24 February 2022

More (assorted) US news

Mandolin master Mike Compton, who visited Ireland with the Nashville Bluegrass Band in 2007, is a recognised authority on the music of the Father of Bluegrass. He now has a new album, Rare & fine: uncommon tunes of Bill Monroe, scheduled for release early next month. On it, he plays Monroe instrumentals that are not often heard, including some that were never released on a record label. An example is his new single, 'Orange Blossom breakdown'; the tune was learned from a recording of a radio broadcast. It can be heard on Bluegrass Today, and (the BIB recommends) on the Bluegrass Situation and YouTube, where the video includes footage and stills taken during the recording of the Compton version.
On 22 Feb. the BIB mentioned Hurricane Clarice, the forthcoming album by the 'apocalyptic stringband duo' of Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves (left). The Bluegrass Situation (BG) now presents a substantial article on the album by Steve Hochman, 'Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves reunite to honor their grandmothers', with input from both musicians on the background of the album, the choice of numbers, the contributions of producer Phil Cook, the importance of 'the idea of family, whether that’s family that you’re connected with at childhood or your musical community', and much more. There are three videos of de Groot and Hargreaves playing items from the album, and one sixty-eight-minute full concert video.
In his latest e-newsletter, Michael J. Miles announces that he will be teaching at three banjo camps this year: 'If you play the banjo these can be utopian. If you don't, that's another story.' Michael's other forthcoming events include concerts, fundraisers, and one-time-only workshops for clawhammer banjo and fingerstyle guitar, which will be streamed on Zoom. More details, and two videos, are here.
Finally - and of special interest to anyone who likes skiffle and jug-band music - the Birthplace of Country Music Museum announces in its latest e-newsletter that on 8 Mar. Scott Paulson, who contributed to the Museum's 'Instrument interview: the kazoo', will give a talk on 'The kazoo's place in history and music'.

© Richard Hawkins

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