THE LATEST

Jason Moore interview

“In July of 2019, we had the honour of touring Jason Moore and his band mates around Ireland. It was a big time. We sat down with Jason during the tour to ask him a few questions, and to have a little fun. The interview was never published, until now, the first anniversary of Jason’s untimely passing.”

Unrivalled European Tour Service

We offer a comprehensive end-to-end tour management service to visiting bands wishing to tour Ireland 🇮🇪 the U.K. 🇬🇧 or mainland Europe 🇪🇺 Contact us

Our Tours To Date

Seth Mulder & Midnight Run | Europe | 2022

Sideline | Ireland | 2019

Leroy Troy Trio | Ireland | 2019

THE BLOG

The Life of a Musician

“We’re delighted to announce our support for ‘The Life of a Musician’, a new PBS music interview series hosted by Brandon Lee Adams and featuring a selection of acclaimed acoustic artists.”

The Ryman Auditorium

“It was upon the Ryman Auditorium stage in December 1945 that the ‘Father of Bluegrass’ Bill Monroe presented to the world the sound of a new musical genre…. ‘bluegrass’, as it was to become known, was born. Today, bluegrass remains a staple on venerated stage where it started.”

Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa | Ireland 2019

Appaloosa, who, according to their website, are a ‘a group of seasoned musicians who play predominately original, contemporary and traditional Bluegrass music’, were formed in 2008 by Wayne Taylor after retiring from 21 years of service with Country Current, the US Navy’s renowned country-bluegrass ensemble. Wayne has shared a stage, and a song (‘Uncle Pen’ no less), with Bill Monroe (in 1995) and his two-decade-plus stretch with the Navy band, the last 9 of which were as band leader, saw him play for many a bigwig – heads of state, royalty and even 4 US presidents. But on this night, World Bluegrass Day 2019, he played for us, us and about 70 others in the Village Arts Centre in sleepy Kilworth, County Cork.”

Grand Ole Opry

“What started out in November of 1925 as a simple for-radio broadcast of old-time music from Downtown Nashville on 650AM WSM, the WSM Barn Dance, is today the longest continuously running live radio programme in the world. Known since the late 1920s as the Grand Ole Opry and branded as ‘The Show that Made Country Music Famous’, the Opry‘s permanent home since 1974… has been the 4,400-seater Grand Ole Opry House located in the Music Valley neighbourhood some 9 miles east of Downtown Nashville. Both as big and as well-oiled a commercial enterprise as you’ll find anywhere in present-day Music City and a tourist must-do, embarking on a backstage tour of the Opry House… gives an awesome insight into what it is that turned Nashville into the centre of the country crooning rhinestone universe.”

650AM WSM Radio, Nashville

“The broadcast home of the Grand Ole Opry and ‘The Most Famed Country Music Station in The World’, 650AM WSM Radiowas founded by the now defunct National Life and Accident Insurance Company, who used the call sign WSM (We Shield Millions), and first broadcast on October 5 of 1925. We paid a visit to station’s ‘fishbowl’ studio in the bowels of Nashville’s mammoth Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Eddie Stubbs spinning the discs as he did each weekday evening before his July 2020 retirement from both WSM and Grand Ole Opry announcer duties.”

Ricky Skaggs | Cordell, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“Rural Kentucky is home to many a country and bluegrass music heavy-hitter, two of which – one dead, one very much alive – were of particular interest to us on this day, and we went searching for signs of them in two Kentucky towns that you’d probably otherwise have no reason to visit. First up was Cordell, KY boyhood home of one Ricky Skaggs.”

Billy Strings | Bluegrass Island 2017

“Although it’s less than three years ago now that we met and saw guitar sensation Billy Strings live for the first time, we’re pretty sure he’s a bit of a bigger deal now than he was back then; playing now to sold-out venues and headlining major festivals, his rise since has seemingly been as rapid as his pickin’ as he continues to push boundaries, straddle genres, shred strings, and dazzle all who witness his sets.”

Shannonside Winter Music Festival 2019

“This 2019 iteration of the celebration of music that is the Shannonside Winter Music Festival had 80 events spread over 5 days covering 10 different musical genres… bluegrass was well catered for on the lineup, the Special Consensus, no strangers to the festival, the headline act. But until they rode into town for the established Sunday afternoon bluegrass concert, The Petersens and the Munich String Band ably held the keep…”

Ricky Skaggs | Europe 1985

“Only a 9-year-old me would have the gumption to solicit Ricky’s attention mid-set during the Dublin leg of his 1985 European tour, his first tour as a bandleader at the height of his 1980’s country success and a tour that would spawn an album, ‘Live In London’, that would leave an indelible impression on me.”

Bluegrass Bible | ‘Bluegrass – A History’ by Neil V. Rosenberg

“The bluegrass bible? Quite possibly… I first picked (no pun intended) up a copy of Neil V. Rosenberg’s ‘Bluegrass – A History‘ in the gift shop of Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum during the summer of 2003. It was my first visit to Nashville… I’ve read the book… few times since. It warrants a few reads.”

Special Consensus | Dublin, Ireland 2019

“Pulling from their extensive catalogue of material, the 2-hour-long intermission-interrupted set contained many a highlight: the harmonies; the a cappella Gospel numbers; and the instrumentals, especially the bass solos (who doesn’t love a good bass solo or two?) & instrumental-heavy encore, were all outstanding, or just as one might expect from this polished quartet.”

Bluegrass Island Festival 2017

“The heavy-hitting pioneering and ground-breaking history; the beaches; the lighthouses; and the swashbuckling maritime vibe of North Carolina’s Outer Bank were enthralling and educational. But even they, and if you’ll pardon the oh-so pathetic pun, played a very distant second fiddle to the 4 days of foot tappin’ and artist mingling that was the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival in Roanoke Island Festival Park, known for a period every year as Bluegrass Island.”

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage | Rex Fest 2016

“Galax… it’s a quiet, quaint and prototypical old-time music-lovin’ Appalachian town of simple living, friendly locals, strong accents, and a rich musical heritage… and for one day in September 2016 the town was cordoned off to facilitate Rex Fest, a day-long celebration of regional music and dance. The Queen was even in town for the occasion.”

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers | Dublin, Ireland 2018

“… the Beast from the East… did its upmost to disrupt the 2018 Ireland tour by Chris Jones And The Night Drivers. It forced the band, formed by Chris Jones in 1995, to ride out the worst of the unusually severe weather in Northern Ireland while wiping our some of the early shows of the 11 gigs originally scheduled.”

Lester Flatt & Benny Martin | Sparta, TN | Bluegrass Trails

“… Sparta is small-town musical Tennessee with some big-name former residents, one of which, Lester Flatt, is one of the most influential proponents of the bluegrass sound he helped to pioneer. Present-day Sparta is grabbing this association with both hands and running with it, even going so far as to brand itself as ‘Bluegrass USA’, and who could blame it if doing so is going to attract the likes of bluegrass-lovin’ us.”

A Lester Flatt Celebration 2017 | Sparta, TN

“It’s Lester Flatt that gets all the love round these parts. And it all culminates in the free 1-day IBMA Award-winning bite-sized bluegrass bonanza held in his honour that is the annual A Lester Flatt Celebration. The central Liberty Square is cordoned off; the lights of the square’s 1930’s Oldham Theater, a true neighbourhood cinema house and one of the last reaming such edifices left in the US, truly bedazzle; the vendors are out in force; everyone is in fine and friendly fettle; and the bluegrass is of a standard one might expect given the stellar lineups the organisers seem to attract year after year.”

Bill Monroe | Rosine, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“Pictures in the Old Homeplace testify to the brilliant 2001 restoration job performed to get the structure from almost ruin to its present form, a faithful representation of its 1917/1918 appearance both inside and out – the work was carried out by the Leatherwood Construction Company of Tennessee. Presented today as a museum to the life and times of Bill Monroe, the five-room wooden structure is filled with early 20th century-vintage furnishings, cherished family heirlooms, and mementos from Monroe’s illustrious 70-year musical career; awards, honours, and, of course, information on the history of the musical genre born within these walls. We know these walls can sing and dance, but if only these walls could talk.”

