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Good news from Tønder

More exciting additions to the Tønder Festival poster: an Irish supergroup, top-class American bluegrass veterans, Scottish talents and a famous Scandinavian female singer.

Danish music festivals are very much in the news, and there has never been a wider variety on offer. In the midst of the diverse festival landscape – more precisely in the south Jutland border country, with its vast skies and open spaces – Tønder Festival can announce a series of new names that underline the unique nature of the music programme at this major Danish folk roots festival.

Scots, Irish, American and Scandinavian

Here comes one of USA’s best bluegrass bands, Hot Rize, a quartet including multi-instrumentalist Tim O´Brien. From Ireland we have a new supergroup with gems from Ireland’s musical treasure chest. It’s Usher’s Island, two generations of eminent musicians: Andy Irvine, Dónal Lunny, Paddy Glackin, Michael McGoldrick and John Doyle. Scotland is represented by a singer and songwriter with the wind in his sails: Adam Holmes, who performs both with his own band, The Embers, and with the critically-acclaimed traditional group Rura. Not only that, but Tønder audiences will once again dance to the music of folk rock band Skerryvore, who scored such success last year in Tønder. The bouquet is rounded off in fine style: Poul Krebs will appear with a distinguished guest when he and his friends take to the Tønder stage: Swedish Lisa Nilsson.

The Programme is almost ready
The programme for Tønder Festival 2015 is fast approaching completion. There are still some surprises in preparation. They will be announced shortly. With top names like Richard Thompson, John Prine, Bellowhead, Sturgill Simpson and The Lone Bellow, Tønder Festival demonstrates once again that this is the place for live roots music of absolutely supreme quality.

New website
Take a look at our new home page: you’ll find news and background on all the Tønder artists, info about ticket sales, FAQ on all matters practical, the history of Tønder Festival and much more.

Hot Rize (USA)

Steve Martin called Hot Rize “the great modern bluegrass band”, and Chris Thile reached for the superlatives, too, when he said Hot Rize was the “most important bluegrass band ever”. Tim O’Brien has been a frequent and prized guest at Tønder Festival for some years now, but it was not until 2010 that we succeeded in bringing his friends in Hot Rize to Tønder. Hot Rize was formed in the late 70s and soon became one of the leading bluegrass bands in USA. In 1990 Hot Rize quit the circuit and the members went their various ways. There were occasional reunions, but it was all of 24 years before a new studio album came from the quartet. When I’m Free was released last year and set off Hot Rize’s first big US tour in decades. Besides Tim O’Brien on mandolin, Hot Rize numbers Pete ”Dr. Banjo” Wernick, bassist Nick Forster and guitarist Bryan Sutton. Their alter egos, the Western swing band Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, have often been seen doing a set at Hot Rize concerts.

Usher’s Island (IRL)
A well-worn epithet like supergroup cannot be avoided here. Usher´s Island is an alloy of two generations of Irish traditional music’s elite. As part of bands such as Planxty, The Bothy Band and Moving Hearts, Andy Irvine, Dónal Lunny and Paddy Glackin were the trailblazers who revolutionised musical norms and dogma in the 1970s. On a foundation of pure traditional music, they built up a new and progressive sound that inspired the next generations. Among the younger musicians who sat up and took notice were Michael McGoldrick and John Doyle, who, in Lúnasa and Solas respectively, gave Irish music a fresh intensity and magic, leading among other things to work with big international stars like Mark Knopfler. Come and enjoy the ultimate folk concert experience, the best of Irish folk music played by the masters.

Adam Holmes and The Embers (SCO)
Hailed as one of the bright new talents of the Scottish folk scene, 24 year-old Adam Holmes is well on his way to conquering the world outside Scotland too. Adam Holmes comes from Edinburgh, where his musical parents introduced him from an early age to the vibrant live folk music environment in the town’s pubs and clubs. His first instrument was the violin, later swapped for the guitar. Adam Holmes’ debut album Heirs and Graces was released in early 2014, produced by John Wood, whose legendary work includes productions of Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, Pentangle and John Martyn. It is to John Martyn (1948-2009) that Adam Holmes is often compared, because of the similarities in the vocal tone, the deep resonance and the stylish purity of his choice of folk ballads. As well as performing with his own band, Adam Holmes plays with the group called Rura, and he will also be appearing with them at this year’s Tønder Festival.

