From: Dee Hallet [deehallett_at_btopenworld_dot_com]
Sent: 05 May 2009 12:13
Subject: Bluegrass & MORE PART ONE

They say that everyone has a photographic memory….

….seems like mine doesn’t have any film!

Bluegrass & MORE.....

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As usual - here is a lot of news and information about Bluegrass & MORE. This issue is pretty large - OK - you may say -Whats New with that - but this time Ive gone just a little crazy..You may like to consider grabbing a coffee - cup of tea - glass of wine - or whatever is your favourite tipplesettle down somewhere comfortable and take time out to wade through it all..and if you are thinking of printing it out - it runs to around 34 pages - again!!!!!!!! However, I am sending it out in two parts - as it appears some servers don’t like such large files……..

PLEASE, do continue to keep me updated with any information youd like shared with the worldwide family of Bluegrass & MORE. I couldnt possibly produce it without your kind input.


Don’t forget - The legendary ‘Doctor’ Ralph Stanley - who, after 55 years in the business still performs with amazing vigour - remains the stalwart of Appalachia folk and bluegrass - and together with his band The Clinch Mountain Boys, his distinctive vocal sounds will be heard at the Barbican Centre, London on Wednesday May 27th Tickets: £10 / 15 / 20 subject to availability. In addition to the incredible talents of Dr. Ralph Stanley - attendees to this great event will also be entertained by rising star and standout act from this year’s BBC Folk America concerts - Diana Jones!

‘Doctor’ Ralph Stanley will also be performing at the Bath Music Festival on Friday May 29th - Tickets priced at £18 - or admission with Weekend Pass B.

North of the Watford Gap, folks can delight in a performance by the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys at Manchester Academy 2 (in Manchester University Student's Union building) on Saturday 30th May. This gig is fully seated and tickets are priced at £22.Tickets are available from Ticketline on 0161 832 8111 or online at They are also available from the Academy box office on 0161 275 2930.There is ample, secure and cheap parking adjacent to the main academy venue. Details of the gig and venue information can be found at

UK fans of Chris Stuart & Backcountry will be pleased to read the following from Chris; “Just wanted to let you know that our band, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, is planning a tour of the UK in late March 2010, roughly March 23 through April 6, 2010. In personal news, my song ‘Mama's Flowers’, as recorded by Dan Paisley is #3 on the Bluegrass Unlimited chart, and I have songs recorded by Bobby Osborne and Doyle Lawson on their new albums coming out.

If you might be interested in having the top class American, acoustic duet - Jeff & Vida - play their excellent blends of American roots music at your venue - the please read the following email from Bob Butler & Claire Stein of Grapevine Music - who say; “Just a quick note to let you know that we're bringing the very brilliant Jeff & Vida over from Nashville in September for their first tour here for 3 years. They'll be touring with another of our duos The Carrivick Sisters - who I know you know! The tour is now virtually complete but there are 3 dates left to fill and these guys just want to play every night. If anyone out there would like them to play on either 14th/15th September (in the Midlands or the North) or on the 21st in the South…….. Please contact Bob or Claire - as soon as possible - if you would like the opportunity to have these fine artistes perform at your venue/event….tel: +44 (0)1404 813004 - 24 hours. Mobile: +44 (0)7713 161669 or e-mail the at info_at_grapevinemusicagency_dot_co_dot_uk

Don’t forget that airs some great bluegrass among it’s country programs - including Music on Gail Comfort’s ‘Comfort Zone….Tuesdays 4pm-6pm, repeated 10pm-midnight/Wednesday 2009 repeated 4am-6am and 10am-Noon/Sunday 19th April 2009 repeated 2pm-4pm - and Ronnie Norton - Lonesome Highway Friday 1600 hrs - Saturday 0200 hrs, 2000 hrs.

If you’d like to spread your music internationally - Lilly Drumeva emailed from Bulgaria to say “If you like to send me your CD for airplay on Bulgarian radio, please do, my address is: Lilly Drumeva, Marin Drinov 25/3, Sofia 1504, Bulgaria. If you know of bands in your area who would like to be played on Bulgarian radio, please let them know.

You may like to consider subscribing to indiecontactnewsletter_at_rogers_dot_com - a monthly newsletter that helps Musicians, Songwriters and Labels gain valuable exposure for their music. Every month they send out a fresh list of places where you can submit your music for review, radio airplay, distribution etc. All genres of music are covered. Monthly draws include a Shure SM58 Microphone and a copy of The A&R Registry. & Suffolk Folk present the 8th Suffolk Bluegrass Day on Sunday 17th May 2009 at The George, 32 High Street, Hadleigh , Suffolk IP7 5AL Call 01473-822151 for details. Entry free! Special guests The One Tree Hillbillies - The Off Chords - The Peter Kerr Band - Mike & Dave - Bill & Sheila – Grasshopper & more! Picking from 11.30 - good food & drink afternoon/evening concert

Now in its 4th year the COASTLINE BLUEGRASS MUSIC EVENT held at PLAS UCHAF FARM - June 5th, 6th and 7th - goes from strength to strength. The EVENT offers extended workshops for all the acoustic Bluegrass instruments starting with an introduction to Bluegrass for beginners and those who have come from other genres, right through to the advanced levels. The workshops offer a unique opportunity for people to participate in fun-filled, informative, instrument and vocal workshops, which start them on the road to playing music. The tutors are experienced band members with a wealth of knowledge who also perform in the concerts and are on hand over the full weekend. This provides great opportunities for the participants to learn and get together in traditional ‘picking sessions’ with so many talented people on site. Appearing as headline band from the Netherlands, one of Europe’s finest Bluegrass Band - 4 WHEEL DRIVE, also appearing is, The TOY HEARTS, Chill until Blue and the Jay Walkers. If you would like more information please go to The Telegraph newspaper considers the event as being among the Top 10 Summer Festivals of 2009 - whilst the Guardian placed it among the top ten Folk Festivals of 2008 - and called it their favourite Bluegrass Festival of 2007. The Coastline Bluegrass Music Event is located on a beautiful working hill farm near LLandudno Junction in North Wales, just 1.5 miles from Junction 19 on the A55. Nearest railway stations are Llandudno Junction or Colwyn Bay. Camping facilities for tents, caravans and motorhomes (no electric hook-ups) include an on-site caterer, an excellent fully stocked bar selling ‘real ale’ and fine toilet facilities including disabled, and 'hot' showers. There is an experienced team of stewards to assist with vehicle access etc. and our reception staff are on hand to provide all the information you'll need for a great weekend of Bluegrass music. The event also has a designated 'quiet area' if you don't fancy staying up for the many late night jam sessions. Plus, there are fantastic views across the Conwy Estuary from the campsite, and the sunsets can be truly breathtaking. Ticket prices have been held at 2008 rates and start at £35 for a full weekend including camping and admission to all concerts and workshops. Children under 16 are admission free if accompanied by a paying adult. Detailed ticket prices and contact information can be found on the website

Bluegrass by the Lake - June 19th - 21st 2009 - Llangorse Lake, Breconshire full details from

Celebrating 21 years of the best of British Bluegrass - North Wales Bluegrass - in the town of

Conwy presents the 21st International Bluegrass Music and Dance Festival on the 2nd to the 5th July Your Hosts; Highly Strung, present artists for the 2009 Festival including: Carter Brothers Band, Bononia Grass, The New Rope String Band, Brian Golbey, Britannia Band, Chill Until Blue, Chris Moreton, The Crocker Brothers, The Down County Boys, The Morris Boys, New Essex Bluegrass, Shake the Roots, Tin Box Mountain Band, Tom Hanway, and first time visitors; The Off Chords and Uncle Dave, - plus many other friends! For more information - please contact Gill & John Les (Highly Strung - the band…not their personalities) - on 01492 515921 - or 01492 580454 - or visit

