On Friday 8 Feb. the last show of the Special C.'s tour in these islands was at the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre at Naul, Co. Dublin. They'd had a rough ferry crossing from Holyhead that day after two weeks' touring in Ireland and nine days in Britain, yet their Naul performance was as full of perfectly controlled energy and easy humour as if they had just warmed up after a good rest. Does it really have to be two years till they return?

Update: The winners in category 51 ('Best Folk Album') are the Punch Brothers for their album All ashore.

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10 February 2019

We Banjo 3 - a short break from triumph

We Banjo 3, the originators of 'Celtgrass', announce that twelve of the shows in their 'Roots to rise' tour in the USA (see the BIB for 9 Jan.) have been completely sold out. They are returning to Ireland for two weeks' rest before the US tour resumes at the end of February - and three shows in March are already booked out. Much more detail is on their latest e-newsletter.

Photos suggest that Enda Scahill may at times be using a full-scale plectrum banjo - i.e. like a regular banjo but without the fifth string. In any case, We Banjo 3's banjos come from Tom Cussen of Clareen Banjos in Co. Galway (see the band's 'Equipment' web page). Tom also makes 5-strings.

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The Cabin Session, Dundrum, 28 Feb. 2019

Gerry Fitzpatrick, organiser of the Cabin Sessions series, announces the second Session of 2019:

Hey Y'all,

Back again with you on Thursday 28 Feb. Our guests are the Netchords, Ciaran Moran, and Marion McEvoy. Hope to see you there!

The Sessions are held on the last Thursday of every month at Uncle Tom's Cabin in Dundrum, south Dublin (not far from Dundrum Luas station, in the city direction). Shows run from 9.30 to 11.30 p.m. and admission is FREE. If you or someone you know would like to perform at the Cabin Sessions, let Gerry know by e-mail. The Sessions are particularly interested in featuring local musicians and singers.

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09 February 2019

Kilkenny Roots Festival (3-6 May): headliners announced

The organising team of the Smithwick's Kilkenny Roots Festival announce that all headline acts are now on the schedule, and tickets can be booked online for all their concerts. No bluegrass or old-time acts come in this category, but Patty Griffin from Austin, TX, will be in concert at the Watergate Theatre on Sunday 5 May at 7.00 p.m., and Dori Freeman from Galax, VA, will be at different venues after lunchtime on both Sunday 5 and Monday 6 May.

More details are on the Festival website. Details of the Music Trail part of the Festival are awaited.

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New album coming from Mile Twelve (USA)

Following the news on the BIB for 17 Jan., friends and fans of Boston's Mile Twelve (above) will be glad to learn of the band's new album City on a hill, scheduled for release at the end of next month. The album, produced by Bryan Sutton and engineered by Ben Surratt, can be pre-ordered here. A video, made by Bill Filipiak, of Mile Twelve playing 'City that drowned' (a single from the album, and now on sale) can be seen on Bluegrass Today and YouTube.

Mile Twelve's online tour schedule shows that they will be in Britain from 14 to 24 March, but unfortunately not spending any time over here.

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08 February 2019

A Dublin welcome remembered

On Bluegrass Today Dave Berry continues his 'California report' series with an interview with Kate Brislin (left), old-time and bluegrass instrumentalist and singer, who has performed over here with her husband Jody Stecher and (much earlier) with the Blue Flame Stringband.

It's an informative interview, and one question Dave Berry puts is: 'What shows events or venues that you have played are most memorable for you and why?' Kate Brislin replies:

I really loved playing in Dublin, Ireland, with Jody, and in Nova Scotia at a music festival. In both situations, the audience cheered when the harmony came in on the chorus!! It doesn’t get much better than that in terms of feeling appreciated!

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07 February 2019

La Fuente American Traditional Music Week in Spain, 4-11 May 2019

Kate Lissauer announces this year's La Fuente Music Week (4-11 May 2019) - 'an intimate holiday week of learning and fun', with classes in fiddle, banjo, guitar, ukulele, and community duet singing, taught by Beverley Smith (photo), Lucy Ray, Kate herself, Rose Ardron, Johnny Whelan, Sooz Clare, and Matt Stead. She adds: 'Don't worry about Brexit! They promised you wouldn't need a visa!' - and that applies all the more to participants from Ireland. All necessary details are on the website, or you can contact Kate directly by e-mail.

