Report courtesy of John Bridgland - January 1, 2007
Photos by Barry O'Brien (click
on each one to see larger image)
Bluegrass music is alive and well in South
That's the news from the city of Adelaide,
annual Bluegrass Picnic is
held every New Year's Day.
|Pickers gather under the trees
centre of a booming wine industry making brilliant New World wines,
has been a feature for many years.
Organiser John Bridgland, a mandolinist in
local band Bluegrass Junction, said
that the event started eight years ago and had grown.
"It started as an
excuse for a few
bluegrass pickers to get together and play some music under the
trees in one of Adelaide's most beautiful city parks," John said.
|John Bridgland (organiser) - far right
The Botanic Park,
planted in the 1880s, is the site of Adelaide's
Festival (World of Music, Arts and Dance - Adelaide) and is a
perfect site on
a summer day to play and sing the music created by Kentucky's
of the genre, Bill Monroe.
"Each year a few
more pickers come and
join us, so the numbers are growing all the time. But the casual
remains. You can come and play or, if you can't play, enjoy the show.
way, it's a terrific way to start the new year at the peak of Adelaide's
holiday season," John said.
|Lachlan, John, Dougie & Trev
Bluegrass Picnic uses the
magnificent park as a picnic site, it is not linked to Womad,
and is free. There is no stage, no MC, and nothing is booked
or pre-arranged. But still they come. This year resonator guitars,
mandolins, basses and, of course, the usual bundle of boisterous banjos
attracted many of the picnickers who enjoyed an unexpected musical
bonus provided by some hot Australian pickers.
|Trev, Dougie & John
Among them were Lachlan Davidson, Victorian mandolinist, and duo member
of the Davidson Brothers who work eastern
Australian states' venues and are becoming very hot property;
Sydney-based Dougie Bull, slap bass aficionado and
former member of rising New South Wales band the Lawnmowers;
and Adelaide-based multi-instrumentalist Trev
Warner, who can rightly claim to
have carried the torch as a leading light in Australian bluegrass for
40 years. Trev's mandolin, fiddling and banjo playing have won him
Australian music championships over the years at the traditional
January Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The Bluegrass Picnic
important the city of Adelaide has been in the development of Australian bluegrass over
four decades. Many fine instrumentalists have emerged from the
of the 'Athens of the South' and built major careers in Australia's
eastern states -- or beyond. No career has been more stellar than that
of Kym Warner, mandolinist with his
Nashville-based band The Greencards.
Kym's band is now rubbing shoulders with America's A Team in
bluegrass. But his roots remain
in his hometown, Adelaide, South Australia.
|Trev, Geoff Bridgland and John invite you to drop by next
If you're in Adelaide
Year's Day, swing by for a great bluegrass start to the year. And if
more time to spare, stay on for Womad in March. There's no bluegrass on
bill yet, but we're working on it!
Contact: John Bridgland email@example.com
more information on the bluegrass music scene Down Under, visit the
official web site of the Bluegrass Australia web site.