30 December 2015

News of friends in Europe

Dublin-born Eugene O'Brien (left; photo by Ann Janssen), banjo-player for the award-winning Belgian band the Sons of Navarone, has announced on the band's Facebook that he will be leaving the Sons after nearly fourteen years - but not for any bad reasons. He will remain active on the scene, most conspicuously as chairman of the EBMA.

Eugene's place in the Sons will be taken by one of the most respected European bluegrass musicians - Dutch multi-instrumental maestro Paul van Vlodrop, whom BIB readers will remember as banjo-player with 4 Wheel Drive (NL/D/B) on their first visit to Ireland.

Update 11 Jan.: Bluegrass in Belgium reports that the Sons of Navarone's farewell concert for Eugene on 5 Feb. in Brussels has been sold out, so a second concert will be held the following night (Sat. 6 Feb.).
Meanwhile, our friends in another front-rank band from the Continent, Red Wine (I), have received a highly enthusiastic review of their latest album Pickin' friends, written for Bluegrass Today by John Curtis Goad. Read the whole review here. Red Wine will be among the headline acts at the coming year's Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival in Westport, Co. Mayo.

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