In the little town of La Roche Sur Foron, located in beautiful French Alps, in mid-July took place a Bluegrass Festival of European Bluegrass Association with the participation of more than 30 bands from all over Europe and also the USA. I had the honor to be a part of the American band Field and Thompson, which consisted from duo James Field and Sue Thompson, Percy Copley and Alice Coleman from England and me from Slovakia.
The festival was traditionally very well organized and it lived practically across whole town, which is a major tourist destination. In addition to the festival organizers also arrange a bluegrass workshop, which lasts four days and this year were the lectors there members of american group Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen along with Sue Thompson and James Field. Part of the whole event is a competition of European bluegrass bands. This year deservedly won East-West, a group whose member is also my colleague from Fragment – Ondra Kozak. This way, congratulations to them from the heart! The second was a Czech band Handl and the third place won 0039 – the Italian band, which dobroist is a good friend of mine, former student and owner of my first Scheerhorna no. 047, Paolo Ercoli.
If you wish to learn a bit more about this significant event, to see more pictures from the festival and feel it’s atmosphere, here is the link: La Roche Bluegrass Festival
On July 8 to 14 2013 was, thank to an enthusiastic organizer Dagfinn Pedersen, held in the little town of Gjerstad on the south of Norway in a beautiful Nordic country Bluegrass Workshop and Festival. On the workshop itself, which was located in Gjerstad school participated up to fifty students, mainly from Norway, but also from other European countries. This year Dagfinn collected lectors from USA, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway and Italy.
- Banjo – Petr Brandejs (CZ)
- Harmony singing – Sue Thompson (US) and Don Share (US)
- Mandolin – Radim Zenkl (US)
- Guitar – Ralph Schut (NL/CZ)
- Guitar – Ondra Kozak (CZ)
- Dobro – Henrich Novak (SK)
- Fiddle – Martin Burza (SK)
- Fiddle – Oystein Fosshagen (NO)
- Bass – Davide (IT)
The lessons took place from Monday to Thursday every day from morning to evening which in Norway looked like afternoon due to “long” days and consisted from the actual study of individual instruments and harmony singing and from extremely popular “bandlabs” in the afternoon.
On Thursday evening started in the local mill and amphitheater with performances of “bandlab” groups the Festival itself. The festival ran through Sunday with performances of Norwegian and foreign bands and groups. Sue Thompson band, Radin Zenkl and friends, G-Runs and Roses, just to name the foreign ones.
I enjoyied to be a part of the workshop as a lector and on the festival, as a member of Sue Thompson Band, met old and new musical colleagues, students and fans. To learn more about this event, here is the link to the festival’s website and workshops: workshop and festival a facebook profile
Yesterday, another giant of resophonic guitar left us at age of 59 – Bob Brozman. All participating will certainly remember his energetic concerts at Dobrofest in Trnava, or his performances with Funny Fellows ibid. But Bob was much more. His enthusiasm for resonator instruments, the music associated with them, and their history was boundless. He was a tireless promoter of resophonic guitars, intensely interested in music of different cultures and has great merit, that people who’d never saw a resophonic guitar before, started to like it. I remember very well, with what enthusiasm he congratulated me to the opening of the class of Dobro Guitar at Trnava’s School of Arts and how excited he was about that idea. I appreciate that I knew him, that I had the opportunity to play with him and learn from him. There left a precious man, friend of John Dopyera itself and a great, great musician. RIP Bob!Bob Brozman – Mercury News