Are you a British bluegrass picker who is similarly enthralled by the character of Sherlock Holmes? Or maybe just a jammer looking for a fun weekend pick?
June Ashe and Christine Cleaton have been hosting picking weekends in Wales for bluegrass enthusiasts for the past two decades or more. These events might be called a jamming festival here in the states, but the idea is to offer a central place for musicians at every skill level to get away for a weekend where picking and jamming is sure to be in ready supply.
Since 2015, they have hosted the Black Mountain Bluegrass Picking Weekend at Baskerville Hall in Powys. Pickers and listeners are welcomed June 23-25 this year for informal jamming throughout the historic Baskerville Hall and its grounds, with rooms in the hall available for the weekend, or camping passes for RVs and tenters alike.
The Hall has a full service restaurant as well as 28 rooms with private baths for those attending. Shower and restroom facilities are also provided for campers.
Conan Doyle fans know that his classic novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, was set in the English west country of Devon, rather than Wales, though the story was clearly inspired by Baskerville Hall where he was a frequent visitor. He was a friend of the Baskerville family, and learned of a local legend about the hounds from his many trips to the Hall. At the request of the family, he moved the story to Devon to prevent the Hall being overrun with tourists.
Black Mountain Bluegrass Picking Weekend sounds like a lovely getaway, and a fine chance to jam, for bluegrass lovers or Sherlock Holmes aficionados.