Fans of bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, country, rhythm ‘n’ roots are in for a musical treat as the Guinness International Bluegrass Festival returns to the South East this summer.
Now in its 19thyear, the festival takes place in Dunmore East, the picturesque Co. Waterford seaside village from August 22nd to August 25th and the festival organisers are delighted to announce headline act, Mary Jean Lewis and the Low Men.
Mary Jean Lewis grew up in a family of musical royalty. Her mother Linda Gail Lewis has recorded more than 20 albums, and her uncle, Jerry Lee Lewis, an early pioneer of rock and roll, shot to fame with “Great Balls of Fire” in 1957.
Mary Jean Lewis, an established singer / songwriter hails from Louisiana, but now resides in Scotland. Drawing on a wide range of country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll, her powerful voice and soulful lyrics are testament to her remarkable musical legacy.
According to Mick Daly, Festival Founder and Organiser, this years’ festival promises something special for all music lovers. “Mary Jean Lewis and the Low Men have left a lasting impression in any of the venues they have played. Their set is a roller coaster of fast paced rock ‘n roll, rockabilly and pop, with a tempo altering segue into country and bluegrass. Dunmore is going to love her.”
The festival will also feature the return of Land’s End, who debuted at the festival in 2012.
The band, made up of members from Cork, Galway, Dublin, Munich, Liverpool and Canada, perform music strongly embedded in the bluegrass tradition, but each member brings a distinctive sound of their own musical tradition to the musical arrangements of the band.
Dublinbased four piece Well Enough Alone, who appeared in 2011, are back to deliver a mix of original bluegrass songs to classics to hot instrumentals. Tin Box Company, The Pilgrims and the Down and Out Bluegrass Band are just some of the other names on the line up for the country’s favourite bluegrass festival.
The local hostelries; the Strand Inn, The Ocean, The Haven Hotel, The Spinnaker, Powers Bar and Azzurro, will play host to dozens of gigs throughout the weekend.
Mick added, “All of the gigs are free over the three day festival, with the exception of Mary Jean Lewis and the Low Men.”
“The line-up is top quality and the three day festival will see some wonderfully talented musicians performing throughout the village. There is also a wide reaching appeal to the acts, playing an eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, swing, blues, rhythm and rock ‘n’ roll. So you don’t have to be a bluegrass fan to enjoy the festival, you just have to like good music,” Mick added.
The 19thDunmore East Bluegrass Festival kicks off at 7pm on Thursday, August 22nd at the Strand Hotel and heralds the start of three days of dozens of bands, playing almost 50 gigs in the villages’ pubs, restaurants and hotels.
For more information about the 19thGuinness International Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival in Co. Waterford visit www.discoverdunmore.com.