Moss Drew kindly emailed updates re; The 6th Annual Cornish Bluegrass Festival - taking place 18th 20th September 2009. He says “We are delighted to be holding our Bluegrass Festival at the multi-award winning Hendra Holiday Park, Newquay, Cornwall, once again this year. With fantastic amenities to suit the whole family, Hendra offers the ideal setting for a Bluegrass Festival. We will again be using Hendras fantastic 500 Seater Cabaret Room and by adding an 80 x 30 foot heated performance marquee, we hope to ensure that everyone will get the chance to see their favorite bands. Added to this we will again have a late night bar for those who want to play into the early hours. Among the bands already booked are: The Foggy Hogtown Boys, one of Canadas top Bluegrass bands; from America and Canada Corinne West & Doug Cox; from Spain Lluis Gomez & the Joan Pau Cumellas Band and from Germany L.bow Grease. Top UK bands include the Buffalo Gals, Doghouse Central, Down Trodden String Band, Home Territory, Monroes Revenge, New Essex Bluegrass Band, Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys, Uncle Dave and Wood, Wire and Words. As is our custom, we will be holding a wide variety of instrument, dance and singing workshops, plus there will be Appalachian and Flat-footing Dancing exhibitions and workshops with Kickin Chicken and Apple Pie, throughout the weekend. We will be continuing our ‘tradition’ of holding the amazing Gospel session on Sunday morning. This year the session will be led by the New Essex Bluegrass Band. Following on from the Gospel session will be a Slow band Jam run by Garry Payne and friends. The ‘Pig Roast’ will be there to help the morning along. Being mindful of the current economical situation, cost of fuel and the distance some people travel to be with us, we have decided to keep the ticket prices at £35.00 for a full weekend adult ticket, with FREE ENTRY to children under 16 (accompanied with a ticket buying adult) and free entry on Sunday. We think you will agree that £35.00 for a Bluegrass weekend in beautiful Cornwall is worth every penny and extremely competitive with other festivals in the country (who else has fabulous showers and toilets with their pitch and an indoor heated wave pool?!). For those of you who have yet to visit us, check out our website gallery to see the bands in full flow, and for those of you who come mainly for the jamming and picking sessions you wont be disappointed, especially if the last five years have been anything to go by. All in all, with your continued support it promises to be another fantastic weekend in Cornwall. We hope that you can make it and look forward to meeting you. To cap it all off, all we need is some of that beautiful weather again! For more information visit our website, or phone Nigel and Carolyn 01209 710060 E-mail carolynandnigel_at_hotmail_dot_co_dot_uk

Do visit for details of the latest happenings at The Bluegrass Plus Club, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 1NE.

The Chichester Acoustic Music Club meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month The Cabin rear of ‘The Wickham Arms’, Bognor Road Chichester. West Sussex (opp. Coopers VW). Please be there at 8pm if you wish to perform. Sorry - but no extended spots - all may have a fifteen minute spot (or less if you prefer). Loads of room/time for all, first come first choice on the ‘roster‘.

Please note a venue change for the Friday 15th May 2009 ’Heart of England’ Bluegrass show - it is now at the Bulkington War Memorial Club Bulkington Stafford Close, Bulkington. Bedworth. CV12 9QX - from the USA - the first visit by Laurie Lewis and a full band - Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands - featuring Tom Rozum, Todd Phillips, Patrick Sauber, Steve Roy. Tickets and enquires please to Ken Harris, on 02476 312258. Tickets £8.00 8.45 PM start

For more details re: the Heart of England Bluegrass Venue - please visit

Tom Travis emailed “Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands are performing on Saturday May 16th at the High Lane Bluegrass and Old- Time American Music Venue, the High Lane Conservative Club Buxton Road, High Lane, Stockport SK6 8DR. Please ring 01457 861789 for tickets.

Many thanks to Roger Knowles for forwarding the information about UNION CENTRAL - who will be performing a selection of material recorded by top American Bluegrass artists Alison Krauss and Union Station at The Empress on The Stray, in Harrogate on Saturday 16th May. This 5-piece band combines stunning vocals with an all traditional instrument line-up to provide an evening of great acoustic music ranging from emotive ballads to up-tempo instrumentals. The concert starts at 8.30pm (doors open 8.00pm) and admission is £7 on the door. To reserve tickets in advance contact Phil on 01904 783029. For further information visit their website at

Revised dates for Chuck & Albert Arsenault from Price Edward Island, Canada who are touring in the north of England in May. Featuring some excellent music amongst other mayhem.

May 5 Town Hall Alston, Cumbria
May 6 Village Hall Stainton, Co Durham
May 7 Ullswater Communty College Penrith, Cumbria
May 8 Lacy Thompson Hall, Hallbankgate, Cumbria
May 9 Village Hall, Heads Nook, Cumbria
May 10 Town Hall, Wark, Northumberland
May 12 Victoria Institute,Caton, Lancashire
May 13 Methodist Church, Edgworth, Lancashire
May 14 St Mary's Church, Eccleston, Lancashire
May 15 Village Hall, New Longton, Lancashire
May 16 Village Hall, St Bees, Whitehaven, Cumbria
May 17 Kirksanton Village Hall Millom, Cumbria

More details:

Remaining tour dates for the New Rope String Band featuring Jock Tyldesley and Vera van Heeringen are;

Sat 16 Llanymynech Village Hall SY22 6EE
Tue 19 Bollington Festival, Cheshire
Fri 22 Welshampton Village Hall, Welshampton
Sat 23 Ireby Festival, Cumbria.

Sun 21, afternoon, Teignmouth Festival

Ful details can be found at the band‘s website:

Many thanks to Roger Padfield who says The Wilders July tour, (which includes 3 in Wales, at long last!!), is listed on their website….for those who don’t have time to visit the site ( the dates are;

Fri Jun 26: The Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre, Naul, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
Jun 27: Cork Midsummer Festival
Jul 1: Wexford Arts Centre
Jul 2: The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
Jul 3: The Black Box, Belfast
Jul 4: Earagail Arts Festival, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Jul 5: Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
Jul 7: Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, Fife
Jul 8: The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St. Andrews, Fife
Jul 9: Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
Jul 10: Howden Park Centre, Livingston
Jul 11: The Tolbooth, Stirling
Jul 12: The Bongo Club, 37 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
Jul 14: Glasgow (venue tbc)
Jul 15: Universal Hall _at_ Eight Acres Hotel, Elgin
Jul 16: Hebridean Celtic Festival, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Jul 17: Jumpin Hot Club, The Cluny, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
Jul 18: Larmer Tree Festival
Jul 19 (late morning): Larmer Tree Festival
Jul 19 (evening): Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea, Wales
Jul 20: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth
Jul 21: Borough Theatre, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys dates include;

MAY - Sat 16: Bristol Bluegrass Day - details TBC

Thur 21- Sat 23: Netherlands, EWOB

JUNE; Sat 13: Portsmouth - Details TBC

JULY; Thur Jul 11: Weston Super Mare - Details TBC

AUGUST; Sun 2: Somerset, Wellington Park

Mon 3: Devon, Newnham Park Rendezvous

SEPTEMBER: Fri18 –Sun 20 Sep: Cornwall, Cornish Bluegrass Festival

OCTOBER; Tue 8: Bournemouth Folk Club - Details TBC

Old Time Is a Good Time Records announces several UK touring dates of Old Time music and fortune-telling songstress, Madame Pamita who is celebrating the release of her new record, ‘Wax Works’. Madame Pamita will be bringing her own bizarre and unique American medicine show to a town near you. Coming all the way from Los Angeles with her pack of Tarot cards in one hand and a ukulele in the other, she brings a wagon-load of authentic rural blues, jug band and comic proto-jazz numbers to curious seekers. Romance and revenge and mirth and mayhem! Madame Pamita has a set of Tarot cards which have a song attached to it, along with the fortune. Audience members come up, pick a card, get a fortune, and then Madame Pamita will sing the song that goes along with that card. The audience, in essence is choosing the set list for the night. Fans of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, Alan Lomax’s field recordings or what Greil Marcus likes to call “The Old Weird America will be in for an evening’s entertainment like no other! Joining Madame Pamita will be the mysterious Patrick Weise on saw and emergency ukulele.

