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Author: Subject: A Little Bluegrass Discussion

World Class Peach



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 12:41 PM
Good info & nice post Derek. Thank you!

For those of you that don't know this- the Pizza Tapes release done by Acoustic Disc (or GD Records I'm not sure) is worth the $$. The unofficial bot legs that you can get from traders have more versions of the stuff you hear on the official release. But the tape is too fast & everything sounds pretty whack, especially once you hear what the mastering did for the official.

Peace~!

 

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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 02:24 PM
Wow, I was going to chime in, but after reading down all the lists......y'all have named all my favs.

Who's headed to Merlefest next year? 2007 is their 20th anniversary.......should be awesome!

 

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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 02:34 PM
quote:
Wow, I was going to chime in, but after reading down all the lists......y'all have named all my favs.

Who's headed to Merlefest next year? 2007 is their 20th anniversary.......should be awesome!



Yes, next April is the 20th anniversaary year for Merlefest and it should be interesting to see the lineup that they come up with.

Merlefest 19, this past April, was awesome and historic and and here is how it went;


http://www.gritz.net/subscribers_area/features/merlefest06_review.html



DH

[Edited on 7/19/2006 by DerekFromCincinnati]

 

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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 02:42 PM
The missus is gonna kill me as I'll be spending so much time on the net checking out all these people we never get to hear over here! Saw Nickel Creek earlier this year and they were superb. Surprised that no one has mentioned NGDB's WTCBU. Is this not one of the groundbreaking albums of all time?

 

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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 02:52 PM
quote:
The missus is gonna kill me as I'll be spending so much time on the net checking out all these people we never get to hear over here!


Where are you at, Jim??

quote:
Surprised that no one has mentioned NGDB's WTCBU. Is this not one of the groundbreaking albums of all time?


John McEuen interview;

http://www.gritz.net/subscribers_area/inner_views/john_mcuen.html

Jeff Hanna interview;

http://www.gritz.net/subscribers_area/inner_views/jeff_hanna.html

DH

 

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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 03:32 PM
Derek, you should definitely give it listen. Like you say, Garcia was not the technical guru that Tony Rice was, but his emotion goes so well with Rice and Grisman's playing on this disk. Like I said, you can tell how happy Garcia is digging just being in the room with one of his heros.
 

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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 03:57 PM
Hi Derek,
Thanks for the links to the interviews - great reading. The UK isn't exactly a hotbed for bluegrass and it's only really through Relix and HTN which I have on subscription and you guys discussing your faves that I find out about a lot of great music that doesn't make it over the pond.
Keep it up and thanks!
Jim.

 

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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 02:51 PM
quote:
Hi Derek,
Thanks for the links to the interviews - great reading. The UK isn't exactly a hotbed for bluegrass and it's only really through Relix and HTN which I have on subscription and you guys discussing your faves that I find out about a lot of great music that doesn't make it over the pond.
Keep it up and thanks!
Jim.




Jim, alert, alert. The best bluegrass in the business is coming your way this week, the Del McCoury band,

7/25/2006 Scotland Glasgow Del McCoury Band
ABC, 333 Sauchiehall Street , Glasgow Scotland
7/26/2006

Manchester England Del McCoury Band
Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street , Manchester England
7/27/2006

Gateshead New Castle UK Del McCoury Band
Little Theatre, Saltwell View, Gateshead New Castle UK
7/29/2006

Meath Ireland Athboy, Del McCoury Band
Midlands Festival, Ballinlough Castle, Athboy, Meath Ireland
7/30/2006

Nantwich Cheshire, England Del McCoury Band
Acoustic Festival of Britain, Dorfold Hall, Nantwich Cheshire, England
7/31/2006

Birmingham England Del McCoury Band
Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham England
8/1/2006

Shepherd's Bush London Del McCoury Band
Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green , Shepherd's Bush London


Also, here is a goofy three and a half minute Van Heffer clip featuring Doc Watson, Vince Gill, and others,




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFNFH-x5lHE

 

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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 05:12 PM
quote:
http://www.sbwire.com/news/view.php?sid=7232



Stompin 76 Music Festival about to see 30th Anniversary

Friday, July 21, 2006 11:34 AM
(Industry: Entertainment)

Email Press Release Print Press Release Download in Microsoft Word Format



Over 100,000 attended The Woodstock of Bluegrass in Galax, VA Aug, 6, 7, 8 1976.


Rockville, MD -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/21/2006 -- We’re coming up on the 30th anniversary of Stompin 76, the legendary bluegrass/ blues festival held August 6, 7, 8, 1976 at Doyle Lawson’s Farm, 7 miles North of Galax, Virginia.

Did you attend the biggest party in southwest Virginia history? About 150,000 of us did and still talk about it. Some now have died over time. But many relationships, friendships, marriages, kids and careers were created by the simple interaction of so many with similar lifestyles meeting for a few summer days on a farm on a hill…from everywhere, mostly the eastern U.S.. It was a wild, self-controlled, beautiful event for the attendees. It was the time of sex, drugs and rock. Even the bluegrass seemed rocky in that amplified, natural amphitheater for 3 hot rural Virginia days. It was the Woodstock of Bluegrass Music.

People partied and were happy. It was the bicentennial year and everybody needed a place to celebrate, to remember 1976. Elton John and Dave Mason were the big stadium tour that year and the promoter took good advantage of it by having pretty girls pass out vinyl bumper stickers in cities from Chicago east. Occasionally, you can see one those stickers on an old Dodge Rambler or VW bus. The festival was promoted heavily on radio back then and in major newspapers before faxes, before the internet. “You could afford to advertise in Rolling Stone and The New York Times back then” says Hal Abramson, the then 21 year old drop out, standing stoop shouldered, flicking a cigarette, (as the local papers depicted him), Abramson, now 51, originally from Baltimore, lives in his home state, Maryland and still promotes but mostly as a marketing consultant. He has put on 4 music festivals in these 30 years, promoted Ringling Bros Circus, Ice Follies, been a Promotions Director in Las Vegas and a travel marketing executive. He’s also written 3 books on concerts, music fests and resorts.

Many Carroll County locals were not happy during and after Stompin 76. Young, naked New Yorkers urinating on lawns, polite strangers camping in their backyards and not enough parking and camping led to epic backups. Only motorcycles could get up and down the road leading to the farm. Local residents just couldn’t get home or leave, not that they wanted to leave- in fear of their homes being ransacked or burned down by the heathens.

“Everyday I am sorry for how the event adversely effected the locals. That’s my disappointment that lingers from an event that was supposed to be a fun weekend for all. We were all so young, we had no experience in producing something on this scale. We figured it out as we went.” Abramson said.

It’s ironic that though Stompin 76 put the name “Galax” on the map and directly contributed to the succeeding years of success of the Galax Fiddler’s Convention, “I am probably still the most hated man in Carroll County for being the perpetrator of the “Woodstock of Bluegrass” I brought there. Everyone I have ever heard from there, related to the annual downtown Galax event, denies the boost from Stompin (est. 1977 Galax Convention attendance soared to about 25,000 from about 3,500 the years before) and they state “we don’t know why, but sometime in the late 1970’s the event took off, that’s gratitude” Hal said.

There are however, people who never lost their coolness who get through to me and want to share their memories of a once in a lifetime musical event that changed their lives. Although I have heard over the years that one person died as a result of the event, there was an enormous amount of good both socially and for Galax- materially.

“Though many stated that I stole all of the money, the fact is that the festival sold about 32,000 tickets at $12.00 each = $384,000.00. The show cost more than that. The festival food concessions did not show a profit. At least this is what my roommate who handled it reported. I did not take a salary. The food We had no other vendors. This event was truly supposed to be about getting a lot of people together in one place and enjoying a weekend of incredible music. It was probably the least commercialized music event in history. I remember being called a crook by many that always stupidly thought “the promoter left with all of the money”. Abramson stated.

Nick Litrenta, the head of CES, the Baltimore based security company put a .45 cal. pistol on the table of the motor home I was in and said “I need $30,000 or we’re walking off the gate”. I said “you already walked off the gate”. This security company allowed the pagans to basically take charge of the front gate entry and did little to secure the perimeter. It could have been done with better forethought. But music festival technology was still raw then and you didn’t get a second chance the next year to get it right. .

“I learned the meaning of having a good organization that weekend by not having one. I have no proof of any Pagans stealing money. I was a natural promoter with very little sophisticated assistance (most of the staff was around my age). I had no experience at large festivals yet, though I had already, at age 20, promoted in Baltimore: Thin Lizzy, Golden Earring, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Chick Corea, Leslie West and Mountain, Natalie Cole, Spirit, Nils Lofgren and others. Not really enjoying the business of small concerts (concert tickets only sold for $5.50 - $7.50 at that time) and the low profit margins, on a blustery winter late afternoon, Sunday February 20, 1976 in my Reistertstown, MD apartment, with two friends present, I decided that the best way to learn about festivals was to put one on. Based on the music format that was being tossed around the room, the first name that cam up was STOMP, then moments later STOMPIN, then I yelled out STOMPIN 76! Within a month the advance work had begun, the search for land led to a contentious attorney from Winston Salem, Mickey Andrews who found the inadequate Lawson farm. No time left, I took it. “ stated Abramson

Realizing that a rock festival was out of the question- too expensive, I decided to assemble one of the most interesting talent lineups ever. Bluegrass with a dash of blues and other contemporary hip national acts like Bonnie Raitt, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Prine, Ry Cooder, David Bromberg and Papa John Creech. The grass was as blue as could be with the Earl Scruggs Revue, Lester Flatt, Doc & Merle Watson, Vassar Clements, Osborne Bros., The Rowans, The Dillards, John Hartford, Hickory Wind, New Grass Revival and others. This ticket was just $12.00 for all 3 days! No wonder half the east coast wanted to be there!!!

Stompers then aged 4 - 30 with families and careers, now write to me about their heartfelt experience. The festival changed many people’s lives. Some for the worse, tens of thousands for the better. Both contact me through the Stompin site, www.stompin76.com

This event made a major impact on the folk’s lives that were there and added to our contemporary music culture at that time. There were relatively few music festivals then compared to nowadays. It is a part of your region’s history that cannot be swept under the carpet. Hate it or love it, the festival hosted over 150,000 and with the roads backed up 11 miles to the interstate, the state police said many more would have been there had they been able to get in. Galax will never see that again. Carroll County ordinances introduced strict rules as a direct result of the event.

