22 June 2022

Eilís Boland on Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival 2022

The BIB editor writes:

Eilís Boland's report on this month's Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, which appeared yesterday on the Lonesome Highway online magazine, begins by describing the festival as 'a little gem', ends with thanks to the organising team for 'yet again producing a welcoming and musically excellent event', and in between demonstrates why these words are fully justified.

One of the main challenges for festival attenders is to see everything one should see; meeting people is often as important as hearing the music. Eilís (shown at the bottom centre of the image above, with festival director Uri Kohen) was at a commendable number of gigs and concerts, but admits to missing some. I saw considerably less; but hearing the same band twice, by chance, taught me a lesson.

Seeing Johnny & the Yooahoos from the middle of the concert hall, I'd decided they were extremely clever and extremely capable, but was left unmoved. Fifteen feet away from me in the Clew Bay Hotel next day, they sang a cappella 'Bright morning stars' - possibly the best rendition I've ever heard, and unquestionably moving. Moral: you can form snap judgments, but don't expect them to last.

© Richard Hawkins

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