The Downtrodden String Band kindly sent news of their next couple of gigs;-

Saturday 9 May - Holmfirth Folk Festival

1.30 - 3.30pm - with Well Heeled Appalachian dance team - Victoria Park
5 - 6.30pm - Slow Jam session, Hervey's Wine Bar, HD9 7BB
8 - 10pm - Concert, Hervey's Wine Bar, HD9 7BB
Holmfirth is a great little festival - very friendly and lively with dancing outside the pubs and sessions inside, in addition to a good concert and workshop programme. Full details of the festival programme, which includes concerts by Eliza Carthy, Jez Lowe and Bellowhead, on the web site

Wednesday 3 June - Travellers Rest - Travellers Rest, Draycott, DE71 3NJ, 8-11pm, Free! Kevin is doing a great job supporting live music at his pub in Draycott. We always have a great night there, so why not come along and support both him and us?

Corinne West’s tour runs from August 27th through September 26th - and covers most of the UK including the Isle of Wight and the Cornish Bluegrass Festival.

Catch the excellent The Toy Hearts during the next few months at one (or more) of the following places;

09/05/2009 Cancer Research Charity Gig, Stoke on Trent

10/05/2009 The Kitchen Garden Café, Kings Heath, B'ham

13/05/2008 The Travelers Rest, Derbyshire

16/05/2009 Private Country club, Whitegates, Harrogate

17/05/2009 Y Theatre (supporting Imelda) Leicester

20/05/2009 34119 Kassel Kreuzkirche Germany

21/05/2009 31137 Hildesheim Kulturfabrik Löseke Germany

22/05/2009 TBC Germany

23/05/2009 The Karl May Festival , Germany

24/05/2009 The Karl May festival, Germany


05/06/2009 Coastline bluegrass Event – North Wales

06/06/2009 Coastline bluegrass Event – North Wales

14/06/2009 The Kitchen Garden Café, Kings Heath, B'ham

19/06/2009 The Barton's Arms, Newtown , B'ham

23/06/2009 Brindley place bandstand, B'ham

26/06/2009 Warwick Arts Centre


03/07/2009 The Holly Bush, Hereford

04/07/2009 Maverick festival, Eastern farm park, Suffolk

05/07/2009 Berck Country Rock Festival – near Calais France .

09/07/2009 The Fighting Cocks, Stottesdon

11/07/2009 Ely Folk Festival, Cambridgeshire

12/07/2009 Staunton Country Park , Hampshire

18/07/2009 The Museum, Newcastle Under Lyme

19/07/2009 The Kitchen Garden Café, Kings Heath Birmingham

24/07/2009 Country Rendez-vous Festival, Crappone sur Arzon , France

25/07/2009 Country Rendez-vous Festival, Crappone sur Arzon , France

26/07/2009 Country Rendez-vous Festival, Crappone sur Arzon , France

31/07/2009 Ewob France , La Roche-sur-Foron, Rhone Alps


01/08/2009 Ewob France , La Roche-sur-Foron, Rhone Alps

02/08/2009 Ewob France , La Roche-sur-Foron, Rhone Alps

06/08/2009 The Prom, Bristol

22/08/2009 Wedding – Tamworth

23/08/2009 Café at The Royal Albert Hall, London


01/09/2009 US Fall tour starts

28/09/2009 IBMA week Nashville , Tennessee


03/12/2009, Bluegrass Jamboree Tour Germany starts

20/12/2009, Bluegrass jamboree Tour Germany ends

Upcoming dates of the Old Time & Bluegrass Session at The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth, Northants (3rd Monday of every Month) 8.00pm are;
May 18th
June 15th
July 20th
Aug 17th
Sept 21st
Oct 19th
Nov 16th
Dec 21st

Contact Andrew Metcalfe a_dot_metcalfe340_at_btinternet_dot_com

The Hot Seats (formerly Special Ed & The Shortbus) - make a welcome return to the UK in August;

Fri 21: Campbelltown, Mull of Kintyre Festival

Sat 22: Stirling, The Tolbooth Americana Festival

Sun 23 to Sat 29: Edinburgh, Acoustic Music Centre _at_ The Fringe

Sun 30: Birnam, Arts Institute

September dates;

Wed 2: Leicester, The Musician

Thurs 3: Banham, The Barrel

Fri 4: South Molton, The George Hotel

Sat 5: Leytonstone, What’s Cookin’ _at_ The Sheep Walk

Sun 6: Brighton, The Westhill Hall

Tues 8: Cardigan, Theatre Mwldan

Wed 9: Aberystwyth, Arts Centre

Thurs 10: Bristol, St Bonaventure’s, Bristol

Fri 11: Pontypridd, Wales (Geoff)!

Sat 12: St Andrews, Byre Theatre

Sun 13: Glasgow (venue tbc)

Thurs 17: Kirkcaldy, Acoustic Music Club

Fri 18: Bathgate, Regal Theatre

Sat 19: Gartmore, Village Hall

Sun 20: Garly, Tin Hut Sessions

Wed 23: Peebles, Eastgate Theatre

Thur 24: Manorhamilton, Glens Centre

Fri 25: Wexford (venue tbc)

Sat 26: Belfast, Open House

Sun 27: Irvine, Harbour Arts Centre

Wed 30: Dunfermline, Carnegie Hall

Thur Oct 1: Newcastle, Jumpin Hot Club _at_ The Cluny

Fri 2: Hawick, Heart of Hawick auditorium

Sat 3: Inverness, Eden Court Theatre

Sun 4: Dundee, Fest & Furious

Bluegrass & Old-Time Music

Every Monday: London, Bluegrass at The Hemingford, 158 Hemingford Rd N1

Some Mondays: East Sussex, Fortnightly folk music – often bluegrass/old-time - at The White Horse Bodle Street

Third Monday every month: Tonbridge, Woody’s Kitchen, The Foresters Arms

Every other Tuesday: on A27 Nr Angmering, The Woodman Arms, Greenhill String-Band
Most Tuesdays: Dartford Ramblers, Residents at Dartford Folk Club
Tuesdays or Wednesdays: Old-Time at Fairlight Lodge Hotel
Wednesdays: Stoke D’Abernon folk club welcomes bluegrass pickers
Wednesdays: Old Isleworth, Bluegrass Session at The Victoria, Worple Rd
1st & 3rd Wednesday each month: Rainham, Kent, Oast Community Centre, Graham Anstee and Friends old-time session/clogging

'Every Wednesday: Old Town, Hastings, The Stag (not 'Stage'), hosted by Roger Churchyard'

Second Thursday every month: Biggin Hill, Civil Air Flying Club, AIP & Friends

Last Thursday every month: Isleworth, Middlesex, The Coach & Horses, Swampstomp (Bluegrass & Cajun)

First Friday every month: Ewshott, Hants, The Windmill, Gary & Sherryl Payne and Friends

Third Saturday each month (lunchtime): Tunbridge Wells, Trinity Arts Centre, Rosie Davis, Dave Arthur and Rick Townend (12 noon – 2 pm concert followed by old-timey picking session 2-3pm)

Saturdays : Camden, The Golden Lion, often bluegrass/old time/country roots.

One Saturday each month: Blackheath, The White Swan, The Mounthoolies

Every Sunday: Arlington, Nr Saddlers Wells, The Harlequin, Old-Time picking session

Every Sunday: Horton Kirby, Nr Dartford, The Fighting Cocks, ‘Open Mic’ club welcomes bluegrass & old-time players

Rick Townend says that St Julian’s Club in Kent is putting on regular bluegrass and old-time music again, on the first Friday each month; most evenings will be open sessions hosted by the Kent Carters – musicians are always welcome.