“For me, the reward has been the lifelong realization of how, in many ways, the event was a great achievement conceived and executed at an incredibly early age. There will be no 30 year revival. The funds aren’t there and I’m not sure anyone down that way would welcome me. I have found to this day, the general population there is hostile toward me. “ said Abramson. Hopefully, the Stompin Spirit felt during those magical 3 days will carry until the last Stomper passes on. Those memories don’t fade.

Readers with Stompin 76 photos may email them, if acceptable, they will be posted on the site www.stompin76.com where a limited number of reproduced T shirts are now available.

Hal is available for interview by phone or email to the media.


 

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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 11:28 PM
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http://tinyurl.com/z6xtx

Dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas doesn't mind being one of the worst-kept, best-kept secrets in the music business.

Insiders love him, but it's true that outside the music business the casual fan is more likely to know him best as a sideman and for his recording session credits.

But those 12 Grammy Awards and County Music Association's musician of the year kudos makes that low profile a little hard to maintain for someone who's taken the dobro far beyond its traditional lonesome howl.

“I just try to make a nice sound,” Douglas said from his Nashville home.

In truth, he's considered the king of the resonating 6-string instrument played with a hand-held polished metal bar. “It's like a violin and a guitar put together because you can move the note. You've got all this sustain,” Douglas explained. “It's just like a voice.”

Douglas opens for Paul Simon at Municipal Auditorium on Monday. It's his first major solo tour to promote “The Best Kept Secret” (Koch Records).

He has performed on some 1,500 albums. But this Nashville cat is best known as one of the featured musicians in Alison Krauss & the Union Station.


Headliner
Paul Simon can still surprise

“I was supposed to be off this summer but something happened,” he joked.
Instead, he's involved in the very musical paring with Simon, who's promoting the acclaimed new album with Brian Eno, “Surprise.”

Douglas is pumped to perform with the impossible-to-categorize Simon, who he said is really in the groove again. They’ll play “The Boxer” together most nights.

“It's amazing. To say I've been a fan is an understatement,” Douglas said. They met 13 years ago. Since then, Simon has been a regular audience member whenever Douglas hits the Big Apple.

He described Simon as meticulous, willing to rehearse his band every day to “revisit the big picture.” Simon always finds something new.

“He hears things in the show the night before that he wants, and he makes mental notes and he goes back and he goes through those things the next day in sound check,” Douglas said. “He's a musician first, that's the take I get on Paul. He's probably a writer first. But that goes along with being a musician.”

How does Douglas describe bluegrass music? It goes beyond simply being the white man's blues, as hillbilly music is often called, he said.

“It's blue collar music that's for sure,” he said. “With my music, the white collar elements have crept in — which would be the classical and the jazz version of things.”

And that's opened up things.

“That's what happened to my music. It started out as bluegrass music, which is poor man's music I suppose you could say, but over the years it's become everybody's music. My music is just all the influences I've had over the past 30 years.”

The attraction remains that it's honest music, he said.

His dobro style emotes a vocal quality. Douglas exploits the instrument's natural sustaining ring. “It's an emotional instrument,” he said. He also plays the lap steel guitar onstage.

Douglas did acknowledge that it's easy to be compartmentalized in the music business on Music Row.

“Bluegrass folks try to keep me in a box,” he said. “And I've never stayed there, and I never will.”

Former Creedence Clearwater Revival leader John Fogerty, 60, has had high praise for Douglas, 50, calling him his favorite musician. They are close friends.

Douglas credits it to the “Green River” album cover that showed the dobro. He knew then he wanted to play music with him.

Fogerty appears on the new album.

“We both have this love for the dobro, this instrument,” Douglas said. “It is a certain kind of person that gets involved with an instrument as strange as a dobro is. It's not something that everyone's got at home.”

Douglas said that he doesn't do many freelance studio sessions anymore because “I got really tired of what I was given to work with.”

He doesn't want to be predictable. “Country music went down another trail than I wanted to go,” he said. “I'm just trying to be an artist on my own.”

Douglas acknowledged that he's got as sweet gig — whether in or out of the spotlight.

“Yeah, I am sitting in a sweet spot because I can play all these different kinds of music, you know. And maybe confuse some people, but the people that I'm after have an open mind and listen to all kinds of music, and I'm just taking them from place to another.”


 

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  posted on 7/24/2006 at 01:44 PM
quote:
Hi Derek,
Thanks for the links to the interviews - great reading. The UK isn't exactly a hotbed for bluegrass and it's only really through Relix and HTN which I have on subscription and you guys discussing your faves that I find out about a lot of great music that doesn't make it over the pond.
Keep it up and thanks!
Jim.




Jim, here is the latest info as of today concerning the UK and Europe, courtesy of De Hallett who does a great job. (By the way, I had an article published in British Bluegrass News magazine a couple of years ago about John Hartford).

Enjoy the Dwight Yocum show, the boy is from my part of the world in Kentucky and Ohio, and he does rock. below;

quote:
One of the South of England’s leading roots music venues is the Soul Café in Maidstone Kent. This excellent venue, hosted by Alan Cackett – editor of Maverick Magazine and his wife Francis, features some of the finest Americana, roots-rock, country and alternative country music performers from around the world. Over the past few weeks the Soul Café has resounded to the sounds of The Hayleys/Joe Sun/Eve Selis/ Don Mescall/Lisa O’Kane and Burrito Deluxe. Tuesday 25th July there is the opportunity to see American artistes Tiff Merrit + Maren Morris/Monday July 3rd Tom Russell/Sunday August 20th Kim Richie/Sunday August 27th Brian Houston plus West & Elliot/Sunday September 10th Stewboss plus Bill Mallonee/Tuesday September 19th Joni Harms plus support/Sunday September 24th Charlie Dore plus support/Sunday October 1st Rod Picott Band plus support/Wednesday October 11th Kevin Montgomery – with Andrea Zonn/Monday October 16th Slaid Cleavesplus Albert & Gage/Sunday October 22nd Lewis 3 plus Slow Horses/Tuesday October 24th George Hamilton 1V and Tony Goodacre/Tuesday November 7th Jim Lauderdale plus the Bellevers. Located just 35 miles south of London - in the centre of Maidstone, and only 10 minutes from the M20, the Soul Café has become the most prestigious venue for internationally-renowned country, Americana and roots-rock acts….the adjoining restaurant also serves fabulous food!! Do make the effort to attend at least one of these forthcoming gigs….you’ll be made very welcome - you certainly won’t be disappointed in the great music……………..!!!



BLUEGRASS happenings…here in the UK….



Eamonn Flynn sent news of a new bluegrass band – he says “Just started a new band, The Southern Tenat Folk Union’, a London based gospel influenced six piece playing around with their own mix of old-time, bluegrass and celtic folk music. You can hear and see us on my www.myspace.com/southerntenantfolkunion Featuring the strong lead vocals and driving rhythm guitar of mainman Oliver Talkes and backing music and harmony singing from Pete Gow on guitar (Case Hardin), Pat McGarvey on banjo (The Coal Porters/The Arlenes), Eamonn Flynn on mandolin (Foghorn Leghorn), Frances Devaux on fiddle and Matt Lloyd on upright bass (Handsome String Benders) the S.T.F.U. combine their acoustic savagery and sacred-harp vocals into a high octane live revue of uptempo **** kickers and mountain ballad laments.” The band have already played several gigs including Easycome Acoustic at the Ivy House in Peckam, The 12 Bar Club, London, The Foundy, London and the Hanbury Ballroom in Brighton. They will also be at the Sleaford Celtic Music Festival in Lincoln on October 14th. Currently working on their first album the band appropriate their themes, ideas and metaphors from traditional folk songs, 20th century americana music and childhood using that brand of imagery to talk and reflect on modern urban life through the type of words used by musicians like The Carter Family and The Stanley Brothers.



Don’t forget…..



The fabulous ***** Del McCoury Band (OK…so you’ve guessed….YES…I really do rate them highly!!) will be making a rare visit to the UK and Ireland soon…and playing the following venues; 25th July - ABC, 333 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow/July - 26th Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester/July 27th - Little Theatre, Saltwell View, Gateshead, Newcastle (part of the Jumpin’ Hot Club)/July 29th - Midlands Festival, Ballinlough Castle, Athboy, Co. Meath, Ireland/July 30th - Acoustic Festival of Britain, Dorfold Hall, Nantwich Cheshire/31st July - Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham/1st August - Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, Shepherd's Bush London. Don’t miss these great opportunities to see the multi-award winning performers up close and in person…..!!!!



If you like great musicianship and excellent harmonies – try to see Keith Pearson’s Coup De Grass on one (at least) the following dates - at the following venues: July 30th - Cambridge Folk Festival/Sept 30th - Stevenage (private event)/Oct 4th - Baldock Folk Club. For more information contact Keith & the band via info@keithpearson.co.uk or noyeshome@swaffham-prior.co.uk



Following the release of her new CD Somehow on July 7th in Barcelona, Spain (with a US release in the fall), songstress Kathy Chiavola www.kathychiavola.com will be performing at the following UK/European venues – together with Mike Bub, bass; Jean-Mark Delon, banjo; and Martino Coppo, mandolin; July 30th Glasgow, Scotland private concert/August 1, Tues Hootananny's/ Inverness, Scotland/August 2, Wed, Golspie Gala Week/Scotland/August 3, Thurs Isle of Skye Festival/Scotland www.skyemusicfestival.co.uk/August 4, Fri Llandudno, Wales/North Wales Theatre (Mike Bub will not appear in Wales)/August 25th Toulouse, France/Sept 2, Saturday, Namur, Belgium/Namur Picnic Festival www.picnicfestival@shknet.be with the fabulous French band Bluegrass 43!!



The New Essex Bluegrass Band will play a 75 minute set at this year's Riverside Festival on Saturday 5 August. You can see them at the Bandstand on Victoria Embankment at 7pm. The three-day festival includes a wide variety of entertainment, displays and stands. It is funded by Nottingham City Council and entry is free. What better way to spend the local council tax!



