Lambert Schomaker passes

Rienk Janssen and Silvia Fledderus have shared this lovely remembrance for Lambert Schomaker, who organized and promoted bluegrass shows in the Netherlands for thirty years. He passed away on May 29 at 76 years of age. Rienk has been the editor of Strictly Country magazine in the Netherlands, and run Strictly Country Records, while Silvia is Lambert’s daughter and a bluegrass musician herself.

Many musicians and fans of acoustic country and bluegrass music in the northern part of the Netherlands were saddened by the news that Lambert Schomaker had passed away. Also several of the bands from the USA who toured in these parts have had very good experiences with Lambert in the thirty plus years he was actively promoting and organizing concerts and festivals.

All of his life Lambert has had an interest in local history. He wrote three books about it, and his dozens of interviews with old citizens of Valthermond and the vicinity have saved a lot of information about the old days in the poor peat-colonies where Lambert was born in a large family in 1947. 

If Lambert developed an interest, he wanted to do something about it! When he discovered country music and bluegrass in the late 1980s, he started concerts and festivals on a small scale, first in Valthermond, his hometown, under the flag of Colonial Country Club, then in Ter Apel, and later – probably best known to the bluegrass community – at Poolshoogte in the Staatsbossen (state forests) in Odoorn, under the name Boet’n Deure. 

For 15 years he organized summer concerts and a festival in the woods, all on a voluntary basis, ’till in 2014 he decided to step down. Since then he organized house concerts at his own place, until in 2017 his health forced him to quit. During the Boet’n Deure years, most of the time musicians from across the ocean stayed at their house in Valthermond, where they were welcomed with generous hospitality by Lambert and his wife Annie. 

Musicians, organizers and visitors of the concerts and festivals, called Lambert a pillar under the Dutch bluegrass and old time music scene. His funeral, which took place on June 4, was concluded with a bluegrass jam session, in the woods at Poolshoogte. 

Silvia also shared these two videos from the last two Boet’n Deure festivals, and this photo of the site at Poolshoogte.

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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.