12 June 2014

The Railsplitters in 2015? - and more

The Railsplitters (Kirsten Cohen Photography)

Loudon Temple of the UK Brookfield Knights agency draws attention to the Railsplitters bluegrass band from Colorado, who in his words 'have taken off with rocket boosters attached', after being named the outstanding act at last year's Rockygrass Festival, getting played on mainstream/pop radio, developing a very broad fan base, and receiving warm critical acclaim. As evidence, Loudon supplies this YouTube link; more sample tracks and information are on the Railsplitters page on the Brookfield Knights website.

A tour in these islands for May/June 2015 is under consideration, and event organisers and venue managers are invited to suggest preferred dates for bookings, to help Brookfield Knights to draw up a practicable schedule.

Thanks to Ray O'Brien who publishes on his 'Bluegrass in Ireland' Facebook page this news from Uri Kohen in Westport: there are plenty of copies in Westport of the programme for this weekend's Folk and Bluegrass Record, but anyone coming to the town can download their own copy in advance (together with copies of the posters, and more) by using this link.

Thanks to Angela Warren of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for news of four new music touring programmes funded by the Council as part of its five-year 'Strategy for music'. At least two of these will be of particular interest to BIB readers:

Moving On Music, which will present five tours around Northern Ireland including the US old-time band Furnace Mountain.

Open House will collaborate with Smalltown America Music to enable international musicians in the folk/roots genre and emerging young local artists to tour a selection of unusual and iconic venues around the scenic Northern Ireland coast.

The plan also includes a seven-date tour for the Neil Cowley jazz trio presented by the Walled City Music Festival, and Quercus Ensemble, which will present and tour a French-themed chamber-music evening and a new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Revolting rhymes.

John Hart of NewFolkRadio in Portland, Oregon, offers a service to enable folk, bluegrass, and indie bands to make their music available to the rapidly growing numbers of people who listen to music on smartphones or tablets: on his new website, he offers to build a web-based smartphone app for $195. As a bonus, he will build a tablet app at the same time, for no extra fee. John gives these six reasons to have a web-based smartphone app:

1 Smartphone users listen an average of 16 minutes a day to their favorite bands.
2 You can't catch fans on the move with a desktop web site.
3 There are more than 5,000 different models of smartphones; signing up with one phone, like Apple, eliminates 4,999 other models. Using my service means you reach all 5,000 smartphones plus any new models that come down the line.
4 Reach your fans immediately with one Tweet, right inside your own app.
5 Change videos, photos, events, etc. anytime. (Can't do that at the Apple or Android store without losing your mind).
6 You get a dedicated domain name that you can promote at every venue. Like this: www.GoBandName.com.

More details on his website.

Finally, a treat which anyone who regularly looks at Bluegrass Today will already know about: the one-and-a-half-hour closing jam from the recent DelFest festival can be viewed online, either at Bluegrass Today or on the DelFest YouTube channel here. At the core of the jam are the Travelin McCourys, and the tight focus of their energy is (as always) a wonder. During Robbie McCoury's banjo breaks the camera tends to stay on Cody Kilby playing rhythm guitar, but this will annoy no one except banjo-players...

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