11 October 2011

Bluegrass music will always defeat the weather...

...writes Uri Kohen from Westport, Co. Mayo:

When Los Langeros (Cork-based punk band) visited Westport, the walls of Geraghty's pub were shaking. It was therefore a great surprise to me when Phil (lead singer with the band) asked me to host a gig for an American bluegrass band which he will tour with around Ireland.

I was more than happy to accept his offer, and in December last year the Oil Skins made their way from Cork to Westport. The west of Ireland was covered with snow at the time (their journey through snow is shown in this video) and after more than seven hours, the lads made it to Westport. Although I was about to call the gig off, it turned out to be a fine folk and bluegrass session.

I have become a big fan of their music; and needless to say, I was very excited when they told me they are heading back to Ireland this week. Last night the rain in Westport, which could only be described as 'biblical', didn't stop the lads from once again defeating the elements and playing a great gig in Geraghty's.

It must be said that it was a very small crowd, but the music was the real winner. Drew (singer, banjo) started his way in punk-rock music but fell in love with the sound of the banjo; he cut his teeth in bluegrass music playing alongside Smith (singer, guitar, fiddle) playing roots, bluegrass, and old-time fiddle tunes. Last night, joined by Phil (right) who plays an instrument which I saw for the first time, they showcased their superb take on bluegrass and old-time music, full of inspiration from their musical pasts.

They spent the day in Westport and returned to Geraghty's for one more session. They are now at the end of their Irish tour, but keep an eye for their next visit.

BIB editor's note: Three further dates in Ireland this week are shown on the Oil Skins' ReverbNation site.

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