There is a special ‘Bluegrass Night’ on Sunday 6 August at the Little Theatre Cinema, Bath – with live performances by Leon Hunt and others, followed by screening of documentary footage of Earl Scruggs, Don Reno and Bela Fleck. £10/£8 Contact Martin Jennings-Wright 01225 330803 martin.j@picturehouses.co.uk www.picturehouses.co.uk



21st August is the date for the next Old Time and Bluegrass Session at the Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth. More details can be obtained from Andrew Metcalfe a.metcalfe340@btinternet.com



A visiting American band I was really hoping to see…..but won’t – because I’ll be passing them mid air (on my way Stateside) – is the excellent, Texas based Box Car Preachers. Do make sure you catch them at one of the following venues…The band kicks off at the Dunmore East International Bluegrass Festival in Ireland - August 24-27: www.waterford-dunmore.com The festival takes place in Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Eire +353 (0)51 878832/+353 (0)87 2562899 – and thn travel to the UK on August 28: Brighton – The Grey’s Pub www.greyspub.com 105 Southover Street, Brighton, UK 01273 680734/August 29: Newcastle, The Cluny www.headofsteam.co.uk 36 Lime Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 0191 2304474/August 31 – Liverpool TBD/September 1: London – The Borderline www.meanfiddler.com Orange Yard, off Menette Street, London W1D 4JB - 0207 534 6970. Bruce also mentioned that the Boxcar Preachers will be heard playing on BBC Radio 2 - on both the Mark Lamarr and the Bob Harris shows while they are there in the UK.



The Carshalton Environmental Fair takes place at Carshalton Park, Ruskin Road, Carshalton, Surrey on 28th August (Bank Holiday Monday) from 11am to 7pm – with entrance priced at just £2. There will be a Music Café Stage featuring an eclectic range of music – including The Acoustic Astronauts ( Bluegrass, Celtic, Folk, Country)/Balalaika (Russian)/Stavia (the new Dido)/Emilie (Singer Songwriter with large band including Tabla)/

Surrey Ukelele Banjo SocietyThe United Stoats of America (Bluegrass and Rockabilly from East Grinstead)/Bernie and Steve (with hammer dulcimer)/Martha Duncan (Yamaha Singer/Songwriter award winner)/DPN + 1 with Dave Illingworth…..plus the intriguingly named Elusive Teeth (The Sutton ‘Eagles’). There are also two other stages on site. For more information…please call 07703 472824.



The Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland is hosting the fabulous, award winning Annual Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival – that has just been voted Event of The Year in the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards sponsored by Norfolk Line….and is the largest festival of its kind in Europe. The event is taking place from 1st to 3rd September 2006 with world-renowned musicians and dancers from all over the globe performing in the unique setting of the outdoor museum. The Festival celebrates the trans-Atlantic migration of music, song and dance and a shared musical heritage that explores the huge contribution emigrants from these islands have made to the evolution of American Folk music. 2006’s packed Festival programme will include ‘Bluegrass in the Park’ afternoon sessions, evening concerts in the Festival marquee, Bluegrass Camp for Kids, the Sunday ‘Spirit of Bluegrass’ evening gospel concert, as well as music workshops and lectures. Direct from the USA & Europe, performers booked include: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver,The Wilders, Bearfoot Bluegrass,The Buffalo Gals, Grassroots, Roll's Boys, Mideando String Quintet, Beansprouts, Blue Railroad Train and current European Bluegrass Band of the Year - Carmel Sheerin & The Ravens as well as many more…This project is supported by EU programmes for Peace & Reconciliation. The Ulster American Folk Park is part of the National Museums of Northern ireland. For further details and ticket information please telephone the Ulster American Folk Park on 028 8224 3292 or check out www.folkpark.com



The Didmarton Bluegrass Festival will be playing host to no less than four headline acts from North America when it takes place 1st to 3rd September (the weekend after the August Bank Holiday) – at Kemble Airfield near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. Grammy award winning Nashvill Bluegrass Band will be joined by Peter Rowan and Old Time duo Carl Jones & Beverly Smith. Completing ‘team US’ are ‘Growling Old Men’ (John Lowell and Ben Winship) featuring local banjo ace Leon Hunt and Bass player Dominic Harrison. The programme also includes the best British Bluegrass bands including The New Essex Bluegrass Band, The Down County Boys and a Band Like Alice. To add variety, several bands playing other styles of music have been added to the roster and there should be something to please everyone including a smattering of blues performed by Somerset based The Country Blues Band, comic interludes with Bath hyper-personality, Bill Smarme and his band Bizness, music from Brazil with Bristol boys Brejeiro and some lively skiffle from the London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra. Further musical variety will be provided by local bands, Fastest To Canada, Marula and The Whole Band. Although the festival’s character is rooted in bluegrass music a more eclectic element is well represented by bands performing mixtures of material based on an acoustic line up of players (typically: Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Dobro, Double Bass and Vocals) with influences covering a whole range of styles. These include: Swing, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country, Blues, Latin American, Jazz and Folk. There’s something here for everyone! This year’s festival promises to be of vintage quality without even mentioning all the fun happening around the site where people play in every corner until the early hours of the morning. Event hosts OGRI M/C will be running bars serving probably the cheapest pint on the festival circuit! But don’t worry, if you like your sleep there is a ‘quiet camp’ area! The three-day festival runs Friday to Sunday 1st to 3rd September at Kemble Airfield on the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border near the well known Costwold tourist town of Cirencester. The weekend programme offers concerts, on two stages, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday afternoon and a series of workshops on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Kemble Airfield location affords festival-goers plenty of camping room on a lovely historic site which was once a WW2 airfield. There will be bars both inside and out offering good beers at realistic prices. A good variety of food will be available for breakfast, lunch and evening meals plus plenty of snacks. Access to the festival site is easy with convenient link roads from the Fosseway, M4 and M5 motorways and there are good rail connections from the London area via Kemble mainline railway Station. Civil Aviation Authority regulations prevent us from allowing dogs on site but this minor restriction does not prevent folks from having plenty of time to catch up with old friends, join in some fantastic picking (or jamming) sessions and enjoying this year’s top quality concert acts. For ticket prices and to find out more about the Festival please keep an eye on our web site at www.didmarton-bluegrass.co.uk or Email John & Moira Wirtz on john.wirtz@shipposound.co.uk.



The Sweet Sunny South Festival is at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel, Hastings from 8th to 10th September – and features Beverley Smith & Carl Jones, JeffDavis and Jeff Warner. The Fairlight Lodge Hotel is situated three miles east of Hastings town centre, the hotel has large gardens and children’s play area – plus, it’s close to the Hastings Country Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The hotel offers bed and breakfast but numbers are limited so if you require hotel accommodation, early booking directly with the hotel on 01424 812104, is advisable. For more information about this event log onto www.sweetsunnysouth.co.uk or call 01424 423230



Saturday 9th September is the date for ‘The Gower Bluegrass Festival’ featuring The Acoustic Astronauts (with Joe Hymas - Mandolin)/Roots and Galoots/Black Mountain Bluegrass Band – plus many more...... The festival will be at the Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 2EH – from 12noon – 11.30pm. For more information, please call: 01792 850 0083.



The Cornish Bluegrass Festival, that takes place at Hendra, Newquay from 15th to 17th September, had hoped that Canadian band ‘The Dixie Flyers’ would be topping the bill – unfortunately, the CBA have announced that due to circumstances beyond their control ‘The Dixie Flyers’ have had to cancel their 2006 UK tour and therefore will not be appearing at Festival as previously announced. Although this is a huge disappointment to the CBA, they are determined that all of those attending this years festival will not be disappointed - and are currently having talks with a top Czech band, full details of which will be posted on the website as soon as we get confirmation suffice to say ‘Watch this Space’! The CBA have already increased the number of bands appearing, have some pretty impressive workshops organised and also added a second performance marquee where they will be holding, among other things, their ‘Cornish Bluegrass Picking Competitions’, so get practicing if you want to become the first ever Cornish Bluegrass Picking Champion!. All this & still at the incredible price of just £35.00 for a full weekend Adult Ticket including camping. www.cornishbluegrass.co.uk



Lucy Ray has managed to get enough support to run a mandolin workshop with Carl Jones in London on 23rd September and includes an evening concert with Carl Jones & Beverly Smith. Cost in the vicinity of £40. If you would also like to join the workshop – or go to the concert, please email Lucy at lucyray1uk@yahoo.co.uk



Tim O’Brien (Honoury Member of the British Bluegrass Music Association) will be performing at the Quay Arts Centre, Sea Street, Newport Harbour – on the Isle of Wight on Thursday 26th October. For more details telephone: 01983 822490 or email: info@quayarts.org



Europe:…..



The 9th annual EWOB festival & Tradeshow in Laroche sur Foron www.larochesurforon.com on August 4, 5 and 6 2006. The programme is ready and the mayor of the city expects to draw more than 10.000 visitors to the medieval city in the French Alps where many extra attractions are being organised. More information will follow soon on the EWOB website www.ewob.org Dennis Schut says “There will be three shows during the EWOB 2006, starting on friday, then saturday, sunday morning (church) and sunday afternoon. The 2006 EWOB is ably organised by our representative from France Christopher Howard-Williams, the chairman of the French Bluegrass Music Associations FBMA ( chowardwilliams@wanadoo.fr ). As usual we will have the European Bluegrass Band of the Year contest - the first 3 bands will receive the EWOB Award. Also there will be three new ‘European Bluegrass Pioneer Awards’. Although the EWOB 2006 programme is ready and well filled with good European Bluegrass bands from many countries, there is a chance that perhaps one or two groups cannot make it. If you know of any Bluegrass willing to perform at the EWOB this summer, please let me know and I will place the band on a reserve list.” For more good Bluegrass Music on radio & internet, tune into Denis’ 2 x 2 hours of Country and Bluegrass known as ‘Kentucky Rodeo’ on Radio Rijnwoude www.radiorijnwoude.nl every Monday evening 9 - 11 and every Wednesday afternoon 2 - 4. The second hour is always 100% dedicated to EWOB bands, European Bluegrass music and info.



Beppe Gambetta will host his 14th Annual International Summer Workshop for new acoustic guitar from 6th – 13th August, in Ambroz pod Krvavcem, Slovenia. The fee for the course is €400, including lodging and full board. Contact Hans-Bernd Sick at sick-holl@t-online.de. Instructors include Jesper Rübner-Petersen, Roberto Dalla Vecchia, and Avram Siegel.



