29 January 2014

Band and gig news

Bat Kinane & the Whole Hog Band (above) will release their new album, Ordinary days, in late March 2014 and launch it in the Tramway Theatre, Blessington, Co. Wicklow, on 29 March.

Bat (far left in the photo), a member of the successful rock band Glyder up to its split, turned to folk rock and Americana in 2010 with his album A lifetime to kill, which received critical acclaim and regular airplay from John Creedon and Niall Toner on RTE1, as well as on regional and international stations. The Whole Hog Band (guitar/mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, three vocals) plays bluegrass, country, folk, Americana, and a little bit of Irish, with rock attitude. Ordinary days, which incorporates the band's Americana sound with Bat’s original compositions, was produced, engineered, and mixed by Bat in his own Téach Rock Studio.

Guest musicians on the album include Percy Robinson (steel guitar), Paul Kelly (fiddle, mandolin part), and Martin Cooney (5-string banjo). Second from left in the photo is Cathy McEvoy, who will be playing fiddle in the Cabin Sessions in Dundrum, Dublin, tomorrow night (Thurs. 30 Jan.). Bat sends this link to the album's title track on YouTube; bluegrassers who want gigs in Wicklow might also take note of another song by the band.

And speaking of playing in Wicklow: thanks to Brendan O'Regan, who is opening a new series of roots gigs in Arklow tomorrow night (Thurs. 30 Jan.) with Leslie Dowdall & the String Factory. Brendan writes that the other members of the Factory are

John Nolan and John Hunt, fine musicians on a variety of stringed instruments. Venue is Arklow Bay Hotel, time 8.30 p.m., and adm. 10 Euro. I know it's not quite bluegrass but is certainly rootsy!

Thanks to Vincent Cross in New York for the news that his latest album, A town called normal, is now available as a free album download from his website.

Vincent will also be joining top songwriters such as Honor Finnegan, Roy Bookbinder, Lowell Levinger, and Bob Wright at this year's International Folk Alliance in Kansas City, and will then spend spring touring in California. Read the full details, including the tour schedule, here. Vincent closes with 'Keep on Keeping on!' - good advice for practically any occasion.

Thanks to Roger Ryan of the Country Music Association of Ireland for the news that this coming Saturday (1 Feb.) the Rockies Club in Cork will begin their 2014 entertainment programme with a visit from one of their most popular visiting bands, Two Time Polka, who combine the swing of an amplified Cajun dance band with bluegrass drive. Admission is free.

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