28 March 2022

Select news from the US

Nu-Blu, based in North Carolina, toured Ireland in the autumn of 2019 and subsequently announced a project to host tours of Ireland. This was inevitably delayed by the global pandemic, but Nu-Blu have now relaunched their Encounter Ireland Tours autumn programme:

If a trip to Ireland has been on your bucket list, now's the perfect time to go! You can join Nu-Blu on a special bus trip around Ireland! Travel with the band and one of the leading archaeologists in Ireland as they visit the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and gain exclusive entrance to many 'off limits' areas... Over your eight days, you'll stay in castles and boutique hotels, enjoy music and jamming with Nu-Blu, and Irish storytelling! All ground transportation and meals are included!

Other images and full details for US visitors are on the Encounter Ireland Tours website. Nu-Blu also host a Mexico and Western Caribbean Cruise tour later in the autumn.
As mentioned earlier on the BIB, after Doyle Lawson's retirement from touring, three members of his last band formed the core of a new group with the confident name of Authentic Unlimited (one of whose newly-enlisted members is Jesse Brock). John Lawless on Bluegrass Today writes: 'It has been since the launch of Dailey & Vincent in 2007 that there’s been as much excitement about a new bluegrass act as there is today for Authentic Unlimited.' Their new single for Billy Blue Records, 'Before you miss me', justifies this excitement; the official video can be seen on Bluegrass Today, on the band's website, and on YouTube, and was released for downloads on Friday (25 Mar.).
The 72nd weekly Bluegrass Unlimited newsletter includes a podcast interview with banjoist and fiddler Ron Stewart, a Spotify playlist with over three hours of the music of David Grisman, and an archive article on Vassar Clements by Barry Silver from 1978 - fifty years after Vassar's birth and forty years before his induction into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
Hurricane Clarice, the new album by the 'apocalyptic stringband duo' of Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves (see the BIB for 22 Feb.) was released on Friday 25 Mar. and has been reviewed by Jeremy Gaunt on No Depression. The review includes videos of two numbers from the album.
Also on No Depression, Matt Ruppert reviews Never slow down, the new eleven-track album by the Po' Ramblin' Boys from east Tennessee. The review is entitled 'Po’ Ramblin’ Boys hew to tradition while embracing the progressive on ‘Never slow down’'. 'Embracing the progressive', of course, just means that they play from the knowledge that the spirit of traditional bluegrass is more than just the established repertoire. The review is quoted in the press release issued by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

PS: Samples of the tracks can be heard on an Apple Music playlist at the end of Lee Zimmerman's feature on Bluegrass Today.

© Richard Hawkins

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