29 November 2013

New Essex Bluegrass Band for 24th Athy Bluegrass Festival, 11-13 July 2014

The NEBB (l-r): Grahame Turner, Terry Hymers, Greg Smith (hidden), Paul Brewer, Marc Noel-Johnson

Next year Ireland's oldest bluegrass festival will welcome Britain's leading classic hard-core traditional bluegrass band to the top of the bill. Tony O'Brien sends the news that the 24th Athy Bluegrass Festival will be held at Athy, Co. Kildare, on the mid-July weekend Friday 11th-Sunday 13th. Woodbine will of course host the event. The headliners are the New Essex Bluegrass Band (GB), who in 2014 will have existed as a band for twenty years.

An earlier NEBB lineup with Mike Stanhope on bass

In that time the NEBB have played major festivals on the British bluegrass scene and several abroad - three times at the EWOB Festival in the Netherlands (where they jammed throughout the festival when not on stage), and the La Roche Bluegrass Festival in France, where in 2009 they placed second in the European band contest and gave a special gospel concert in the main church. They are the acknowledged experts in Britain on using the single microphone, and a major section of their website is devoted to this.

Check out the updated Athy Bluegrass Festival website.

The BIB editor adds:

The latest issue of British Bluegrass News, the official magazine of the BBMA, includes 'Some bluegrass memories', a major feature by Paul Brewer, founder-member and guitarist of the NEBB.

BBN is really an excellent magazine, and the many good things in this issue include several items of Irish interest: Sharon Loughrin reviews the new CD from the Down and Out Bluegrass Band and reports on this year's Omagh festival; and the review of the debut EP from Lands End calls them 'the most innovative and imaginative band to hit the scene for years', and compares their emergence to that of New Grass Revival in the '70s.

Oh yes - and the new album by the NEBB is reviewed, and the Paul Brewer feature is where I first got wind of their coming to Athy in 2014...

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