01 July 2021

Familiar faces for IBMA showcases

The lineup for the showcase programme of this year's IBMA World Of Bluegrass at Raleigh, NC, is now complete, and among the forty acts chosen there are quite a few faces that will be familiar to Irish audiences. Past visitors from the USA include Allison de Groot (last over here with Molsky's Mountain Drifters); Cedar Hill; the Henhouse Prowlers (whose picture is on the front of the 'Bluegrass Ramble' section of the website); the Special Consensus (with Greg Blake on guitar); the Martin Gilmore Trio; and Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike (with Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes on mandolin and Wally Hughes on fiddle and dobro). From outside the States, Lluís Gómez from Barcelona, with his Flamencograss Quartet; and the Often Herd from north-east England. We believe Bluegrass Stuff from Italy haven't visited Ireland yet, but they should. A player on the IBMA WOB website gives half-minute samples of all the showcase acts.

The big news for fans in Ireland should have been the appearance of the outstanding guitar maestro from Carlow, Shane Hennessy (photo above), on the IBMA showcase schedule. Unfortunately, tonight Shane has had to announce that owing to continuing travel restrictions between Europe and the USA, he has been obliged to cancel his planned autumn tour in the States. However, he looks forward to making lots of IBMA connections online.

Update: From Bluegrass Today, it appears that all showcase artists from outside the USA will be taking part by video stream.

© Richard Hawkins

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