26 October 2016

Bunratty 2016 - on the up and up

Barry & Holly Tashin and the E5 Bluegrass Band in concert

Thanks to Des Butler for this report and photos from the past weekend's Bunratty Bluegrass Festival in Co. Clare:

What a great atmospheric bluegrass festival this fledgling event is turning out to be, all thanks to Brendan Walsh and his committee and the indefatigable John Nyhan. For such a small geographical but very atmospheric location to provide such a wealth of local talent plus importing bands from the US, Eastern Europe, as well as from various parts of the island of Ireland, is a credit to those involved in its undertaking.

Cup O' Joe in the Folk Park
The Festival culminated with a Sunday evening concert incorporating Barry & Holly Tashin and the E5 Bluegrass Band from the US, supported by Cup O' Joe from Co. Armagh. Both of these bands treated all attendees to some excellent bluegrass, folk, and swing in equal measures. The sound at this concert, in my opinion, was flawless with John Nyhan doing the honours at the control board.

Monogram: session in the Creamery

The concerts on the Friday and Saturday nights were equally sprinkled, with the talents of Monogram from the Czech Republic, Demolition String Band from the US, and the local and home-grown talents of Greenshine from Cork, local band Blue Country, Leo Hayes & Friends, John Nyhan and his multitalented and multi-instrumentalist friends, not least of which Mike Power who among playing fiddle and resonator guitar also owned and played a resonator mandolin (photo below).

This was a new one on me, having never seen or heard of such an instrument, but what a sound from this 'Dobro', and what talent this man possesses.

Demolition String Band in the Folk Park

Amy Lyons, Leo Hayes, Evan Lyons

Blue Country
Last but by no means least we were entertained at concert and at many sessions throughout the weekend festival by the very dependable, enjoyable, and always very entertaining Woodbine from Athy.

All bluegrass fans and musicians should make an effort to support this festival.

BIB editor's note: Des's photo above shows Woodbine trying for the Performance in Confined Space record; there is, however, serious competition, as can be seen here.

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