Heard 'Round the World (January 2013)


Australian broadcaster Geoff Morris, host of Wall-to-Wall Bluegrass on www.worldwidebluegrass.com, presented his last program for a few months Dec. 31. Morris has re-located to Melbourne for cancer treatments for the next six weeks, and hopes to be back on the air with his 500th show the week of Easter. If you’d like to send him a note of encouragement, he’s at geoffmorris@worldwidebluegrass.com.

Australian bluegrass artist Karen Lynne’s new gospel album, Shine Your Light was finished up in December and is available for order now. Karen and her husband, banjo player Martin Louis recorded the album at the Good Home Grown Music studio with producer Jerry Salley, last fall when they were in Nashville for IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. Val Story, Stella Parton and Daryl Mosley guest on the project. Karen also sang on Dixie Hall’s new four-disc Daughters of Bluegrass set entitled Pickin’ Like a Girl, set to be released soon. Karen will appear on the Feb. 19-23 Bluegrass Music Cruise of New Zealand and Southern Australia on the Voyager of the Seas, for the first Sydney to Auckland leg. Organizers are offering free flights from Perth to major capital cities if you book an ocean view cabin or higher. Info: http://travelrite.com.au/bluegrass_cruise.shtml   album cover - Karen Lynne

Karen and her band will be at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in Tamworth, New South Wales for her 28th consecutive year, Feb. 21-26. She and Martin will be appearing on Sam Smythe’s bush poetry show at the Tam City Bowlo, and they’ll be guesting at Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club (Tuesday night on “Girls Night” and Saturday for “Bluegrass Night"). Karen will present the Bluegrass Brunch show on Thursday-Friday, Jan. 24-26 at the North Tamworth Bowling Club. She will also perform at the Southside Uniting Church Gospel Concert Jan. 21. Check www.karenlynne.com for details. If you’re not familiar with Karen Lynne, check out her “Blue Mountain Rain” video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NdU_K8JPzg

News from Richard Hawkins at the European Bluegrass Blog (http://blog.ebma.org/):


Oliver Waitze reports that his New Acoustic Gallery (http://www.n-a-g.net/) in Germany will be moving from Solingen to new premises in Wuppertal in mid-January. He will continue to stock banjos, mandolins, and classical and steel-string guitars by leading makers. New stock includes instruments by Santa Cruz, Furch, Collings, Bourgeois, Rozawood, Kentucky, and Eastman, and a new 'Celtic banjo' book by Oliver Waitze will be out next month. New address: New Acoustic Gallery, Schloss Lüntenbeck, Lüntenbeck 1, 42327 Wuppertal, Tel. +49 0202/94672730

Rainer Zellner of the Music Contact Agency reports his 4th Bluegrass Jamboree! – Festival of Bluegrass and Americana Music which concluded Dec. 16 was a success, after 18 shows in 20 days all over Germany, including a trip to Prague. Rainer writes, “We had a great time, an amazing line-up, and extremely enthusiastic crowds... I notice a continuing growth in audience and interest of media in the project. As the 'bluegrass scene' is way too small to keep this concept alive, I am very happy that we do find and build true music-loving audiences that enjoy good live music of highest level without being limited to one style. There was a huge amount of media coverage before and after the tour.” The two most important German cultural radio stations (WDR and DRadio Kultur) recorded performances and interviews and will each do broadcasts of sixty to ninety minutes in January. Check the Jamboree! http://www.bluegrassjamboree.de/ and on Facebook, for tour videos and photos. The fifth edition of Bluegrass Jamboree! will be hitting the road in December 2013.


Click here http://blog.ebma.org/2006/11/peter-rowan-and-druha-trava-nov-2012.html to view photos from Lilly Pavlak from the November Czech tour of Peter Rowan with Druha Trava. Druha Trava has a new English-version website at http://www.druhatrava.us/

Rosťa Čapek and Ivana Louková in the Czech Republic are working hard on the preparations of the Bluegrass Summit (Prague, 15-17 March 2013). The same couple organized the Czech concert of Bluegrass Jamboree! on Dec. 4. The 17th Workshop of Petr Brandejs and Jindra Hylmar in Malé Svatoňovice (in October) as well as Ralph Schut's workshop Dilna s prasetem (in September) were successful events. The details of Pete Wernick's Jam Camp in Prague (22-24 March 2013) are being negotiated. The event is financially supported by the EBMA. Petr Brandejs finished the first European Jam Class on five subsequent Sundays in October. Nine students were happy to learn how to jam according to the Wernick Method. Phenomenal multi-instrumentalist, Ondra Kozák wrote Fiddle Breaks in Czech Country Hits. It was released by the company G+W. The trailer can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKCJYC_IOK8

Robert Křesťan and Druhá Tráva released another live CD, Live in Telci, and recorded their new DVD featuring Peter Rowan.


