26 June 2019

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Devon Léger of Hearth Music announces that this coming Friday (28 June) the duo Tui (Jake Blount and Libby Weitnauer) will release Pretty little mister, a thirteen-track album of old-time fiddle-and-banjo duets and songs, drawn from black, brown, and white sources. Quite apart from showing the interwoven traditions that make up Southern music, this is simply fine music which any old-time fan (or indeed anyone who relishes hearing musicians playing together, not just at the same place and time) should love.
The BIB mentioned on 2 June another band on Hearth Music's artists roster, Che Apalache, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Their twelve-track second album, Rearrange my heart, produced by Béla Fleck, is due for release on 9 Aug. 2019. A feature by John Lawless yesterday (25 June) on Bluegrass Today includes a video of a live performance of one song from the album, 'The wall', commenting (using a traditional gospel quartet form) on the wall-building project on the US's southern border. Another song from the album, 'The dreamer', can be heard on the American Songwriter website.
Organic Records announce another example of mingled traditions: Zoe & Cloyd - Natalya Zoe Weinstein (granddaughter of a Russian Klezmer musician) and John Cloyd Miller (grandson of Jim Shumate, the pioneer bluegrass fiddler who introduced Earl Scruggs to Bill Monroe) - are releasing 'Berditchever Sher' and 'Satan, your kingdom must come down', two singles from their forthcoming third album. More details are on Organic Records' e-newsletter.
The organisers of the free-admission Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival 2019 report that their ninth festival, which took place last weekend (21-23 June), had a record attendance of 16,000 people. The generous international lineup included our old friends the Blue Grass Boogiemen (NL) and Chance McCoy (USA), who was on tour in Ireland earlier this month.
Mountain Song Productions and Deering Banjos announce that a Deering White Lotus banjo, with the head autographed by the five top teachers at Béla Fleck's Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, is being auctioned to raise funds for special Camper Sponsorships for exceptional pickers chosen in coming years. James Henry of Belfast is attending the Camp this year; see the BIB for 10 April.
Singer, songwriter, and activist Si Kahn (USA) received the Labor Heritage Foundation's Joe Hill Award last Thursday in Washington, DC. Si performs and records a lot with the Looping Brothers bluegrass band from Germany. The photo shows him with a marker commemorating 'Mother Jones' - Mary Harris Jones (1837-1930), the Cork-born 'Grand Old Champion of Labor', about whom he has written a musical play.

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