27 July 2013

The Watery Hill Boys – third European tour and new album


Thanks to Jim McArdle (above, centre) for this news:

Drogheda’s Watery Hill Boys have been hard at work over the last few months, completing work only two weeks ago on their second album, and they head off on their European tour from 1 to 15 August. This is the Boys’ third year in a row to play in Europe, and they will perform at the prestigious French bluegrass festival in La Roche-sur-Foron, having been selected, along with nine other bands, to take part in the European Band of the Year Competition on the main stage on Sunday 4 August.

The following day, they head south to Catalonia to play five dates at venues including the famous Harlem Jazz Club in Barcelona and the Sunset Jazz Club in Girona. They will also be paying a return visit to the village squares of Rupiá and La Pera, in the region of l’Empordá, with a final concert night on the beach near Sant Pere Pescador.

The Boys have, over the last two years, built up a growing following across Europe and at festivals in Ireland. Recently, the Boys have appeared in the last few weeks at Athy Bluegrass Festival, at the Ardara Bluegrass Weekend, and at the Ulster Scots Folk Festival in Cairncastle on Thursday 25 July.

You can follow the Boys’ tour on their Facebook page.

The new album, scheduled for release in September 2013, is titled Somebody’s been usin’ that thing, taken from the old Callahan Brothers recording of 1936. The music falls firmly into the Old-Timey and Early Bluegrass idiom and builds on the Watery Hill Boys’ deserved reputation of excellent musicianship, harmony singing, and inventive arrangements of traditional material and some self-written material.

The Athy Bluegrass Festival programme recently described their music as follows: ‘Their music hails from and is inspired by bygone times. By rejuvenating the music of these prolific periods, the happy-go-lucky trio shine a light of objectivity on the current zeitgeist and the contrast between the experiences of our forefathers and our own.'

On their return in mid-August, the Boys will set about launching their album and seeing more of their friends across Ireland before heading to the Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival near Dumfries in Scotland on 27 September.

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