01 May 2019

Greg Blake+Scroggdogs (USA) concert at Kilworth, 29 Apr. 2019

Thanks to Des Butler for this report and photos of the high-energy concert two nights ago:

Well, the Kilworth Arts Centre in the county of Cork rocked last Monday night (29 April) to the sounds of some great country and bluegrass music. Those lucky enough to score a ticket, I being one, to this full-to-capacity venue were treated to some fantastic musical experiences.

The concert opened with a solo performance by Greg Blake with some country ballads that his rich voice and fine guitar playing could enhance to perfection. He finished his solo set with a George Jones classic and imitated Jones's voice so well that I’m sure The Possum’s spirit was in the hall. He was then joined by Yousef Tucker (guitar) and Scott Gates (mandolin) of the Scroggdogs to complete the set with some classic bluegrass.

After a fifteen-minute interval the stage erupted with the sound of the Scroggdogs led of course by Jeff Scroggins. This new lineup for Jeff played hard-driving, full-blown, in-your-face traditional bluegrass throughout their set. It would be a difficult task to say if Jeff’s previous lineup (Colorado) or the Scroggdogs were the better band as both lineups play, and did play, some fantastic bluegrass. Jeff Scroggins's banjo playing is nothing short of phenomenal with the licks he can get in; his dexterity, his timing, and his overall great musicianship make him, for me, one of the best banjo players I’ve heard live in over twemty-five years of attending bluegrass concerts and festivals. Roughly halfway through their set the Scroggdogs invited Greg Blake to join them on stage (photo above), and they completed the set together with some fantastic musical arrangements.

Almost immediately after the concert all the musicians retired to a bar across the road from the Arts Centre and for those that wanted more, played on tirelessly for another two hours. Jeff Scroggins never left his banjo down for this entire jam.

These great musicians will be touring Ireland over the next fortnight and if you are a bluegrass fan and they are in a town near you, make an effort to get to see and hear them - you won’t be disappointed.

The fact that these great bands, and a lot of others besides, are constantly available on this island for fans to go and enjoy is down to John Nyahan; who seems to be tirelessly sourcing them and organising their tours - all we, the fans, have to do is turn up and enjoy.

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