10 May 2018

Cairncastle Festival: Bluegrass Evening, Fri. 27 July 2018

Thanks to Adrian Rolston of Cairncastle Ulster Scots for these photos and details of the Bluegrass Evening in this year's Cairncastle Ulster Scots Bluegrass & Folk Cross-Community Festival. The concert will be held on Friday 27 July, beginning at 7.30 p.m., in the Halfway House Hotel, Ballygally, Co. Antrim, about eight miles north of Larne.

Mules & Men (l-r:) Mark Corry, John Denby, Lily Sheehan, Luke Coffey

Mules & Men, based in Dublin, are Mark Corry (double bass, vocals), Luke Coffey (banjo, vocals), John Denby (mandolin, vocals), and Lily Sheehan (guitar, vocals). Bound together by a shared love of folk and bluegrass, Mules & Men have been reinterpreting these classic sounds into a unique and contemporary style of their own, drawing on influences that are wide-ranging. With three-part harmonies, blazing string playing, and inspired original material, this band has been bringing audiences to a standstill all over the country.

The band has more than twenty years of combined bluegrass experience, and has played at all major Irish bluegrass festivals including Omagh, as well as touring France twice. Members of the band have performed as far and wide as China, Canada, Germany, Italy, Holland, and the Czech Republic, and are in demand as teachers for guitar, banjo, and mandolin in Dublin and further afield.

They are in the process of releasing their self-funded debut studio album, Looking sideways, which is due for release in April 2018, and which is comprised entirely of original material. The band is made up of members of other established acts such as the Down and Out Bluegrass Band and the Dublin Bluegrass Collective.

Prairie Jaywalkers: (l-r) Cian Gill, Kevin Gill, Dave Riordan,
Geraldine Gill

The Prairie Jaywalkers, based in Cork, are Geraldine Gill (guitar, vocals), Dave Riordan (mandolin, vocals), Cian Gill (double bass, vocals), and Kevin Gill (dobro, 5-string banjo, vocals). Their main repertoire is a mix of straight-ahead bluegrass in the style of the originators of bluegrass music, such as Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and the Stanley Brothers, with influences from some of the more contemporary bluegrass bands such as Alison Krauss, the Bluegrass Album Band, and the Seldom Scene.

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