Special Consensus and Davidson Brothers Gig

Davidson BrothersAustralia’s favourite bluegrass export, the Davidson Brothers have just returned from a whirlwind tour of the US and are pleased to invite you to their free November Residency – Sunday’s @ The B-East. They are also extra super very pleased to invite you to one special show with fabulous USA bluegrass act Special Consensus.

The Davidsons met Special Consensus when they were on tour in Raleigh North Carolina launching their critically acclaimed new album ‘Wanderlust’ and hanging backstage with all the other bluegrassers.

Special Consensus has just won two IBMA International Bluegrass Music Awards with their new John Denver tribute album and are thrilled to be making the trip to Oz.

Dates: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 November 2014.
Time: Support 8.30-9.15pm Davidson Brothers Band 9.30-10.15pm

Northcote Social Club – Monday 17th November, 2014
Special Consensus (USA)

Show tickets here.

Bunbury Blues Club to feature Bluegrass Band

SW Blues ClubThe South West Blues Club Inc. in Bunbury W.A.  have announced that they are featuring a Bluegrass band called Good Corn Liquor from New South Wales. This group will be playing at their regular club gathering on Saturday 15th November.

Organisers say that this is the first time that they have had a Bluegrass Band at their club and are seeking to attract new audiences to their club nights.

Good Corn Liquor is a country/bluegrass inspired band hailing from Gunnedah NSW. Currently residing in Newcastle, NSW they can be regularly found playing shows around the Hunter and North West. Covering a multitude of artists from Soggy Bottom Boys, Old Crow Medicine Show all the way through to bands such as Aerosmith and The White Stripes. They love a beer and a knock about tune, with a current repertoire of originals shining with country, blues and bluegrass influence.

Good Corn Liquor are:

  • Stu McKenzie – Vocals, Harmonica & Kazoo
  • Ben McCauley – Banjo, Guitar, Dobro, Jaw harp & Vocals
  • Ben Murphy – Guitar, Mandolin, percussion & Vocals
  • Nicholas Wright – Bass Guitar & Vocals

Chris Henry & Hardcore Grass Tour

Chris Henry BandPeter Rowan’s mandolin-player, Chris Henry, returns to Australia with his own bluegrass band, The Hardcore Grass. This is a must-see band for all lovers of bluegrass music.

The International Bluegrass Music Association has labelled Chris Henry as “the premier Monroe-style mandolinist of his generation”, while US Bluegrass legend Peter Rowan describes him as “a bright young star in Bluegrass Music”, and has made him a full-time member of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.

Chris Henry grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA, the son of veteran bluegrass musicians, Red and Murphy Henry. He moved to Nashville about ten years ago, and has been making quite a name for himself as one of the most highly regarded and sought-after young musicians on the American bluegrass scene. He received an International Bluegrass Music Association nomination for Song of the Year in 2011 for writing “Walking West to Memphis.” He was in Shawn Camp’s band, and in the last few years he has been playing with his own band, The Hardcore Grass, and with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.

He impressed Australian audiences when he toured here earlier this year as a member of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Trio. As a result of that tour, he has been invited back to Australia to headline the Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival this October.

Chris is touring with his own four-piece band, The Hardcore Grass, consisting of himself on mandolin and vocals, Mike Garris (guitar and vocals), Corrina Logston (fiddle and vocals) and Beth Lawrence (bass and vocals).

As well as being a talented guitarist, Mike Garris is also a highly respected bass-player, and has recorded and toured extensively as a long-time member of the Del McCoury Band and David Grisman’s Bluegrass Experience. Fiddler, singer-songwriter, Corrina Logston, is an exciting new talent in bluegrass today, widely known for her lively and versatile fiddling, and tenor singing rooted in traditional bluegrass music. She has performed with the likes of Del McCoury, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osborne, Alison Krauss, and Charlie Louvin, and many others. Beth Lawrence has been living in the South for 10 years, and playing bass and singing with national bluegrass bands, including the Mark Newton Band, Ron Block Band, Jerry Salley Band, and The Daughters of Bluegrass.

Chris Henry website: http://christopherhenry.net/
Hardcore Grass facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hardcoregrass

Chris Henry & The Hardcore Grass – 2014 Australian Tour Dates:

