News digest #23
Events in the next eight days (taken from the BIB calendar; please check also the 'Weekly sessions' section of the calendar); dates added since this post was first published are shown in red
Sat. 22nd: Hillfolk Noir (USA), the Sunflower, Union St., Belfast
Sun. 23rd: The Rock Bottom Boys (Ian Carmichael, banjo; Paul O'Driscoll, double bass; Frank Hall, fiddle; John Faulkner, guitar; Johnny Gleeson, dobro), Raftery's Rest, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway, from c.12.00 noon
Hillfolk Noir (USA), The Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, 8.30 p.m., £10; bookings/ more info, call Sharon at 07747120659
Thurs. 27th: Alec Somerville (clawhammer banjo), Baw-bee Folk and Blues Club, Dumfries, Scotland, 8.00-10.30 p.m.
The Cabin Sessions, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Dundrum, Dublin: Con Butler (bass), Gerry Fitzpatrick (dobro), Cathy McEvoy (fiddle), Spats Davenport (guitar), Christian Volkman (harmonica); special guests: Tom Horan (country/folk), Red Clay Halo (Americana), and Clarence & the Winters (acoustic-a-go-go!); 9.30-11.30 p.m.; adm. free
Fri. 28th: Alec Somerville (clawhammer banjo), the Lounge, King's Arms, Dalbeattie, Scotland, 8.00 p.m.
Banjo lessons (beginners only), Spectrum Centre, 331 Shankill Rd, Belfast, Co. Antrim BT13 3AA, 028 9050 4555, 7.00-9.00 p.m.
Sat. 29th: Dangem Bluegrass Get-Together, jam session, and banjo lessons, Lagan Valley Island Arts Centre, Lisburn BT27 4RL, 028 9250 9292, 9.30 a.m.-12.00 noon
Two Time Polka, Briar Rose Bar, Douglas Rd, Cork. Kickoff 9.30 p.m. Adm. free. Tel. 021 4291686
Down and Out Bluegrass Band, Mini Music Festival, the Plough, Hillsborough, Co. Down, 3.00-6.00 p.m.
Marty Stuart (mandolin) and Merle Haggard (guitar)
RFD-TV announces that country music superstar Merle Haggard is the guest on this year's season finale of the Marty Stuart Show, which will be broadcast on Sat. 29 June at 8.00 p.m. (Eastern). A re-broadcast of the entire 2013 season of the Show will begin on 13 July on Rural Media Group's other cable and satellite network, FamilyNet. This year's lineup of special guests included Old Crow Medicine Show and the Del McCoury Band. A special one-hour Labor Day edition of the Marty Stuart Show will also air on RFD-TV at 8.00 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday 31 August.
The Show ('Marty Stuart's honky-tonk utopia, where country music both pops and twangs') features Stuart (who began his professional career as teenage mandolinist for Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass), his band the Fabulous Superlatives, and his wife, Country Music Hall of Fame member Connie Smith. The announcer is DJ Hall of Fame inductee and WSM presenter Eddie Stubbs, who was fiddler for the Johnson Mountain Boys and has an encyclopedic knowledge of country music.
BIB editor's note: For a treat - a Johnson Mountain Boys YouTube playlist.
The UK Brookfield Knights agency announces that the Revelers (USA), a new Cajun supergroup, will be available for bookings in these islands next March. Kirsty Fitzsimons of the Ubangi Stomp Club and Dublin City FM consider their debut album 'gorgeous – full of joy from start to finish'. The Revelers comprise founder members of the Red Stick Ramblers and Pine Leaf Boys. Brookfield Knights report that the response of promoters to the news has been such that the tour period may be extended from the original two weeks (14-30 Mar. 2014) to three.
Roni Stoneman, First Lady of Banjo, and her husband Tom Connor left Ireland on Thursday after a historic three-week trip in which Roni visited all four provinces, made many new friends and fans, and played select performances in locations including Dublin, Westport, and (finally) Ireland's premier house-concert venue, the Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. This photo from the Red Room's Facebook page shows (l-r) John Denby (mandolin), the BIB editor (banjo), Roni (banjo and vocal), two behatted fiddlers of whom the one on the right is Geordie McAdam, and Hugh Taggart (guitar). We'd be glad to know the name of the other fiddler.
Not visible is Omagh resident Rodney McElrea, world-class country-music record collector and historian, who gave a magisterial introduction to the show. Rodney pointed out that Roni's family has a unique performing and recording history, beginning before that of the Carter Family and still in progress. He also made Roni a present of two CDs, one of them made by a man she met at San Francisco airport in 1976, who - unknown to her at the time - was a leading Australian record collector. A great and memorable occasion to round off the trip. The BIB wishes Roni and Tom 'Au revoir'.