The Osborne Brothers | Hyden, KY | Bluegrass Trails

‘There were/are signs on Osborne Brothers Way on the outskirts of the town commemorating Sonny and Bobby, born here in 1937 and 1931 respectively and still with us today, but nothing that said Osborne Brothers in the veritable ghost town of Hyden itself. Firmly on the bluegrass map, the town hosts a popular multi-day annual bluegrass festival, The Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival, at the town’s Bobby Osborne Pavilion. The festival started in 1994 as a benefit for the Thousandsticks Volunteer Fire Department and Hyden hosted its 25th festival in August of 2018. Festival weekend is probably as good a time as any to visit the town, and if doing so you should find it a livelier than how we found late on a mid-October afternoon.’

Jimmy Martin | Sneedville, TN | Bluegrass Trails

“… Sneedville, Tennessee, may be one of the poorest towns in the US… but at least it can lay claim to being the hometown of Jimmy ‘King of Bluegrass’ Martin. Suffice it to say, this is the only reason we found ourselves on the streets of the town searching out signs of Sneedville’s favourite son while receiving inquisitive stares from the few locals we encountered; Sneedville is a friendly town (we got free coffee), but it’s still the kind of place where everybody knows everybody else and if you ain’t from round these parts then you’re gonna stand out. We did.”

Kenny Baker | Jenkins, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“We did our pre-departure homework, so we were confident at the time that we’d find some reference in Jenkins or neighbouring Burdine/East Jenkins to master fiddler and former local boy Kenny Baker, best known for his 25-year tenure with Bill Monroe, the longest tenure of any of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. But no, nothing. Not on the streets of the town, nor among the foliage of the town’s Sam Bentley Cemetery. We came up short.”

Stanley Bros. / Jim & Jesse | Coeburn, VA | Bluegrass Trails

“Very few of the sleepy settlements along southwestern Virginia’s musical Crooked Road, if any, can top Coeburn‘s All-Star lineup of past and present bluegrass A-listers. The dual brother duo of Jim & Jesse McReynolds and Ralph & Carter Stanley are already bluegrass royalty, something Ralph Stanley II, the present generation of Clinch Mountain musicians, may attain someday.”

The Crooked Road, VA | Bluegrass Trails

“… today old-time music and bluegrass festivals are as linked to the Virginia hills as the dark strands of dogwood and fir trees. The state even honours this legacy via its very own Heritage Music Trail along its so-called Crooked Road, a 300-mile-long regional route connecting 19 counties, four cities and over 50 towns and communities where heritage music is celebrated year-round.”

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen | Bluegrass Island 2018

“At the risk of offending, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen… is a Marmite band, an informal British-based term meaning in this case that you either like their line-muddying, boundary-pushing, refuses-to-be-pigeonholed brand of bluegrass or you don’t … however you class their take on the genre, the quartet, collectively the IBMA’s Instrumental Group of the Year in 2016 (they sing as well, by the way), let their instruments speak for themselves, and speak they do. I guess that’s why I hit record on my camera. Three times, for three choice morsels, you could say.”

SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction

“Since its 2001 launch Bluegrass Junction has had its primary residence in Nashville… located behind the blue glass walls of the cylindrical Arena tower of Downtown Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena… the Bluegrass Junction studios are, rather appropriately, in eyeshot of the city’s iconic Ryman Auditorium, upon whose stage bluegrass, the genre the channel promotes, was born in December of 1945.”

WBRF 98.1 Blue Ridge Backroads | Galax, VA

“We had tickets for the following day’s Rex Fest bluegrass musical bonanza, but on its eve we got a taste of what is to come by attending a performance by Galax resident and banjo picker Stevie Barr (& Friends) in the town’s historic Rex Theater. The 100-mile-an-hour performance of premier pickin’ was awesome and was broadcast throughout the region as Blue Ridge Backroads via the town’s Classic Country WBRF
98.1.”

The Station Inn

“It’s simple. It’s small. It’s unassuming, both inside and out. But the dark and intimate listening room that is Nashville’s Station Inn is the Music City bluegrass mecca. Located in the trendy and hip Gulch district of the city, this first-come, first-served cash-on-the-door-only venue has been ‘Forever Bluegrass’ since its opening in 1974. Legends have performed here. Ground-breaking and award-winning bands have been formed through relationships forged here. And for artists, many of whom view it as the nation’s hub of live bluegrass music, it’s both a career highlight and honour to perform here.”

