31 March 2015

Coming to the Red Room this spring

Thanks, as always, to Arnie and Sharon Loughrin for creating and running the premier house-concert venue in this island - the Red Room at Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. The Red Room already has seven shows lined up into the autumn of 2015, with more awaiting final confirmation. In the near future, east Ulster's Down and Out Bluegrass Band will be at the Red Room on Saturday 25 April, while the show by the Foghorn Stringband (USA) on Saturday 16 May is already fully booked out: a waiting list is in operation.

At the very end of that month (Sunday 31 May) the Red Room will present J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices from Nashville, playing (as Sharon says) 'proper country and honky-tonk' - that is, tough music of a kind that many bluegrass fans enjoy. With steel guitar and fiddle to the fore (and the photo at the head of his website includes an open-back 5-string with what looks like at least a 12" pot), J.P. Harris's world is one in which the 'Murder on Music Row' of Larry Cordle's song has not been committed. Several videos from live shows are on his website.

The show at the Red Room is the last in a European tour that begins on 22 April in Barcelona, and continues with four further dates in Spain, two in Switzerland, three in Germany, five in the Netherlands, one in Belgium, two in Denmark, five in Sweden, one in Norway, and four in Britain. The band's schedule in Ireland is:

Mon. 25th: Ubangi Stomp Club, Dublin
Tues. 26th: St John's Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry
Wed. 27th: Crane Lane Theatre, Cork city
Thurs. 28th: Raheen House Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary (Clonmel World Music)
Fri. 29th: High Tide Club, Castletown Bearhaven, Co. Cork
Sat. 30th: Balor Arts Centre, Main St., Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
Sun. 31st: The Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone (not in Bray, Co. Wicklow, as the internet will tell you...)

NB: Sharon also reports having seen the Friday night show of last weekend's 'Spring into bluegrass' by the Harpers Hollow Bluegrass Band at Moira, Co. Down: 'they're sounding great, really enjoyed the night.'

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