22 August 2014

4 Wheel Drive - bringing a new album to Omagh

4 Wheel Drive with Jolanda Peters: (l-r) Jurgen Biller, Joost van Es, Jolanda, Alfred Bonk, Ulli Sieker, Jan Michielsen (photo: Jan Lenting)

Next weekend's 23rd Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival in the Ulster American Folk Park at Omagh, Co. Tyrone, has many treats in store for bluegrass fans in this island; and for many, it will be a particular treat to see again the multi-award-winning band 4 Wheel Drive, based in Utrecht (NL).

They have been making friends and fans here since the band's first Irish appearance at the 2001 Athy Bluegrass Festival, and there's a special reason to look forward to this year's visit. Thanks to Joost van Es, fiddler and vocalist of 4 Wheel Drive, for the news that their new CD, Traveling kind, will be available at Omagh on Saturday 30 August.

The CD's official release will be on Monday 1 September, when the band, featuring Jolanda Peters, will be back in the Netherlands, marking the event by launching the ‘Pearl Sessions’ (‘Parel Sessies’) - a new series of forty Monday-night live-music shows at De Parel van Zuilen, a beautiful riverside venue in Utrecht. To round off a very busy week (and substantiate the name of the new CD), they'll be in Switzerland on 6 September as headliners at the 16th Sunny Mountain Bluegrass Festival.

The ‘Pearl Sessions’ - organised by Joost, who also produced the new 4WD album - will feature many national and international artists in the bluegrass, traditional music, folk music, and singer/songwriter genres, such as the Blue Grass Boogiemen, Jussi Syren & the Groundbreakers, Pam MacBeth, Amy Speace & Cara Luft, David Munnelly, the Mystiqueros, the High & the Lonesome, Red Herring, Monroe, the Louvat Bros, and many, many more. Tickets for ‘Pearl Sessions’ shows are €15 / €12 / €10.

On 1 September at the inaugural ‘Pearl Session’, Joost will also be announcing the name of the main artist who will head the bill at the 3rd Gulpener Bluegrass Festival Utrecht on 14 May 2015. Tickets for the Festival - also to be held at De Parel van Zuilen - will be sold from 1 September onwards. Tickets may go quickly, as the main bluegrass artist will be appearing nowhere else in the Netherlands and Belgium. For bluegrass fans this means: keep an eye on the De Parel website, where online bookings can be made.

De Parel van Zuilen, Burg. Norbruislaan 17, 3555ED Utrecht, the Netherlands; phone +31-653-740054

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