31 December 2014

High points of bluegrass in Europe

Thanks to Andre Dal Lentilhas (left) of the one and only (so far) Portuguese bluegrass band Stonebones & Bad Spaghetti for a Christmas video by the band, which can be seen on Ray O'Brien's Bluegrass in Ireland.

You can see more about Andre in this feature on the European Bluegrass Blog, '2014: a memorable year & my European bluegrass highlight... a blogger's view'. The author describes the 'Banjo Eight' event held at the Eagle Music Shop in England on 8 Nov., where the artists taking part included the astounding Kruger Brothers.

Andre gave a banjo workshop in which he showed his solution to a serious physical ailment that might have stopped his playing altogether. He had contracted a condition that caused his picking hand to take up a claw shape. Undeterred, he devised a glove-cum-brace (visible in the photo) that counteracted this effect, and then relearned his right-hand technique to restore his playing ability. The author of the article describes the results as 'spectacular' and adds:

The description of his refusal to stop playing and to find a unique solution was inspiring, and Andre's playing? - in the true sense of the word, triumphant.

Also at the Eagle Music Shop for the event were Cup O' Joe from Co. Armagh. Tabitha Agnew, shown below with Jens Kruger, is now an endorser of Deering Banjos.

Finally, thanks for the New Year greetings card shown below, sent by Lilly Pavlak (CH/CZ), winner of an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award,

and for the greetings sent by Andy Glandt (D) - singer, musician, songwriter, author, and much more - who has brought his Fox Tower Bluegrass Band to festivals in Ireland in the past. Andy writes:

Me and my family wish you all a peaceful Christmas season and a good start in 2015.

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