Los Hermanos Cubero of Spain report that their 7” vinyl EP released on Carajillo Records launched in Barcelona Nov. 8 is completely sold out and there will be no re-issue. However, the A side of the EP, “La Calle Abajo,” is featured on a video clip produced for Primitive Films here on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/55110099

The U.K. association for old-time music, FOAOTMAD, announces the next La Fuente de Musica old-time music workshops will be held in Andalucia, Spain May 11-18, 2013. Instructors will include Dave Bing, Kate Lissauer, John Whelan, Rose Ardrom and more. Classes will be offered on fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmony singing and beginners instrumental (all instruments). Info: Kate Lissauer, kate@katelissauer.com, (0)1373 474 110).

Luis Gomez reports that the 11th Al Ras Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival (http://nuke.alras.es/), held at the Mercat Vell de Mollet del Vallés, Pça Prat de la Riba 6, Mollet del Vallés, Barcelona, on 10 November 2012, was a great success, attracting plenty of people including new people interested in bluegrass and old-time music. Lluís also sends this link (http://www.linuxvixion.es/al-ras-2012/) to an album with photos from the festival. Next year's Al Ras Festival will be held on the second or third Saturday of November 2013. Details will be announced as soon as possible.


Peter Groenveld of Strictly Country Records reports that one of the most productive bluegrass concert organizers in Holland, Bé Holdtman, has passed away on Dec. 8 after a battle with cancer. Bé was a government worker for the council of Emmen, Netherlands. His department was in control of road and water works. He retired from this job only a few years ago. In the music scene Holdtman was mostly known for his many always-sold-out old-time country and bluegrass shows at the Muzeval Theater in Emmen, from 1985 to 1998. Among U.S. bands that performed there were the Good Ol’ Persons, White Mountain Bluegrass, High Country, Traver Hollow, Laurie Lewis & Grant Street, Lynn Morris Band, Bill Clifton & Pick of the Crop, Robin and Linda Williams & Their Fine Group, Bob Paisley & Southern Grass, Kate McKenzie Band, Liz Meyer & Midnight Flyer, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein, and many others. Bé worked closely together with Rienk Janssen, who was largely responsible for the many U.S. bands touring Europe during that time. Peter says he was the lucky sound guy during all these shows, and some classic “Live in Holland” were recorded at the Muzeval Theater, such as Bob Paisley & the Southern Grass, Robin and Linda Williams & Their Fine Group, and Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein. Bé’s Dutch (local) buddies, the Alabama Country Boys, were always part of the concerts. Bé will be greatly missed by .his family and many friends in the USA and Europe. 


Thierry Schoysman, of the band Rawhide, The Sons of Navarone and editor of Bluegrass in Belgium (http://www.bluegrass.be/) reports, “some strange developments in Belgium. Do you know of many movies in which people like Bill Monroe, J.D. Crowe or Tony Rice are mentioned?  Well, there is one now. The Broken Circle Breakdown (http://www.thebrokencirclebreakdown.be/) was launched in Belgian movie theaters recently and has sold 270,000 tickets so far. It’s probably going to be the year’s best-selling movie. (Belgium counts only 11 million people.) Bluegrass music, only known by a happy few over here, is suddenly mentioned in a national media (news, radio, television, newspapers). The movie is a dramatic love story in which the main character is a banjo player in a bluegrass band. He meets a woman and she joins the band as a singer. Their young daughter becomes a victim of cancer”


The Toy Hearts are planning to spend six months in the U.S. in 2013, from May – October. The family will be based out of Austin, Texas. More info: http://bluegrasstoday.com/toy-hearts-to-texas-in-2013/

UKBluegrass.com announces that Farewell Blues is the new CD from the Leon Hunt n-Tet band. The album is a celebration of the life and music of Earl Scruggs and other first-generation bluegrass musicians. Info: http://www.leonhuntntet.com/