12 November 2016

8th Bluegrass Jamboree! begins next week (update)

Two months ago (13 Sept. 2016) the BIB mentioned our good friend Rainer Zellner, his Music Contact agency in Tübingen, Germany, and his annual Bluegrass Jamboree! - the 'travelling festival' concept which has been part of the European bluegrass calendar since he founded it in 2009.

The 2016 Jamboree begins this coming Wednesday (16 Nov.) in Hohenems, Austria, continuing through twenty-one shows in Germany, one in Uitikon (CH), and one in Utrecht (NL). A complete schedule can be seen here. So if you're thinking of visiting a Christmas market on the Continent, why not pick one near where the Jamboree will be playing? (The show at Heimbrecht on 7 Dec., though, is already sold out.)

The lineup comprises the Honey Dewdrops from Virginia, the Goodbye Girls from Boston, and - for lovers of hardcore traditional bluegrass - the Truffle Valley Boys from Italy. You can see a seven-minute video preview of the artists. And if you're wondering where We Banjo 3 have got to, they're in the middle of a two-week tour of Germany, arranged by Music Contact.

Footnote: Rainer's latest newsletter mentions a brief tour in Europe next spring (20-27 May) by the outstanding Balsam Range. Now that might well justify a trip to the Continent. The reviewer of their latest album on yesterday's Bluegrass Today writes of this North Carolina band:

... the music of Balsam Range doesn’t just speak for this little slice of Appalachian heaven; it speaks to how beautiful this music has become without losing its foundational roots. It speaks to the deep mines of discovery still to be explored within Earl Scruggs’ rolls and Bill Monroe’s double stops. It speaks to the power of five mountain boys that stand onstage and show us bluegrass music is still one of the most beautiful artistic experiences we have.

Update 21 Dec.: A report on the success of this year's Jamboree, with videos of performances, appeared on Bluegrass Today last week.

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