Rick also adds that a few special nights are coming up:

July 3 – The club’s contribution to the Sevenoaks Festival Fortnight is a special appearance by London band Foghorn Leghorn, who went down a storm on their last visit some years ago.

August 31 (bank holiday Monday) is St Julian’s annual ‘Kentucky to Kent UK’ festival, which this year features especially - long-time friend Lilly Drumeva. Lilly lived and performed in the UK for some years; as well as being one of Europe's principal performing stars she does much behind-the-scenes work for the bluegrass scene, in particular liaising with the International Bluegrass Music Association's board in America. She has recorded many albums, solo and with her band 'Lilly of the West' who, in 1998, won the EBMA's best bluegrass band award, going on to showcase in the USA. She has worked with many of the world's top bluegrass artistes, including Marshall Wilborn and Jesse Brock of the Lynn Morris Band, who invited her to sing with them at a time when Lynn herself was unable to perform. In addition to her regular appearances she presents regular music shows on TV and radio in Bulgaria, and we are looking forward to hearing her sing again at St Julian’s.

2009 SE Area Bluegrass/Old-Time Festival dates:

August 1-2 Surrey Mini Bluegrass Festival - Chris Moreton, The Off Chords, Howard Burton, Wood, Wire, & Words, High Weald Ridge, Buffalo

August 31 Kentucky to Kent UKLilly Drumeva + artistes to be announced

September 11-13 Sweet Sunny South Festival - Carl Jones & Beverly Smith, The Kittyhawks, Robin Gillan

To join Rick’s mailing list - please email him via richard_at_stjulians_dot_co_dot_uk or visit his website

Kate Lissauer kindly sent details of the Buffalo Gals appearances;

Saturday July 4

Buffalo Gals at the Hollybush Inn and Campsite Mini Festival, Hay on Wye, Herefordshire

Friday-Sunday, July 10-12
Kate Lissauer at Priddy Folk Festival, Somerset
Both evening performances - 9.40 to 10.30 on Friday night in the main venue Swildons then 9.50 to 10.40 on Saturday night in Eastwater the 2nd stage. Kate will be teaching a workshop on Saturday.

Friday-Monday July 24-27

Buffalo Gals at Phil Murphy Weekend, Carrig on Bannow, Co. Wexford, Eire

This charming festival in an obscure Wexford village hosts an amazing array of world-class musicians and a plethora of delightful sessions and workshops.
Phil Murphy devised a playing technique for the diatonic harmonica involving modal music and vamping accompaniment with spectacular effect when added to fast reels and jigs. He passed his technique onto his sons, John and Pip, who are outstanding musicians in their own right. This festival remembers Phil Murphy.
There will the usual plethora of sessions and workshops.
Tel 087 8200986 / 051 561101. Email

Saturday August 1

Buffalo Gals at Merlin Theatre ECOS Stones, Frome, fundraising event featuring an array of talent supporting this great Arts Centre. Buffalo Gals on at about 9pm.

Friday -Sunday September 18-20

Buffalo Gals at the Cornish Bluegrass Association Festival, Hendra Holiday Park, Newquay One of the most fun and eclectic bluegrass festivals around, well organised, supported by great audiences, fantastic sretting--book your caravan now!

Friday-Sunday September 25-27

Buffalo Gals visit Pembroke for a dance and concert. More details to follow.

October 19-25

Buffalo Gals tour Leicester and Worcester Village Halls through Artservice. More details to follow.

Thursday November 12

Buffalo Gals at Bournemouth Folk Club, Centre Stage, Queens Road Bournemouth BH2 6BE. Tickets £8 adv from Val Munro 01202 707498 £10 unreserved on the door.
- tickets on line:

- for general info:

February 22-28 2010

Buffalo Gals tour Leicester and Worcester Village Halls through Artservice. More details to follow.

Autumn-Spring 2009-2010

Buffalo Gals will be visiting some Hampshire Village Halls through Hog the Limelight. Dates will be posted when the season has been booked.

October 3-10, 2009, Old-Time Music Week with Beverly Smith and Carl Jones, has space for several more participants. Focus on Mandolin, Fiddle, Guitar, singing, and writing tunes and songs. All instruments welcome. See for more information.


Sincere thanks to John Sheldon - of the excellent Scottish Bluegrass Bluegrass Association - who sent the news of The Midnight Ramblers Bluegrass Band - whose UK Tour starts Friday 25th July. Dates are available from then up until 30th July - please contact John via secretary_at_scottishbluegrass_dot_com He is also helping Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa Bluegrass Band - their UK tour starts Thursday 24th September - with dates available …..again, please contact John via secretary_at_scottishbluegrass_dot_com

The Stairwell Sisters are touring Scotland during May:

May 14: Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
May 15: An Lanntair Centre, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
May 16: The Tolbooth, Stirling
May 17: Marryatt Hall, Dundee
May 19: Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
May 20: Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline
May 21: Buccleuch Centre, Langholm
May 22: Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine
May 23: The Classic Grand, Glasgow
May 24 (afternoon matinee): Lochgilphead Village Hall
May 24 (evening): Arts Guild Theatre, Greenock

Bluegrass Academy: Learn how to play and perform bluegrass music at the

Glanmavis Tavern, Bathgate – all welcome to attend, every second Wednesday at 7.30pm.

Sara Grey wonders if there would be any interest in a weekend old time session at the Taybank Hotel in Dunkeld next June. She thinks it would be a good idea to have a nice cosy session up in there aren't many of those up in the wilds….and the Taybank is a great music venue. If there is enough interest she will discuss the matter with the Taybank landlord. There are lots of B&B's in the Dunkeld area - and probably plenty of camping, so Sara considers that it would be a good way for people to combine the weekend with a holiday. She points out that this would definitely not be a festival...just a weekend session. If you are interested in finding out more email her at sara_at_saragrey_dot_net


Madame Pamita's UK Tour Dates are as follows:

14-May - The Gladstone Arms, London, SE1 1QN _at_ 8:30 PM. Admission Free.

15-May - The Alma, London, SE19 2TA _at_ 8:00 PM. Admission Free.

16-May - Matsu, London, E3 4PL, UK _at_ 9PM. Admission Free.

17-May - Dr. King's Jailhouse/East Dulwich Tavern, London (East Dulwich), SE22 8HJ _at_ 8PM. Admission £5.00

19-May - The Cricketers Arms, Keighley West Yorkshire, BD21 5JE _at_ 8PM. Admission Free.

20-May - The George Tavern, London (Stepney), E1 0LA _at_ 8PM. Admission £6 / £4 concessions.

21-May - The Harlequin, Sheffield S3 8GG _at_ 8PM. Admission Free.

22-May - Brooks Blues Bar/Telegraph pub, London, SW15 3TU _at_ 8PM. Admission £12.00

23-May - The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield (Netheredge), S7 1NF _at_8PM_dot_ Admission £8 adv, £10 at the door.

