Home' Rhythms Magazine : Rhythms May June 2019 Contents I usually try to go to The International Bluegrass Music Association’s
‘World of Bluegrass’ in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is partly a
convention for professionals involved in various aspects of the music.
It showcases new bands as well as running a large weekend street
festival. It’s where I often have the chance to interview top musicians
and meet other radio presenters from all over the world. I was a
compere at both events which was pretty exciting.
What are some of the highlights?
The California Bluegrass Association always hosts after hour
concerts in their conference hotel suite. These are quite small and
totally acoustic. No microphones at all. I’ve seen some wonderful
bands there including The Lilly Brothers and Jerry Douglas. At one
festival I met a band called Sand Mountain. They invited me to travel
with them for two weeks on their band bus which was a l950s ex
Greyhound bus! So, I was able to understand a bit about life in the
road for musicians who travel extensively. I wrote an article about
this experience for Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
Who are some of your interview highlights?
This is tough because I’ve interviewed many wonderful musicians
over the past twenty or so years. It’s difficult to pick out anyone in
particular. Mac Wiseman was a wonderful to speak to - very friendly
and humble and a good sense of humour. Jerry Douglas gave me a
potted history of the resophonic guitar (Dobro), Claire Lynch was fun
dancing around and so excited about just winning a top award. April
Verch from Canada gave some impromptu demonstrations of fiddle
styles from different parts of Canada. Missie Raines talked about the
difficulties often faced by women in music. Melvin Goins was a great
raconteur, with stories of his early years in the music
Tell us about some of the newer bluegrass acts to look out for.
There are a lot of young musicians coming out of the U.S. and
Australia which are bringing their own take on Bluegrass. One is
Molly Tuttle who was the first woman in 27 years of International
Bluegrass Association Awards to win Guitar Player of the Year. She
also won Emerging artist of the year in 2018.
Sharps & Flats are considered by many to be the best Bluegrass band
in Britain. We also have some fine young Australian musicians. It’s
hard to single people out but just some are vocalist Kristy Cox (now
based in U.S.), guitarist Daniel Watkins, The Weeping Willows and
Knott Family Band.
to undertake its biggest membership drive of the year – as it
approaches its 40th anniversary on air. Commencing Monday May
13 through to Sunday May 26, the community station – one of
Australia’s most musically diverse radio destinations - is asking its
many supporters to clear out the spare change from behind their ears
and gaze upon the array of benefits of an annual membership.
Major prizes include: a Primavera 125 i-GET Vespa courtesy
of Peter Stevens Motorcycles, a Golden Plains luxury package
including festival double pass, luxury powered caravan, chartered
transportation, food, beverage and gift shop pack; a Clingan Guitar
Tone handmade electric guitar with road case; Gett by Funk turntable
with AT cartridge courtesy of Audiophile; A year’s worth of PBS
feature albums; plus exclusive prizes up for grabs for all performer,
business, pet and junior members, as well as our Friends for a Decade
and Friends for Life.
All new and renewing members who join during Radio festival fun
will receive an exclusive Sounds of Studio 5 Live recording featuring
enchanting live performances from the likes of The Teskey Brothers,
Mojo Juju & REMI. Passionate members also get a limited-edition
You can become a member of PBS or make a donation by phoning
(03) 8415 1067 or going online to pbsfm.org.au.
But supporters of community radio are there for more than just
the prize incentives. They know that to keep this amazingly diverse
station on air requires tangible support for the many volunteers
presenting programs which range from R&B, soul and gospel to
blues, heavy rock, reggae and all points in between.
Jane Dale is one of the hundreds of volunteer announcers at PBS
who lend their expertise to the programs. Jan presents the bluegrass
show Southern Style every Tuesday afternoon between 1.00 and
3.00pm and we asked her about her program.
How did you first get interested in bluegrass?
As a teenager I loved American roots music but my first introduction
to Bluegrass was in early 1980 when I was on a business trip to
U.S. I was taken to a little school hall somewhere in Virginia to hear
The Johnson Mountain Boys and immediately fell in love with the
music. Such fast playing, such wonderful harmony singing and all
acoustic. I still have the vinyl I bought that night and which they all
signed although I had no idea at the time that they were amongst
the most important of the second generation of tradition Bluegrass
musicians. After that I regularly went to see Rank Strangers playing
in Melbourne. Then I spent several years in the l990s driving myself
around the U.S. and discovered the Bluegrass festivals and got to
meet musicians such as Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Melvin Goins,
Rhona Vincent and many more. I’ve been hooked on it ever since!
When did you first get involved in PBS? Why do you love the
I’ve been presenting Southern Style on PBS since 2001 and I wouldn’t
want to be anywhere else. The staff are professional and supportive
and the listeners generous generous and give plenty of feed back.
It’s great to be part of such a well-respected radio station which is
serious about its music. Also, I am given free rein to play whatever I
Tell us about the bluegrass events do you attend each year?
There are three Bluegrass festivals in Victoria which I go to every
year. Currently they are all in Beechworth and are The Great Alpine
Pick in March, The Kelly Country Pick in August, and MountainGrass
in November. These three festivals usually host overseas musicians
as well as our best locals in both Bluegrass and Old Time music. They
also offer workshops and plenty of jamming opportunities.
There are too many to name in the U.S. but I think any at Bean
Blossom in Indiana are worthwhile. This festival was originally started
by ‘The father of Bluegrass music’ Bill Monroe and always has top
PBS RADIO FESTIVAL
PBS volunteers prepare for the annual radio festival
PBS RADIO FESTIVAL
Jan Dale & The Western Flyers
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