25 July 2013

Hard Station to debut at Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival, in memory of founder Vinny Baker

Hard Station, as founded: (l-r) Johnny Gleeson, Vinny Baker, Roy Brennan, Joe Meehan

Thanks to Karen Cheevers for this release:

Hard Station, the Midlands-based bluegrass and newgrass band, will make their Waterford debut at the 19th Guinness International Bluegrass Festival in Dunmore East (22-25 Aug. 2013). The decision to perform was a heartfelt one for band members Johnny Gleeson, Joe Meehan, and Roy Brennan, following the untimely death of founding member Vinny Baker who died last week.

An exceptionally talented musician, Vinny skillfully mastered many instruments and was involved in a number of renowned bluegrass bands including Tennessee Breakdown and Bending the Strings before founding Hard Station six months ago with a group of like-minded and talented musicians.

Johnny Gleeson, who played with Vinny for many years, said the decision to perform at the 19th Guinness International Bluegrass Festival was a difficult one, but one that Vinny would have wanted. 'He was so proud of how far Hard Station had come in the last six months. He loved the music we made and we know he would have been the first to say to us "the show must go on”. We are determined to honour his memory by continuing to make music. Performing on the stages at the Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival is probably one of the most fitting tributes we could give Vinny.'

Lovers of bluegrass and newgrass can look forward to a wide assortment of bluegrass fiddle tunes, newgrass, swing, jazz, gypsy jazz, and plenty of acoustic music with Johnny Gleeson (dobro, guitar, vocals), Joe Meehan (mandolin, guitar, vocals), and Roy Brennan (double bass, vocals).

Mick Daly, festival founder and organiser, is happy that a band of Hard Station’s calibre will be debuting at the Co. Waterford festival: 'I know it was a tough decision for the members of Hard Station to perform at the bluegrass festival, but we are privileged that Johnny, Joe, and Roy have decided to play in August and honour Vinny’s memory.

'Vinny was such a huge influence on the Irish bluegrass and newgrass landscape, and the whole community is shocked and saddened. His loss is felt deeply by musicians and music lovers alike who respected his astonishing talent, desire, and energy that went into making great music,' he added.

The 19th Guinness International Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival commences at 7.00 p.m. on Thursday 22 August at the Strand Hotel and features three days of dozens of bands, playing almost fifty gigs throughout the Co. Waterford coastal village. More information about the festival in Co. Waterford can be found here.

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