Mike St Clair-Miller has advised that Bluestone Junction is playing at the Lomond Hotel in Nicholson St Brunswick on 11th Jan at 5:00pm.
The Whitetop Mountaineers is made up of Martha Spencer and Jackson Cunningham from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. They are both members of the Whitetop Mountain Band. As a duet act, Martha and Jackson have toured across the United States and abroad (Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England and Australia) playing concerts, festivals, workshops, and dances. Their shows consist of ol’timey country harmony singing, bluesy mandolin/guitar, old time fiddle/clawhammer banjo tunes, and flatfoot dancing.
The Whitetop mountaineers have just finished a series of performances at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland and are now continuing their tour.– 4th Jan 2009 – Gippsland Arc Yinnar – 6:00pm. – 9th – 11th Jan 2009 – The Cygnet Folk Festival, Hobart, Tasmania. – 14th – 18th Jan 2009 – The Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli, New South Wales. – 19th – 22nd Jan 2009 – Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club, Tamworth, New South Wales. – 23rd – 26th Jan 2009 – Newstead Music Festival, Newstead, Victoria.
Bunyip Country Music Festival announces its line up for 2009 20th Anniversary Festival.
Artists on this year’s program include:
Adam Harvey, Feral Swing Katz, Karen Lynne & Blue Mountain Rain, Camille & Stuie French, Billy Bridge, The Cartwheels, Rick Bartlett, Johanna Hemara, The Bona Fide Travellers, Phoenix.
The Bunyip Country Music Festival will be held on 22-Feb-09 at the Bunyip Recreation Reserve, Longwarry Road.
The festival will also feature vintage & classic cars, trucks & caravan display, children’s rides, stalls, affordable food & drinks.
Admission: Adults $25.00 Children 14yrs & under Free
Railway Station opposite venue. Contact: Joy Batchelor p: 03 5629 5388 or e: email@example.com
Coolgrass, Victoria’s somewhat bent bluegrass phenomena has recently had their profile debuted on the Cybergrass website.
In addition to their own songs and parodies, Coolgrass tackle the likes of Mozart, Mancini, Chuck Berry, Queen, Duke Ellington and many more in a tongue-firmly-in-cheek bluegrass style. They’re based in Melbourne (Australia, not Florida) and can be found causing musical mayhem at various folk and bluegrass festivals. They’ve been busy in the studio – their 2004 CD “Toad Rage” has recently been joined by a new recording: “Jaguar Breakdown” in honour of Jim’s “reliable” old car.
Read the full post on Cybergrass
The November issue of Golf Digest included Dan Tyminski in its new ranking of the “Top 100 Golfers in Music.” With a 4.4 handicap, he was listed at #9 and is joined in the top 10 by the likes of Kenny G, Vince Gill and all three Gatlin brothers. A few of the many other notables in the field of 100 include Alice Cooper, Justin Timberlake, Darius Rucker, Kix Brooks and Dweezil Zappa.
View the full list by clicking here.
Two months ago Cybergrass reported on a benefit concert to be held for Butch Baldassari, a respected Nashville musician, record producer and adjunct associate professor of mandolin at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Butch was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor back in May 2007.
Cybergrass now provides an update on Butch’s condition on the Cybergrass Website
In my book, a “successful musician” is “a person who enjoys playing music”. In times of challenging economics, isn’t it wonderful that music making costs little or nothing?
Good times with friends and family bring us cheer, and music warms the heart. I hope you will have music as part of your holidays, and if you are looking for gift ideas for musical people in your life, we have some good ones.
We regularly hear from people who spend hours playing along with our bluegrass jamming DVDs. Folks love them, and say they feel they know us, from all the times spent jamming with us!
These are among my most popular items ever, especially the Slow Jam Video, suitable for any person just starting to play any bluegrass instrument. 17 favorite songs at very gentle tempos, and only 4 chords (G, C, D, A) used on the whole video!
No way of starting to play could be easier. Music reading, lead playing are not necessary; all chords are shown on screen. Young and old alike will love this super-easy introduction to music making.
My Bluegrass Songbook has sold over 100,000 copies, but there’s still a good chance that a bluegrass-loving friend of yours doesn’t have one! This is another item that gets many hours of use, year after year.