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John Blek at Ballymore Eustace, 11 Feb. 2019

Ballymore Acoustic Gigs announce that John Blek will be playing on Monday 11 February at Mick Murphy's Bar, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare. Doors 8.30 p.m.; showtime 9.00 p.m. sharp; admission €12.

John Blek, based in Cork, is a singer/ songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist, influenced by the music of Ireland, England, and America. 'Blackwater', from his new album Thistle & thorn, can be heard here. It's not hard to imagine his songs being recorded by the more folk-oriented type of bluegrass band, and his guitar work is even more compatible.

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06 February 2019

Red Hat Acoustic Music Club at Naas, Fri. 8 Feb. 2019

Thanks to Paul and Anne McEvoy, organisers of the Red Hat Acoustic Music Club, for a reminder that the Club's second meeting of 2019 will be held this coming Friday (8 Feb.).

The Red Hat meets on the second Friday of every month at the Harbour Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare. Music starts around 8.30 p.m.; a donation of €3.00 covers coffee/ tea and sandwiches at the interval.

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05 February 2019

Sideline (USA) celebrate their #1

Sideline (USA) - who mygrassisblue.com will be bringing to Ireland two months after the tour by Kristy Cox (AUS) and her band - are celebrating the success of their album Front and center, and especially the chart-topping lead single 'Thunder Dan', which took the #1 spot as most played song of 2018 on Bluegrass Today's radio charts (see the BIB for 2 Jan.).

The album is their first on the Mountain Home Music Company label, which has an impressive artists roster. More details are on the latest Mountain Home e-newsletter. A complete schedule for Sideline's tour (9-14 July 2019) is on the BIB for 25 Jan.. The dates are on the BIB calendar, and also (together with much more about the band) on the mygrassisblue.com blog.

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Kristy Cox (AUS) in Ireland, 11-19 May 2019

Thanks to the mygrassisblue.com team for details of the tour of Ireland this coming May by the outstanding Australian bluegrass and country singer Kristy Cox and her band (see the BIB for 22 Nov. 2018). The tour poster (above) promises 'youthful energy-infused and chart-toppin' bluegrass with an award-winning Aussie twist', and on Kristy's record so far that's exactly what to expect. Dave Byrne jr of mygrassisblue.com announces:

Tickets for all gigs will be going on sale in mid February on the tour page of the website, where we highlight Kristy’s bio, list her career highlights, sample a track from her lauded 2018 release Ricochet, and present a few videos giving insights into Kristy and her music.

The full schedule for the tour is:

Sat. 11th May: St Patrick's Gateway Centre, Waterford city
Sun. 12th: Glen Theatre, Banteer, Co. Cork
Mon. 13th: Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork
Tues. 14th: St James's Church, Dingle, Co. Kerry
Wed. 15th: St John's Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry
Thurs. 16th: Nenagh Arts Centre, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Fri. 17th: Ballina Arts Centre, Ballina, Co. Mayo
Sat. 18th: Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Co. Cavan
Sun. 19th: Unitarian Church, Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

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04 February 2019

Po' Ramblin' Boys at 9th Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival (21-23 June 2019)

The BIB editor writes:

The organising team of the 9th Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival 2019 announce the first international top acts of this year's lineup: the Po' Ramblin' Boys (photo above) from Tennessee, and the Hackensaw Boys from Virginia. The Po' Ramblin' Boys - who at this time last year we were hoping to see in Ireland - are described as:

,,, passionate ambassadors of bluegrass. Authentic, and with the manic energy of a train barrelling through the landscape at top speed. The Po' Ramblin Boys’ infectious music makes you sit up immediately. They’re 'the real deal' according to American critics, and that is why they have received the 2018 Emerging Artist of the Year Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. [...] The band rarely comes to Europe: they will only play twice in the Netherlands, so don’t miss this opportunity to go back to the origins of bluegrass and experience their music which they make with the same drive, heart, spirit, and enthusiasm as the first-generation bluegrass bands.

The dates of the Rotterdam festival (21-23 June 2019) are not on the Boys' online tour schedule, but now we know they'll be on this side of the Atlantic in late June. Could that possibly mean... ?

The Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival (also on Facebook) is a free three-day international music festival held at the historic Pijnackerplein in the ‘Het Oude Noorden’ neighbourhood of Rotterdam-Noord. It revolves around uplifting, moving, and authentic bluegrass music, but also features workshops, art, comics, and crossover performances.

