21 June 2019

Bluegrass, country, and a touch of Cajun at the 25th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival

Thanks to Karen Cheevers of B2B Communications for this release on the 25th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival. The picturesque Co. Waterford fishing village will play host to the Festival, which returns to its shores from 22 to 25 August:

Fans of bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, country, Americana, and rhythm ‘n’ roots are in for a real musical treat as the festival will feature a host of artists playing almost forty free gigs throughout the village.

This year’s headline act reflects the broadened remit of the festival as the Sarah Savoy Band will bring a touch of Cajun to the festival. A talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Sarah’s vocal style has been compared to that of Patsy Cline, Patti Smith, and Wanda Jackson.

Born to Cajun ‘royalty’ in Louisiana, Sarah’s father Marc is a world-renowned accordion craftsman and her mother Ann wrote the reference on Cajun music, Cajun music: a reflection of a people. A move to France lead Sarah to become a certified chef, and her passion for Cajun food and flavours led to the publication of a cookbook, The Savoy kitchen: a family history of Cajun food.

Along with the 'Princess of Cajun' the festival lineup includes Irish, UK, and American big-name bluegrass and country acts.

Making their Dunmore East debut is the 19th Street Band. Hailing originally from Hollywood, Northern Ireland, Caolaidhe Davis moved to the US in 2005 to pursue a career in music. While establishing an earlier band, he found himself in need of a fiddle player and met Meghan, who auditioned for his band. What Caolaidhe didn’t know was that he was auditioning his future wife. Fast-forward a few months and the pair found themselves living on 19th St. in Arlington, Virginia, writing songs and creating the sound that would become the backbone of the 19th Street Band, an exciting fusion of Americana, country, and rock.

New acts appearing at this year’s festival include Liz Morionda, Raglan Rodeo, and Alfi, along with returning acts Lands End, Mons Wheeler Band, Pilgrim St, Kiss My Grass, Whistle, and Charlie Reader.

Mick Daly, Festival organiser, is looking forward to welcoming lots of new names and some old favourites back to the festival.

'Sarah Savoy is a wonderful addition to the lineup this year. She has been described as the Voice of Cajun by Rolling Stone magazine and she’ll bring an authentic Cajun vibe to the festival. Joining Sarah on the lineup is Missourian Liz Moriondo, a popular singer songwriter who is well known by her dynamic voice as a force of nature.

'While bluegrass remains at the heart of the festival, many of the new Irish and international acts are bringing a more eclectic offering to the festival. Pilgrim St bring a broad range of Americana, country, folk, and bluegrass to their concerts across the country, while Alfi is a fresh new trio combining American old-time, bluegrass and traditional Irish music.

'The festival appeals to die-hard bluegrass fans who have been visiting Dunmore for decades, but it also has a broader appeal to those who simply like good toe-tappin’ music, in a beautiful seaside setting, under the sun!'

The 25th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival, Co. Waterford, kicks off on Thursday 22 August at the Strand Inn and heralds the start of four days of free gigs throughout the village. For more information visit www.discoverdunmore.com or keep up to date on the Discover Dunmore East Facebook page.

BIB editor's note: More about Sarah Savoy appeared on the BIB on 11 Mar. 2019. Longtime attenders at Omagh festivals will remember when Cajun bands took part to play for dancers, and the older Cajun music has much in common with anglophone old-time music - but all this aside, the Sarah Savoy Band make powerful, exciting, and tradition-based music.

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