See below for our 2009 camps schedule so far. (Sign up early for lowest cost.)
Joan and I wish you a happy and healthy holiday and new year!
2009 Bluegrass Jam Camps
March 4-6 — Argyle, TX, preceding the Argyle Bluegrass Festival
March 20-22 — Boulder, CO, at the Boulder Inn
April 20-23 — Boomer, NC, preceding Merlefest, includes new Intermediate Track
May 12-14 — Gettysburg, PA, preceding the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival
July 13-16 — (tentative) Oak Hill, NY, preceding the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
For more information about any of the camps, visit www.DrBanjo.com.
Two-time Grammy nominated artists, The Grascals, welcome a new member Kristin Scott Benson into their musical circle.
Kristin is the reigning International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year and has been a professional touring musician since 1996. She brings a new flair to the band by adding her own instrumental prowess and thoughtful performance to an already amazing artistic line-up.
Read the full story on the Bluegrass Journal
NEW BAND FORMATS:-
I have had lots of people asking questions about the various line-ups of Acoustic Shock they’ve seen me working with and even a few line-ups going under a few other band names as well! I have found that while working with Acoustic Shock has been wonderful, the members are not always available to do the gigs I pick up and therefore the line-ups have had to temporarily change. A lot of you have asked about Jim Rush who has not been available for some time and while he is on a bit of a break at the moment, we too hope that you’ll see him back in the line-up sometime in the future. I have tried to use a different band name to show when the band line-up wasn’t actually Acoustic Shock but it seems that this just confuses everybody even more because they still see so many familiar faces. Never mind, I think next year will bring a few changes to our band line-up once again, remember,.. it’s still me!
Over the coming months we’ll be in Mildura, Richmond, Wagga Wagga, Bunyip, Barham, Dorrigo, Wollongong & Tasmania, which may mean we are passing close by, if you are a DJ and would like to do an in-person interview and we can possibly swing it, we will, Just contact me. Thanks for everyone who supported our gigs over the last few months, especially the local ones I wasn’t able to advertise properly due to my computer problems.
Sat, 6th Dec, 8pm
Karen Lynne & Martin Louis, Sydney Bluegrass & Trad. Country Music Association, Annandale Community Centre, Johnston St, Annandale NSW.
Sat, 13th Dec
Karen Lynne & Acoustic Shock, George Town On Show 2008, Festival on the Tamar, George Town – Tasmania.
Sun, 21st Dec, 1pm
Karen Lynne & Martin Louis – Sunday Bluegrass Sessions,Cooks River Boat Club, Tempe OR with Pat Drummond at Wisemans Ferry, to be confirmed – NSW.
Fri 16th – Sun 18th Jan
Karen Lynne & Blue Mountain Rain bluegrass band, Illawarra Folk Festival, Bulli Showground – NSW.
Sat 20-21st Feb
Karen Lynne & Acoustic Shock, Barham Country Music Stampede, Barham, VIC
Sun 22nd Feb, 10am
Karen Lynne & Blue Mountain Rain, Bunyip Country Music Festvial, 20th Anniversary Celebrations, non stop music 10am – 6pm, stars Adam Harvey & also Stui & Camille French, Bunyip, VIC.
The Australian Bluegrass Blog readers have enjoyed their whacky posts and sense of humour sometimes afforded us by the Cowtippers, a conglomerate of musicians from a variety of backgrounds that perform in Adelaide and surrounds.
Henk – Happy – Groot on fiddle/vocals/guitar/mandolin
John – The Ripper – Hyland on Dobro/vocals/guitar/banjo
Diana – Ouchies – Fusco on double bass/vocals/blistered fingers
Rick – Popeye – Hunt on banjo/guitar/mandolin/vocals
I caught up with the group this month and put a series of questions to them just like a real journalist. But, unlike most journo’s, I don’t have a political axe to grind or a hidden agenda.
The Cowtippers, – sometimes called Cowtripers, Cowpushers and Travelling Cowhides, have been playing together for some 18 months. Diana, the groups bass player comments that; “surprisingly they still like each other most of the time”.
I asked whether their music comprised of mainly bluegrass music?
