05 April 2014

The West's awake!

Thanks to Pete Lamb (above) in Kinvara, Co. Galway, for a link to his new website - still under development, but with lots of good things in it - and the news that in addition to his solo and duo work, his band Gone to Grass will be playing at the Crane Bar, Galway city's premier acoustic venue, on Friday 16 May.

Gone to Grass in its present configuration comprises Pete (guitar, vocals, songwriting), Tom Portman (dobro, vocals), and Paul Johnson (double bass), plus the formidable Bill Forster (5-string banjo, vocals), also of the Banjaxed Bluegrass Band. The Gone to Grass website says:

As well as finely crafted original material, the set list includes diverse numbers from the broader pop and rock genres, reinvented and delivered in a bluegrass style alongside regular country-blues, instrumental breakdowns and bluegrass classics, for a lively and uptempo show that's always dynamic, inventive, unpredictable... and fun!

... and we're convinced. For evidence, subscribe to Pete's mailing list and get a free download of Gone to Grass playing the Michael Jackson hit 'The way you make me feel' (all rights to the Michael Jackson estate).

As an example of the other good things on Pete's website, note the link for the Clarinbridge Banjo Gathering in Clarinbridge, Co. Galway, the home of Tom Cussen's celebrated Clareen Banjos.

This event will take place this month, on the weekend 25-27 April, and will include sessions, workshops, concerts, an exhibition of rare and unusual banjos, a seminar on the development of the banjo in Ireland, and more. Bill Forster will be giving bluegrass banjo workshops for beginning, intermediate, and advanced players on Saturday, and leading the grand finale on Sunday. Full details are on the Gathering's website.

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