01 June 2013

Roni presses on - and how!

As heralded on the BIB earlier this week, the First Lady of Banjo, Roni Stoneman of the legendary Stoneman family, is now in Ireland (30 May-20 June), making a friendly visit that includes select performances, notably at the 7th Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival (14-16 June) in Co. Mayo. At the Cabin Sessions in Dundrum, Dublin, on 30 May, she made a brief appearance as a very special guest, and wowed the audience.

Her first full show on stage (thanks to Paul Lee and his Musiclee.ie agency) is on Sunday 2 June at the Purty Loft in Old Dunleary, between Monkstown and Dun Laoghaire, near where the west pier meets the mainland. There Roni will be accompanied by Hugh Taggart (guitar) and John Denby (mandolin), two of the hottest young pickers on the bluegrass scene here, and by Con Butler (bass). Doors open at 8.00 p.m., and the two-hour show starts at 8.30. Tickets are €13.00/€10.00, and can be booked online, where more details are available.

This is a unique opportunity to see and hear a unique artist, entertainer, and person. Roni is not just the first woman bluegrass banjo player to have recorded; not just a musician who has been playing since she was big enough to pick up an instrument; not just a member of a historically important musical family. She has lived the life that produced old-time, bluegrass, and country music. No two ways about it; this is a historic occasion for bluegrass music in Dublin.

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