03 February 2016

Athy's phoenix rises from the ashes

The Athy Bluegrass Festival, Ireland's first and longest-running annual bluegrass music event, has officially come to an end (see its Facebook for 28 Nov. 2015 and the BIB for the same date). The good news is that its place is being taken by the Woodbine Bluegrass Jamboree - and Tony O'Brien is starting the new event (8-9 July 2016) with a bigger bang than we'd expected.

The 'support band' mentioned in November turns out to be the Hamilton County Ramblers, based in Chattanooga, TN, and including Jim Pankey on banjo. Many will remember Jim from four years ago with Chuck and Susan Nation in the band led by former Blue Grass Boy Curtis Blackwell (see the BIB for 9 Mar. 2012). Banjo players are likely to be familiar with the wealth of instructional material he has on YouTube, both in three-finger and clawhammer styles. The video of the Ramblers which Tony posted yesterday as a foretaste of July is also from Jim's YouTube channel.

The Hamilton County Ramblers: (l-r) Josh Hixson, Roy Curry,
James Kee, Jim Pankey, John Boulware

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