26 January 2015

Awards for old friends

High Country (l-r): Tom Bekeny (fiddle), Larry Cohea (banjo), Glenn Dauphin (bass), Butch Waller (mandolin), Bob Waller (guitar), Jim Mintun (dobro)

We think that without presumption the members of the premier California bluegrass band High Country can be called 'old friends'; they were on the bill at the very first Athy Bluegrass Festival in 1991, and again in 1993 and 2008. Anyway, the main point is that, as reported in Bluegrass Today, the 8th annual Northern California Bluegrass Awards were given out during the past weekend at the Bluegrass on Broadway festival in Redwood City, CA.

The awards for Best Banjo Player and Best Dobro Player went to Larry Cohea and Jim Mintun, while Louise Mintun, who plays with Jim in the four-piece band Slide Road, tied with Lisa Burns for Best Bass Player. Jim has now won the Best Dobro Player title five times (Kathy Barwick, who toured in Ireland in 2013 and 2014, won the title in 2010).

On Slide Road's website, you can see a video of High Country with Jim Mintun singing the Bill Monroe song 'Body and soul' - plus there's a good view of Larry Cohea, who is next to him on stage. Congratulations to both!

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