08 June 2014

Detached notes

First, a few items relating to the Father of Bluegrass Music. This coming Tuesday (10 June) at 9.00 p.m. (EDST) Kentucky Educational Television will broadcast the premiere of the two-hour documentary film POWERFUL: Bill Monroe remembered, directed by Joe Gray of Louisville, KY, and produced by the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) in Owensboro, KY. It is a special offshoot of the IBMM's ongoing Video Oral History Project to record interviews with the members of the first and second generations of bluegrass music.

The film tells the story of Bill Monroe with concert footage and (mainly) the memories of dozens of those who were in his band, the Blue Grass Boys, from the 1940s till his death in 1996. The list includes Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Bobby Hicks, Jack Hicks, Jim Shumate, Peter Rowan, Del McCoury, Byron Berline, Glen Duncan, Bill Keith, James Monroe, Lamar Grier, and many more. Preview sections were shown at the IBMM's Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration in September 2011; Pete 'Dr Banjo' Wernick called it 'probably the best movie ever about bluegrass'.

After the TV premiere, the IBMM will show POWERFUL: Bill Monroe remembered on each day of its upcoming ROMP festival (25-8 June) at Owensboro.

Before then, the 48th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival will take place (12-21 June 2014) at the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground in Bean Blossom, Indiana. The lineup includes perennial favourites in Ireland, Chicago's Special Consensus, who will be back with us in the new year. Full details of the Bean Blossom schedule are here.

Finally - if you go to the IBMA website, the first image to appear is that of Bill Monroe, taken (we guess) in his early sixties. Hang on while the image changes a few times, and behind the legend 'Empowering the global bluegrass community' you'll see our Italian friends from Red Wine with Peter Rowan.

Thanks to Ray O'Brien and his Bluegrass in Ireland Facebook page for this link to the Ugly Bartender blog, which carries a very rewarding interview with Aran Sheehan of the Dublin Bluegrass Collective and its jam session every Tuesday in Sin É on Ormond Quay. Aran does a splendid job. We'd take issue with him only where, replying to 'What changes would you like to see come about in the bluegrass scene in Ireland?', he says: 'More 4/4 and less 3/4'. What? As Mantis says during a pivotal scene in Kung Fu Panda 2: 'That makes no sense.'

Still in Dublin: Rua Red, the South Dublin Arts Centre in Tallaght, Dublin 24, sends its June newsletter including details for Love Live Music Day (20 June) and the Centre's Open Mic Night (27 June) - both events are free-admission.

Loudon Temple of the UK agency Brookfield Knights sends this news:

... the brand new album from Fish & Bird [see the BIB for 11 May 2014] will get its official UK/Ireland launch on 1 July - great timing to allow for radio exposure and print reviews ahead of their visit to these shores early in 2015.

We are proud to have a band of this stature coming over for UK and Ireland dates - the period is January 9 to 27. See this link with new 'live' video clip captured when they were in the studio. Please let us know if you would like to involve the band in programming ahead of their headline show at Celtic Connections Festival.

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