18 August 2021

News and history from the US

The BIB learns with regret of the death last Saturday (14 Aug.) of Dennis Caplinger (right) of California, an outstanding multi-instrumentalist, described in Richard Thompson's very informative obituary on Bluegrass Today as 'a virtuoso’s virtuoso and Grammy Award-winner' (and much more). The obituary includes four videos of his recorded and stage performances on banjo. The regard in which he was held is indicated by the fact that a GoFundMe campaign, set up to help his family with medical and funeral costs, has already received two-and-a-half times the target amount.
Another banjo-player, Neil V. Rosenberg, the premier bluegrass historian and a member of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, is fortunately still with us. The second instalment of his account of the 1987 Bluegrass Reunion in Dayton, OH (Dayton being one of the hotbeds of bluegrass in its early decades), can be read on the Bluegrass Situation, as part of his ongoing 'Bluegrass Memoirs' series. The article includes reproductions of the 1987 programme and press reports, plus six YouTube videos of artists who took part (including Joe Mullins, headliner at the 2019 Omagh festival, who in 1987 was a member of his father's splendid band, the Traditional Grass).

© Richard Hawkins

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