17 August 2011

Southern Welfare news: Mohill and Dunmore East

Thanks to Southern Welfare for this report and the fine photos by Ave Maria Photography showing (top to bottom) Tony Wall and Ray O'Brien; Gerry Wall; and Finbar Healy:

Southern Welfare would like to say a big thank you to Tommy and Joyce for having us at the 1st Mohill Bluegrass Festival last weekend; we had a fantastic time and met many old friends and made some new ones too.

The weekend was a great success in the little town of Mohill. On Friday night we kicked off the Festival in the bar to the biggest crowd in town; during the interval the boys from the Down and Out Bluegrass Band took to the stage to entertain the crowd for over an hour.

After a late gig on Friday we awoke on Saturday morning to the sound of P.J. and the guys in the car park erecting a marquee to cater for the outdoor events. We were not up long when we had the banjos and guitars out, and we were on the bluegrass train again for the rest of the day. On Saturday evening we made our way to the lovely catholic church in Mohill, where we played a bluegrass gospel mass to a packed church. We sang some lovely songs and did an a cappella version of 'Amazing Grace'. We were a bit taken aback by the response we got, as when the mass was finished we got a standing ovation from the crowd of over 100 people. Then it was off to the concert in the hall of Clarke's Hotel, where a huge crowd had gathered. The night went off without a hitch, with two of Ireland's premier bands playing alongside us, Woodbine and Southern Bluegrass Union.

After a late night (again) we were invited to to do some gospel music for the Church of Ireland service, which again was lovely to do and be part of. On Sunday everywhere you turned there was a banjo being picked or Big John Cline playing his mandolin. The weather was great for all the outdoor sessions and hopefully we can repeat this next year - so again, a big thanks to all who came to support this festival.

In other news, Southern Welfare have been invited back again this year to play the 17th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival at the end of next week (25-28 August). We had a fantastic time there last year and hopefully we can bring the house down this year with our two new additions to the band from last year's lineup: John Cassin (Longford) on double bass and P.J. Power (Cork) on dobro.

The grass will be blue in Waterford next weekend and hopefully the weather is good as it's set to be a cracker with some great bands playing over the three days; so if you're around the sunny south-east next week, why not pop down to Dunmore East?

For more info contact Ray on 085 1386710. This is Southern Welfare signing off...

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