24-May - The Luminaire, Kilburn London, NW6 7JR _at_ 7PM. Admission £8.00

Sincere thanks to Tony OBrien and the kind people of the Athy Bluegrass Music Association - who emailed to say “Our festival is on W/end 9th-12th July with The Bluegrass Patriots (Colorado) and 4Wheel Drive (Holland) as headline bands. Full details on

28th - 30th of August - Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival, Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Ireland. Contact Mick Daly for details- 00 353 51 878832 or 00 353 87 2562899

The Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival is proud to announce the lineup for the 2009 festival, due to take place 24-27 September in Longford, Ireland: Tickets and weekend passes available at Further information at

Bluegrass ….Europe

The EWOB Festival organisers say “Another wonderful EWOB Festival is just around the corner! Join us in Voorthuizen, the Netherlands, on May 21-22-23. 42 great bands from all over Europe, with special guests from the USA and Canada will include:
Acousticure (Hungary - #1 European Bluegrass Band 2008)
White Mountain Bluegrass (USA) with Roger Williams

Naomi Sommers & Phil Rosenthal (USA)
Fayssoux McLean Band (USA)

Hunter Robertson (USA)

Phil Rosenthal Band (USA/Canada)

JB's Band (Switzerland/Netherlands/USA/Canada) with Tom Gray, Mike Stevens & Raymond McLain

Tabea Anderfuhren & Aaron Till (Switzerland/USA)
Babes in the Grass (Netherlands)

Candy Floss (Slovak Republic)

Dawgmatic (Germany)
Sons of Navarone (Belgium)
Half a Turn (Netherlands)
Another Ground (Hungary)
Lilly of the West (Bulgaria)
New Lowland (Netherlands)
Bluegrass Stuff (Italy)
Thunderbridge Mountain Boys (UK)
Rawhide (Belgium)

Goodwill (Czech Republic)

Dolly, I Beg Your Pardon (Netherlands)
Brzdari (Czech Republic)
Coal Porters (UK)
Inlaw Sisters (Netherlands)
Veget (Czech Republic)
Bluegrass Cwrkot (Czech Republic)
New Prohibition Band (Germany)
Jiri Kralik & The Rowdy Rascals (Czech Republic)
Downtown Ramblers (Sweden)
Kreni (Czech Republic)
4Wheel Drive (Netherlands)

Gravity (Sweden)
Peter O. Ruby & All His Bells & Whistles (Czech Republic)
Cold Mountain Band (Sweden)
Eastern Station (Hungary)
Camel Ride (France)
Blackjack (Czech Republic)
Lonesome Mountaineers (Sweden)
Sunny Side (Czech Republic)
29 Strings (Slovak Republic)
G-Runs 'n Roses (Czech Republic)

See our website Program for show-times and more info! EWOB is much more than just a festival! Like IBMA's World of Bluegrass in the United States, the EWOB Festival is a trade event that works hard to equip our bands with professional tools to build their careers. And every year, THE MUSICIANS who play at EWOB choose our most exciting band as the #1 European Bluegrass Band for one year. This band will go to Nashville, Tennessee, to play at IBMA's World of Bluegrass. The festival public also gets to vote for 3 bands that win the Audience Popularity Awards. Come to EWOB 2009, and see bluegrass music in all its brightest colours!

Christopher Howard-Williams of the French Bluegrass Music Association - (FBMA) kindly sent news of the FBMA Spring Weekend meeting 29th May-1st June at the Leisure Centre at Mézière sur Couesnon, Ille et Vilaine, Britanny; for more info contact Philippe Chapuis - chaps35_at_gmail_dot_com

Many thanks to European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA) for the following information;

The Country Gentlemen - with Randy Waller, son of the founder-member Charlie Waller, who have been touring Europe from 2nd May - 9th May. Remaining dates include:
Thurs. 7 May: Jicin, Czech Republic, 8.00 p.m.
Sat. 9 May: 10th Spring Bluegrass Festival, Willisau, Switzerland

Thanks to Cor Sanne who says that Audie Blaylock & Redline will be performing in Turfship, in Nieuwkoop, The Netherlands - on July 8th. The show starts at Start: 20.00 hrs. Tickets can be obtained via CMS Productions, P.O.Box 5, 2420 AA Nieuwkoop (NL) - telephone;+ 31.172.573118 or email info_at_cms-country_dot_nl Audie Blaylock & Redline have just been chosen as an official Showcase Artist for the 2009 IBMA World of Bluegrass convention to be held September 28 – October 4, 2009 in Nashville, TN. Audie has received numerous honors and awards by the Association throughout the years including the 2001 IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award (as a member of member of Rhonda Vincent & The Rage) and the 2007 IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year Award (Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper featuring Audie Blaylock). Audie’s impressive career also includes a Grammy® nomination for Best Bluegrass Album and an IBMA nomination for Recorded Event of the Year for ‘A Tribute to Jimmy Martin: The King of Bluegrass’. For a complete tour schedule, plus more information on Audie Blaylock & Redline, please visit:

May 9th The Spring Bluegrass Festival in Willisau, Switzerland. Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen, Lilly of the West, and bands from Northern Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.

May 29th - 30th The Strakonice Jamboree, Strakonice, Czech Republic. The festival highlights more than two dozen top Czech groups as well as acts from Sweden and Austria.

May 30th - 31st The GrevenGrass Festival in Greven, Germany. Concerts and jam sessions with groups from the Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain and the USA.

June 19th - 20th. Banjo Jamboree, Caslav, Czech Republic. Featuring mainly Czech artists. Most fans camp out, and there are jam sessions petty much 24/7.

The excellent La Roche Bluegrass Festival takes place over 29th July-2nd August at La Roche-sur-Foron, Haute Savoie (a truly beautiful location) - and features the EWOBA Band Contest with twelve bands from six countries; a further sixteen bands from Europe will also perform, along with Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain (USA), Sally & Chris Jones (USA), Bob Jones (USA; ex Blue Grass Boy) & Bononia Grass (I), Monogram (CZ), Acousticure (H), and Philippe Naudot (F) & Vodopad (Sk). The full programme can downloaded from the La Roche website Entrance is free to this five-day festival of non-stop music by some 30 bands. The biggest bluegrass event in France, last year’s edition drew 12,000 fans.

Two years ago a group of devotees began a bluegrass jam session at the Celtic Cross pub in Barcelona - and now sessions are now held every two weeks on Sundays, always in a different place in BCN, check out the web for more information). The link is

Limerick Irish Pub C/Bruc 55 19:30 to 22:00

Bristol Blue C/ Torrent de L’Olla 39-41 19:30 to 22:00

L’Astrolabi C/ Martinez de la Rosa 14 20:00 to 22:00

According to the Barcelona Bluegrass & Old-time website, the 8th Al Ras Bluegrass & Old-time Music Festival will take place on November 7th, 2009.

Mollet del Valles, Mercat Vell.


MAY 7th….2009 will see the 35th Anniversary Celebration of Canadian band - The Dixie Flyers - featuring a great evening of bluegrass music with BERT BAUMBACH…KEN PALMER…BRIAN ABBEY…JOHN P ALLEN…MIKE ETHELSTON…BLAIR HEDDLE…PAUL HURDLE…CHRIS INGRAM…DAVID JACK…DENIS LEPAGE…DARIN PARISE…PETER ROBERTSON…DAVE TALBOT…AND AL WIDMEYER as ‘the HOUNDOG’. It’s all happening at the London Music Club, in the Flyers’ hometown of London,Ontario , Canada. Doors open at 9:00 $10.00…at the door. For details please call 519-433-7105 or email bigkenny74_at_hotmail_dot_com


Most sincere congratulations go out to Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike’s delightful fiddle player/vocalist/songwriter - Becky Buller - and her equally delightful fiancée, Jeff Hayley - who celebrated their nuptials on Saturday May 2nd. Eric and I were desperately disappointed that UK business commitments meant that we were unable to accept the kind invitation to join them for the festivities - but wish the happy couple a lifetime of love and blissful happiness. We hope it won’t be too long before we see them both again……..

Kristin Scott Benson had the honour of being on the cover of April's Banjo Newsletter.

Michael Martin Murphey captured the title ‘Entertainer of the Year’ at the Texas Music Awards! Pat Flynn is honoured to be Michael's bandleader in the studio for his brand new CD, ‘Buckaroo Blue Grass’…..and there is no doubt that Pat Flynn's virtuoso guitar playing has helped create the new sound heard on Michael Martin Murphey's latest album, ‘Buckaroo Blue Grass’. Pat is proud for Murphey's Entertainer of the Year award - and equally proud to be a part of Michael's team, both in the studio and for special events on the road. Visit for more info.

Checkout for updates on all the company’s top class new releases, special discounts - and exclusive prizes in their great competition. All you have to do is subscribe to their mailing list! The contest runs from May 1st to June 30th. Winners will be drawn at random from the Rounder email list and notified by July 1st via email. However - the contest is open only to all legal residents of the 50 United States, District of Columbia, and U.S. Military personnel (and their families) with APO/FPO addresses and who are 13 or older unless otherwise stated.

The iconic Doyle Lawson has been a stalwart and legendary contributor to the bluegrass genre for over 45 years. His latest Rounder Records release, Lonely Street, celebrates 30 years of recording with Quicksilver and marks his 34th release with the band. The album, released on May 5th , was produced by Lawson and features the trademark vocal harmonies and stellar musicianship that powered the band to an unprecedented seven-straight International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Best Vocal Group Awards.

Rural Rhythm Records is pleased to announce two #1s on the May 2009 Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine National Bluegrass Survey with LONESOME RIVER BAND climbing to #1 on the Top 15 Album Chart (NO TURNING BACK) and CARRIE HASSLER & HARD RAIN at #1 on the Top 30 Single Chart (I Can Go Back Anytime from the album "CHHR2"). "We are thrilled to have a #1 song and album at the same time on the chart by two different artists. The artists and Rural Rhythm are very thankful to the Bluegrass Unlimited reporting stations, plus all the bluegrass radio stations worldwide who have been incredibly supportive of the song and album," said Sammy Passamano III, Rural Rhythm.

Dale Ann Bradley, two-time and current International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, is to release her new album, Don't Turn Your Back, on May 19th - with a CD Release Party at The Station Inn, Nashville Sat, May 16 _at_ 9pm / $10. Special guests include Dailey and Vincent, Claire Lynch, and Steve Gulley **and featuring new band member

Terry Baucom on banjo**

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage began 2009 with new members and new music. They didn't start their new venture with stage rehearsals, as one would expect. On their first meeting, they joined together in Rhonda's Adventure Recording Studio. They shared ideas for songs, and collectively melded their individual talents to create the exciting new project Destination Life for Rounder Records. Destination Life projects a new vigour, cleverly crafted, and passionately delivered by award winning musicians: Hunter Berry begins his 8th year as a member of the Rage -- featured on fiddle and mandolin. He lends his unique vocal style to the newly penned "I Heard My Saviour Calling Me." He recently bought his first home, and lives in his hometown of Elizabethton, Tennessee. Mickey Harris cumulatively begins his 8th year as a member of the Rage - Mickey is featured on acoustic bass and brings a new instrument to The Rage sound with a WEBER Resophonic Guitar. He also lends his high-tenor harmony on many cuts. Mickey grew up performing in a musical family in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and continues to live in the area with his wife Crystal, daughter Mikayla, and son Jackson. Ben Helson is a relative newcomer to the bluegrass world. Born in the bluegrass state of Kentucky, toured with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, while simultaneously attending Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee. Ben leaves listeners spell bound with his expressive guitar work and vocal prowess; matching the 7-Time Female Vocalist of the Year note for note, as their voices blend beautifully together on the waltzing ballad ‘Crazy What A Lonely Heart Will Do’. Aaron McDaris moves to the forefront as one of the top banjo players in bluegrass today, as he fingers his way throughout the project with innovative interplay on both banjo and 3-finger style guitar. His rich vocals are a warm addition to the trios on ‘I Can Make Him Whisper’ and ‘Heart Wrenching Lovesick Memories’; and complete the gospel ensemble with his step-out bass vocal. Rhonda Vincent leads the men of the Rage throughout the entire session. Singing with a renewed quality that reflects a relaxed yet refined performer. Her mandolin style tingles through several tunes, defining a distinct player, who can show her stuff, yet confidently support her band mates to build the foundation for one of the most popular groups of today's generation of bluegrass music. Destination Life is a new classic for traditional bluegrass lovers anywhere: and an exciting discovery for new listeners from all destinations. An added bonus to this new equation is the chance for a lucky winner to join Rhonda & The Rage at the Nashville based studio, to record a song. A free raffle ticket will be given, with the purchase of the CD ‘Destination Life’ from and other select venues. This 3 hour recording session prize, along with 4 others, are among the selections in the Destination Drawing. The lucky winners will be drawn on Friday, November 13, 2009 in Wilmington, Ohio. Specific details at Rhonda Vincent & The Rage have already performed over 65 shows in the first 3 months of 2009; but they're just getting warmed up for one of the busiest years to date; as they travel the country in their customized Martha White Bluegrass Express, and sponsored by Martha White (the longest continuous running sponsor of the Grand Ole Opry.) Join the Rage on their Destination Live Tour 2009! Complete tour schedule, at

Until June 1st, 2009, for any D'Addario EXP Strings for Acoustic/Steel-String Guitar (6 & 12 String), Resonator Guitar, and Mandolin - BUY ONE - GET ONE FREE. Elderly Instruments is partnering with D'Addario for this offer - to promote their All-New & Completely Re-Engineered Strings. The wound strings are now coated with a thinner, more concentric coating for an ‘un-coated’ string tone, more volume, and longer (Extended Play) life. A new (exclusive to D'Addario) compound-plated process allows for up to 4X as much coating (tin) on the plain steel strings, eliminating thin areas. These plain steel strings feel and sound exactly the same as uncoated, but won't corrode, giving the strings at least 4X more playing life. You won't believe they are coated! For every set of these strings that you purchase, Elderly will include another of the same set free. If you're using their Website Shopping Cart, please enter the number of string sets that you'd like to receive (minimum 2), and the price shown in the Cart will be the ‘2 for 1’ price per set (essentially half of their regular low price). To view all of the D'Addario Strings affected by this offer (which do not include classical guitar or bass strings), please visit or call 888-473-5810 during business hours.

The 5th Annual International Acoustic Music Awards took place recently and the Williams & Clark Expedition's very own Wayne Southards was named ‘Best Male Vocalist’ for 2009! The IAMA promotes excellence in Acoustic Music Performance and Artistry. Wayne is no stranger to winning in this particular category as he is a former SPBGMA Male Vocalist winner as well.

Monroe Crossing - the highly popular band from Minnesota emailed saying “The big news is that we have just finished recording our ninth CD, Heartache & Stone. We'll be mixing & mastering in May, and should have the new CD with us by early June, if not sooner. Our last album was recorded live at Silver Dollar City, so this will be Monroe Crossing's first studio recording in a couple of years. We couldn't be happier with the songs we've chosen, and with and the sounds we've been getting at Wild Studio in Minneapolis. The new album has 14 tracks, including seven originals, covers from Minnesota songwriters Kathy Liners and Kevin Barnes, a new one from Becky Buller, something unexpected from Prince, Steven Stills, and as always, a Bill Monroe number. Monroe Crossing CDs are available from the Store page of our website: To check Monroe Crossing’s schedule - please visit

The family band - Cherryholmes say “We're premiering our very first video, ‘Bleeding’ on our new YouTube Channel, ‘Bleeding’ is an original video produced, filmed and edited by Cherryhomes. Be sure and check out the video, and visit the YouTube channel often to see new videos from Cherryholmes.

The folks at McCoury Music say “The wait is over. The ultimate collection of Del McCoury's music is now available. As many of you know we've spent the past year celebrating 50 years of Del McCoury's music. To cap it off, McCoury Music is releasing a 50 song box set of the hottest Del McCoury tunes from the last 50 years. Order yours today for delivery on May 12th along with some special bonuses only available on this site.We tried to put together a package for everyone. First, all box sets will be autographed, and also will come with a "Best of Del McCoury Gospel CD" that you can't get anywhere else. You can also upgrade your package to include a "Live" DMB show recording and an autographed print of the artwork. And since you've waited for this for so long, we've got one final treat for you. When you place your order, you'll receive a secret link and password to a page where you can hear all 50 songs and view all of the artwork online immediately. We also have one more option that will make a great gift for friends. In addition to the box set we've compiled a ‘By Request’ CD which includes the 14 songs that the McCourys felt were the songs that they hear the fans request during their shows each night.

Del McCoury Band - ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Del McCoury’.

Of course, no summer of Del would be complete without DelFest, which will be held May 22-24 in Cumberland, MD. Featuring three days of music, food and activities for bluegrass fans of all ages, Del’s namesake festival welcomes Old Crow Medicine Show, Railroad Earth, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, Tim O’Brien, Dark Star Orchestra and many, many more. The Del McCoury Band will be performing all three days, in addition to special appearances by The Travelin’ McCourys.

Other McCoury tour dates include;-

Bonaroo Festival – June 13, Manchester, TN
High Sierra Music Festival – July 3, Quincy, CA
Winnipeg Folk Festival – July 10, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Vancouver Island MusicFest – July 11-12
, Vancouver Island, BC
Rockygrass – July 24, Lyons, CO
Newport Folk Festival – August 2, Newport, RI
Philadelphia Folk Festival – August 16
, Philadelphia, PA
Strawberry Music Festival – September 5-6, Yosemite, CA

For full tour schedule and tickets, visit

Check out Steve Kaufman’s own excellent website for details of his award winning ‘Summer Kamps’ This years events take place at Maryville, Tennessee during the week of June 14-21 and also the week of June 21-28, 2009.

Patti of Virginia’s ‘Peach Bottom Farm Fiddle & Strings Camp’

kindly emailed “I'd like to refresh memories and thank all who have expressed interest in or supported Peach Bottom Farm Fiddle & Strings Camp! and introduce P.B.F. to those who don't know about us. We are delighted about this years Instructors. Please, take the time to familiarize yourself with them. We are accepting 20 registrants this (our 5th!) year. JUNE 15 - 19 2009. Tuition includes 3 healthy meals, snacks and beverages each day. The ‘camp’ will also have a Ceilidh/Barn Party/bar-b-que, concert by instructors, an evening at a local ‘CROOKED ROAD’ destination, nightly jams and other ‘surprises’ to celebrate it’s fifth anniversary. Accommodation include on site tent camping, reserved off-site R.V. camping, shared vacation rentals, a local hotel, bed & breakfast's, depending on your needs and/or budget. Peach Bottom Farm Fiddle & Strings Camp provides a fun-filled yet intensive musical environment for all ages and abilities. For more information about this event - located in two hundred pastoral acres, high in the Appalachian mountains of Southwestern Virginia - please visit - or email Patti via peachbottomfarm_at_yahoo_dot_com also for registration & accommodations.

The 6th Annual Franklin, KY Music Festival - hosted by The Williams & Clark Expedition - - takes place September 11-12, 2009. Same Great Festival!! Brand New Location!! Blue Grass Music RV Park! Guests may set up lawn chairs on Thursday, September 10th at 1:00pm. This will be done on a first come/first serve basis. For all the latest information on the Franklin, Ky Music Festival, please visit the website - or call the official Festival Hotline at 270-776-5587. The schedule of performances will be posted shortly to the website.

IBMA is proud to announce the following acts have been invited to perform in featured showcases for their colleagues in the bluegrass industry during the organization's 2009 Business Conference:-
Darin & Brooke Aldridge
Audie Blaylock & Redline
Bankester Family
The Crowe
Davidson Brothers
G2 Bluegrass Band
Gold Heart
Donna Hughes
The Martins
Michael Martin Murphey
The Quebe Sisters
Billy Smith
Spring Creek

The purpose of these presentations is to introduce the group’s talent and material to event producers, broadcasters, labels, media and other prominent industry professionals attending the events. An additional six acts will be invited to showcase, in a separate selection process, from recommendations received from nationally distributed record labels. Please visit for more details.

The recent IBMA newsletter states that Music Choice recently dropped the bluegrass music channel from the programming they offer to many cable and satellite television subscribers across the U.S. According to IBMA member Inez Haller, the person she reached at Music Choice indicated the decision was made due to a lack of expressed interest—but that they welcomed input from listeners. If you would like to share your interest in bluegrass programming at Music Choice, please contact them at (215) 784-5840 or online at

The IBMA newsletter also mentions that a Workshop for Teachers is offered on June 6th in Williamsburg, Ky. Elementary and secondary classroom and music teachers are invited to attend a free workshop, Utilizing Bluegrass Music in the Classroom, on Saturday, June 6th, at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. The program will be organised by the American Traditional Music Project and IBMA in conjunction with the Sally Gap Bluegrass Festival. To register or for information - please contact Nancy Cardwell - (888) GET-IBMA, (615) 256-3222, nancyc_at_ibma_dot_org - or Virgil via or Bowlin--virgil_at_peerlessmountain_dot_com

Congratulations to Dove Award winners Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Lewis Family, The Easter Brothers and Daywind Records on being the 2009 recipients of the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards in the bluegrass categories, Bluegrass Recorded Song: They're Holding Up the Ladder - by Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Lewis Family & The Easter Brothers; written by Russell, James & Edd Easter; Daywind Records - and
Bluegrass Album: We Are Family - by Jeff & Sheri Easter, The Lewis Family & The Easter Brothers; produced by Jeff & Sheri Easter; Daywind Records.

Sincere congratulations to Larry & Dreama Stephenson on the birth of their first child - a daughter, Falon Whysper Sidney Stephenson. The baby girl made her debut on April 25th, weighing in at 6lbs.

Sincere congratulations also to Scott Vestal and his wife Alice who welcomed a 9lb, 3oz baby boy into their family on March 26th. Scott, who plays banjo with the Sam Bush Band…will be kept busy not only with the new baby - but also with a busy music schedule;

Sam Bush tour dates include;-
5/16/09 Madison, IN Ohio River Valley Folk Festival

5/23/09 Cumberland, MD DelFest

6/6/09 Scottown, OH Appalachian Uprising

6/11/09 Richmond, VA Science Museum of Virginia

6/20/09 Telluride, CO Telluride Bluegrass Festival

7/17/09 Olathe, KS Frontier Park

7/22/09 Silverton, OR Oregon Gardens

7/24/09 Lyons, CO Rockygrass

8/22/09 Oakland, KY Newgrass Festival

8/28/09 Isle of Palms, SC The Windjammer

8/29/09 Boone, NC Music On The Mountain

9/5/09 Turin, NY moe.down

Born from the desire to take their jam sessions out of the living room, the Stephen Mougin Band has been touring in the Middle Tennessee region since early 2008. Long-time friends and fellow musicians, the band consists of two musical couples. The Daleys hail from Looe, England and Cedar Rapids, Iowa respectively and have shared a passion for bluegrass and acoustic music since they first met. The Mougins are from Ashfield, Massachusetts and Bratislava, Slovakia and they cherish each opportunity to raise their voices in harmony. This multi-national, multi-cultural, and multi-musical ensemble keeps one foot firmly planted in bluegrass soil while carefully and cautiously dipping its big toe in the tepid water of other genres. The band features award winning vocalists teamed with strong, rhythmic instrumentation bringing their styles and influences together for a powerful musical experience. Contact: stephenmougin_at_netzero_dot_com or visit Stephen also plays guitar as part of the Sam Bush Band.

