14 June 2011

Martin Hollis - British bluegrass pioneer

The Down County Boys in the 1960s: (l-r) Mike Rodgers, Martin Hollis, Ken Harris, Mac (bass), Andy Smith (photo from DCB website)

We report with regret the death last week of Martin Hollis, a founder member of the Down County Boys band, which since 1965 has held a leading position on the bluegrass scene in Britain, reaching wider audiences and earning more awards than any other British band.

Martin Hollis came from Coventry in the English midlands, a region that has been the source of a great deal of bluegrass activity. For the past twenty years and more, he and his wife lived in Connecticut, USA. Tributes to him have been published on the European Bluegrass Blog by Kevin Lynch of Connecticut and on UKBluegrass.com by Mike Rodgers, the DCB's original mandolinist.

A history of the Down County Boys in the years when Martin Hollis was a member is here. For Irish readers: the band's name derives from the birthplace of guitarist and lead singer Ken Harris of Co. Down, and Martin's wife Terry also comes from Ireland. The BIB's sympathies go out to all who knew Martin Hollis.



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