21 January 2022

Detached notes - and an Irish link

John Lawless reports on Bluegrass Today* (BT) on an exciting new enterprise with an unexpected Irish link: the Bluegrass Trading Co. (also on Facebook), based in Friendsville, TN. Colyn Brown, the founder, aims to produce 'the world's first bluegrass-related, high-quality, trading cards. These aren't standard photo cards, they will be works of art, each portrait hand-painted by our featured artists.' The first series, representing forty leading bluegrass banjo players, is due for release in April 2022 and can be pre-ordered. Subsequent series are planned for players of the other bluegrass instruments. Much more detail is on the website and BT.

The Irish link is that while three of the featured artists in the first series are from Knoxville, TN, one from Portland, OR, and one from Dallas, TX, the sixth is Georgina Flood from Dublin, who (as can be seen from the small print on the photo image above) painted the portrait of Earl that appears on the reverse of the card. Congratulations to Georgina Flood on her part in this project.

PS: Though one reader of Bluegrass Today seems to have been unable to find it, this first series does include a card for Sonny Osborne, whose portrait was painted by Georgina.
Thanks to the Newsline agency of Nashville, TN, for the news that - as some subscribers may already have seen - Dale Ann Bradley is on the cover of the February 2022 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, together with an article on her by Bill Conger.
Missy Raines, nine times winner of IBMA's Bass Player of the Year award, formed last year a touring bluegrass band, Allegheny, which is now 80% composed of veterans of tours in Ireland. Missy herself has toured several times, notably in a duo with guitar wizard Jim Hurst, and her band now includes Ellie Hakanson (fiddle) and Tristan Scroggins (mandolin) - both of whom were here as members of Jeff Scroggins & Colorado - and Frank Evans (banjo), a member of Canada's Slocan Ramblers. The only Alleghenian without (as far as we know) experience of touring in Ireland is Ben Garnett (guitar). The livestream concert that the band played last night (20 Jan.), with Ned Luberecki on banjo, can still be watched by Facebook members on the Nashville Tunestream Facebook.
The Bluegrass Situation (BGS) announces a new addition to its podcast network: 'Carolina Calling', a series on the immeasurable contribution of North Carolina to American music, featuring interviews with NC artists. The first episode will be aired on 31 January. Artists featured will include Pokey LaFarge (see the BIB for 19 Jan.) and Woody Platt of the Steep Canyon Rangers.
The Mountain Home Music Company announce that the Gina Furtado Project has released a new single, 'It won't be me', written and sung by Gina herself, and blending her liking for Latin- and manouche-flavoured sounds with a declaration of refusal to accept abuse.
The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro, KY, announces its programme of coming events, which includes many names familiar to fans in Ireland - among them Galway's We Banjo 3, kings of 'Celtgrass', who will be in concert on 18 Mar. and taking part in the ROMP Festival in late June. Tonight (21 Jan.) the Museum launches its 'My bluegrass story' series on RFD-TV; see this YouTube trailer.

© Richard Hawkins

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