HOT ROCK PILGRIMS
The Reckless Abandoners
The Travelling Moretons
One Tree Hillbillies
Johns & Novak
Whitefern Mountain String Band
HOT ROCK PILGRIMS
Hot Rock Pilgrims are an old-time/bluegrass super-group featuring some of the most exciting young pickers in the South East of England. Since their formation in early 2014, they have performed up and down the country at arts centers, folk clubs, pubs and private events. They have wowed audiences at bluegrass festivals (eg. Orwell, Cornwall), folk festivals (eg. Fire In The Mountain) and mainstream festivals (eg. Isle Of Wight Festival, Wilderness Festival). They have received rave reviews for their debt EP “Among The Peaks”.
And they promise to take you on a high-energy pilgrimage of Appalachian music and its descendants.
Gordon McKinney – Guitar, Jo Williams – Fiddle & Lucille Williams – Bass make up this musical trio who feature skilled instrumentation and stunning vocal harmonies. Gordon has one of the finest Bluegrass and country tenor Voices in the UK. Together with Lucille and Jo, they perform an entertaining programme of traditional and contemporary songs. NOT O BE MISSED!!!
Based in Yorkshire, Maria Wallace recruited a bunch of talented bluegrass musicians from across the UK to form The Reckless Abandoners in late 2015. Maria’s big soulful voice is complemented by experienced pickers who are familiar faces on the scene:
Phil Stott (mandolin/harmony vocals) has been active for several decades as a musician, singer and festival organiser. Formerly a member of Cowbaby among other bands, Phil also takes lead vocal duties on several songs.
Guitar picker extraordinaire Mark Gibbons is an ace flatpicker and Julie Cross holds down the low end for the band with solid double bass. Eleanor Wilkie (fiddle/vocals) is a multi-talented musician known for her excellent fiddle and double bass work in bands such as Chill Until Blue, Shake The Roots and The Rye Distraction. Bruno Pichler on dobro is a skilled and subtle musician familiar to audiences from his great playing with his other bands Lands End and Hot Rock Pilgrims.
The Reckless Abandoners love music right across the acoustic spectrum and like to mix things up with a repertoire that includes several original songs and tunes, traditional standards and creative covers. The band’s music is a refreshing mix of upbeat and mellow bluegrass and old time, with touches of honky tonk, Western Swing and blues. We love harmony singing too, and that’s becoming an important part of what we do. We made our debut at Orwell Bluegrass Festival in 2016, and after a great welcome there and at Coastline, Tamworth and Cornish festivals during our first season of playing together, we’re looking forward to another cracking year in 2017 and already having four festival bookings on the calendar.
Chris is a very highly regarded Flatpicking Guitarist. He is less well-known as a banjo picker and even less as a mandolinist. Although flatpicking is his forté, he is equally as good on the other instruments .
Chris has been playing guitar for over 30 years and was five times Guitar Champion at the Edale Bluegrass Festival. In 1996 he won the Guitar Magazine’s Acoustic Guitar Championship against 160 opponents.
Chris has won several awards including winning the Edale Bluegrass Festival Guitar Player contest 5 years running. He was the guitar tutor at “Sore Fingers Week” for the first 8 years of this event.
His set includes, together with his wife Wendy on Bass, songs and tunes on guitar, banjo and mandolin with some spontaneous waffle thrown in.
Led by the energetic showman Gary Payne, you are always in for an entertaining show featuring close harmonies, brisk and soulful melodies.
Gary Payne has played in many British bluegrass bands over the years including Grassfire, A Band Like Alice and (the UK) Blackjack.
His high tenor voice is widely recognised in England, as well as his excellent rhythm guitar.
You will always find him leading a dynamic and accessible session at the BBMA tent during most festivals in the UK.
Richard Holland has played guitar for many years in a folk duo which recorded and played on National radio.
Since finding Bluegrass in the mid 90’s he has embraced the bluegrass family and played banjo and guitar with the Lynne Butler Band, Contraband, Dalebilly and North Drive.
If you like Ron Block, you’ll love Richard.
Sherryl Payne also hails from the English folk scene and was recruited into bluegrass by husband Gary around twenty years ago.
Sherryl also plays double bass for A Band Like Alice and was previously a member of Blackjack.
Ed Gallagher completes the line up on dobro. The newest member of the band has previously played with Travellin Rose, The Kelly Lee Band and All The Queens Ravens.
Blossom Hill have been one of Ed’s favorite bands on the UK bluegrass scene so was extatic when asked to join the lineup
One Tree Hillbillies
The One Tree Hillbillies evolved from over 30 years of jam sessions at the Star in Inglestone, Essex.The band are regularly seen in Bluegrass festivals across the UK and are a well respected outfit. Since the Star’s closure in 2007/8, apart from bookings, we play most Mondays in various pubs around Essex. Featuring Joe Hymas (Hayseed Dixie) on mandolin, Jill Smith – Bass, Keith Smith – Guitar, Alex -Fiddle and guest banjo payer Hilary Gowen. A welcome return to the Gower!
The Biggin Hillbillies
The Biggin Hillbillies are a Kent based 5 piece bluegrass band. Formed in 1998, the current line up is John McDonagh on Mandolin & vocals, Bob White on Banjo, Ray Butcher on guitar & vocals, Nye Davies on Bass and James Lin on fiddle.
Whilst their mainstream is bluegrass music, their varied repertoire of acoustic music includes country and folk numbers, 50’s and 60’s pop, Irish favourites and jazz standards. As well as bluegrass standards from Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers & Bill Munroe they also include numbers from the likes of The Country Gentlemen and Don Reno, plus of course the ever requested ‘Duelling Banjos’ and ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’.
The Brandywine Cloggers
Formed in 1991, Brandywine Cloggers perform fast & furious dance to Bluegrass or old-time string band tunes with fiddle and 5 string banjo.
The dance originated in the Appalachian Mountains and the troupe’s performances are testament to many different influences form that region of the USA. Those with workday boots danced in them whilst poorer performers danced in bare feet. Today the dance is more stylised and cloggers wear leather shoes tapped at heel and toe.
Check them out at – www.brandywinecloggers.com