24th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival

After 23 years of banjo pickin’, mandolin’ pluckin’, step dancin’, fiddle playin’, double bass clawin’ sessions in the picturesque fishing village of Dunmore East, 2018 promises an even more jam packed, foot tappin’, barnstormin’ weekend for the 24th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival.Still proving as alluring as ever for top music acts, some of the industry’s greatest bluegrass and country music acts line up for the free four-day festival in the village from Thursday next through to Sunday.Fans of bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, country, Americana and rhythm ‘n’ roots are in for a real musical treat as the picturesque village’s International Bluegrass Festival will feature 14 artists playing almost 40 free gigs throughout the village.

Mules & Men are back to play the Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival.

Mules & Men are back to play the Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival.


Headlining this year’s festival is Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters, an old school country roots band that effortlessly blends rock, folk and country. Hailing from North Carolina, Amanda Anne Platt has earned a reputation as an assertive yet gentle and unassuming singer whose “voice and the interplay of the guitar and mandolin gives this band their unique complex sound, a clear-sounding mash-up of American, bluegrass, fold and honky-tonk” according to Elmore Magazine. Making a welcome return to Dunmore East is California’s Whiskey Deaf. Fiddle player Annie Staninec was born and bred on bluegrass music, has toured the world and featured on countless albums with renowned country, Cajun and blues artists, while John Kael, an established songwriter, has been playing bluegrass guitar, mandolin, banjo and bass for over twenty years.

Having taught in some of the most prestigious music camps in the country, John and Annie will give two traditional bluegrass guitar and fiddle workshops this Friday, August 24th. Places are €10 and pre-booking is essential.Fuelled by a shared passion for country, rock ‘n roll, bluegrass and mountain music, Elena Skye and Boo Reiners have led their New York City based Demolition String Band for almost two decades. They both started out as kids, taking lessons, slowing down classic recordings, jamming with anyone and everyone and performing in bluegrass bands!
The Brothers Parker from Montana play an eclectic range of bluegrass, country and gospel. The band is comprised of brothers John and Billy Parker who have cumulated over forty years’ experience playing bluegrass throughout the US. They will be joined on the Dunmore East stages by band mates, award-winning banjo player Tyler James on banjo and vocals, Isaac Callender, a multi-talented instrumentalist on guitar and vocals and Louise Steinway on fiddle and vocals.

Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters headline this year's Festival.

Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters headline this year's Festival.


Irish Talent includes Mayo’s Vickers Vimy, a folk and Americana band that have worked with the late John Martyn, as well as The Hothouse Flowers, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Mundy.
Comprising of Ed Drea (vocals and acoustic guitar), Fintan Hanley (electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, harmonies), Eamonn Mulderring (drums, percussion, piano, accordion, midi, harmonies) and Ciarán Byrne (bass, guitars), Vickers Vimy will play a series of gigs filled with rich eclectic sounds that anchor lyrical themes of scratched vinyl nights and hazy Sunday mornings.
Navan based Pilgrim St. is set to make their Dunmore East Bluegrass debut this month.The seven-piece outfit bring a broad range of Americana, country, folk and bluegrass to their concerts across the country.

Having been together for over four years, Pilgrim St. have played some of the finest arenas in Ireland including Vicar Street and Electric Picnic and Dunmore East Bluegrass festival-goers can expect a lively and energetic performance from Navan’s finest.No strangers to the Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival, Mules & Men performed at the festival in 2016. Mules & Men is a four-piece Irish band comprised of Lily Sheehan, Luke Coffey, John Denby and Mark Corry. Bound together by a shared love of folk and bluegrass, they have been reinterpreting these classic sounds into a unique and contemporary style of their own, drawing on influences that are wide ranging. With three-part harmonies, blazing string playing, and inspired original material, this band has been bringing audiences to a standstill all over the country. Woodbine is an Irish bluegrass band with their own distinctive sound, three lead vocals, powerful harmony and exciting instrumentals.
Hailing from County Wexford Kiss My Grass bring an energetic and vibrant bluegrass and rockabilly sound to the festival, while Whistle, a six-piece Dublin based outfit play Americana-style folk, roots, bluegrass, country and rock ’n’ roll and specialise in multi-part vocal harmonies, guitar, banjo, violin, bass, harmonica and mandolin with accordion and more.
The Backyard Band is a Tipperary based band founded by former Tweed members Brendan Ryder and Gay Brazel. Joined by Mickey Grace on drums and Peter Dowley on bass, the band draw from the well of American country, classic rock, roots, blues and Americana.

Lurgan’s Mons Wheeler Big Band makes a welcome return to the festival and is guaranteed to get the crowds on their feet with their trademark big rockabilly sound.
Deemed ‘The One Man Band’ singer songwriter, Charlie Reader from Liverpool performs acoustic folk melodies and harmonies, with catch-you-off-guard energetic performances expected of a full band.
Bert and Henry are a Welsh duo whose music spans the spectrum of blues, to roots to folk, peppered with a comedic narrative.
The Festival kicks off on Thursday evening, August 23rd and heralds the start of 14 bands, playing almost 40 free gigs throughout the village at The Spinnaker Bar and Restaurant, Azzurro Restaurant, The Strand Inn, Power’s Bar and the Ocean Hotel.

For more information visit www.discoverdunmore.com or keep up to date on the Discover Dunmore East Facebook page.

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