County Waterford will play host to the 25th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival from August 22-25
County Waterford will play host to the 25th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival from August 22-25.
Fans of bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, country, Americana and rhythm ‘n’ roots are in for a real musical treat as the festival will feature a host of artists playing almost 40 free gigs throughout the village.
This year’s headline act reflects the broadened remit of the festival as The Sarah Savoy Band will bring a touch of Cajun to the festival. A talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Savoy's vocal style has been compared to that of Patsy Cline, Patti Smith and Wanda Jackson.
Born to Cajun ‘royalty’ in Louisiana, her father Marc is a world-renowned accordion craftsman and her mother Ann wrote the reference on Cajun music, Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People. A move to France lead her to become a certified chef and her passion for Cajun food and flavours led to the publication of a cookbook, The Savoy Kitchen: A Family History of Cajun Food.
Along with the 'Princess of Cajun', the festival line-up includes Irish, UK and American big-name bluegrass and country acts. Making their Dunmore East debut is The 19th Street Band. Hailing originally from Hollywood, Northern Ireland, Caolaidhe Davis moved to the US in 2005 to pursue a career in music. While establishing an earlier band, he found himself in need of a fiddle player and met Meghan, who auditioned for his band. What Caolaidhe didn’t know was that he was auditioning his future wife.
Fast-forward a few months and the pair found themselves living on 19th Street in Arlington, Virginia, writing songs and creating the sound that would become the backbone of The 19th Street Band, an exciting fusion of Americana, country and rock.
New acts appearing at this year’s festival include Liz Morionda, Raglan Rodeo and Alfi, along with returning acts Land’s End, Mons Wheeler Band, Pilgrim St, Kiss My Grass, Whistle and Charlie Reader.
Festival organiser Mick Daly is looking forward to welcoming lots of new names and some old favourites back to the festival. “Sarah Savoy is a wonderful addition to the line-up this year. She has been described as the voice of Cajun by Rolling Stones magazine and she’ll bring an authentic Cajun vibe to the festival. Joining Sarah on the line-up is Missourian Liz Moriondo, a popular singer-songwriter who is well known by her dynamic voice as a force of nature.
“While bluegrass remains at the heart of the festival, many of the new Irish and international acts are bringing a more eclectic offering to the festival. Pilgrim St bring a broad range of Americana, country, folk and bluegrass to their concerts across the country, while Alfi is a fresh new trio combining American old-time, bluegrass and traditional Irish music.
“The festival appeals to die-hard bluegrass fans who have been visiting Dunmore for decades, but it also has a broader appeal to those who simply like good toe-tappin’ music in a beautiful seaside setting under the sun."
The 25th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival kicks off on August 22 at the Strand Inn and heralds the start of four days of free gigs throughout the village.