20 October 2021

US news (mostly about past visitors)

Joe Mullins, whose Radio Ramblers topped the bill at the last live Omagh festival, sends word of the Industrial Strength Bluegrass festival, to take place on 11-13 Nov. in Wilmington, OH. This follows upon the 2021 IBMA Album of the Year award to the album of the same name from Smithsonian Folkways, which Joe produced. As the poster image (right) shows, the lineup is impressive. More details are on this e-newsletter.
Doyle Lawson (77), who topped the Omagh bill with his band Quicksilver earlier this century, has announced his intention to retire as bandleader and full-time performer at the end of 2021, having been a professional musician since he was 18 with leading groups, and leader for over forty years of one of the most influential and respected bands in bluegrass music. From John Lawless's feature on Bluegrass Today, it looks as if the bluegrass world will continue to benefit from Doyle Lawson's experience in one way or another.
Danny Paisley first played in Ireland in 1995 when the band Southern Grass was led by his father Bob, and led it himself at the 2008 Omagh festival. He shared the 2021 IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year award with Del McCoury. He has now released a video of the Mark 'Brink' Brinkman song 'Date with an angel', from his current album Bluegrass troubadour on Pinecastle Records. You can watch the video on this Pinecastle press release, on Bluegrass Today, or on YouTube.
Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, who toured here in the autumn of 2019, have now released a new album, Make each second last, on the Mountain Home Music Company, with their full post-tour lineup of Chris (guitar), Mark Stoffel (mandolin), Marshall Wilborn (bass), and Grace van 't Hof (banjo, ukulele). The first five singles from the album have already reached #1 on Bluegrass Today’s airplay chart. More details, together with a video of 'Riding the Chief' and links to other songs from the album, are on the Mountain Home press release.
In a feature on the website of the Birthplace of Country Music in Bristol, TN/VA, old-time musician Brad Kolodner tells how he came into contact with the music of Clyde Davenport of Monticello, KY, 'a prime example of how playing old-time music isn’t just a desire but a purpose', producing 'the kind of trance-like state that can be hard to tap into but once you’re there, time seems to stand still'.
Rick Faris, well known over here from touring with the Special Consensus, left the band earlier this year to pursue his solo career, having already released a debut solo album, Breaking in lonesome. His second album, The next mountain, is due for release on 5 November. Samples of three tracks can be heard in Lee Zimmerman's feature on Bluegrass Today.

© Richard Hawkins

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