That’s a contentious issue was the response. ” y’see, the folkies call us bluegrass, the bluegrassers tease us about having a bit of country stuck to the soles of our boots and the country mob, well, they think we are a bunch of folkies. But that’s okay, because it means we get invited to 3x as many parties”.
Rick and Henk fell into step some years ago at Frances Folk Gathering, a great little festival that almost straddles the SA/Vic border.
The scratch band they were playing with won the almost fanatically contested Mixed Grill competition with a raucous rendition of Living Next Door to Alice rewritten to Frances, where the hell is Frances? The song went down so well that it has virtually become the informal anthem for Frances Folk Gathering.
Pumped up with their ‘Frances’ success, Henk and Rick performed together in various arrangements including a folk trio called Murphy’s Law with singer/guitarist Dave Heslop. Murphy’s Law by this time was already moving away from its Irish roots with a fair splattering of bluegrass through its repertoire.
It was about this time that Rick’s long-suffering partner Diana got fed up with being a band widow. Deciding she’d had enough of buying the beer, holding the instruments and being the designated driver, she swapped her tin whistle for a double bass and three chords later, she was in. With the new direction heading quickly towards bluegrass and country, a new name was needed as the band were still playing to audiences who would scratch their heads and wonder what had happened to Fields of Athenry and Dirty Old Town. And so bones of The Cowtippers began to harden.
The band found a welcoming market for their style of bluegrass and picked up regular gigs around Adelaide. With the departure of Dave Heslop and the arrival of John Hyland, the new direction was cemented. John Hyland not only brought to the band his smooth vocals and mean Dobro, he also brought to the band a sometimes challenged belief that the band required practice, 8 hours sleep a night, occasional periods of sobriety and the ability to sing in tune. Go figure?
The Cowtippers list their inspirations as:
For those in the SA region you can catch The Cowtippers at theirMyspace page
I asked the Cowtippers for some gossip, an embarrassing moment, a never-to-be-forgotten incident or just a good ol’ Aussie yarn. Here’s what they said:
We were performing at Country for Cancer in Mount Gambier before a fair sized crowd. We were halfway through our set when Rick became aware of a cool breeze around his groin area. To his horror, Rick realised that his fly was undone. But even more terrifying, he remembered that he had run out of clean underwear that morning and was now totally commando – Britney Spears, eat your heart out. In true showman style, he did not miss a beat and completed Foggy Mountain Breakdown with his back to the audience before re-zipping. During a gig at our resident venue the Brecknock, we spotted a chap in the audience with a fiddle case. During the breaks we had a chat with our new friend Kevin, a visitor from Ireland. We offered to let him come up onstage for a few tunes, promising we would go easy on him and not do anything too tricky or fast. After a bit of persuasion, he agreed to play and when he did, our jaws hit the floor. This Kevin from Ireland, he was good, bloody good. And so he should be, being that he was none other than Kevin Burke, world-renowned Irish fiddler. Good thing we went easy on him, hey.
Diana: I started on the bass about 3 years ago.
John: Not long enough, but I can now play three chords with my eyes shut.
Henk: Since the Mixed Grill at Frances, so about 5 years.
ABB: What got you started – what was you first bluegrass experience? Rick: Squeal like a pig! (Ed, There’s obviously some childhood repression relating to Christmas hams there)
Diana: I don’t rightly remember what got me started, I just know that I turned around one day and there it was, biting my behind like a rabid dog.
John: watching Deliverance at the flicks – thinking I like the music but not so keen on the dental work.
Henk: Seeing Hamilton County Bluegrass Band live in New Zealand in around 1969. I have been inspired to play bluegrass ever since.
ABB: Who have been the main influences on your music/style?
Rick: There have been heaps of influences over the years, but mainly good pickers I have heard at various festivals and picks.
Diana: I like old rootsy stuff and the modern interpreters, from Woody Guthrie and Ralph Stanley on to Old Crow Medicine Show.
John: Jerry Douglas, Neil Young, Dr Ralph, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Flying Burrito Bros, and the rare album “Doris Day sings mountain tunes”
Henk: John Foggarty, Fred Eaglesmith, Bill Chambers, The Skillet Lickers and the list goes on.
All photographs courtesy of Paul Thompson Photography