Paul Stowe writes “In 2006 Matching Ties has its 20th Anniversary. Trevor Morriss and Paul Stowe, together since 1986 with over 250 concerts, will celebrate with the new quartet and many friends and guest musicians some anniversary concerts in the Autumn or 2006 in areas where we have played often over the years. We will combine the anniversary shows with the presentation of our new CD ‘Across the Sea’ which will be released at the beginning of September. This CD will continue Paul and Trevor's quest to ‘cross the bridge’ spanning the sea that connects their British and American roots. The CD is a collection of English, Irish, Scottish and related American songs featuring original and standard songs with the quartet personel Georg Bähr violin and Thomas Kärner bass and guest musicians Colm O'Tuama (IRL) flute and whistles, Dave Bell (SCO) Bodhran and Mike Franzelin percussions.The main concert will be in Munich, Germany on Friday, Sep. 15th, 2006 in the Feierwerk, Orangehouse cafe, at 8:30 PM with our quartet and lots of guests and friends. Reservations can be made by e-mail with Paul Stowe or directly in the Feierwerk: Tel. (089)-72488-0, Web-site: www.feierwerk.de Further anniversary shows in the Autumn 2006: -Sat.. 16.9.06, D-85354 Freising, Lindenkeller, quartet -Fri. 29.9.06, D-77694 Kehl-Neumühl, Bier Michel, Web-site: www.biermichel.de -Fri. 6.10.06, D-85652 Glonn, Schrottgalerie, quartet, www.schrottgaleriefriedel.de -Sat. 2.12.06, D-83319 Obing, Beim John www.obing.de Promoters please note further dates are still available for 20 year anniversary concert bookings. Please feel free to contact us. Email: paulstowe@matchingties.com
www.matchingties.com”


 

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  posted on 7/30/2006 at 04:02 PM
I am at the Appalachian String Band festival in my home state of West Virginia as we speak. It is happening near Clifftop, WV on top of the New River Gorge. The main festival takes place next weekend, but pickers have already arrived and breathing in the mountain air. The festival is based on old time music, bluegrass music's older cousin, and fiddle music, but all kinds of jams, from swing to reggae, can appear at anytime. Some buddes of mine ripped into some John Hartford last night, "Steam Powered Areo Plane," and we had fun. Cooler weather and and the sound of light rain on the tent and in the trees turned a half hour nap into a wonderful three hour mountain slumber.



The New River Gorge a few miles from Clifftop, WV.

More on the difference between old time and bluegrass, and the festival itself, here,
http://www.gritz.net/subscribers_area/features/AppalachianStringFestival.ht ml

Meanwhile, I heard from a friend who went to the Rockygrass Festival thios weekend in Colorado. An allstar casdt recreated TOny Rice's amazing "Manzinita" album, and that included Rice, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and more. Here is his report;

quote:
Had a blast at Rocky Grass this year. The music was unbelievable. Jerry and Andy Hall were my highlights. Unbelievable!!!! The Manzanita set was without a doubt one of the highlights of my year. Standing ovations all the way around. It was so nice to see the old gang together again. Dan Tyminski, and Sam Bush did most of the singing and Jerry Douglas sang harmonies on a couple of numbers. Yes, Jerry!!! He was fantastic. Awesome harmonies. Tony Rice stood there, bolt straight and serious but occasionally would crack a little smile. At one point while Tony was taking a lead break, Sam and Jerry knealed down and pulled Tony's pant legs up above his boots!!!! It was so hilarious. The crowd just roared. Talk about composure. Tony didn't miss a lick, and finally smiled after his break was done. I would have been lauging so hard that I would have had the run-a-way. I haven't heard so much laughter in a crowd in a long time. Everyone on stage was having such a great time.

Tony is the man. His guitar pickin' has only gotten sweeter over the years. He had his 28 LSH on stage of course. Jerry flat tore it up, as always. He was stage left next to Tony and Sam, and to see those three together again on the same stage was just amazing. What a set!!!! Gabe Witcher played fiddle and Darol Anger joined in for a couple of songs. Barry Bales played some amazing bass also.




On my way to Clifftop I stopped in on my friend Donita Jones who runs a horse boarding outfit in the Appalachain foothills of Southern Ohio. She just got back from Tulsa and the Palomino World Championships and won the Reserve World Championship (second place) in the Junior cutting division, which means horses under five years old who cut cattle. Her horses name is PAL SAN OLENA. Congratulations!!

Back to the woods for food and drink and music.

DH

 

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  posted on 8/2/2006 at 12:32 PM
Appalachian String Band Festival- Day 6.

Hot as hell over here, but cool in the trees. It hasn;'t gotten above the 80's here on the mountain, which is great considering the heat all around this part of the country. The festival doesn't start until today, Wednesday, but we have been here since Friday evening, so that means lazy days, picking, and socializing amongst the Black Cherry trees.

It is an international affair this year. One camping neighbor is a beautiful lady from Ukraine who is a journalist over there, and a musician. She first came here as an exchange student in Lincoln County, West Virginia and, even though she had zero bluegrass influence in Ukraine, learned to front a bluegrass band for the high school talent show. Now, at 21 years old, she is back for a month and having big fun here at the festival and will be entering the Non-Traditional contest on Friday. She corrected my about calling it " the Ukraine," as she told me it is just called "Ukraine. As she said, "We are not like a state in your country like we were under communism. We are our own country now, so I am from Ukraine." Cool!!

Across the way from our camp is Robert who grew up in Wales, and we got in a conversation about the 1970's revolutionary-themed music group The Wolftones, who were pro-IRA, 'kick the blokes out of Northern Ireland' rowdies. It turns out that he played in a band with one of them in the UK. I have a vinyl record of the Wolftones that we used to play all the time with 'kick the blokes out of northern Ireland' songs such as "Armored cars and tanks and guns, come to take away our sons," and "Get out, You Black and Tans, come and fight me like a man," and Robert knows all of these songs on the clawhammer banjo and is not shy about belting them out. There are folks here from Germany, Sweden, Ireland, and a bunch from the UK. The Hackensaw Boys are camping here, as well as the Lonesome Sisters and the Red Stick Ramblers from Louisiana.

The serendipity just keeps happening here. Today I was checking my email and writing to my friend John Taylor in Canberra, Australia. He is a heck of a musician and president of the Australian National Folk Festival. Hecame to camp and jam with us at Merlefest a couple of years ago. As I am typing my email to him over in Australia I ask the lady next to me for a name of song that I heard and love called "Elzic's Farewell," the perfect song to turn someone on to old time music with and a great one to learn, and I notice her Aussie accent. It turns out that she is a fellow musician and friend of John's from down there named Margaret Brownlie from Melbourne who also flat-foot dances under the moniker Emma Bee The Dancer. We just laughing at the connection. John Taylor is home in Australia, Margaret is visiting from Australia at this mountaintop West Virginia festival, I am writing an email to him and ask her about a song, and she turns out to be a friend of his. Amazing. Bloody 'ell, it is a small world.

We are eating great, as we provisioned ourselves with flea market-organic red potatoes, Amish corn from southern Ohio that is a delicious hybrid called Ambrosia, fresh picked string beans, and more.

I received this email on Monday;

quote:
Hi Derek: I'm a fellow journalist (daily papers 20 years; freelance now)
on my way to the Appalachian String Band Festival. I ran across your
report on the festival from 2004 and really enjoyed reading it. Really got
me excited about being there. I moved to Kentucky this year (from Northern
California). This is my first trip to clifftop and the first stop on a
research road trip for what I hope will turn into my book, A Traveler's
Companion to Bluegrass and Old Time Music. I will arrive tomorrow
(Tuesday), wanted to get there today but I've got a couple of deadlines
hanging over my head and figured I'd better just sit down and finish them.
From your article, it sounds like it's a good idea to get there early.

you may be going to the festival and already be out of range but I was
wondering what the camping is like. I'm by myself camping in the back of
my truck. Hope that's going to work. If you are still around and have
time to reply, that would be great.

Tricia Cambron




So, she showed up and I walked her around and introduced her to musicians and festival board members and fiddle music experts. Within a half hour of arriving she was taking flat foot lessons and having as big time. Things are on track.

I recorded some excellent Joe Thrift jams last night. Joe is one of the best of the Surrey County, North Carolina fiddling tradition around Mount Airy. That, of course, is where Andy Griffith grew up and that was the music that he grew up hearing and playing and that is why he had the string bands on his TV shoiw that he did. One of Thrift's most famous compositions is called "Whiteface," named after a mountain. I've heard a few versions of it, which Joe loves to hear. Another great tune, with an awesome melody is "Elzic's Farewell," and an original by a friend of mine named Jim Scott from Harrisonburg, Virginia, and a ptotege' of fiddler Two Gun Terry, called "Hornet's Nest." There is some bluegrass music being played as well, as a bunch of us went into John Hartford's "Steam Powered Areo Plane," which always gets a jam going, "Liza Jane,' and others. And, some western swing jams have surfaced as well. "Steam Powered" is such a great song, one of many from the late Hartford that finds its way into the mountain air of an evening.

It is the first Clifftop Festival since the passing of Kelly Perdue of the Mando Mafia. He was a huge presence here who had a unique style of playing the fiddle lead parts on the mandolin. It was too much for his immediate family to come, but his brother and others are here. People are having flashes of moments where they will see somebody that looks like him walking, or hear a song that he loved or played or sung, or hear a story about Kelly along the way. (Here is the tribute that I wrote last December after he died- http://www.gritz.net/subscribers_area/features/kelly_perdue.html). He was a musician who literally knew 1,000 songs and loved for folks to test him with an obscure tune. He was one of those guys that could here a new tune, sit and listen to it for a minute, and no matter how cxrooked it is he could deconstruct it and learn it on the spot. Amazing.

