12 June 2019

Omagh 2019: foundations for a stellar lineup (update)

As many people already know from flyers issued by the Ulster American Folk Park at Omagh, Co. Tyrone, there will be a stellar lineup at the Folk Park's Bluegrass Festival (30 Aug.-1 Sept.) this year. The international acts alone include Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers (USA; photo), Front Country (USA), Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Bill and the Belles (USA), Hoot and Holler (USA), Buffalo Gals (GB/USA), Paris Texas - the band (B), and - marking a welcome return for what was always a valued part of former festivals - the Bailey Mountain Cloggers (USA) from Mars Hill, NC.

A few notes: Joe Mullins can make the stock phrases of bluegrass banjo sound as if they had just come fresh from his inspiration. His father, fiddler and radio presenter Paul 'Moon' Mullins, created the text of 'Come down the mountain, Katie Daly' in the form everyone knows.* Front Country, from the West Coast, are the spearhead of 'string-band pop'. Bill and the Belles are the 'house band' of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, TN/VA. The Buffalo Gals, led by Kate Lissauer, are the premier old-time string band in Britain, with the virtuoso dancing of Sibylle Riesen. And Paris Texas, from Belgium, include on mandolin Jan Michielsen of 4 Wheel Drive (NL/D/B).

Details on homegrown talent, online booking, and more, will be coming shortly.

*Update 23 May 2020: The BIB apologises for this statement, which at the time of writing we believed to be true on the authority of published accounts. The text that the Bluegrass Playboys (the band Paul Mullins was then with) recorded in 1962 was identical with that recorded in 1961 by the original composer, Herman Weight ('Eamon O'Shea') who was cited as composer on the Playboys' version; see the BIB for 28 Aug. 2019.

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