18 December 2015

Renew acquaintances beside the Black Forest!

The BIB editor reports:

Thanks to our good friend Walter Fuchs in Bühl, near Baden-Baden on the edge of the Black Forest in south-west Germany, for news of the 14th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival, which will be held five months from now (13-14 May 2016).

The festival was started and is fully funded by the city of Bühl; Walter was made its director (and MC) because of his position as Germany's leading historian of country music and longtime presenter of country record radio shows. His son Patrick has given essential help in running the festival for some years now; and with the approach of Walter's 80th birthday, it has been arranged that Patrick will succeed him as director - an arrangement that satisfies all parties.

Patrick (second from left) and Walter (third from right) with Bühl
city representatives at the release of the 2016 programme

And the connection with Ireland (apart from Patrick's name)? Well, the 2016 lineup is not just a great one: it offers a chance to see again several acts who've played in Ireland this year - the Claire Lynch Band (Dunmore East, Dublin, and Omagh), Flats & Sharps (Westport), and Milan Miller (Cork). Milan Miller will be performing with Thomm Jutz, a Bühl-born musician who has been making important contributions to the scene in the USA. Ruben & Matt and the Truffle Valley Boys, from Italy, were headliners at the Coastline Bluegrass Music Event in north Wales back in May; I haven't heard the Dead South from Canada, but Monroe Crossing from Minnesota have played at Bühl before, and they're one of the most entertaining bands I've seen. So if you fancy two days and nights of fine bluegrass music in a first-class auditorium in a delightful town on the edge of the Black Forest in spring...

Walter at the microphone, among his record collection

More details on the programme and the artists are on the European Bluegrass Blog.

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