Camping with us and next to us are some Lincoln County, West Virginia folks. It is one of the most rural counties in West Virginia. There are no major rivers running through it, no major highways for 20 miles in either direction, and no industry. But that keeps it rough and backwoods. In the 1960's and 70's hippies from Ohio and elsewhere came down to by hollers at 100 bucks an acre and still live there. They banded together and figured out a way to ban the coal companies from strip mining in the county. There is natural gas deposits, however, and if it is on your land you get free natural gas to use as you wish. We got to trading stotries from the old days. Katie, who has lived there all her life, remembered that as a kid she had warts all over her hands. Her parents sent a conjurer over to cure them the mountain way. He asked her if she wanted the warts gone, she said yes, and he rubbed his hands over her hands and said that the warts would be gone soon. Within a week they were all gone. Peggy, who is camped next to us, is from Cabell County, and when she was a kid she had a conjurer to ask her if he could buy her warts for a penny, she said yes, he gave her a penny and told her that she had to bury it. She did, and the warts were gone within three days. Pretty wild. It reminded me of the story about my grandpa Ralph Halsey who had his right arm ripped off about a mile and a half in the Otsego Mine in Wyoming County in 1951. My Dad, the oldest son, and a neighbor, took the severed arm and tied it to a wooden board and did some mountain incantations to it and buried it without telling my grandpa where it was buried. THis was to help the phantom itches and feelings to go away where his arm used to be.

I've not partook of any Moonshine as of yet, but the week is still young. When I turn it down I get that, 'What happened to you" look, but we will sip of a Friday evening. I did try a drink last night called a Green Flash that consisted of coconut rum, vanilla vodka, and passion fruit juice. Not bad. Mostly I am sticking with Mr. Dickel.

Good time as the festival is heating up. I've had only one night where the sun started to come up in the East, so mostly I have been adhering to my vampire rule of getting to bed while the night is black and the meteor-filled mountaintop Milky Way view is still clear as a bell.

Cheers,

Derek H






 

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  posted on 8/3/2006 at 08:02 AM
I've been listening to an absolute gem this morning. Just thought I'd spread the word on this cd.

Steve Earl & The Del McCoury Band (The Mountain)

Very good disc that I've pulled out of the collection after a few years of no play. Very much a mix between steve earl's normal sound and bluegrass.

If you have it, give it a spin today. If you don't, consider the purchase. It's going into heavy heavy heavenly rotation for the next month or so. There's no turning back now.

A couple of others. Some of these very well may have been listed in this thread before.
Somebody turned me onto the Lonesome River Band a few months back. Very very good traditional bluegrass. I've bought FINDING THE WAY and TALKING TO MYSELF. Finding the way is the better of the two imo, but both are outstanding. Give "Cardboard Mansion" a listen.

And what has become an all time favorite, and I may have already posted this, but Drew Emmitt- ACROSS THE BRIDGE. Absolutely fantastic. sitins include ronnie mccoury and sammy bush on several songs. This is one that everybody should have.

 

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  posted on 8/3/2006 at 12:21 PM
All good albums, Davida.

Clifftop Day 8

Ha! I forgot about the men behind the wire. Cool, I'll run that by Robert. Also ran into another bloke named FRank Patterson who told me about the once a year eating of haggis on John Burns Day, with a ceremony to boot.

Chris, I'm way ahead of you. I already know Ernie, and hooked up with TJ and Garvin and that bunch the other day down in the wooded cove off to the side of the courts. See you there.

The 'cajun bunch' are here, with their big circus tent and huge pots of Louisiana grub. Last night they had their annual "No Talent Contest." It is not a part of the official festival, but is something they do on ther own back in the lower bottom of the grounds. The rules for the contest are simple - no bluegrass, old time, or cajun music allowed, you get one minute, and other than that anything goes. They had a crackup little five year old boy behind a trap drum kit that had been taught all of the old school comedy drum riffs, and he would do them when the one minute was up. Everyone was gathered in and around the curcus tent as one after another, the contestants plaied their talent. Anyone was allowed to sign up. The acts ran the gamut from double-jointed contortionists to somebody who pulled out a seven inch stick from the inside of his nose to a bagpipe playing a dirge to good and bad joke tellers ( My momma is so poor that she is unable to buy the things she needs- ba-da bing!)to a guy that brought out a pot with a huge basil plant in it and proceeded to eat the wqhole thing, leaves and stems, until it was gone to JOhn The Falling Down Man who once fell off a stage when younger and drunk and recreated it from the four foot high stage. You get the picture. After the ersatz talent show was over the Red Stick Ramblers, a rowdy and fun bunch from Louisiana, played a western swing dance party into the night.

It looks like I am going to be part of a makeup group that will enter the Neo-traditional band contest on Friday. Today are the fiddle and banjo championships, and on Saturday is the old time band contests, but the neo-traditional contest is one where anything goes. You could sign up and be a trumpet, a bass, and a bagpipe playing Costa Rican klezmer reggae if that is what you want to do. Unusual acts are encouraged. I will be backing up the beautiful and talented Ukrainian girl Ally who sings and plays guitar. Should be fun. Believe me, my mug will not be front and center. But, we shall see what we come up with.

By the way, some of you might be aware or know of this lutheir for Gibson who was a part of history and died the other day,

quote:
Charlie Derrington, long time employee of the Gibson company and a noted luthier, was killed last night while riding his motorcycle in west Nashville. He was struck by a suspected drunk driver who was traveling against traffic on Briley Parkway, driving in the wrong direction. The suspect fled the scene, but was apprehended shortly thereafter and is in police custody.

Charlie was a friend to a great many people in bluegrass music, and will be remembered as much for his warmth, good humor and love of life as for his many contributions to the world of bluegrass instruments. Though he became known mostly as a builder and the director of the mandolin shop at Gibson, he was also a mandolin player and tenor singer who loved bluegrass music and the people who created it.

He first made waves in the mandolin world when he successfully restored Bill Monroe's infamous 1923 Loar F5 after it was badly damaged in a deliberate act of vandalism. The mandolin was in pieces after being smashed with a fireplace poker, and Charlie was able to separate the fragments of wood from two damaged mandolins, and restore them both to playing condition.

He is survived by his wife and daughter.




Derek H

 

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  posted on 8/5/2006 at 02:24 PM
Big news. Wow, what a week this has turned out to be. Here is the scoop.

Ally, the 20 year old musician and journalist from the Ukraine that I talked about earlier tried to get a band formed, practiced, and entered with her young friends for the big show of the festival on Friday nights at Clifftop - the Neo-Traditional Band contest. The strict mainline old time and fiddle championships are on Saturday, but on Friday that is when the more free-wheeling, eclectic, fun, and unusual groups go for the $700 bucks prize money. It is on the main stage of the festival, and is the main event of the night. Ally's young friends that she has met at the festival do not want to work on any tunes, and would rather party than take the contest seriously. So, Ally asks me to help put a band together because she can't rely on the young boys to do it. I fought it because I found myself in a blues jam with the Mando Mafia guys and was playing Allman Brothers licks on a guitar with thicker strings than I am used to with the end result being some good old fashioned blisters. But, there is no turning down Ally. She had her friend RD, whom she lived with when she was an exchange student in West Virginia, to play bass, I would add backing and lead guitar to her singing and guitar playing, but we needed more. I knew we needed a ringer to round out the band so I went and found musician Lew Prichard to add some clean mandolin licks and professional musician experience. Once he met Ally he was charmed as well and was all for it. We knew we had our secret weapon, blond, blue-eyed, smart, talented, and Ukrainian. We were just the backup.

There were 50 bands in the contest with the night time headline finals consisting of the five top bands from the day. We drew the number 28, which was better than one. We had three songs worked up; an original song with a West Virginia theme that her high school friends wrote when she was an exchange student, Alison's "Nothing At All," and a funky version of the Baetles "Hard Day's Night" that can only be described as Ukrainian Folk Reggae. We named the band the "Ukrainian Sting Band," a play on the fact that the festival organizers had all the 2006 Clifftop shirts and hats made up with the 'r' left out the Appalachian String Band Festival name.

I ran into Chris Stockwell backstage at the competition and it was good to see him. He was in a competition band as well with his Fayette County buddies. We were sitting there in front of the stage when it got to be band number 20 onstage. I start getting nervous and suggest that we pare off and run through the song again. The other problem is that my blisters are hurting big time. I had played until 4am the night before with the Mando Mafia, fiddler Robbie Corruthers and others, and by the next morning the blisters were red gaping holes. I find a bottle of Super Glue and proceed to build a super glue dome on my fingertips.

It is time to go onstage and we choose to play "Hard Day's Night." We knew what we had, and knew that we should shut up and let Ally charm the audience, speak to the audience, and hopefully the judges would like what we did musically.

She introduced the band in her perfect yet heavily accented English, and then said a few words in Ukrainian, and then introduced the song as a Ukrainian Folk song. We lit into it and for whatever reason, nailed it. Our timing was on, our solos were on, her guitar playing and singing was on, and we ended the tune together and sweetly. As we started we knew we had the audeince because when Ally started singing the first verse of "Hard Day's" in Ukrainian, the crowd lit up and cheered.

We had fun, we were nervous, but it all worked out. The contest was over for us, and it was time to relax. After all 50 bands played the audience waited to find out what the coveted final five band winners would be. You get one song in the first round, and if you make the finals you each play two songs. There are so many good bands in the contest it was amazing, with bands featuring wonderful musicians like John Herrman, Mike Olitski, Jason Sypher, the Lonesome Sisters, and the Mando Mafia. They announced each name of the finalists and the last and fifth band called out was "The Ukrainian Sting Band." I about ****. I was literally in shock. All of a sudden friends and musicians are congratulating me when all I am thinking is we really do need to learn those other two songs, and quickly. Inbetween the first part of the competition and the headline for the night shootout was an hour concert by the band that won the event last year. In this case it was the Red Stick Ramblers from Louisiana that put on a heck of a party. But, we're freaked.

I come around the side of the stage and there is Lew sitting on a chair with a look on his face that is the same as mine. "Did I just hear that right?" We get up and go find Ally. Here she comes, jumpoing up in down and shouting in either Russian or Ukrainian, and she hugs us and is elated. But, time is running out, we are on the clock.

We practice the two songs and I have to stop because my fingertips are killing me, so they work on some things while I have to put on a whole new coating of Super Glue. We split up, eat some quick food, and wander around to loosen up. I find Lew off by himself at the edge of the woods with his mandolin working on his leads, and I, as ususal, tend to work mine out in my head first. I ask some musicians that have been in the finals before for some davice, and they say to a 'T' that we should do the slower, prettier song first, and end the night with a bang.

