This post is a contribution from popular bluegrass artist and radio man, Joe Mullins. He and The Radio Ramblers are celebrating 10 years together with their very first tour of England and Switzerland this week. Joe has promised to send photos and stories while they are away.
The Switzerland bluegrass scene is thriving! As a lifelong musician and bluegrass presenter, it’s wonderful to see our music presented with dignity and professionalism anywhere, but especially when you’re thousands of miles from home and the bluegrass heartland.
It’s been fantastic to meet many members of the Swiss bluegrass music association. Our friend Beat Heri is a director. He also hosted our concert Friday night, May 20th. Another of Beat’s project is directing the American Folk Club, Rocking Chair – a group of roots music enthusiasts and supporters. Friday evening we enjoyed an intimate concert setting in the Swiss farm country. One of the respected members of the farm community has a barn addition equipped with a full service kitchen and modern dining room. Swiss food and bluegrass music – a great combination. Farm raised beef, Black Forest cake, and we supplied the music.
The Spring Bluegrass Festival in Willisau Switzerland is VERY well produced and presented. A great team of coordinators and volunteers have it just right. It’s hosted at an agricultural history museum and property and operates indoor/outdoor. Two nice stages inside barn areas with great sound and seating provided. Plus great food and vendor areas inside and out.
Many thanks to our friends Palao Detwiler and Rainer Zellner for helping JMRR make the appearance. Monroe Crossing from the US and a variety of European bands had a great day. A nice group of young guys from Great Britain turned in a great performance, too – Flats and Sharps.
The festival had fantastic attendance and the audience gave us their complete attention. Their enthusiasm for our music made it hard to leave and we can’t wait to come back!!