29 November 2017

The Greg Blake Band in Ireland, 20 Jan.-4 Feb. 2018

Two days ago the Shannonside Winter Music Festival announced that its lineup for 18-22 Jan. 2018 would include 'the return of Greg Blake who has formed a special band from an elite collection of top-notch American bluegrass artistes'.

And that was, if anything, an understatement. Thanks to the inexhaustible John Nyhan for the news that Greg Blake is coming to Ireland on his 'Songs of heart & home' tour, named after the title of his solo album. Greg himself is already known here from previous tours as the powerful lead singer and guitarist of the dynamic band Jeff Scroggins & Colorado.

Of the five musicians coming with him this time, those who played on Songs of heart & home are John Reischman (mandolin), Mark Schatz (bass), Blaine Sprouse (fiddle), and Sally Van Meter (dobro). All of them are among the most admired, respected, and experienced performing and recording artists in bluegrass today, and much in demand both on their own account and as guest musicians on other artists' recordings.

Keith Reed (banjo) - from the traditional Colorado band Open Road, and the only player coming who was not on the album - has been added both for his great Scruggs-style playing and for his excellent singing. John sums up:

What can be said about that lineup? Probably the best (or certainly equal to the best) bluegrass musicians that ever toured Ireland. What a treat for us all to have such a band coming. Of course, Greg Blake is one of the finest singers I have ever heard in any genre.

John will be sending a full schedule for the Greg Blake Bluegrass Band tour in a few days. It will begin on 20 January 2018 at the Shannonside Winter Music Festival and continue to Sunday 4 February. No one should miss any opportunity of seeing and hearing the band during that time.

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