05 December 2022

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The IBMA Foundation, devoted to 'a brighter future for bluegrass', has just released on its YouTube channel four videos, each of about ten minutes under the collective title 'Bluegrass Stagecraft 101', with good advice on stage management for bluegrass events, MC work (both for stage managers and for band spokespersons), and working with a sound crew. More details of the set are given by John Lawless on Bluegrass Today, together with one of the videos.
Ken Perlman, master of 'melodic clawhammer' banjo, sends a reminder of his next two ninety-minute online live instructional workshops in the current season of his 'Clawhammer Clinics for old-time banjo': 'Modes & pentatonics in old-time music', which is tonight (5 Dec.) and 'Creating variations via scale formulas on clawhammer banjo' (9 Jan.). See the BIB for 17 Nov.
Several US artists who have played in Ireland in the past are bringing out new recordings. They include Becky Buller, who was here in 2005 with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, and has now released a full Christmas album, The perfect gift, on the Dark Shadow label; Ashby Frank, mandolinist with the Special Consensus on their 2009 tour, with his single 'Christmas in Virginia' from the Mountain Home Music Company; and frequent visitor Milan Miller, who has a new single 'Distractions' with a lyric video that can be seen on Bluegrass Today or YouTube. Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee, who toured here in the spring of 2018 as The Lowest Pair, have joined forces with another duo, Small Town Therapy, in the album Horse camp, which is reviewed by Rachel Cholst on No Depression with a playlist of all tracks.

And finally (for now), Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, Omagh headliners in the autumn of 2019, send their Christmas greetings to all, with news of two Christmas singles, 'No room at the inn' and 'Old fashioned Christmas' (with Paul Williams). They have a new album scheduled for release on St Patrick's day 2023, and a single from it can be heard and seen in a live performance video via a link on their e-newsletter.
Update: Becky Buller's The perfect gift is reviewed by David Morris on Bluegrass Today, with a playlist of samples from all the songs. In addition, Valerie Smith's own Bell Buckle Records company has released Christmas songs by Valerie, Pam Setser, and Maria Levine.

© Richard Hawkins

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