Heard 'Round the World: September 2013

Jimmy Rush (guitar and vocals) and Nigel Lever (mandolin, guitar, vocals and CD artwork) have released a new 16 track CD Inspirations recorded in three cities: Nashville, Sydney and Melbourne. A group of friends on the album includes: Tom White (North Carolina banjo), Jenny Shimmin (banjo), Martin Louis (banjo), Quentin Fraser (bass), Hunter Owens (guitar), Suzy Owens (bass), Duggie Wallace (guitar), Peter Fidler (dobro), Kat Mear (fiddle) and Gary Brown (dobro).

The Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival in northern New South Wales, Australia, have added 2-day workshops on Oct. 24-25 preceding the Festival proper. Ross Nickerson will teach Bluegrass Banjo 9am-3pm at a venue close to the Dorrigo Showground and camping - $150 not inclusive of meals. The Foghorn Stringband will teach fiddle, mandolin, harmony, double bass and guitar workshops at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, prices TBA. http://www.dorrigofolkbluegrass.com.au

The Bunratty Banjo Pickers Festival will be held at Bunratty, Co. Clare, Ireland, on Sept. 28-29. Aimed at musicians and listeners, the festival will celebrate the diversity of the banjo. Visiting musicians are invited to join in the many 'Fleadh Style' sessions which are free to the public from noon on Saturday in Bunratty village. These will feature Irish traditional musicians as well as bluegrass, Dixieland jazz, old-timey, American roots, and folk music.

Lilly Drumeva (Bulgaria) reports from Kentucky:

“The first month of my Fulbright scholarship is drawing to an end. I spent it mainly in Western Kentucky University (WKU), where I researched the history of bluegrass music. I worked closely with Prof. Erika Brady, Dept. Folk Studies at WKU. I studied many books from the extensive library collection and had informal conversations with professors and fellow students. My research also involved traveling to Owensboro, KY, taking in the International Bluegrass Music Museum and of course the birthplace of Bill Monroe. I attended a small bluegrass festival in the town of Annetta near Leitchfield, as well as several jam sessions around Bowling Green.”

Tony Friel, broadcaster and bluegrass historian in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland has a two-hour internet radio show every week on Strabane Radio (www.strabaneradio.com). The new times scheduled for the show are 7.00-9.00 p.m. (UK time) every Tuesday evening. Tony adds: “Still playing the best bluegrass on internet radio. Let's hope you can all join me.”

Australian-based band The Davidson Brothers (www.davidsonbrothersband.com) received state funding from the Arts Division in Victoria, Australia to fund the recording and promotion of their new bluegrass record. The state supports the arts with up to $250k per year in support to artists and festivals.