16 July 2018

Looking back on the 3rd Woodbine Bluegrass Jamboree

Woodbine: (l-r) Nicola Kennedy, Liam Wright, 
Tony O'Brien, Martin Cooney

Thanks again to Des Butler for this report and all the photos:

Well, the 3rd Woodbine Bluegrass Jamboree took place last weekend and was a tremendous success, with full houses on both Friday and Saturday nights at the concerts, and two jamming sessions following one another in quick succession on Saturday afternoon.

Friday night concert was opened by Evan Lyons and Taylor Bailey, followed by the Prairie Jaywalkers [above], and then Woodbine themselves closing the official proceedings. All in all, the audience was treated to some old-time favourites and some modern bluegrass with excellent musicianship displayed by all. A jamming session took place after the event and continued well into the early hours.

Saturday afternoon saw the first jamming session take place in Pat Dunne's Lounge [above] with Tony O'Brien, Kevin and Geraldine Gill, and Richard Hawkins leading the fray with some fine musicians taking part, notably Freda & Jerry [below] from Dundalk who entertained with some lively melodies and songs.

This session had just come to a close when some 'fresh blood' arrived in the shape of Pat Kelleher, Joe Zajac, Liam Wright, and Colin & James Henry who took up the mantle, ably assisted by Richard Hawkins on banjo who played straight through both jamming sessions.

The Saturday night concert was opened by the fine playing and harmonies of Pat Kelleher and Joe Zajac [above]. This multi-talented duo were a treat to listen to.

Their performance was followed by the dulcet tones and original songs of Gary Ferguson accompanied by the excellent musicianship of Colin & James Henry [above].

The final performance of the evening was provided by the Clem O'Brien Unit [above], comprising Clem, Tony O'Brien, and Dick Gladney on bass, with Clem giving a very strong, excellent performance on vocals and guitar.

An added and welcome surprise was a guest appearance by Niall Toner who, backed by Clem, Tony, Dick, and Colin, delivered a powerful and moving set of original songs, some dedicated - as one of Clem's songs had been - to Niall's late wife Moira.

All thanks to Tony O'Brien and family for providing us all with another great bluegrass weekend in Athy. Keep up the good work, Tony - long may it last.

BIB editor's note: Niall's own account of the evening can be read in full on the Niall Toner Band Facebook.

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At 11:06 pm, Blogger niall toner said...

A great 'little' Festival. Well done to Tony and the Team. Regards, Niall.

At 9:44 am, Blogger Woodbine said...

Thanks Des for a great report on jamboree. What we lack in quantity we more than make up for in quality both in artist's & audience.


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