We picked numbers backstage to see who goes first and we pick number 5. We are the last to go on in the show closing headline spot. But, we did not win, but we did something right many musicians that can clean my clock musicially came up and weas very happy for us and said we nailed it. We play the slow and beautiful "Nothing At All" first, and then the bluegrassy West Virginia song last. The crowd response was awesome, and the top-notch musicians that complimented us rose up our eyebrows clean off our heads.

We came in fifth, but we knew we were in over our heads the whole time. Out of 50 bands, that ain't all bad. We had a very cool international angle to what we were doing, Ally is the real deal. Before we went on during the finals we had to chase off friends and family that was buzzing around us, and spend time together as a band for a minute. We talked to each other before we went ontage and told each other to not go overboard. As we sat in the ready zone Ally looked at me and we just shook our heads positively, smiled, and walked up to the front of the stage. I am sure that there were 30 other bands around us that were better than us. But, we played within ourselves, played clean and tastefully, and didn't get above our raising. And, we won some cash, so what the heck. And, as you musicians know, it is an amazing when a collective musical experience like that works.

On a side note, the festival did a tribute and moment of silence for Kelly Perdue of the Mando Mafia that was heartfelt and special.(tinyurl.com/9de8h). The rest of the surviving members of played in the contest, sonething they have won many times, yet they did not mention Kelly's name. However, what they did was put up a vocal mic and a mandolin mic by themselves where he would have stood on the stage and played from. Very cool.

Tim O'Brien showed up last night, and I had a good chat with him this morning. As we speak he is locked up down in the campground with his fiddle picking tunes with Joe Thrift and that bunch. Good times.

Derek H


 

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  posted on 8/8/2006 at 02:59 PM


The New River Gorge Bridge, a little way down river from the Clifftop Festival



The camps and picking parlors in the bottoms, where the cajuns threw their jams, and the Canadians and the Red Stick Ramblers bunch from Louisiana got down as well.



I believe that is a Golden Eagle at the Bird's Of Prey Demonstration



The Main Stage before showtime



 

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  posted on 8/8/2006 at 03:07 PM


Ally from Ukraine and I working on some song arrangements.




The whole band, which lasted allof three days. Ron Dean of the Grass Stains on the left, Ally, Lew Prichard , and I practicing in the Lincoln County, WV camp.



Onstage, ready to go next.



Watching the band we are to follow.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2006 at 03:13 PM


Main Street at the Clifftop Festival



Luthiers displaying their wares amongst the trees




Heading down into the mid-level camps



My Uncle Wayne 'Wormy' Smith's base camp after 9 days of way too many late nights.

Derek H

 

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  posted on 8/8/2006 at 03:26 PM
Wormy looks like a fun guy to know.

Wish I'da been there.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2006 at 04:39 PM
quote:
Wormy looks like a fun guy to know.

Wish I'da been there.



Wormy's a piece of work, to say the least. He's an old rail road worker who is well-traveled and been there and done that, and full of old school one liners that come from who know's where. In fact, we almost named our band after a phrase he said earlier in the week and called ourselves "I Ain't All That Stout On Poetry."

DH

 

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  posted on 8/9/2006 at 11:26 AM





On the podium



At the Falls on the Mann's Creek Gorge Trail- Clifftop, West Virginia

 

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  posted on 8/9/2006 at 12:08 PM
Great writing and great pictures
Thanks

 

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  posted on 8/11/2006 at 12:14 PM
Thanks, Peter.

Jim, here is the latest bluegrass news from your part of the world in the UK,

quote:
21st August is the date for the next Old Time and Bluegrass Session at the Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth. More details can be obtained from Andrew Metcalfe a.metcalfe340@btinternet.com



The Sacrewell Farm Summer Camp is happening between August 11th – 20th
Visit www.Sacrewell.org for campsite details and location. Camping fees per night are: members – adult £5/child £3/under 3 Free. Non-members – adult £7/child £4/under 3 Free.
Camping fee includes visits to farming museum (get a badge from a Foaotmad representative). The use of the barn on bad weather evenings will be paid for by Foaotmad. A restaurant available for breakfast and lunch – closes around 5pm. To obtain the discounted prices – Foaotmad state “Don’t book in at the office, these are discounted rates but only if paid through ‘us’ - just pitch with the others in the Foaotmad marked area of the field. Your fees will be collected by a Foaotmad representative on site.” IMPORTANT NOTE!!!! A security barrier has now been installed on the entrance road, and is open between 8.30am and 6pm. A security code must now be used to enter the site outside these times. To obtain the code email Nick Pilley at info@foaotmad.org.uk - or (assuming you arrive while it is open) make sure you find out.



Grahan Turner kindly emailed the details re: a change of venue…for the ‘The Jam Session’ that usually takes place at the ‘Green Man’, Welwyn Garden City. This will now be held at The Prince of Wales, Hertingfordbury, Nr Hertford, Herts….located just off the A414 between Hatfield and Hertford. The first event at the new venue will be on August 22nd then each 2nd and 4th Tuesday in the month. (Some months have 5 Tuesdays, so….please ignore the 5th one.) For more information e-mail: grahameturner@hotmail.com or telephone: 07767 623831



Many thanks to Geoff Bowers for sending the news that a pre ‘Didmarton’ interview with the Nashville Bluegrass Band will be broadcast on: Nick Barraclough's Radio 2 Country Show on Thursday 23rd August 2006 - between 7pm and 8pm. This relates to the Didmarton Bluegrass Festival taking place place on 1st to 3rd September (the weekend after the August Bank Holiday) – at Kemble Airfield near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. Grammy award winning Nashvill Bluegrass Band will be joined by Peter Rowan and Old Time duo Carl Jones & Beverly Smith. Completing ‘team US’ are ‘Growling Old Men’ (John Lowell and Ben Winship) featuring local banjo ace Leon Hunt and Bass player Dominic Harrison. The programme also includes the best British Bluegrass bands including The New Essex Bluegrass Band, The Down County Boys and a Band Like Alice. To add variety, several bands playing other styles of music have been added to the roster and there should be something to please everyone including a smattering of blues performed by Somerset based The Country Blues Band, comic interludes with Bath hyper-personality, Bill Smarme and his band Bizness, music from Brazil with Bristol boys Brejeiro and some lively skiffle from the London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra. Further musical variety will be provided by local bands, Fastest To Canada, Marula and The Whole Band. Although the festival’s character is rooted in bluegrass music a more eclectic element is well represented by bands performing mixtures of material based on an acoustic line up of players (typically: Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Dobro, Double Bass and Vocals) with influences covering a whole range of styles. These include: Swing, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country, Blues, Latin American, Jazz and Folk. There’s something here for everyone! This year’s festival promises to be of vintage quality without even mentioning all the fun happening around the site where people play in every corner until the early hours of the morning. The three-day festival runs Friday to Sunday 1st to 3rd September at Kemble Airfield on the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border near the well known Costwold tourist town of Cirencester. The weekend programme offers concerts, on two stages, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday afternoon and a series of workshops on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Kemble Airfield location affords festival-goers plenty of camping room on a lovely historic site which was once a WW2 airfield. There will be bars both inside and out offering good beers at realistic prices. A good variety of food will be available for breakfast, lunch and evening meals plus plenty of snacks. Access to the festival site is easy with convenient link roads from the Fosseway, M4 and M5 motorways and there are good rail connections from the London area via Kemble mainline railway Station. www.didmarton-bluegrass.co.uk or Email John & Moira Wirtz on john.wirtz@shipposound.co.uk



The Carshalton Environmental Fair takes place at Carshalton Park, Ruskin Road, Carshalton, Surrey on 28th August (Bank Holiday Monday) from 11am to 7pm – with entrance priced at just £2. There will be a Music Café Stage featuring an eclectic range of music – including The Acoustic Astronauts ( Bluegrass, Celtic, Folk, Country)/Balalaika (Russian)/Stavia (the new Dido)/Emilie (Singer Songwriter with large band including Tabla)/

Surrey Ukelele Banjo SocietyThe United Stoats of America (Bluegrass and Rockabilly from East Grinstead)/Bernie and Steve (with hammer dulcimer)/Martha Duncan (Yamaha Singer/Songwriter award winner)/DPN + 1 with Dave Illingworth…..plus the intriguingly named Elusive Teeth (The Sutton ‘Eagles’). There are also two other stages on site. For more information…please call 07703 472824.



Thursday 31st August – at 8.30pm…. the fabulously named ‘Growling Old Men’ will be at the function room of the Cannon Public House, 50 The High Street, Newport Pagnell - www.cannonlive.org.uk. ‘The Growling Old Men’ are USA based Ben Winship (Mandolin) and John Lowell (Guitar), who sing and play music including Country, Old Tyme, Bluegrass, Blues, Folk and Contemporary. They are supported on their UK tour by Leon Hunt (Banjo) and Dominic Harrison (Bass). Tickets are £8.50 and are available from Hobgoblin Music, 10 St. Johns Streeet, Newport Pagnell (Tel 01908 217217) and will also be available at the door. Further details can be obtained from Pat Mason (01908 610919).



Don’t forget the day of mandolin or fiddle workshops by Carl Jones and Beverly Smith being organised by Lucy Ray taking place on September 23rd Oratory RC Primary School, Bury Walk, Cale Street, London SW3 6QH. The price of £40.00 includes the workshop, light lunch and the evening concert. The workshops will run from 10.30 until 5pm. Registration begins at 10am. As the venue is a school the premises must be vacated by 11pm. Therefore the concert will be from 8-10pm. The venue is a school and is not a licensed venue. There will be no sales of alcoholic beverages, however soft drinks will be available free of charge. Concert tickets may be purchased at the door, strictly no admission after 8.30pm. Please register early as places are limited. Concert only tickets only are available for £10. People interested in the workshops or concert should email Lucy their address a.s.a.p. and she will send out flyer and booking form. lucyray1uk@yahoo.co.uk



The Beverly Smith & Carl Jones September 2006 UK tour dates are: Sat 2: Didmarton Bluegrass Music Festival/Sun 3: Didmarton Festival/Tues 5: Dartford Folk Club, Kent/ Sat 9: Sweet Sunny South, Hastings/Sun 10: Sweet Sunny South, Hastings/Tues 12: Leith Folk Club, Leith, Edinburgh/Thur 14: Kilbarchan Old Library, Renfrewshire/Fri 15: (lunchtime) - Aberdeen Lemon Tree ; (evening) – Paisley/Sat 16: Langbank Village Hall/Sun 17: Traquair Village Hall, Peebleshire/Mon 18: Wildcat Music Club, Thurso/ Sat 23: London (venue details to be confirmed).