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SPBGMA honours visitors to Ireland

They're not actually being honoured simply for visiting Ireland; but the list of award winners at the past weekend's convention of the Society for the Preservation of Blue Grass Music in America (SPBGMA) includes several bluegrass artists who have performed in this island on one or more occasions.

Josh Williams, who came over as a teenage mandolinist in Special Consensus some years back, is Guitar Performer of the Year; Dale Ann Bradley is Female Vocalist of the Year; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are both Vocal Group of the Year and Entertainers of the Year; and Frank D. Ray has been inducted into the SPBGMA Preservation Hall of Greats. The Lonesome River Band, past performers at the Omagh festival, played during the awards ceremony but without their leader and banjo-player Sammy Shelor, who is having a pacemaker fitted. Thanks to Bluegrass Today for the news.

This coming July, Ireland will be visited by another SPBGMA award-winner, Alecia Nugent, several times Female Vocalist of the Year, who will be performing with her band at the Woodbine Bluegrass Jamboree (12-13 July), at the Ardara Bluegrass festival (19-21 July) and on other dates.

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03 February 2019

Lonesome Ace Stringband exceed expectations

L-r: Max Heineman, Chris Coole, John Showman
(photo: Jen Squires)

Thanks to Sharon Loughrin of the Red Room at Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, for this report on the Lonesome Ace Stringband (CAN), now halfway through their current tour:

We went to see the boys in Strule Theatre, Omagh, last night. They were even better than I expected - fabulous playing, lovely vocals, their own material was as good as the traditional numbers, the stories behind their songs were told well, really entertaining.

I couldn't fault the band in any way. The only disappointment was the poor turnout, for this calibre of musicianship and in an area with such a bluegrass following. Fans of bluegrass and old-time missed what has got to be one of the very best bands I've heard.

And the best night is yet to come! We're looking forward so much to having them play the Red Room on Tuesday night.

BIB editor's note: We hope the Red Room leaves the Aces with recharged energy for the following night at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny city (see the BIB for 30 Jan.).

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02 February 2019

Del McCoury is 80

The BIB editor writes:

Yesterday (1 Feb.) was the eightieth birthday of Del McCoury, and the occasion has been celebrated on Bluegrass Today by Richard Thompson in an article that includes many tributes to Del by friends and colleagues, and serves also as a comprehensive history of his career in bluegrass.

In 2011 Del was inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Inductees up to 2014 are chronicled in The Bluegrass Hall of Fame: inductee biographies 1991-2014, by Fred Bartenstein, Gary Reid, and others. Nine members of the pantheon, who either were born or died one or more decades before 2019, are listed below. The Hall of Fame website has recently been completely refurbished and updated,§ so the biographies of those marked with an asterisk can be read there. Even if you have the book, it is worth looking up the website for the different choice of photos there.

§ Unfortunately, in the process a number of errors have crept in, and are waiting to be edited out.

*Sara Dougherty Carter (the Carter Family), 8 Jan. 1979
*Lester Raymond Flatt, 11 May 1979±

± By an error, 'November 5' appears on the website.

*Delano Floyd 'Del' McCoury, 1 Feb. 1939
*Janis Lewis Phillips (the Lewis Family), 13 Feb. 1939
*Neil Vandraegen Rosenberg, 21 Mar. 1939
*David Freeman, 22 May 1939
*Jesse Lester McReynolds, 9 July 1929
William Bradford 'Bill' Keith, 20 Dec. 1939
*John Ray 'Curly' Sechler (Seckler), 25 Dec. 1919

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Free information online from Deering Banjos

In addition to hardware (banjos and accessories) Deering Banjos now offer a great amount of instructional and other information online, free of charge. Their home page has links to a free guide on how to get started playing banjo; free video lessons from Tony Trischka; learning clawhammer; learning to play by ear; applying guitar technique to the banjo; and answers to such questions as 'Am I too old to learn to play?' and 'How do I adjust coordinator rods?' More info comes via the Deering blog, 'Hooks & nuts'.

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31 January 2019

Thom Moore celebrated in Sligo, 1 Feb. 2019

The BIB editor writes:

The Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo, announces for tomorrow night (Friday 1 Feb. 2019) 'The Thom Moore songbook', a celebration of the songwriter Thom Moore, who died last year and (to quote the theatre) 'had Sligo inextricably woven into his work, his songs, and his heart'. Many musicians will be taking part.