  • Fri 24, Sat 25, Sun 26 Oct: Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Dorrigo, NSW
  • Tue 28 Oct: Bonny Hills Community Hall, Bonny Hills, NSW
  • Thur 30 Oct: Carrington Bowling Club, Newcastle, NSW (with Annie Lou Band)
  • Fri 31 Oct: Illawarra Folk Club, Wollongong, NSW
  • Sat 1 Nov: Sydney Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Get-Together, Annandale, NSW
  • Sun 2 Nov: Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham, NSW
  • Thur 6 Nov: The Quarterdeck, Narooma, NSW
  • Fri 7 Nov: Canberra Musicians Club, Turner Bowling Club, Turner, ACT
  • Sat 8, Sun 9 Nov: Blackwood Festival of Music & Culture, Blackwood, Vic
  • Tue 11 Nov: Mountain Pickers Association, Burrinja Café, Upwey, Vic
  • Thur 13 Nov: Courthouse Café, Camperdown, Vic
  • Fri 14 Nov: Healesville Music Festival, Healesville, Vic
  • Sat 15, Sun 16 Nov: Mountaingrass Festival, Harrietville, Vic
  • Thur 20 Nov: The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, Vic
  • Fri 21 Nov: Candelo Town Hall, Candelo, NSW
  • Sat 22 Nov: Katoomba RSL, Katoomba, NSW

Colin O’Brien Tour Dates

Colin O'BrienColin O’Brien has announced dates for his tour in New South Wales and Victoria.

Colin O’Brien’s music is informed by the past and speaks to the present. A playful performer, Colin delights his audiences with fiery melodies, groovy rhythms, soulful lyrics, fancy footwork and old time hat tricks. His banjo, fiddle and guitar playing, percussive dancing, and lyrics all express an earnest regard for the traditional, natural and true.

O’Brien is a nationally touring independent performer based in Nashville. He has shared bills with artists such as The Infamous String Dusters, Great American Taxi, Trampled By Turtles, Tim O’Brien, Del McCoury, Steve Martin, Sam Bush, Darol Anger and Peter Rowan. Colin has performed at many venues and festivals throughout the United States including Rocky Grass, The John Hartford Memorial Festival Boats and Bluegrass, Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, The Station Inn, The Sioux River Folk Festival, The Ark and dozens more.

Colin loves to engage his audience, young and old alike, and may at any time leave the stage to dance and sing among them; his voice, fiddle and feet all still resounding loud and clear through the stage speakers.

In 2011, the great Nashville musician, Larry Perkins, heard Colin play at the John Hartford Memorial Festival and was side-struck. “Colin’s music is genuine, whimsical, full of fun and carefully crafted. For me, it’s a very pleasant surprise”. He invited Colin down to Nashville to record. The resulting After A Song features Colin’s original songs performed with several of John Hartford’s band mates, including Perkins himself.

You are a very talented artist – John D. Loudermilk, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee
Colin O’Brien is a great entertainer – Tim O’Brien

In addition to his solo song and dance, Mr. O’Brien performs with The Nashville Stringy-Band, an acoustic super-group featuring Matt Combs on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Todd Phillips on bass.

When not entertaining on the road, O’Brien may be found dancing in his front yard on the banks of the Cumberland River with his fiddle and banjo as the General Jackson steamboat rounds Hartford’s bend.

Colin’s tour dates:

23 Oct 14 – Mofo, Surrey Hills, NSW: 10:00am
24 Oct 14 – Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival
30 Oct 14 – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC: 8:00pm
31 Oct 14 – Maldon Folk Festival, Maldon, VIC: 10:00am
9 Nov 14 – Barney Allen’s, St. Kilda, VIC: 7:00pm

Old South Gig Guide Oct 2014

Old SouthOld South Bluegrass are getting out-of-town. They’ll be playing songs from their fantastic new album “The Hanging Tree” at The Singing Gallery in McLaren Vale on Saturday 18th October. On Saturday, 25th October they will be performing in Cambrai at The Cambrai Hotel.

 As usual, all unaccompanied children under ten will receive a litre of red cordial and a free kitten. 

Old South’s new album “The Hanging Tree” is available here at the Australian Bluegrass shop.

Casey Driessen on Southern Style.

Jan Dale - Southern StyleU.S. fiddle player Casey Driessen will be Jan Dale’s guest in the studio on Southern Style on Tuesday 16th September.
Casey is touring Australia giving concerts and teaching workshops and promoting the release of his new album “The Singularity.”

Southern Style can also be streamed to your computer, so you might like to also catch Jan’s special in the archives of the PBS website.

Southern Style with Jan Dale – PBS FM 106.7
Tuesdays 1:00pm to 3:00pm or online at www.pbsfm.org.au.

Casey Dreissen On Tour in Oz 2014

Casey DreissenMajor festivals and events in Australia invariable provide the opportunity for international artists to travel to and tour parts of Australia. This is the case with the Sunshine Fiddle Camp scheduled for next month on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Casey Driessen one of the featured guests at this year’s camp has spent his career pushing the boundaries of fiddle music and has been touring with The Flecktones, Tim O’Brien, and Darrell Scott, and opening for the Zac Brown Band.

Driessen’s captivating live shows see music created by assembling musical parts like a musical Dr. Frankenstein. Driessen draws on a number of wide-ranging influences from Tom Waits to Stevie Wonder to jazz violinist Stuff Smith. He’s particularly drawn to the improvisational elements of bebop, the groove of R&B, and percussion rich global cultures. Driessen’s continued interest in percussion has also led to the creation of Fiddle/Sticks, an ongoing audio and video project in which he collaborates with drummers like Jamey Haddad, Kenny Malone, and Futureman.

Though the Grammy-nominated Driessen has participated in several genre-blending ventures, including Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s Sparrow Quartet, at his core, he is a bluegrass fiddler, albeit one who honed his skills at Berklee College of Music.

Casey Driessen is a rather funky fellow….Music-wise, you might call him the heir to Vassar Clements in that he too, straddles the line between roots and jazz. If you’ve ever seen Driessen perform live you’ll swear his violin plays him - Nashville Scene.

Casey Driessen is touring Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane:

2014 Sunshine Fiddle Camp

Casey Driessen

Casey Driessen

The 2014 Sunshine Fiddle Camp is scheduled for 24th to 29th Sep. at the Alexandra Park Conference Centre.

The program will feature

  •  a cello and fiddle-five day
  •  world-class tutors experienced in performance, composition, arranging and improvisation for the advanced and intermediate players
  •  separate class’s for those that wish to take learning at a slower pace
  •  A class just for the kids.
  •  if you started the Violin a long time ago, or just always wanted to play the fiddle, here is your chance. A beginner class that will get you started or restarted on the fiddle.

Casey Driessen has spent his career pushing the boundaries of fiddle music. With the release of his third album, The Singularity, the 34- year old virtuoso proves that the possibilities of one man, one five-string fiddle, and one pedal board are endless.

Ariel Friedman

Ariel Friedman

The Singularity, Driessen’s third record, is a solo album in every sense of the word the only sounds listeners hear are created by the looping of fiddle and voice. It was self recorded and self- produced at his home studio. In between touring with The Flecktones, Tim O’Brien, and Darrell Scott, and opening for the Zac Brown Band.

George Jackson

George Jackson

The Grammy-nominated Driessen has participated in several genre-blending ventures, including Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn’s Sparrow Quartet, at his core, he is a bluegrass fiddler, albeit one who honed his skills at Berklee College of Music.

Ariel Friedman is a multi-genre trailblazing cellist, and one of few musicians to be challenging the boundaries of cello-playing. She graduated with a Masters of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory in 2011.

A winner of ASTA’s 2009 Alternative Styles Award, Ariel is steeped in the music of American roots traditions, early jazz and a broad range of classical repertoire. She performs regularly with her sister as Boston’s Americana sister act “Ari and Mia”, Ari has also toured internationally with Scottish National Fiddle champion Hanneke Cassel, has performed with the Boston Symphony group “Classical Tangent,” and maintains a solid footing in the classical world.
She is a sought after educator and has taught at music camps and programs from New England to New Zealand.

George Jackson performs throughout Australia with his bands “The Company”, “One Up, Two Down. He was recently toured as part of the “Peter Rowan Trio”

Jackson is the 7th generation fiddler in his family. His passion for music is inspired by the contrasting styles of Bluegrass, Old-time, Celtic. Jackson’s own style spans from the traditional to the innovative. George has been awarded the Golden Fiddle Award for “Best Fiddler”, The Australian Youth Bluegrass Scholarship and has Won the CMAA Australian Fiddle and Banjo Championships along with the FAA Young Australian Folk Musician in 2010.

Visit the Sunshine Fiddle Camp Website.

Bangalow Pickers’ Competition

banjoHere’s a chance to win $250 in the amateur Pickers Competition at the Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival, Bangalow Showgrounds, Saturday 2 August. Open to everyone, categories include fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo.

It was Bill Monroe’s virtuosity on the mandolin which was credited as defining Bluegrass music as a genre. With improvisation and frenetic tempos characteristic of Bluegrass, its combined energy and style belies the masterful technique of bluegrass picking instrumentalists. So we’ve decided to showcase them!

Each of the contestants in each heat (and the final) will step up to the mic in turn and perform a ‘solo’ over a pre-arranged backing track, performed live by the house band (guitar and upright bass) with a progressive tempo. Finalists will enter the Grand Final, each instrumentalist performing to the same track.

Judging will be industry professionals including musician (fiddle, Emilie Owen (Mr Cassidy), Rod Coe (Freshwater) record producer and music director for the late Slim Dusty, and Steve Berry (former Australian flat picking champion).

Judges will be looking for technique/definition, phrasing and form, cohesion with other players, originality and enthusiasm/spirit.

Music Program Director, Ash Bell says “The pickers’ comp is about pitching the players against each other in their natural habitat, and on an even playing field. Same track, same tempo, same amount of time to impress. It’s as much about mic technique and player awareness as it is about musicianship.  The best thing about this comp is that it will look and sound just like a bluegrass band playing, but they’ll all be trying to outplay each other. It’s going to be a hoot!”

