01 May 2015

The mensis mirabilis begins

Well, here it is. April was relatively quiet, but the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast began yesterday, and both the Kilkenny Roots Festival and the Cahersiveen Mountain Roots Music Weekend begin today. Next Thursday the Baltimore Fiddle Fair begins in Baltimore, Co. Cork; on Friday the 3rd Clarinbridge Banjo Gathering begins in Clarinbridge, Co. Galway.

Touring artists include Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan (USA) in their 2015 'I'm With Her' tour, the Martin Gilmore Trio (USA), the April Verch Band (CAN), the Foghorn Stringband (USA), Jeff Scroggins & Colorado (USA), the Petersens (USA), and Elizabeth LaPrelle and Anna Roberts-Gevalt (USA). As far as we're aware, this number of acts from North America in one month is unprecedented. As a change of tone, in the last week of May J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices (USA) bring over country music in the 'old electric' style.

Homegrown bands with gigs we know about at the time of writing include Woodbine, the New Breadwinners, and the Kelleher Family. The Sacred Harp Singers of Dublin hold an all-day singing tomorrow; next Tuesday there's the Belfast Bluegrass monthly session; in three weeks' time, the third of the new Dublin Bluegrass Collective sessions in Dun Laoghaire; and finally the DanGem Bluegrass Get-Together in Lisburn. All this apart from the established weekly sessions.* Oh, and on Saturday 16 May it will be World Fiddle Day!

*Caution: the weekly sessions section of the BIB calendar needs updating, so check with the venues shown to make sure a session is still active.

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