Rura (SCO)
Playing highland pipes, fiddle, bodhran, guitar, flute and strong vocals, Rura have been making a name for themselves on the Scottish folk scene since 2010. The four young musicians, Steven Blake, Jack Smedley, David Foley and Adam Brown first drew attention to themselves at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow that year. Their debut album Break It Up from 2012, produced by Aidan O’Rourke of the group Lau, was well received by reviewers and won several nominations, among them the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award. Joining the band will be singer and guitarist Adam Holmes, whom the Tønder audience will also be meeting when he appears with his own band Adam Holmes and The Embers. The combination of Rura’s confident feel for the Scots music tradition and Adam Holmes’ dark and intense songwriting is unique and has wakened wide interest in Rura. Their second album Despite The Dark, appears in April 2015.

Skerryvore (SCO)
They first visited Tønder Festival in 2014, and there is no doubt that many Tønder fans will be looking forward to their return visit this year. Skerryvore is today’s hottest contender for a new folk rock band working in the same field Runrig and Wolfstone. Now seven strong, Skerryvore celebrate their tenth anniversary this year. An open air concert entitled Skerryvore Decade on 30th May in Oban will mark the occasion. Guest musicians will include Sharon Shannon, and many more. Building on proud traditions, Skerryvore do not shy away from borrowing inspiration from cajun, country and Americana. Frontman and singer Alec Dalglish always ensures an extrovert show. The band’s most recent album is Chasing The Sun from 2014. Their 2010 offering Skerryvore was their breakthrough, and with World of Chances (2012) with its country, jazz and world music input, Skerryvore established their name internationally.

Lisa Nilsson (S) – Poul Krebs’ guest
When Poul Krebs & his friends take the stage in Tønder, they will have a special, extra voice on the team: Swedish Lisa Nilsson. Thus the line-up is: Poul Krebs, Henning Kvitnes, Daniel Lemma and Lisa Nilsson. Not forgetting, of course, the band.
Lisa Nilsson broke through with Himlen Runt Hörnet (Heaven’s Round the Corner) in 1992 and still works with pop, folk, jazz and many other musical styles. She sang on Poul Krebs’ Asfalt album in 2014, in a duet on the song Vi tog heldigvis fejl (Luckily we were wrong). Until the spring of 2015, Lisa Nilsson is busy acting in the musical Chicago, at the Stadsteatren in Stockholm.

The story so far:
Hot Rize USA), Adam Holmes and The Embers (SCO), Rura (SCO), Usher’s Island (IRL), Skerryvore (SCO), Richard Thompson (ENG), John Prine (USA), Sturgill Simpson (USA),
The Lone Bellow (USA), Mike Andersen (DK), La Bottine Souriante (CAN), Mánran (SCO), Hans Theessink’s Townes Van Zandt Project (NL, USA), Richard J. Dobson (USA), Butch Hancock (USA),
J. T. Van Zandt (USA), Eleanor Shanley (IRL), Folkeklubben (DK), Poul Krebs & Friends (DK),
Lisa Nilsson (S), Henning Kvitnes (N), Daniel Lemma (S), Chris Smither (USA),
The Stray Birds (USA), Sheesham, Lotus & ‘Son (CAN), Ten Strings And A Goat Skin (CAN),
Spiro (ENG), Hayseed Dixie (USA), Kathryn Tickell & The Side (ENG), Kepa Junkera (E), Bellowhead (ENG), Gregg Russell & Ciaran Algar (ENG), Mary Gauthier (USA), Lynn Miles (CAN),
The Wood Brothers (USA), Allan Taylor (UK) The Sexican (DK), Three Tall Pines (USA), The Great Malarkey (ENG), Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns (USA), King James & The Special Men (USA), Jonah Blacksmith (DK).

Tønder Festival 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th August 2015
Twitter: @tonderfestival
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Permalink - Posted: April 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm