Singin’ the Blues at Moniaive music fest
The very best in bluegrass will be on offer as Moniaive hosts its ninth Americana festival next weekend.
Highly acclaimed bands from the USA, England, France and Scotland will provide a wealth of musical interpretation over three days with hundreds of fans from all over the country expected to descend on the small Glencairn village with the big festival reputation.
Headliners with an international reputation will be the Ballinger Family Band with Matt Flinner, all the way from Tennessee in the USA.
They bring their own unique style of blue grass mixed with old time fiddle tunes, gypsy swing and contemporary ballads using guitar, bass and mandolin.
And they will be joined by Matt Flinner, a banjo prodigy who started playing bluegrass festivals as a young boy and now excels as one of the finest mandolinists and new acoustic/roots music composers of today.
With roots in Portland, Oregon and Liverpool, The Horsenecks play a dynamic mix of American roots music with the high-energy performance of a group of people who love what they play. Top-shelf musicianship is making them a well-loved and highly respected staple in the traditional music scenes in the US and the UK.
The bill also features some old favourites and some new with the Dapper Dans and Wayward Janes from Scotland, England’s Hot Rock Pilgirms and Reckless Abandoners as well as the Francois Vola Trio from France.
If the foot-tapping music turns the audience’s attention to dance they can also enjoy Legs Levens and The Limestone Cowboys Appalachian Dance Team from just across the border in Cumbria.
Open mic sessions and a whole series of workshops from mandolin to clawhammer banjo take place throughout Saturday and on Sunday.
Bands are on stage on Friday and Saturday nights with a special family concert on Saturday afternoon.
Organiser Paul Lyttle said: “We have another great line up with bands from the USA, England, France and, of course, Scotland showing the diversity of bluegrass and Americana music.
“A big Moniaive welcome to all our visitors who we hope will take advantage of the workshops and everything on offer at this, our ninth festival which continues to grow.”
The festival is a community music event which held its inaugural festival in September 2009. Since then it has grown in popularity. It started when a small number of bluegrass enthusiasts formed a festival committee and chose the last full weekend of September known as Michaelmas.
The main aim of the festival is to promote bluegrass and old timey music.
Organisers also encourage people of all ages to begin to learn an instrument associated with bluegrass and old timey music by offering free instrument workshops at the festival and also by holding a summer instrument workshop annually.
The committee are all volunteers who travel from their homes across the country as well as from the village itself to erect stages, shift chairs, sell merchandise and look after the performers.
Full details of concert line-ups and venues are available on the Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival website at http://www.moniaivebluegrass.co.uk
‘Great line-up’ Organiser Paul Lyttle
Headline act The Ballinger Family Band