It seems we’ve been reporting a good deal of late about American bluegrass artists touring overseas. Given the costs, legal issues and inconveniences associated with taking a band out of the country, it’s great to see so many artists finding a way to make it work.
It shows both a growing number of artists willing to make the leap, and an increase in interest in bluegrass music outside the US and Canada.
Georgia’s Nation & Blackwell is preparing for two weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland starting in late January 2014. This will be their second tour of the island nations, having been there before in 2012.
The group consists of Chuck Nation on mandolin and fiddle, Curtis Blackwell on guitar, and Susan Nation on bass. For this tour, they will be joined by Gary “Biscuit” Davis on banjo.
Curtis has that most lofty of bluegrass pedigrees, having worked with Bill Monroe for a time in 1967 as a Blue Grass Boy. Chuck is a highly decorated musician as well, now the reigning Georgia State Fiddle Champion, and Georgia State Mandolin Champion. He is also a winner of the Louisiana State Fiddle Championship. Susan handles the singing and songwriting side of the band.
Davis has his share of major awards as well, with a total of four National Banjo Championships to his credit. He has also served as bandleader for Dolly Parton, and toured Ireland previously in that stead.
Nation & Blackwell will be promoting their latest album, On A High, High Mountain released earlier this Summer.
Irish tour dates include:
- 1/24/14 – Seamus Ennis Cultural Arts Centre, Naul, Ireland
- 1/25/14 – Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland
- 1/26/14 – Festival of American Country, Bluegrass and Roots, Colfers-Carrig On Bannow
- 1/27/14 – The Stage Inn @ Mick Murphys, Ballymore Eustace
- 1/28/14 – Cunninghams Upstairs Venue, Kildare
- 1/29/14 – Barry’s Public House, Grange
- 1/30/14 – The Black Box Theatre, Belfast
- 1/31/14 – Regional Cultural Arts Centre, Letterkenny
- 2/1/14 – Ballina Arts Centre, Ballina
- 2/2/14 – Matt Molloy, Westpoint
- 2/3/14 – Village Arts Centre, Kilworth
- 2/6/14 – St John’s Arts Centre, Listowel
- 2/7/14 – Island Arts Centre, Lisburn
- 2/8/14 – Marketplace Theatre, Armagh