30 June 2022

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On Tuesday Michael Cleveland, who has played in Ireland several times, first as a member of Dale Ann Bradley's band and later with his own band Flamekeeper, was named a National Heritage Fellow by the US National Endowment for the Arts. As John Lawless explains on Bluegrass Today, 'This is the highest award offered in the United States for the folk and traditional arts, with recipients nominated by members of the public, and then chosen by a panel of experts in their fields.' A list of other recipients of 2022 National Heritage fellowships, together with a video of Michael Cleveland playing with Béla Fleck, is on Bluegrass Today.
The BIB mentioned on 17 June that the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Rompfest (held on 22-25 June in Owensboro, KY) would include Galway's We Banjo 3, among many other acts and artists familiar to Irish audiences. Bluegrass Today has now published eighteen photos taken at ROMP; no. 7 is a fine shot of Enda Scahill on stage.
Last November the BIB reported that the Gold Tone Music Group are offering mahogany necks identical to that fitted to their new 'Bluegrass Heart' model banjo. A ten-minute video on YouTube shows the process of fitting one such neck to the pot of a Gibson Earl Scruggs Standard banjo.
Dark Shadow Recording announces that Colorado's Stillhouse Junkies have a new single, 'Moonrise over Ridgway', which was released last Friday (24 June) - the second to be released from their forthcoming album Small towns. More details are on the Dark Shadow press release.
The BIB learns with regret of the death of James Reams from cancer at the age of 66. Born in Kentucky, he was for nearly thirty years a moving force in bluegrass and old-time circles in New York as a performing and recording artist, songwriter, and bandleader, with a special concern for documenting the pioneers of the music. John Lawless, who knew him as a friend, has posted an appreciation on Bluegrass Today.
The BIB mentioned a month ago that Ashby Frank, formerly mandolinist with the Special Consensus, had signed with the Mountain Home Music Company and was about to release a single, 'Midnight highway'. The label now announce Ashby's second single, 'Jump on it', made like the first with a distinguished casr of guest artists. A sample of it can be heard via the press release.
Thanks to Ellen Pasternack, executive director of Bluegrass Country Soul, Inc., for a reminder that the fiftieth anniversary of the first public screening of the historic film 'Bluegrass country soul' will fall on 6 July this year (the website gives the date 7 July; the BIB recommends celebrating on both dates). The film, shot at the 1971 Camp Springs bluegrass festival, encapsulates the US scene at a pivotal time in bluegrass history. A Golden Anniversary edition of the film is now available. The photo below, by Robert Kaylor, shows the Country Gentlemen warming up offstage at Camp Springs: (l-r) Bill Emerson, Doyle Lawson, Bill Yates, Charlie Waller.
© Richard Hawkins

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