07 October 2014

An early winter bluegrass break in Barcelona? - and more

Thanks to Lluís Gómez (whose Barcelona Bluegrass Band was a favourite with audiences at successive Johnny Keenan Banjo Festivals) for news of the 13th Al Ras Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival, which will be held at the Mercat Vell, Plaça Prat de la Riba 6, Mollet del Vallés, Barcelona, on 15 Nov. 2014.

The programme, which begins at 5.30 p.m., includes the legendary US guitarist Russ Barenberg of the 'Transatlantic Sessions'; Dublin-born Eugene O'Brien, banjo-player with the Sons of Navarone (B); and Jean-Marie Redon & Sharon Lombardi, who played more than once in Ireland with Blue Railroad Train (F).
For anyone who may be going to Phoenix, AZ: Morris Public Relations sends news of the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum, which is dedicated to 'collecting, preserving and making accessible a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world'. The MIM collection includes several notable instruments associated with Johnny Cash and the Carter Family, such as A.P. Carter’s 1929 Martin 00-28 guitar and June Carter Cash’s custom Orthey autoharp (photo). The Museum also hosts musical events which would interest BIB readers: this coming Friday there will be a show by Jerry Douglas & the Earls of Leicester,* and on Saturday lunchtime curator Cullen Strawn will give a half-hour lecture on banjo history.
Especially for regular attenders at the Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival at Omagh, Co. Tyrone: the Malpass Brothers from North Carolina have signed up with the Asheville-based Organic record label, and the album planned for release in 2015 is being produced by Doyle Lawson (see photo above). More details are here.
Finally, another artist on the Organic roster is Adam Steffey, who last week won the IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year award for the eleventh time. The first time was in 2002 - a mere eight years after he had played in Dublin with Alison Krauss & Union Station. We're not saying there was any connection...

*Update 8 Oct.: If you don't yet know about the Earls of Leicester, read Larry Nager's fine major article on them in the Oct. 2014 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited.

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