08 September 2019

The latest BBN (and some Irish connections)

The BIB editor writes:

The summer/ autumn 2019 issue (no. 87) of British Bluegrass News, the magazine of the British Bluegrass Music Association (BBMA), is now out, and as always it is designed and produced to very high standards, profusely illustrated with excellent photos, and full of solid content.

It also ranges far beyond British bluegrass affairs: the feature on the Philadelphia band Man About A Horse wouldn't be out of place in Bluegrass Inlimited; four of the five CDs reviewed are by US artists; and Eugene O'Brien of the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA) contributes a feature on the La Roche Bluegrass Festival (which the BBN editor considers 'without question the best bluegrass festival in Europe') and on Czech instrument maker Jarda Prucha. Navan's Pilgrim St appear twice in this issue - once in the list of BBMA Band and Media Members, and again in the full-page ad for the Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival on the back cover.

The cover feature, and the largest article in the issue, is a celebratory farewell by Trevor Simpson to the thirteenth and final Orwell Bluegrass Festival (in which Bill Forster took part). Eugene O'Brien also laments the closing of festivals, the ageing of audiences, 'and more and more touring bands... much to the detriment of home-grown talent' in Europe.

The post of editor will in future be held by Chris Lord, banjo player with the Vanguards; but for the past four years Dave Teague, the BBMA chairman, has been BBN editor as well. Dave states on the BBMA website: 'In the future, I would hope to see the magazine as a definitive resource for all things bluegrass, not just in Britain, but also in Ireland and into mainland Europe.'

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