18 July 2013

News digest #27

Some of the highlights of last weekend at the 23rd Athy Bluegrass Festival can now be relived, thanks to John Dowling. John has added to his YouTube channel fourteen videos of performances by Way out West, the Sullivan Brothers, the Down and Out Bluegrass Band, and Woodbine, with guest artists including George Kaye, Tom Corbett, Dessie Crerand, and the young banjo-player Evan Lyons. Evan will be taking part in tonight's WoodSongs Radio Hour double concert event in Dublin.

Scores of photos taken at different events and venues during the 7th Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival last month can be seen on the Festival's Facebook page.

Thanks to Aran Sheehan and to 'Bluegrass in Ireland' for this news: there is a new venue for the weekly Dublin Circle Jam - the Mercantile Hotel, Dame St., Dublin 2, every Tuesday from 8.00 p.m., starting next week on 23 July.

Tony O'Brien reports with regret that family commitments have obliged Woodbine to withdraw from the 3rd Mohill Bluegrass Festival at Mohill, Co. Leitrim (9-11 Aug. 2013).

The lineup for the Harvest Music Festival at Greyabbey Estate, Greyabbey, Co. Down, on 31 Aug. will include the founders of 'rockgrass', Hayseed Dixie (USA). Adm. £20; tel. 028 9182 6846.

For devotees of the mandolin, especially as played in the style of the Father of Bluegrass: the International Bluegrass Music Museum at Owensboro, KY, announces the faculty members for its annual Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp (13-15 Sept. 2013). As well as five top mandolinists (at least four of whom have visited Ireland), camp members will also be able to meet leading mandolin builders.

In his summer 2013 newsletter, clawhammer banjo maestro Ken Perlman (USA) thanks John Nyhan and Pat Kelleher for his successful tour in Ireland this spring. Ken's new book on Prince Edward Island fiddling will be published next spring by Tennessee University Press. Also, a track by him is included in Classic banjo, a compilation album from Smithsonian Folkways, and his book on advanced fingerstyle guitar has been judged among the Fifty Greatest Guitar Books by Shawn Persinger.

Since the disastrous Nashville floods of 2010, no Gibson banjos have been produced. Will they ever be produced again? Read John Lawless's article on Bluegrass Today.

Events in the next ten days

Thurs. 18th: 'WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour' in Dublin: details here

Fri. 19th-Sun. 21st: 6th Ardara Bluegrass Festival, Ardara, Co. Donegal: WoodbineTennessee Hennessees, more TBA; contact Patsy McGill, 087 6900714

Fri. 19th-Sun. 21st: Guildtown Bluegrass Festival, Scotland: Red Wine (I), Home Made JamGoldrushRancho, Little Giants, Fireflies, Kentucky Cowtippers, Dapper McDans, Bernie & the Barnstormers

Sat. 20th: Down and Out Bluegrass Band, Mini Music Festival, Enler Delta Blues Club, Comber, Co. Down

Thurs. 25th: Cairncastle Ulster Scots Festival Bluegrass Day: lecture on bluegrass history (2.00-4.00 p.m.); concert with Broken Strings, Down and Out Bluegrass Band, Watery Hill Boys, from 7.30 p.m., overall admission £8.00

Fri. 26th-Sun. 28th: Knockanstockan Festival, Blessington Lakes, Co. Wicklow; scores of acts including Hugh Taggart & Friends

Sun. 28th: Scarecrow Festival, Durrow, Co. Laois: Woodbine, 3.00-5.00 p.m.

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