With a festival line-up including, The Morrisons, The Stetson Family, The Mid North contestants are in good company.

Entry fee $25. Cheaper than general admission and all proceeds go to prize money. Register now at www.bbqbluegrass.com.au/pickers.

Bangalow Showgrounds, Saturday 2 August, 2014.

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Mustered Courage tours USA

Mustered Courage takes their broad appeal progressive bluegrass to the USA, with the release of Powerlines on Travianna Records.Mustered Courage

Music Australia Guide describes Mustered Courage as “the link between Bill Monroe and Mumford & Sons, with just the right mix of mirth and mournful.”

The Melbourne based quartet has quickly risen to the top of Australia’s folk and roots scene on the strength of their energetic live shows and albums that have won them a string of glowing reviews, national radio support, an endorsement from Seal, and two “Golden Guitar” nominations at the 2014 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia.

After a heavy touring schedule of headlining club dates and festival appearances in support of their debut project, Mustered Courage went back into the studio to record this sophomore album, Powerlines, with ARIA Award winning producer Jimi Maroudas (The Living End, Eskimo Joe, Kimbra).

Powerlines - Mustered CouragePowerlines finds them fine-tuning a diverse sound that Bluegrass Today calls, “the line between bluegrass and the mainstream style of folk music that’s quite popular today, but they do it well. They provide a nice mix of material that fans of progressive bluegrass should enjoy.”
The Alternate Root Magazine hit it on the nose when talking about the album. “When the music of Appalachia landed Down Under, it sprouted up as Mustered Courage. The album breathes bluegrass purity and stretches possibilities for string band music as it accents the blue in the grass with bending strings and vocal walls.”
Mustered Courage’s quick ascent has not gone unnoticed in music industry circles, both in Australia and abroad. These down-home pickers have played many of the major Australian festivals, performed an official showcase at the Americana Music Association Conference and Festival in Nashville, and are currently on tour this summer for over 50 dates in the U.S. where they will end their tour in Raleigh, NC to perform at the International Bluegrass Music Association conference.

Like the Avett Brothers and the SteelDrivers, Mustered Courage breathes new life into the bluegrass scene with a style that appeals to both traditionalists and newcomers alike. They are a band on the rise that, as Rhythms Magazine contends, is “guaranteed to soon be on to bigger things.”

For more information about the band, please visit www.musteredcourage.com.

Mustered Courage 2014 American Tour Dates:

July
24 – Cambridge, Mass. @ Atwood’s Tavern
25 – Winooski, Vt. @ The Monkey House
26 – South Hiram, Maine @ Ossipee Valley Music Festival
28 – New York, N.Y. @ Hill Country
30 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ World Café Live (upstairs)
31 – Washington, D.C. @ Hill Country
September
3 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ The Cabooze
4 – Sioux City, Iowa @ Vangarde Arts
5 – Clarks Grove, Minn. @ Shangri-La Fest
7 – Chicago, Ill. @ The Tonic Room
10 – Grand Rapids, Mich. @ The Tonic Room
13 – New Hope, Pa. @ Triumph Brewing Company
18 – Gatlinburg, Tenn. @ Sugarland’s Distilling
19 – Bristol, Tenn. @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
20 – Bristol, Tenn. @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
21 – Nashville, Tenn. @ AMA Sounds Australia Farewell Bash
22 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Whiskey Jam at Winners
24 – Charleston, W.V. @ The Boulevard Tavern
25 – Thomas, W.V. @ The Purple Fiddle
26 – Chillicothe, Ohio @ The Dock At Water
27 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Midpoint Music Festival
30 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble
August
1 – Bristol, Tenn. @ Border Bash
2 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Barley’s Taproom
5 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Smith’s Olde Bar
6 – New Orleans, La. @ The Beatnik
7 – The Woodlands, Texas @ Dosey Doe
8 – Austin, Texas @ Lamberts
9 – Dallas, Texas @ The Foundry Bar
12 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hotel Café
13 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Hotel Utah
14 – Reno, Nev. @ Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino
15 – Reno, Nev. @ Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino
16 – Reno, Nev. @ Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino
18 – Santa Cruz, Calif. @ The Crepe Place
22 – Portland, Ore. @ Mississippi Studios
23 – Port Townsend, Wash. @ Sirens Tavern
24 – Seattle, Wash. @ Tractor Tavern
27 – Paonia, Colo. @ Revolution Brewing
28 – Paonia, Colo. @ Pickin’ In The Park
29 – Denver, Colo. @ Lost Lake Lounge
30 – Carbondale, Colo. @ Steve’s Guitars
October
1 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble
2 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble
3 – Raleigh, N.C. @ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble