08 January 2018

Coming to Ireland just to see the Greg Blake Band

Thierry Schoysman
The BIB editor reports:

The 'Songs of heart & home' tour in Ireland - beginning less than two weeks from now - by Greg Blake and his band, composed of some of the most highly regarded bluegrass musicians in America today, was featured on Bluegrass Today last Friday. The indispensable John Nyhan, who has made this tour possible, recently remarked:

I am not so sure how many people realise the impact these musicians have made in bluegrass over the last thirty to forty years and still do today.

Well, the BIB has tried to show how lucky the bluegrass fan in Ireland is to be able to hear such an assemblage of talent. John Reischman, with his iconic 1924 Lloyd Loar Gibson mandolin (featured on Fretboard Journal), is a master both in adventurous modern material and the deepest traditional music. Mark Schatz - twice winner of IBMA awards on bass - is also expert in traditional dance and old-time banjo. Blaine Sprouse (fiddle) learned from the 'king of bluegrass fiddlers', Kenny Baker. Sally Van Meter on resonator guitar (like Reischman a member of the highly influential Good Ol' Persons band in California) was one of the first women recognised as an outstanding player of this music.

But one pretty concrete indication of the appeal of Greg Blake's band is that one of the pillars of bluegrass in Europe, Thierry Schoysman (photo above), is coming to Ireland specially to see the band when they play Mannion's in Balla, Co. Mayo, on Thursday 1 February. Thierry, a friend of the late Bill Keith, plays banjo with the premier Belgian band Rawhide, who were on the bill at Omagh a few years back. (Rawhide earned a special award from the European World of Bluegrass (EWOB) festival in the Netherlands for playing there every year for twenty years.) He also plays mandolin with the Sons of Navarone, who tour often in Britain; and he runs the Bluegrass in Belgium website and has been one of the most active members of the EBMA from the outset. And, like most European bluegrassers, he can make better jokes in English than I can.

So if Thierry considers it worthwhile to fly from Brussels to see and hear the Greg Blake Band, you can be sure that it's worth a trip within this island.

Labels: , , , ,


At 11:25 am, Blogger Denis McCarthy said...

Tell him to come to the bluegrass capital of Ireland, the Village Arts Centre at Kilworth. But he would need to get a ticket in advance, to ensure admission!

At 9:05 pm, Blogger Thierry Schoysman said...

Hello Denis
When is the event in Kenilworth ?

At 10:14 pm, Blogger Thierry Schoysman said...

I see it now. That won't fit in this trip. But I'll be happy to come back.

At 10:48 am, Blogger Denis McCarthy said...

Thierry, keep an eye on this site. Super promoter John Nyhan has numerous top class bluegrass gigs at that venue every year. Best wishes, Denis.


Post a Comment

<< Home