Report from the 2012 European World of Bluegrass

The 15th European World of Bluegrass Festival was held on May 17-19, 2012 in Voorthuizen, the Netherlands.

Thanks to Dagfinn Pedersen for sharing the earliest results of the annual EWOB awards with us. Looks like bluegrass is white-hot in the Czech Republic. Congratulations to ALL of the bands that took home awards that night!

European Bluegrass Band 2012:
#1 Goodwill (Czech Republic)
#2 East-West (Czech Republic)
#3 Jaywalkers (United Kingdom), Rawhide (Belgium), and Sunny Side (Czech Republic)--three-way tie

Audience Popularity Award 2012:
#1 G-Runs 'n Roses (Czech Republic)
#2 Sunny Side (Czech Republic)
#3 The Old Time Hayride (Germany/Netherlands)

The very first Liz Meyer European Innovation of Bluegrass Music Award was presented on May 19, 2012 to the Louvat Bros of Belgium, who had played on the Thursday night concert. This award, which rewards the most innovative European band in bluegrass music, is given in memory of Liz Meyer, who always encouraged promising and creative musicians throughout her career. The new award will be presented annually, in addition to the European Bluegrass Band Award (based on the votes of musicians) and Audience Popularity Award (based on audience votes).

The text of the award is reproduced below.

Liz Meyer (1952-2011) was widely regarded as an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter, and always a great support to other musicians in her field.

In the earlier part of her career, Liz was best known for her innovative songwriting and for performing and recording with a succession of legendary musicians, including Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, and Jerry Douglas.

But beyond her own musical pursuits, Liz’s career is also typified by her generosity towards other musicians. Always willing and able to offer practical advice and creative outlets to aspiring musicians, she helped numerous European bluegrass artists to set and achieve new goals within their art form.

Liz’s own songwriting and musical arrangements stem from a broad range of influences. Likewise, her name is often cited by European bands as an inspiration for implementing aspects of their musical heritage into their songs in a way that is at once tasteful and innovative.

This award was devised both to honor Liz’s memory and to encourage promising musicians to bring their music to a broader audience. The European World of Bluegrass Board is proud to present this year’s Liz Meyer European Innovation of Bluegrass Music Award to the Louvat Bros.

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Compiled by Caroline Wright.