Leadership Bluegrass news, and Happy New Year to all

Happy New Year! I know it’s a little late, but things have been so busy round here…2018 was a strange and troubling year in the world at large (and 2019 is looking challenging already), but here at True North Towers we’ve taken solace from another year of wonderful music. We’ve personally hosted amazing 20180926_104332concerts by fabulous live acts including Jaywalkers,  Molly Tuttle & Rachel Baiman, Corn Potato String Band, The Small Glories, Cardboard Fox and more. We’ve booked full UK tours for The Railsplitters, Evie Ladin & Keith Terry, The Slocan Ramblers and Newberry & Verch. It’s been hard work but what good times we’ve had, making new friends, catching up with old friends, and experiencing superlative music close up. I was also honoured to be included in the 2018 Performing Arts Strategies: American Sounds programme hosted by South Arts, travelling to the USA as part of a group of international presenters to attend two big music showcase events, IBMA World of Bluegrass in North Carolina and Performing Arts Exchange in Florida. I’m already working on tour plans for several bands I saw perform in the US – including brilliant quintet Man About a Horse. Check out the video below (although the sound is a bit echoey on that Carter stage in the IBMA Convention Centre).

I have more exciting news,  as my application to attend the prestigious Leadership Bluegrass programme was accepted just before Christmas. Run by the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville in early March, to quote the IBMA, “Leadership Bluegrass is a music industry leadership program designed to build commitment, motivate talents and instil enthusiasm for addressing the future challenges and opportunities of bluegrass music.” This will be an outstanding opportunity to meet, work with and learn from a range of influential music professionals, from artists to managers, record company representatives to academics. This opportunity should help us bring more of the brightest bluegrass and Americana talent to the UK in the future. I also want to thank the British Bluegrass Music Association (BBMA) for their subsidy of my course fee via their Scholarship Fund.

In the meantime we’re busy working on our 2019 programme, including debut UK tours from a couple of simply wonderful artists. Exquisite Americana duo The Honey Dewdrops from Baltimore arrive in late January and will include the Celtic Connections festival in their first visit here. Entertaining young bluegrass band Mile Twelve will be stunning audiences across England in early/mid March. Stay tuned for more world class artists touring during 2019.

Thanks to all our ticket buyers, friends and helpers for your ongoing support!