25 May 2019

JigJam on the bill for Winfield, Sept. 2019 (and other Irish connections)

JigJam: (l-r) Jamie McKeogh, Gavin Strappe, 
Cathal Guinan, Daithi Melia

Following on our JigJam news of 16 May, thanks to Rex Flottman of the Walnut Valley Association (WVA) in Winfield, Kansas, for the news that the Tullamore band (above) will be playing at this year's Walnut Valley Festival (18-22 Sept. 2019). Rex points out that Celtic music has been a part of previous Winfield festivals (the Co. Clare trio Socks in the Frying Pan are current fan favourites), and JigJam will be bringing their distinctive 'I-Grass' style; he also mentions their high energy on stage, their coming album Phoenix, and the single 'Tullamore to Boston'.

The many artists also on this year's lineup include several previous visitors to Ireland: our old friends the Special Consensus, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Betse & Clarke (as part of the Short Round String Band), and Winfield’s own Barry Patton, 'just back from winning an international bones-playing competition in Ireland'.

The WVA was formed in 1972 to produce the Walnut Valley National Guitar Flat-Picking Championships Festival, extended over the years to include National Championships for other bluegrass and old-time instruments. The festival is held every year on the third weekend in September. In 1999 it received the first IBMA Bluegrass Event of the Year award ever presented. 'Most of all', its website says,

the Festival is a homecoming. And a homecoming not just because of the music and how folks act, but a coming home to a place in the soul and the heart with a spirit of celebration.

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