The show starts at 8.00 p.m.; tickets are €25 (€12.50 under-18s), and can be booked online or by 'phone (071 9161518). Those who remember the music of Pumpkinhead and Midnight Well, with their fusion of Irish and American traditions through Thom Moore's outstanding songwriting, will be particularly interested.

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30 January 2019

Lonesome Ace Stringband (CAN) TONIGHT in Antrim - in Kilkenny on 6 Feb.

L-r: John Showman, Max Heineman, Chris Coole

A week ago the BIB noted that Moving On Music (MOM) had sent a reminder of their coming presentations, which include the show by the Lonesome Ace Stringband (CAN) at the Duncairn Centre in Belfast on Sunday 3 Feb.

The Lonesome Aces begin their tour in Ireland tonight at the Old Courthouse in Antrim town, and MOM's latest e-newsletter deserves quoting at length:

Masters of their trade, The Lonesome Ace Stringband bring grit, skill and abandon to old-time, Appalachian folk songs and fiddle/ banjo tunes. [...] The music comes from a tradition that has inspired and brought together generations of people. Themes of love, loss, hard work and hardship, faith, and everyday life, speak to everyone. You’ll feel the energy of three musicians playing the bejesus out of those instruments and loving every minute. Their music is a type of polished grit, performed with a refreshing vibrancy that is seldom heard. It is a pleasure to behold. Playing Belfast, Antrim, Derry, Omagh, Portaferry. Full details on the site.

MOM's field of operations is in Northern Ireland, and old-time enthusiasts in the rest of Ireland should note that the band's final show in this tour will be in Leinster - at the Watergate Theatre, Parliament St., Kilkenny city, on Wednesday next week (6 Feb.) at 8.00 p.m. Tickets (€12/ €10) can be booked online here.

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Kristy Cox (AUS) receives Golden Guitar award

Also on Bluegrass Today: the news that Kristy Cox (AUS) received the Golden Guitar award for the 2019 Bluegrass Album of the Year at the Toyota Country Music Association of Australia Awards last Sunday. Her album Ricochet was released a year ago, and the album, together with a single from it, have hit no. 1 on the Bluegrass Today charts since then.

A tour in Ireland by Kristy and her band (11-19 May 2019) is scheduled as the first major project by the vigorous new Mygrassisblue.com agency (see the BIB for 22 Nov. 2018). More info is on the Mygrassisblue.com blog.

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Award-winning band for Westport 2019

Blue Summit: (l-r) Sullivan Tuttle, A.J. Lee, Jesse
Fichman, Chad Bowen

The BIB published on 14 Jan. details of the lineup for this year's Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival (7-9 June). The ten international acts taking part - six of them from North America - include Blue Summit (USA); and we've just learned, thanks to Bluegrass Today, that at the Northern California Bluegrass Society's annual awards last Saturday, Blue Summit was Best Bluegrass Band; A.J. Lee was Best Female Vocalist and Best Mandolin Player; and Sullivan Tuttle was Best Male Vocalist and Best Guitar Player.

Sullivan's elder sister is the celebrated Molly Tuttle, and both of them, together with A.J., were in the family band The Tuttles with A.J. Lee.

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28 January 2019

We Banjo 3 US tour - well under way

The Kings of Celtgrass, We Banjo 3, are well into their 'Roots to rise' tour in the USA (see the BIB for 9 Jan.) and report that despite adverse weather,

we’ve had an amazing week in Ohio, selling over 3000 tickets in 5 nights. We’re sold out tonight in Rochester NY and we’re sold out the next two nights in Colorado and New Mexico.

More news is on their Facebook. The 'Roots to rise' tour 2019 is partnered with Mental Health America (MHA logo above); a donation from each t-shirt sold during the tour will be donated to MHA.

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27 January 2019

3rd BAND Festival, 21-23 June 2019

Thanks to Riona McGrath for this news of the third BAND (Bluegrass And Nashville Dunfanaghy) Festival, to be held early this summer:

BAND 2019 will be taking place on the weekend of 21-23 June in Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal. We'll be starting to announce the lineup in the coming days on www.thebandfestival.com/ and on our Facebook page. You can see some BAND 2018 highlights (and a glimpse of what is to come for BAND 2019!) at https://www.facebook.com/TheBANDFestival/videos/401097613793170/.

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