Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Sara Grey & Kieron Means - Monday Sept. 10

UPDATE: Please note that Sara Grey will now perform this show solo as Kieron Means has been unable to travel from the USA. It will still be a great show!!

Sara Grey & Kieron Means - Mick Murphy's, Ballymore Eustace, Monday, Sept 10, 9pm.

Sara Grey grew up in New Hampshire, USA, but has lived in North Carolina, Ohio, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wales, Scotland and England. As a youngster in North Carolina she first heard a lot of mountain music and her love for the old time banjo music and songs developed from this experience. She has carried this interest into her adult life studying folklore and collecting and performing music from the various areas in which she has lived.

Now, after many years of singing and playing her banjo in public, Sara's repertoire is as fresh and relevant as ever. She has been concentrating for the last several years on tracing the migration for songs from the British Isles to North America. Sara lives for her music and works at her trade with the result that her music is not only technically excellent but also filled with her warmth and spirit.

Once you have heard Sara Grey you will never forget her. She has a certain quality of voice that compels you to give her your undivided attention. Her voice is both powerful and sweet with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to native American ballads and ballads of Ireland and Scotland.
She is a ballad singer of great strength with a fine understanding of the importance of understatement in the art of ballad singing. Her singing is richly emotional and she is equally at home with a gentle lyric or a harsh account of life on the frontier. -

Kieron Means is a young American singer with a strikingly individual sound. His voice is high and lonesome, yet rounded, and his skilful guitar accompaniments are sparse and understated, doing just enough to support the song. His material draws from the deepest wellsprings of North American culture, from the old-time music of the Southern mountains to the blues – which he sings with startling conviction – and the work of latter-day songwriters steeped in the old traditions. Where so many young folk musicians of today dazzle us with their instrumental virtuosity or flatter our ears with their vocal purity, Means delivers a much rarer virtue: a true passion for the music he plays. He sings the songs because he loves them and, whilst his stage presence carries undoubted charisma, his work betrays no hint of artifice or pretension. “Kieron Means has soul, and I can think of no greater compliment to pay to a singer of folk songs.” - Brian Peters


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Jeff & Vida (USA) Monday, September 3rd.

Jeff & Vida - (USA) - This original Bluegrass and Rockabilly duo play BAG Monday September 3, 9pm.

Jeff and Vida met in New York City in 1997 but soon left for New Orleans where they began writing and performing on a regular basis.  They quickly became a force on the New Orleans music scene, winning multiple awards and building a solid following among fans and critics alike.  They began touring full time in 2001 and have since played more than 200 dates a year across the United States and Europe. They released four studio recordings, along with a live disc, to wide critical acclaim.
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Jeff and Vida relocated to Nashville where they became part of the burgeoning alternative music scene. A performance at the Ryman Auditorium and a New York Times article which featured them alongside Nashville neighbors Old Crow Medicine Show, Gillian Welch and Todd Snider, is a sure sign their music is welcome wherever they choose to hang their hats.
Jeff and Vida’s nine years of performing and songwriting, have seen them delve into many different genres of music; country, honky-tonk, rockabilly, even a little rock and roll.  But throughout their career, which has included four critically acclaimed albums, literally thousands of live shows in the U.S. and Europe, and a move from New Orleans to Nashville, bluegrass has remained a key influence in their style and sound.  Nowhere is this more evident than on their new CD, Selma Chalk. 
The new record features thirteen original songs, a stellar band, and an enigmatic name. Inside the CD jacket, selma chalk  is defined as “an impurity in the most fertile soil of the South”.  Intentional or not, the title seems an apt metaphor for the music contained within- an outsiders’ take on fertile traditions of Southern and Appalachian string band music.  Indeed, a number of tracks do fit neatly into what might be called a ‘traditional bluegrass’ sound. More often than not however, the record bends bluegrass instrumentation around material that's a little edgier, a little bluesier and a little rougher than your typical bluegrass album.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Chris Woods - Monday August 13

Chris Woods - (UK) - Instrumental Guitarist

Chris Woods plays BAG on Monday August 13 at 9pm.

‘Chris Woods is one of the UK’s most exciting instrumentalists. His performances are a blend of endearing stories with ear bending drop tuned grooves. Displaying dazzling creativity and skill, by mixing emotive and imaginative sounds with stunning technique. You wont forget what you hear.’


Support from UK-based Irish singer/songwriter Justin Dowling -