Quote of the month
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
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7M ago
My mother was classically trained, but she could play anything on piano by ear, and my father sang with her. But for them music was not about formal classical music. It was about gathering with friends in your own home and sharing music until the early morning hours. Music was about improvisation, laughter, and friends. I learned early on that you could do it yourself, and that it’s natural for music to be created and shared right in your own home. Alice Gerrard, quoted by Louisa Branscomb on Bluegrass Today, 11 Sept. 2013 ..read more
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Sounding the Well of Souls (4)
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
by
7M ago
The BIB editor writes: A substantial part of Well of souls is dedicated to showing the development of the cultures of black enslaved people in the New World. It is a task for which Gaddy feels her being white may disqualify her, but which she sees as a necessary reparation for the ways in which those cultures have been ignored or misrepresented in the past. In this overall cultural survey, the banjo at times falls out of sight and hearing. As regards sight, the publishers could have partly remedied this. They chose, however, to print illustrations on the same paper as the text; this works w ..read more
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One for the audience
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
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7M ago
Playing in bars is traditionally part of the bluegrass life. Doing it in this country can carry the additional burden that - even more than in the USA - a solidly bluegrass repertoire is likely to be unfamiliar to the audience, and making the connection between band and audience is consequently that mugh harder. One possible way round the problem is shown by the recent single release from Pinecastle Records by Robert Hale - a remake of the Stonewall Jackson hit 'I washed my hands in muddy water', which (like many country songs) works perfectly well as bluegrass and will be familiar to country ..read more
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Nickel Creek (and more) at Bristol Rhythm & Roots
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
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7M ago
For those who saw Nickel Creek at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, on 30 August - and also for those who didn't but wish they had - Bluegrass Today has many dramatic and evocative photos of them, taken by Bryce LaFoon at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol, TN/VA, last weekend. Other artists in the photo gallery include Sierra Hull, Marty Stuart, and their bands. © Richard Hawkins ..read more
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Michael J. Miles - finding banjo chords all over the neck
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
by
7M ago
The Deering Banjo Company announce episode 4 of Michael J. Miles's online clawhammer banjo workshop. In this 36-minute episode Michael, together with Deering's David Bandrowski, shows thirty-seven ways to play G, C, and D triad chords. The episode can now be seen on YouTube. Deering also draw attention to an instruction book by Joseph Weidlich, Round Peak clawhammer banjo: traditional Appalachian fiddle tunes from Surry Count, NC, available from Deering for $19.99; and to their Vega Vintage Star banjo, at $2,599. © Richard Hawkins ..read more
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'Get lost' instrumental from Wyatt Ellis
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
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7M ago
The Morris Public Relations press release explains how the title was chosen for 'Get lost', the instrumental composed and recorded by the phenomenal 14-year-old Wyatt Ellis of east Tennessee. The official music video can be heard on John Lawless's feature on Bluegrass Today and on YouTube. The musicians on the recording, shown in the image above, include two visitors to Ireland: Michael Cleveland (second from right) and Mike Bub(extreme right), whom you may have seen when he was in Galway in 1994 with Del McCoury; or more recently, playing bass in the Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms Country ..read more
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Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival needs your help!
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
by
7M ago
Dear friends and fans, Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival has been running for the past 17 years and it has played an integral part in preserving and promoting folk, bluegrass, and American old-time music in Ireland. Over the years we have been able to gradually increase the calibre of our acts, present new acts for the Irish audience, and grow the festival’s offering, while maintaining the original format and ticket prices. We have proven to be a large contributor to the local economy and have offered platforms to local, national, and international acts. The growing cost of running the ..read more
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Two Time Polka: September-October gigs
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
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7M ago
Ray Barron of Two Time Polka sends news of the band's forthcoming gigs: Sun. 17th Sept.: Crane Lane Theatre, Cork city, midnight-2.00 a.m., adm. free Fri. 22nd: Culture Night, Old Market Bar, Bandon, Co. Cork, 9.45-11.15 p/m., adm. free (but a ticket is required for entry. Booking link - FREE tickets) Sat. 23rd: Blue Haven, Kinsale, Co. Cork, 10 p.m.-midnight, adm. free Sun. 1st Oct.: Crane Lane Theatre, Cork city, midnight-2.00 a.m., adm. free (part of Cork Folk Festival) Sun. 8th: ZydecoSwamp, Molenstraat 58a, Raamsdonk, the Netherlands, 7.00-8.30 p.m. Doors 2.30 p.m.. adm. €7.50 Our ..read more
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Watery Hill Boys at The Moorings, Bellanaleck, 16 Sept. 2023
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
by
7M ago
Thanks to JIm MacArdle of the Watery Hill Boys of Drogheda, Co. Louth, for the news that the band will be playing at The Moorings (also on Facebook), 156 Derrylin Rd, Bellanaleck, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh BT92 2BA, from 8.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. this coming Saturday, 16 September. The Moorings is an award-winning restaurant on the shores of Lough Erne, where the Watery Hill Boys played earlier this year (see the BIB for 24 Apr. 2023) in memory of John Watson. © Richard Hawkins ..read more
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Sounding the Well of Souls (3)
The Bluegrass Ireland Blog
by
8M ago
The BIB editor writes: Two of the main themes of Well of souls are: (1) the banjo is essentially a 'spiritual device', an expression of the fundamental presence of religion in all aspects of traditional African cultures; (2) however, it would not have come into being without the transatlantic slave trade and the circumstances of slavery in the Americas. At the risk of over-simplifying, one can say that the banjo functioned as a spiritual device by summoning or evoking spirits through the medium of rhythm. Decoration on some of the earliest instruments suggest that they were marked as 'sacre ..read more
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