Saturday 9th September is the date for ‘The Gower Bluegrass Festival’ featuring The Acoustic Astronauts (with Joe Hymas - Mandolin)/Roots and Galoots/Black Mountain Bluegrass Band – plus many more...... The festival will be at the Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 2EH – from 12noon – 11.30pm. For more information, please call: 01792 850 0083.



The Cornish Bluegrass Festival, that takes place at Hendra, Newquay from 15th to 17th September, had previously announced that due to circumstances beyond their control ‘The Dixie Flyers’ have had to cancel their 2006 UK tour and therefore will not be appearing at Festival as previously announced. Although this was a huge disappointment to the CBA, the association worked hard to engage a suitable replacement – and have managed to acquire one of the worlds best flatpicking guitarists, Slavek Hanzlik, who will be appearing on stage Friday & Saturday night at the third Cornish Bluegrass Festival. Slavek’s most recent album ‘Fall Of My Dreams’ includes some of the worlds greatest Bluegrass musicians, including Bela Fleck, Stuart Duncan, Mark Schatz, Tim O’Brien, Rob Ickes, Scott Vestal & Jerry Douglas. Slavek’s CDs have received outstanding reviews and were short-listed for Grammy awards in the Instrumental Album of the Year category. Joining Slavek at the festival are two of the most highly rated musicians on the European scene – Zdenek Jahoda/mandolin, mandola & vocals and Jarda Jahoda/banjo & vocals.(Zdenek has toured the U.S. with bands such as Fragment (Slovakia) & in Europe with Bill Keith, Liz Meyer, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers and Slavek’s Groovy Lix. He is one of the most sought after mandolin players for session work in the Czech bluegrass industry….whilst Jarda is recognized as one of the best banjo players in the CZ & has toured the U.S. & Europe with Nugget (Austria), Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (Nashville, TN) and Slavek’s Groovy Lix.) The CBA had already increased the number of bands appearing at the 2006 festival and also have some pretty impressive workshops organised. They have added a second performance marquee where they will be holding, among other things, their ‘Cornish Bluegrass Picking Competitions’, so get practicing if you want to become the first ever Cornish Bluegrass Picking Champion!. All this & still at the incredible price of just £35.00 for a full weekend Adult Ticket including camping. www.cornishbluegrass.co.uk



The Foghorn String Band October 2007 tour dates include:Tues 3: Kilbarchan Old Library/Thu 5: Jumpin' Hot Club, The Cluny, Newcastle-upon-Tyne/Fri 6: Greenock (venue tbc)/Sat 7: Queen Margaret Hall, Linlithgow/Sun 8: Traquair Village Hall, Peebleshire
Mon 9: Brel, Ashton Lane, Glasgow.



Europe….



Thanks to Richard Hawkins for advising me that there has been a change of date for the Bill Monroe Tribute that the Athy Bluegrass Music Association are holding in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Mr Monroe's death. Instead of Saturday 9th September the event has been moved back one day – and is now being held on Friday 8th September, in the Carlton Abbey Hotel, Athy, Co. Kildare.



Richard also sent news of what would seem like a ‘little piece of heaven’ for musicians. Kilkenny Vintage Guitars, located in Thomastown – near Kilkenny, is apparently Ireland's first guitar shop strictly devoted to high-end used, vintage and reissue guitars. Richard says “If you need an excuse in the next few weeks, the International Guinness Bluegrass Music Festival at Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, is an ideal opportunity for a stop in Thomastown - only about twenty miles from Waterford city, and eleven from Kilkenny. But this pleasant little town was always worth a visit, and with Kilkenny Vintage Guitars it now has a major new asset for the acoustic (and electric) string instrument scene in Ireland. The excellent KVG website gives all the information you need. 'Phone Tom at +353 (0)56 7793288 or e-mail him at info@kilkennyvintageguitars.com.” www.kilkennyvintageguitars.com



James Field, the American link for the predominately French bluegrass band Blue Railroad Train emailed to say “We do have some genuinely new news: Our first CD, Going Back to the Riverside, will be out on the 18th of August, so anyone who's at the Family Festival in Stetten, Switzerland (19th August), will be among the first to have a chance to get one. And we'll have a ‘limited supply’ with us as we tour Ireland the next week.” Rapidly growing in musical stature at concerts and clubs in the Paris area….the band is now gaining an international reputation. This year, they were invited to the European World of Bluegrass in Holland, the Over Easy Festival in Switzerland and the Guinness International Bluegrass Festival in Ireland….and in September they will travel to the USA to appear at the International Bluegrass Music Association event in Nashville – plus undertake a short tour of the USA. www.aegc-bluegrass.org/brt.htm



You can catch the ‘Blue Railroad Train’ on 24 – 27 August at the Guinness International Bluegrass Festival, Dunmore East, County Waterford, Ireland/28 August – the Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, County Cork, Ireland/29 August – St John's Arts Centre, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland/30 August – The Crane, Galway, County Galway, Ireland/31 August – Maggie Joe’s, Ballybay, County Monaghan, Ireland/1-3 September – Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival, Omagh, Northern Ireland. USA….27 September – 1 October, IBMA, Nashville, Tennessee (Various sponsored showcases)/2 October – Missouri Southern State University,

Joplin, Missouri/3 October – The Parlor, Shawnee, Kansas/ 4 October – Roadhouse Blues, Wichita, Kansas/5 - 7 October – Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival. Guthrie, Oklahoma, USA


 

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  posted on 8/13/2006 at 06:47 PM
quote:
UK….



Dixon, Greg, Mike, Paul and Terry of the New Essex Bluegrass Band emailed that they have a website www.newessexbluegrass.homecall.co.uk - and say “Please visit it to read about our history, individual members, and future appearances. There are photographs both of the band and some previously unpublished ones of Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Jim & Jesse, The Osborne Brothers, Ralph Stanley and Bill Keith. We hope to put some music on it soon, and currently adding links to other bluegrass sites. If you have websites of your own, please consider linking to us, and if you would like us to link to yours, please email us.”



Rob Ellen says that John Lilly winner of ‘HankFest Ghostwriter in the Sky contest 2005’, has been invited to appear at the annual Thomas Fraser Fest on The Shetland Isle of Burra November 11th/12th/13th….and booking are being taken for dates on the mainland from 2nd till 8th November - and on selected dates he is available with The Moonshiners (Scotland's premier Bluegrass Band) www.moonshiners.co.uk/ John Lilly www.johnlillymusic.com is a multi-talented acoustic music performer from Charleston, West Virginia, specializing in Americana, roots country, and traditional folk music. His creative original songs recall the sounds of earlier generations, while his innovative treatment of early country and traditional music is timeless. According to one reviewer, "If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he'd be John Lilly." John has released three self-produced CDs. ‘Broken Moon’, released in 2000, earned enthusiastic reviews and widespread radio airplay. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called it one of the "most unusual and interesting acoustic disks of the year." John's second CD, ‘Last Chance to Dance’, released in 2003, debuted at the #1 position on the international Freeform American Roots radio chart and rose to the #4 position in Europe on the Euro-Americana radio chart. His third CD, ‘Blue Highway’, released in 2005, is a collaboration with legendary Tennessee fiddler Ralph Blizard. If your interested booking this excellent performer, contact Rob via 01349 864432 or rob@medicinemusic.co.uk



The Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys emailed to say “Among all the other bits and bobs going on at the mo, we really need mention our next Wellington gig next weekend. It's at Gillards Farm, Middle Green Road, Wellington which is just south of the A38 bypass on the edge of Wellington, near Robin's Close Nursing Home. There's a charity day going on between 2pm and 4pm in aid of Children's Hospice South West, entitled 'A Musical Afternoon In The Garden' and Thunderbridge are playing a set between those times. Entry is £4.00 and there's all sorts on like cream teas, kid's stuff and the like. Should be fantastic and we look forward to seeing some of you there if you can make it....” www.thunderbridgebluegrass.com



Many thanks to Jim Brookman for letting me know that an evening of bluegrass, old time and early country music is being held at St Ives Arts Club, Cornwall on Friday 18th August at 7.30 pm with all proceeds going to the ‘Shelterbox’ charity which, as you probably know, provides emergency accommodation and supplies at international scenes of disaster. The event is being hosted by Cornish bluegrass band Cloudy In The West (appearing at the CBA Newquay Festival in September) and features several respected local performers. Details are available from Roy Ray on 01736 797174.



You are cordially invited to join in this year's American Old Time & Bluegrass Session which will be held as part of the Cornwall Folk Festival Saturday 26th August 2:00 to 5:00 pm at The Swan Hotel, Wadebridge. As well as a wealth of local old time and bluegrass enthusiasts, the session will also feature an appearance by American old time singer & banjo player Debby McClatchy. Please go along and join in – or just listen. Admission is free to participating singers, musicians – also free to day/weekend festival ticket holders.If you are non of these….it will cost just £3 to join the fun.



The Foghorn String Band will be in the UK during October – and you can catch them on the following dates; Tues 3: Kilbarchan Old Library/Thu 5: Jumpin' Hot Club, The Cluny, Newcastle-upon-Tyne/Fri 6: Greenock (venue tbc)/Sat 7: Queen Margaret Hall, Linlithgow/Sun 8: Traquair Village Hall, Peebleshire/Mon 9: Brel, Ashton Lane, Glasgow.



