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Thursday 21 November 2019

Bluegrass festival hits all the right chords

The Kiss My Grass band performing in Holohan’s Bar at the Slaney Valley Bluegrass Festival
The Kiss My Grass band performing in Holohan’s Bar at the Slaney Valley Bluegrass Festival

Brendan Keane

It would be easy to assume, with some justification, that Enniscorthy is now the music capital of Ireland.

The town is becoming synonymous with top quality music festivals and the newest addition to the local event calendar was the Slaney Valley Bluegrass Festival which features some top local and international acts.

The legendary Niall Toner and Johnny Gleeson were among the standout artists who appeared.

One of the most highly regarded names on the contemporary Irish roots music scene Niall Toner's brand of country, folk and blues crosses many boundaries.

The same is true of local band, Kiss My Grass, Acko, and the O'Fender Family whose eclectic and upbeat style of music went down a treat.

Lonesome Dave Fisher brought an international flair to the festival and there was an authenticity to his performances that added a wonderful dimension to the weekend of music.

Ahead of the festival a spokesperson for the organising committee told this newspaper that it was aimed at bridging the gap between the Blackstairs Blues Festival and Christmas and in that regard it ticked all of the boxes.

'It was aimed at boosting the quiet months before party season,' said the spokesperson.

In addition to country and bluegrass there was also a focus on blues and country-tinged folk throughout the weekend .

This may have been the first Slaney Valley Blues festival but based on its success and how it went down with music lovers it was the first of many.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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