Henhouse Prowlers in Eeklo

Here’s the second report by The Henhouse Prowlers from their ongoing European tour. This comes from banjo picker and founding member, Ben Wright. The guys have promised daily reports (with photos) from their Euro-jaunt over the next week or so. You can follow all their posts by clicking here.

The jet lag stole the day away from us today, as it will when you fly eight hours into the future. We woke at 3:00 p.m. local time and had ninety minutes to get ready to leave for our next show at N9 in Eeklo, Belgium. The drive through Antwerp was beautiful and less than fleeting with heavy traffic and a surly policeman who forced us to take a detour after he saw us laugh at him! Our trusty host Stijn managed to get us to the club with time to spare, despite the driving problems. The room was a fantastic listening room with a great sound system and extremely competent engineer named Patrick.

With an hour to spare before the performance, we were treated to an incredible dinner. A heavenly homemade tomato soup, chicken, rice, curry sauce, wine, and an apple tart (made without any milk or butter, believe it or not) for dessert that puts the best bakeries in the US to shame.

The show was very well attended and the audience listened intently. It’s really wonderful to be able tell some of the same stories we tell in America and know that the folks here get what we’re doing. Two encores later, we finished with our semi-a-capella Ain’t it a Shame and met some of the fine people of Eeklo. I met a musician that truly knew as much or more than I did about our banjo heroes. We spoke of Greg Cahill, Jim Mills, Alan Munde and Noam Pikelny as if we spoke the same language.

Two hours later we’re back in Gierle at Den Eik, the local pub. I’m sitting at the bar as I write this with (get this!) the original recording of Dueling Banjo’s on the jukebox!

It’s hard to believe the trip has only just begun. We’re excited for tomorrow and whatever it may bring. Until then…

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Guido Lefever

    Hello Folks,
    I was one of the attendants at your Eeklo gig and enjoyed it very much. I could share a few words with Ben, telling him I was a huge Buddy Holly fan some fifty years ago. Your bluegrass version of You’re so square (Baby I don’t care) was great, just as the whole show. Fine picking, strong voices, great harmony: bluegrass as it is intended to be. Your mandoline player gives a whole new meaning to the words: “What made Milwaukee famous”.
    I really hope you will enjoy the rest of your stay in Belgium. You will probably notice that bluegrass is very unfortunately widely unknown over here, it has no radio airplay at all. I think you’ll meat all the existing bluegrass fans at your gigs, some of them twice (or more). But the fans who show up are hard-core fans, some of them real experts in bluegrass history.
    And if you don’t remember Belgium as a bluegrass-crazy country, think of the food, ignore the terrible traffic and enjoy the beers!
    Happy trails to you.