Heard 'Round The World, Nov. 2012

The international bluegrass scene, as reported from all over the planet

Upcoming Tours & Events

A bluegrass cruise of New Zealand and Australia is scheduled for Feb. 19 through March 9, 2013 on the Voyager of the Seas. Concert performances and workshop will be presented by several of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most prominent bluegrass musicians, plus mandolin stylist Mike Compton from the United States. The ship will depart from Sydney and cruise around New Zealand, Tasmania, and along Australia’s southern coast to Fremantle. Featured groups include the legendary Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, Bluegrass Parkway, Karen Lynne Bluegrass Circle (Karen is pictured at left), Coolgrass, Hardrive, The Pipi Pickers, Perch Creek Family Jugband, Progress Valley Possum Pickers, New Holland Honey Eaters, Bluegrass Junction, Paul Trenwith and Trev Warner. Info: Travelrite (03) 9729-8722, 1800-033-436, or johnhowiemusictours@hotmail.com

This month, Los Hermanos Cubero (SP) will release their second record in Barcelona. The 7" vinyl EP, released by Carajillo Records, will be launched in Barcelona on Nov. 8, at a celebration at 10 p.m. in the Heliogàbal de Barcelona, Calle Ramón y Cajal 80. Admission is €6 (€10 with a copy of the record). The A side of the EP, 'La calle abajo', is featured in a video produced for Primitive Films and may be seen at http://youtu.be/G0mskp6i7S8 .

Champion fiddler Ivor Ottley, originally from England, long a resident of Western Ireland and Sweden, won the West Tennessee Fiddle Championship earlier this year. Ivor will be in Ireland from December 12-19, 2012, performing in the Galway area. He will also be available for teaching and workshops between those dates. Visit http://www.ivorottley.com for information.

Italian guitar maestro Beppe Gambetta has announced that his 21st International Acoustic Guitar Workshop, scheduled for July 21-28, 2013 in Ambroz, Slovenia, will feature three teachers: Mike Dowling (USA), who will teach flatpicking, blues slide guitar, and vintage jazz; Chris Newman (UK), who will teach flatpicking, Celtic, and improvisation; and of course, Beppe himself, who will cover progressive flatpicking from American and European roots. Visit http://www.beppegambetta.com for info.

Bluegrass 45... Then and Now

In 1967, Bluegrass 45 was formed in Lost City, a small coffee shop in downtown Kobe, Japan. In 1970 they were ‘discovered’ by Dick Freeland, who owned Rebel Records at the time, and with his invitation they toured the States and Canada in 1971 & 72.

This month the band will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a tour in Japan with all six original members. (Photos above: courtesy photo on left; photo on right by Maria Camillo; poster at right designed by Benimaru 'Ashura' Itoh)


11/16 Kobe, Rokkoman Hall
11/17 Fujisawa, Fujisawa City Roudou Kaikan
11/18 Tokyo, Rocky Top
11/19 Nagoya, Little Village
11/22 Osaka, Another Dream
11/23 Takarazuka, Nishi Kominkan
11/24 Imabari, Asakura Kominkan
11/25 Kochi, Kochi City Bunka Plaza

Other News

Congratulations to Paulo and Magdalena Dettwiler, who were married Aug. 25 in Switzerland. Paulo founded the European Bluegrass Music Association, Bluegrass Europe magazine, and he served two terms on the IBMA Board of Directors as the first international board representative. Paulo also plays mandolin with the Country Pickers.

The Autumn 2012 issue of British Bluegrass News includes a farewell from departing British Bluegrass Association president John Wirtz and a welcome to incoming president John Breese; a collection of farewell tributes to Doc Watson; and more. For info, visit www.britishbluegrass.co.uk

Lands End (pictured above) is a diverse group of young musicians who first came together at the Sore Fingers Summer School, held annually in Oxfordshire, England. Their name, “Lands End,” pays tribute to the fact that each member comes from a different geographical location -- Cork, Galway, Dublin, Munich, Liverpool, and Canada. The band consists of Richie Foley (mandolin), Sam Rose (bass), Paddy Kiernan (banjo), Bruno Pichler (Dobro), Hubert Murray (guitar, vocals), and Sam Draper (fiddle). The band will start work on its first studio album in December. They can be seen at http://youtu.be/8te2X_IvesA, a video recorded in St Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal, Co. Cork, Ireland, in August 2012.

Covered Grass has published an illustrated account (in German) on their website of the final part of their pilgrimage to the USA, including their journey to Hollywood, where they took part in the 40-year reunion of the original cast of The Waltons TV show. Their performance of their original song, 'Goodnight John Boy', composed as a tribute to the show, was an important part of the reunion.

American Bluegrassers Abroad

The Punch Brothers launched a European tour late last month, and will continue with dates in France (Nov. 3), one in Northern Ireland (Nov. 5), and seven in Britain (Nov. 6-14), ending with two shows in the Netherlands and one in Belgium (Nov. 16-18). See http://www.punchbrothers.com/tour/ for their European itinerary. The band’s new five-track EP Ahoy! is scheduled for release on Nov. 13.

This month, look for the Kruger Brothers (pictured above: Jens Kruger, Joel Landesberg, Uwe Kruger) on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Banjo Event 2012 at the Eagle Music Shop in Huddersfield, northern England. Eagle Music is the official worldwide dealer for Deering Banjos, and Greg and Janet Deering will be present at this one-day event, which will include concerts, workshops, picking sessions, and trade stand. Several leading English bands will also perform, including the Down County Boys, Chris Cooper, the Kentucky Cow Tippers, Joe Mac & the Old Grey Dogs, and more. See http://www.krugerbrothers.com/concerts for the schedule of the Krugers’ other shows in Switzerland.

Please send your international bluegrass news to Caroline Wright at caroline@ibma.org. We welcome bluegrass news from all over the globe, and will include it in our newsletter as time and space permit!