The Reckless Abandoners at Coastline

Well, I had a most excellent weekend at Coastline Bluegrass fest with my bluegrass band The Reckless Abandoners. We played the big stage on Friday evening and had a grand old time. Thanks to all my fabulous band mates – Phil Stott, Eleanor Wilkie, Mark Gibbons and Julie Cross, and a special shout out to Emily Cross for getting up to dance and to Alistair Mcilroy, who depped for us on banjo, in Bruno’s absence. Thanks very much to the kind person who filmed almost our entire set here:

I watched some more great band performances over the weekend and particularly enjoyed The Rip Roaring Success, Cup O’ Joe and my friend Gordon McKinney’s as yet unnamed new trio. Gordon is one of the best bluegrass singers in the country and is so unassuming – I really hope he will be playing out more with this new/revitalised project. The Czech headliners Sunnyside were also very impressive and accomplished. The biggest cheer of the weekend probably went to three-year old Freya (daughter of our fiddle player Eleanor) for her superb rendition of Rabbit in The Log as part of the Sunday Young Bluegrassers concert, hosted by the inspirational teacher Stu Williams.

All in all it was a fabulous weekend, with warm sunny weather throughout, a gorgeous setting at the Pavilion site on the edge of Llangollen, a beautiful town with the river running through. There were steam trains running at one side of Llangollenthe campsite (you could hear that lonesome whistle wail) and horse drawn barges passing occasionally on the canal towpath on the other side. What a fabulous location for a festival – we enjoyed fine days of laid back picking and singing with the friends who had gathered for the weekend. Next up – Tamworth Bluegrass Festival, coming up this Friday! We’ll be performing there too, on stage on Sunday lunchtime this time, at 2pm. There is a really fantastic band line-up throughout the weekend including some of my favourites, Hot Rock Pilgrims and Jaywalkers….not to mention workshops and doubtless many, many jam sessions. See you there!