MerleFest is known not only for presenting excellent entertainment on its musical stages, but also for giving aspiring musicians an opportunity to learn from the masters through various workshops, and allowing them to compete in three instrument contests. MerleFest 2009, presented by Lowe's, is proud to announce the winners of this year's instrument contests:

MerleFest Mandolin Contest

1st Place - Bryan McDowell from Canton, North Carolina

2nd Place - Jesse Daniel from Pisgah, Alabama

3rd Place - Caleb Courtner from Butler, Tennessee

This year's judges were Tony Williamson, Bil VornDick and Rad Andy. Prizes were: Grand Prize/First Place - Gibson F-9 F-Style mandolin, valued at $3350, $300 cash and a performance on the Cabin Stage on Saturday, April 25; Second Place - Gibson Flatiron "Festival" F-Style mandolin, valued at $1350, and $200 cash; Third Place - Calton mandolin case, valued at $735, and $50 cash.

The MerleFest Mandolin Contest was sponsored by Gibson, D'Addario, and 1-800-Bluegrass.

Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Championship

1st Place - Seth Taylor from Bryson City, North Carolina

2nd Place - Johnathan Dillon from Wirtz, Virginia

3rd Place - Owen Piatt from Springfield, Tennessee

This year's judges were Bil VornDick, Kristin Scott Benson of The Grascals, Pete Wernick, and 2008 Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Championship winner Ken Whitesides. Prizes were: Grand Prize/First Place - Deering "Terry Baucom" Edition banjo, valued at $4600, one set of John Pearse strings, $300 cash and a performance on the Cabin Stage on Saturday, April 25; Second Place - Gibson RB-250 banjo, valued at $3300, one set of John Pearse strings and $200 cash; Third Place - Calton banjo case, valued at $785, one set of John Pearse strings and $50 cash.

The Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Competition was sponsored by Deering Banjo Company, John Pearse Strings, Gibson, and 1-800-Bluegrass.

Doc Watson Guitar Championship

1st Place - Tyler Grant from Nashville, Tennessee

2nd Place - Tony Watt from Schenectady, New York

3rd Place - Fred Duggin from Nashville, Tennessee

This year's judges were: Mitch Greenhill, Jack Lawrence, and 2008 Doc Watson Guitar Championship winner Seth Taylor. Prizes were: Grand Prize/First Place - Gallagher guitar and case, valued at $3200, one set of John Pearse strings, $300 cash and a performance on the Cabin Stage on Saturday, April 25; Second Place - Taylor 310 guitar, full featured with cutaway and electronics and valued at $2000, one set of John Pearse strings and $200 cash; Third Place - Calton guitar case, valued at $895, one set of John Pearse strings and $50 cash.

The Doc Watson Guitar Championship was sponsored by Taylor Guitars, Gallagher Guitars, John Pearse Strings, In Memory of Bruce Sanders, and 1-800-Bluegrass. The instrument contests were open to paid MerleFest ticket holders. Twenty registrants were randomly selected to participate in each contest. Contestants were judged on arrangement, execution and tuning, spirit, and overall impression.

The 17th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, held during MerleFest 2009, has announced this year's winners. The following six writers have now joined an elite group of previous winners which also includes Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via, Becky Buller and Johnny Williams:

Bluegrass Category - Love Gone By by Carol Hausner and Colin McCaffrey of Montpelier, Vermont.

Country Category - Man of Few Words by Dennis K. Duff of Kuttawa, Kentucky

Gospel Category - Beyond the Rain by Brink Brinkman of Pickerington, Ohio

General Category - Unmarked Pavement by Miles and Letha Costin of Raleigh, North Carolina

These first place winners performed their winning songs on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest on Friday, April 24, and they won an acoustic guitar, a check for $300, two boxes of D'Addario strings and a one-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Three finalists were chosen in each category, out of over 840 entries received this year. All finalists performed their songs on the Austin Stage on Friday, April 24, before winners were selected. Second and third place winners in each category were awarded performance slots on the Friday night Songwriters Coffeehouse, as well as cash prizes, D'Addario strings and Acoustic Guitar subscriptions. Songs were judged by a volunteer panel of songwriters, publishers and other music industry professionals including singer/songwriter and former CASC winner Tift Merritt, Leonard Podolak of The Duhks, and John Lohman, Program Director of the Virginia Folk Life Program at the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities, under the direction of this year's volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy®-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale. Judging was based on a song's originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential. Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest support the Wilkes Community College Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception the scholarship has awarded over $25,000 to 68 deserving students. The 2008-2009 recipients are Ryan Jeffery Call and Kimberly Ilene Osborne. Ryan is enrolled in WCC's college transfer program with plans to transfer to North Carolina State University for the completion of his bachelor's degree. Kimberly is enrolled in WCC's office systems technology program.

MerleFest would like to thank the following sponsors of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest: Fishman Acoustic Power, D'Addario Strings, Acoustic Guitar, and Epiphone. The Austin Stage is sponsored by ASCAP and Sugar Hill Records.

As a preview to MerleFest 2009 - Gritz Magazine/Swampland Media highlighted Merlefest 2009 with comprehensive new article. Writer Derek Halsey (Bluegrass Unlimited, Herald Dispatch) interviews James Nash of the Waybacks and New Grass Revival legend John Cowan on being a part of the now infamous Hillside Album Hour ‘Led Zep’ newgrass jam at last year’s Merlefest, on what is in store for Merlefest 2009, and how groups like the Allman Brothers Band and others from the 1960's and 70's influenced Merle and Doc Watson and the newgrass generation. Last year's Hillside Album Hour all-star jam by the Waybacks and guests was so successful and created such a buzz that it has become a new tradition at Merlefest. Gritz interviews two of the main performers at that jam, James Nash and John Cowan, and breaks down how it all came together last year. The interviews also hinted at what was to come at this year's festival. The article also explores the over-all theme of the musical influences of the newgrass generation. Merle Watson, for instance, Doc Watson's late son whom the festival is named after, was a huge fan of the Allman Brothers Band. There is also a road trip aspect to the story that brings the Merlefest experience to life. The article can be found here -

Jim Roe owner of Roe Entertainment has just announced a new booking deal with award-winning bluegrass ensemble The Dixie Bee-Liners. This marks the second band this year that Roe Entertainment has added to its impressive roster of well-known nationally touring artists. “I have loved The Dixie Bee-Liners since the first time I saw them perform," says Roe. "Their music is just compelling and fresh and real. This is a band that can speak to hardcore fans of traditional music, but they're also reaching new listeners who never thought they'd like bluegrass."

Riding high on the success of their 2008 release, RIPE, the award-winning Bee-Liners toured nationally last year while enjoying four #1's on the bluegrass charts. They're showing no signs of slowing down in 2009. The band recently played Merlefest and will be touring the U.S. and Canada this summer and fall. Their year will culminate in a CD release and a spectacular tour with Uncle Earl and Sierra Hull. Billed as American Revival: Celebrating the New Stars of American Roots Music, the November tour will bring The Dixie Bee-Liners' music to tens of thousands of new fans. "The timing of the American Revival tour couldn't have been better," notes mandolinist Buddy Woodward. The band's highly anticipated new CD – titled Susanville – will be released on Pinecastle Records just before the Revival tour kicks off. "We're thrilled at the prospect of sharing our new CD with a roots music audience," Woodward continues. "Susanville is a concept album, and I think roots fans will enjoy it as much as bluegrass fans." The Dixie Bee-Liners were named Roots Music Association’s Bluegrass Artist of the Year for 2008, beating out such musical giants as Alison Krauss and Merle Haggard. Their 2008 release, RIPE, which featured the hit single “Down on The Crooked Road, logged 23 weeks of #1’s in 2008. The band reached #1 on the Bluegrass Now Fan's Choice Top 20 chart twice, and also achieved two simultaneous #1's on Bluegrass Music Profiles' Top 20 Hot Singles and the Roots Music Report Bluegrass Chart. All in all, the Bee-Liners spent nine consecutive weeks atop the RMR Bluegrass chart and two consecutive months in the Top Ten of both Bluegrass Unlimited charts.