Sideline | Waterford, Ireland 2019

“The Sideline bluegrass sound from the stage of the Royal Theatre, Waterford, Ireland’s oldest continually operating performance venue. Wonderful stuff. Just wonderful.”

Nashville

“We had a few nights of gallivanting around Nashville, time enough to find some real country music and bluegrass. Both are here. You just need to know where to look (and to avoid Lower Broadway). We found and enjoyed happy helpings of both courtesy of Opryland’s Nashville Palace, a mere drunken stagger from our room in the Fiddler’s Inn and Nashville’s self-titled ‘Home of Traditional Country Music’, and the simple but intimate setting of The Station Inn, famously ‘Forever Bluegrass’ since 1974. In between we paid a visit to the studios of Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction and 650AM WSM, not to mention a visit to both Oprys, the old (the venerated Ryman Auditorium) and the new (Opryland’s Grand Ole Opry House).”

Omagh Bluegrass Music Festival 2018

Bluegrass Omagh. It’s probably the largest bluegrass festival on the island of Ireland and it has been running now for over a quarter of a century. The lineup for this year’s festival was just as impressive as the festival’s setting of the Ulster American Folk Park, the headline act of husband & wife combo Darin & Brooke Aldridge flown in just for the occasion. It was good to see and hear them again.”

Tom T. Hall | Olive Hill, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“Portions of the Carter County town of Olive Hill, KY … were as quiet as we’d come to expect from rural Kentucky, but the town is both big enough (population over 1,500) to boast some activity and its residents curious enough to approach us wondering what on earth we obvious out-of-towners were doing poking around somewhere like Olive Hill. “Blame Tom T.”, we said. “Who else?”

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver | Apply Now

“Probably no band of late better signifies the revolving door nature of a bluegrass ensemble than does Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. With the recent announcement of banjo man Joe Dean’s departure from the band, hot on the heals of fiddler Stephen Burwell’s departure announcement last week and dobro ace Josh Swift’s in January, Doyle Lawson is probably frantically scouring Craigslist in a bid to find the latest Quicksilver members (not really; we’re pretty sure he has more appropriate and established channels as he has excelled in this aspect of bluegrass band HR since Quicksilver’s formation in 1979).”

Seth Mulder & Midnight Run | Ireland 2020

Seth Mulder & Midnight Run is high-energy, traditional bluegrass with a ‘fresh approach to the ‘High Lonesome sound’. One of the most entertaining bluegrass acts on the scene today, we are huge fans of these guys, and if you had but a single bluegrass-lovin’ bone in your whole body then you’d understand why. We hadn’t planned on seeing three shows of their exhaustive early 2020 Ireland & UK tour, but we did. We kept going back for more.”

Keith Whitley | Sandy Hook, KY | Bluegrass Trails

“We returned to Sandy Hook in 2017. More bluegrass road-trippin’. Yes, the Keith Whitley statue is still there in the town’s Elliot County Memory Garden and the old timers are still frequenting the Frosty Freeze Restaurant to catch up with the local gossip over some simple, hearty fare. Needless to say, it was all very familiar. And all very familiarly quiet.”

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum

“It is a rather convenient forty miles from the birthplace of bluegrass — the brilliantly restored Bill Monroe Homeplace in the hills over Rosine, KY — to Owensboro, KY. For a straight up bluegrass pilgrimage, the latter doesn’t quite hold the weight, nor the aura, of the former. That said, Owensboro’s (new) Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, the city’s awesome one-of-a-kind showcase of all things bluegrass, should not be missed. The only museum of its kind in the world is, not surprisingly, dedicated to telling the story of the relatively short history of the bluegrass genre, the instruments at the core of its unique sound, and the gifted musicians who have brought the music to life and shaped it down through the years.”

THE GALLERY

Rhonda Vincent & The Rage | Bluegrass Island 2017 | Outer Banks, NC.

Don't Miss Out. Join Our Mailing List Today!

Periodic newsletters, tour news, snippets from the road, bluegrass titbits, interviews, blog posts, and whatnot. Join our mailing list to receive whatever we can conjure up; good stuff whenever we conjure it. Rest assured, your info is safe with us; we pinky promise not to share it with third parties and we definitely won't spam you.

Thank you for signing up. You'll hear from us eventually.