Heard Round the World: June 2013

In April, bluegrass enthusiasts from Australia and New Zealand proposed a new organization called the ‘Australasian Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association’ to be formed “to assist in representing and coordinating the people and organizations with an interest in the music, across state and international boundaries in the region.” One of the primary responsibilities of the new association will be to set the foundations for and build a new music festival. The new festival, ‘Mountaingrass’ will be held in Harrietville, Victoria, Australia; November 22-24, 2013.

Handl, from Czech Republic, won the European World of Bluegrass award for #1 Bluegrass Band. The EWOB took place May 29-31 in Voorthuzien, the Netherlands. The Moonshine Brothers (Sweden) and Trativod (Czech Republic) tied for second place. The proud winners of the Audience Popularity Awards were Sunny Side (Czech Republic), The Bluegrass Playboys (Netherlands), and G-Runs & Roses (Czech Republic).

Giant Mountains Band, winners of the Caslav (Czech Republic) Banjo Jamboree in 2010, are proud to announce their first CD, Long Lonesome Road. The album features original songwriting from American mandolinist Lucien G. Holmes and stellar musicianship from the band. The CD is available for download or purchase (10€, including shipping). Have a listen or get it today at gmband.cz.

Lilly Drumeva, Bulgarian bluegrass pioneer and founder of Lilly of the West, has written and recorded a new song in the Bulgarian language. The title is “Кънтри в душата” ('Country in my soul'), inspired by her love and passion for country and bluegrass music. Enjoy Lilly’s new song and photos of Lilly of the West on YouTube. A professional video will be released very soon.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen will join as tutors at the La Roche Bluegrass Workshop in La Roche sur Foron, France July 30, and August 1, 2013. The workshop aims to help players of all levels who want to jam but aren’t quite sure if they are good enough or how to get started. The cost is €120 for the workshop + €75 euros for accommodation and food. Sue Thompson and Mathilde Cousin will host a vocal harmony class; James Field will be on hand to teach effective rhythm guitar; Raphaël Maillet (Fiddle), Dorian Ricaux (guitar and mandolin), Pierre-Yves Lechat (banjo) and Pierre Bastide (dobro) complete the lineup of tutors. The workshop is organized by Pierre Bastide who can be contacted on workshopbluegrass@gmail.com.

Attention bands from outside the U.S.: IBMA's International Committee, together with the EBMA and Nechville Instruments, will host a number of 'Foreign Affairs' showcases, and would like to show the Americans that there is bluegrass music all over the world. These showcase programs will probably be held in a venue in Raleigh, close to the Convention Center, late at night on Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday, when the Award Show and the official Wide Open Bluegrass programs are over. Please let us know if you plan to be there, and if you are willing to perform on one of these nights. Email Rienk Janssen at mailto: rienk.janssen@planet.nl.