Remember that a pre ‘Didmarton’ interview with the Nashville Bluegrass Band will be broadcast on: Nick Barraclough's Radio 2 Country Show on Thursday 23rd August 2006 - between 7pm and 8pm. This relates to the Didmarton Bluegrass Festival taking place place on 1st to 3rd September (the weekend after the August Bank Holiday) – at Kemble Airfield near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. Grammy award winning Nashvill Bluegrass Band will be joined by Peter Rowan and Old Time duo Carl Jones & Beverly Smith. Completing ‘team US’ are ‘Growling Old Men’ (John Lowell and Ben Winship) featuring local banjo ace Leon Hunt and Bass player Dominic Harrison. The programme also includes the best British Bluegrass bands including The New Essex Bluegrass Band, The Down County Boys and a Band Like Alice. To add variety, several bands playing other styles of music have been added to the roster and there should be something to please everyone including a smattering of blues performed by Somerset based The Country Blues Band, comic interludes with Bath hyper-personality, Bill Smarme and his band Bizness, music from Brazil with Bristol boys Brejeiro and some lively skiffle from the London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra. Further musical variety will be provided by local bands, Fastest To Canada, Marula and The Whole Band. Although the festival’s character is rooted in bluegrass music a more eclectic element is well represented by bands performing mixtures of material based on an acoustic line up of players (typically: Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Dobro, Double Bass and Vocals) with influences covering a whole range of styles. These include: Swing, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country, Blues, Latin American, Jazz and Folk. There’s something here for everyone! This year’s festival promises to be of vintage quality without even mentioning all the fun happening around the site where people play in every corner until the early hours of the morning. The three-day festival runs Friday to Sunday 1st to 3rd September at Kemble Airfield on the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border near the well known Costwold tourist town of Cirencester. The weekend programme offers concerts, on two stages, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday afternoon and a series of workshops on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Kemble Airfield location affords festival-goers plenty of camping room on a lovely historic site which was once a WW2 airfield. There will be bars both inside and out offering good beers at realistic prices. A good variety of food will be available for breakfast, lunch and evening meals plus plenty of snacks. Access to the festival site is easy with convenient link roads from the Fosseway, M4 and M5 motorways and there are good rail connections from the London area via Kemble mainline railway Station. www.didmarton-bluegrass.co.uk or Email John & Moira Wirtz on john.wirtz@shipposound.co.uk



The Carshalton Environmental Fair takes place at Carshalton Park, Ruskin Road, Carshalton, Surrey on 28th August (Bank Holiday Monday) from 11am to 7pm – with entrance priced at just £2. There will be a Music Café Stage featuring an eclectic range of music – including The Acoustic Astronauts ( Bluegrass, Celtic, Folk, Country)/Balalaika (Russian)/Stavia (the new Dido)/Emilie (Singer Songwriter with large band including Tabla)/

Surrey Ukelele Banjo SocietyThe United Stoats of America (Bluegrass and Rockabilly from East Grinstead)/Bernie and Steve (with hammer dulcimer)/Martha Duncan (Yamaha Singer/Songwriter award winner)/DPN + 1 with Dave Illingworth…..plus the intriguingly named Elusive Teeth (The Sutton ‘Eagles’). There are also two other stages on site. For more information…please call 07703 472824.



Thursday 31st August – at 8.30pm…. the fabulously named ‘Growling Old Men’ will be at the function room of the Cannon Public House, 50 The High Street, Newport Pagnell - www.cannonlive.org.uk. ‘The Growling Old Men’ are USA based Ben Winship (Mandolin) and John Lowell (Guitar), who sing and play music including Country, Old Tyme, Bluegrass, Blues, Folk and Contemporary. They are supported on their UK tour by Leon Hunt (Banjo) and Dominic Harrison (Bass). Tickets are £8.50 and are available from Hobgoblin Music, 10 St. Johns Streeet, Newport Pagnell (Tel 01908 217217) and will also be available at the door. Further details can be obtained from Pat Mason (01908 610919).



The Beverly Smith & Carl Jones September 2006 UK tour dates are: Sat 2: Didmarton Bluegrass Music Festival/Sun 3: Didmarton Festival/Tues 5: Dartford Folk Club, Kent/ Sat 9: Sweet Sunny South, Hastings/Sun 10: Sweet Sunny South, Hastings/Tues 12: Leith Folk Club, Leith, Edinburgh/Thur 14: Kilbarchan Old Library, Renfrewshire/Fri 15: (lunchtime) - Aberdeen Lemon Tree ; (evening) – Paisley/Sat 16: Langbank Village Hall/Sun 17: Traquair Village Hall, Peebleshire/Mon 18: Wildcat Music Club, Thurso/ Sat 23: London (venue details to be confirmed).



Saturday 9th September is the date for ‘The Gower Bluegrass Festival’ featuring The Acoustic Astronauts (with Joe Hymas - Mandolin)/Roots and Galoots/Black Mountain Bluegrass Band – plus many more...... The festival will be at the Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 2EH – from 12noon – 11.30pm. For more information, please call: 01792 850 0083.



The Cornish Bluegrass Festival, that takes place at Hendra, Newquay from 15th to 17th September, had previously announced that due to circumstances beyond their control ‘The Dixie Flyers’ have had to cancel their 2006 UK tour and therefore will not be appearing at Festival as previously announced. Although this was a huge disappointment to the CBA, the association worked hard to engage a suitable replacement – and have managed to acquire one of the worlds best flatpicking guitarists, Slavek Hanzlik, who will be appearing on stage Friday & Saturday night at the third Cornish Bluegrass Festival. Slavek’s most recent album ‘Fall Of My Dreams’ includes some of the worlds greatest Bluegrass musicians, including Bela Fleck, Stuart Duncan, Mark Schatz, Tim O’Brien, Rob Ickes, Scott Vestal & Jerry Douglas. Slavek’s CDs have received outstanding reviews and were short-listed for Grammy awards in the Instrumental Album of the Year category. Joining Slavek at the festival are two of the most highly rated musicians on the European scene – Zdenek Jahoda/mandolin, mandola & vocals and Jarda Jahoda/banjo & vocals.(Zdenek has toured the U.S. with bands such as Fragment (Slovakia) & in Europe with Bill Keith, Liz Meyer, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers and Slavek’s Groovy Lix. He is one of the most sought after mandolin players for session work in the Czech bluegrass industry….whilst Jarda is recognized as one of the best banjo players in the CZ & has toured the U.S. & Europe with Nugget (Austria), Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (Nashville, TN) and Slavek’s Groovy Lix.) The CBA had already increased the number of bands appearing at the 2006 festival and also have some pretty impressive workshops organised. They have added a second performance marquee where they will be holding, among other things, their ‘Cornish Bluegrass Picking Competitions’, so get practicing if you want to become the first ever Cornish Bluegrass Picking Champion!. All this & still at the incredible price of just £35.00 for a full weekend Adult Ticket including camping. www.cornishbluegrass.co.uk



Don’t forget the day of mandolin or fiddle workshops by Carl Jones and Beverly Smith being organised by Lucy Ray taking place on September 23rd Oratory RC Primary School, Bury Walk, Cale Street, London SW3 6QH. The price of £40.00 includes the workshop, light lunch and the evening concert. The workshops will run from 10.30 until 5pm. Registration begins at 10am. As the venue is a school the premises must be vacated by 11pm. Therefore the concert will be from 8-10pm. The venue is a school and is not a licensed venue. There will be no sales of alcoholic beverages, however soft drinks will be available free of charge. Concert tickets may be purchased at the door, strictly no admission after 8.30pm. Please register early as places are limited. Concert only tickets only are available for £10. People interested in the workshops or concert should email Lucy their address a.s.a.p. and she will send out flyer and booking form. lucyray1uk@yahoo.co.uk



Looking way ahead - the 15th Annual Charlie Gaisford Charity Bluegrass Concert for the RNLI will take place on December 2nd 2006 – at the Riddell Hall, Deans Lane, Walton on the Hill, nr Tadworth, Surrey, from 7pm to 11pm. Plenty of bands always playing.....scheduled to date, Acoustic Astronauts/Monroes Revenge/Deep River (TBC)/Morris Boys/Street Legal(TBC). Any other bands are welcome. This event has become the Bluegrass Xmas Party – and there is a Bar plus, Bar Food!!!



The Stairwell Sisters will be making their first appearance in the UK in January.

Actual dates are still be to be finalised but it is anticipated taht the band will be available to tour around the last two weeks of the month as well as the beginning of February. Check them out via ‘Our Artistes’ at www.brookfield-knights.com where you will find a link to the band's website with sound and video clips. Bob Harris has already played tracks from the great new album, Feet All Over The Floor, which has been getting heavy exposure from a number of different presenters on BBC Radio Scotland too. For more information, contact: Loudon Temple (tel: 01505 706346)



Try checking out the following videos featuring the Coal Porters…plus the Sid Griffin ‘solo’ video – shot by Janet Frasier-Cook (director of ‘Later With Jules Holland’).
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjmdaaoisq8 The Coal Porters - Final Wild Son/www.youtube.com/watch?v=deXa-aGcuos The Coal Porters - Little Cabin Home On The Hill/www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-g8T_04AHE Sid Griffin - When I'm Out Walking with You.



Former BBMA Chairman, Tom Travis – referring to an earlier Bluegrass & More - kindly emailed; “It was surprising to read about the wonderful vintage guitar shop in Thomas Town, as I dropped in there with my mandolin player Dave Howard, when in Ireland earlier this year. It really is worth a visit. Tom, the proprietor is really friendly, allowing Dave and I to sample the goods and to sit and pick for a while. Dave, who collects vintage instruments, was in his element, it really is well worth a visit. Dave has told me, that since our visit, he has done a couple of good deals with Tom and has taken other musicians to the shop. I am gritting my teeth, resisting temptation and sticking with my faithful old Martin D28 guitar, but others be warned, they might not have my iron resolve.” – Watch this space for some good news from Tom later this year!!!



Europe…



Please remember that there has been a change of date for the Bill Monroe Tribute the Athy Bluegrass Music Association are holding in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Mr Monroe's death. Instead of Saturday 9th September the event has been moved back one day – and is now being held on Friday 8th September, in the Carlton Abbey Hotel, Athy, Co. Kildare.



The European Bluegrass Music Association www.ebma.org says “The International Suite at IBMA's World of Bluegrass will continue this year with an amazing choice of bands from outside the USA performing on Tuesday, September 26 and Wednesday, September 27 (10.45 pm to 2 am on both days). The International Suite will move to the "Belmont 3" room at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville which allows for more seating space and a PA system. Bands already scheduled to appear include the Abrams Brothers (Canada), Blue Railroad Train (France), # 1 European Band 2005/2006 Carmel Sheerin & The Ravens (Ireland) and Takeharu Kunimoto & The Last Frontier (Japan). The International Suite will again be organized by the European Bluegrass Music Association with a grant from IBMA's International Outreach Program. Bands from outside the USA interested in playing the International Suite, should contact Paolo Dettwiler at paolo@ebma.org. A dedicated blog lists changes and more details as they become available at http://internationalsuite.blogspot.com.




 

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