01 October 2012

George Kaye and the Smokey Mountain Ramblers reunion tour

Vinny Baker of Bending the Strings sends this personal message:

I would like to let my friends and the many people who have been in contact with me regarding the upcoming George Kaye and the Smokey Mountain Ramblers reunion tour, know that I will now not be joining the band for the tour as had been originally planned. I was contacted by George, Pat Ely, and the band to take part in the reunion tour and had agreed and indeed looked forward to it; but as plans were being put together for the band I realised that family, studio work, and other gig commitments were going to make it, at best, very difficult and at worst, impossible to take part in this reunion, and as much as I looked forward to sharing the stage once again with bluegrass fiddler supreme George Kaye, I decided that it was best to pull out of the reunion while it was still early enough for the band to get a replacement.

Unfortunately there has been some news of it in some of the national papers, and as my name was included in those write-ups, I have been asked about it by a lot of my friends in bluegrass and just want to clear it up that I will not, unfortunately, be joining the reunion tour. But I would like to take this opportunity of wishing George, Pat, Francie, and all the band the very best of luck and the greatest success in the world on this reunion, and I hope to catch up with them on one of their concerts.

Best wishes,
Vinny Baker

A comprehensive history of the Smokey Mountain Ramblers and the bands descended from it can be found here. Dates for the coming tour, as given in the Irish Farmers Journal, are:

Fri. 19 Oct. Longford Arms Hotel, Longford town (scene of their original launch)
Sat. 20 Oct. Country Club, Newry
Sun. 21 Oct. Carlton Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe
Fri. 26 Oct. The Hillimar, Kinnegad
Sat. 27 Oct. Four Seasons, Monaghan town
Wed. 31 Oct. Millbrook Lodge, Ballynahinch
Thurs. 1 Nov. Greenhills Hotel, Limerick
Fri. 2 Nov. Southern Hotel, Sligo
Sat. 3 Nov. Ryandale, Moy, Tyrone
Sun. 4 Nov. The Gleneagle, Killarney

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