✭International Acts Mountaingrass 2019✭
✭ Midnight Skyracer (UK) ✭
IBMA Momentum Award nominated bluegrass band, Midnight Skyracer have been tearing up the UK bluegrass and folk scene since their inception less than two years ago. Their all star lineup and exciting live performances have sent them racing skywards at an astounding pace right from the start, with Leanne Thorose’s powerhouse vocals and driving mandolin; Tabitha Agnew’s sweet voice and virtuosic banjo playing; Eleanor Wilkie’s rock solid bass grooves; Laura Carrivick’s flair, being equally adept on both fiddle and dobro; and twin sister Charlotte’s agility on the guitar, with both sisters filling in the vocal harmonies.
“…these varied aspects of their musical personalities contribute to the greater good of a band playing for the song, for the singer, for the music.”
Alison Krauss & Union Station
In just over a year of performing they have racked up an impressive number of major festival slots including Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, completed a tour of Germany and Switzerland as well as two UK tours. In February 2018 they released their critically acclaimed debut album, Fire. Most recently, the band became the first UK band to gain recognition in the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum awards with a nomination for best band as well as Tabitha receiving a nomination in the instrumentalist category.
✭ Mike & Ruthy (USA)✭
When it comes to chemistry, Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar have plenty to spare. Onstage, they are Mike + Ruthy, a husband-and-wife duo setting the indie-folk scene ablaze. Singers and storytellers, poets and parents, the two tour with their children in tow, embodying a down-home approach to Americana. Bouncing between festivals and intimate venues, these troubadours bring harmony-driven fiddle and banjo tunes to more than 100 shows a year. Road-tested material such as the pair’s celebrated reharmonizing of Woody Guthrie’s “My New York City” cement Merenda and Ungar’s status as a “national treasure,” according to peer Anaïs Mitchell. Merenda is a prolific songwriter, who’s recent crowd-pleasing piece, Sunshiner, was nominated for an International Folk Music Award for Song of the Year. It is an ode to renewable energy which simultaneously honors the past and looks to the future with the sing-along lyric, “Yes my Daddy was a miner, but I’m gonna be a sunshiner.” Ungar’s unique vocal style ranges from “a capella” balladry to earthy soul and country. She was raised in a folk music family and learned the fiddle at a young age. Her father is fiddler/composer Jay Ungar, best known for his composition Ashokan Farewell which she also enjoys performing.
✭ The South Carolina Broadcasters (USA)✭
“I’d like to think that if AP Carter had had more time to think about it and work things out, the Carter Family would have been singing like the Broadcasters.” — Tim O’Brien
The Broadcasters tour constantly through the Southeast. And with each release, they become tighter, somehow closer to reaching the heart of the music they obviously love. The harmonies are crisp. The playing is tight. The music is raw and raucous, heartfelt and beautiful. They are the South Carolina Broadcasters, and they are what is great about old time music.” — Dan Schram, Hopscotch Music Festival
The South Carolina Broadcasters are about as perfect an old-time trio as you’ll ever hear. And “Short Time to Stay Here” is a brilliant recording, with instruments providing luxuriant atmospheres for the trio’s riveting lead and harmony singing. ” — Jack Bernhardt, Raleigh News & Observer
The Broadcasters bridge their cross-generational gaps by course of talent – shared, divided, rehashed and revised – impelling some sort of experiential collision: through aching and dismay, transcendence and hope, noise and silence, body and soul, their interpretations seem to suggest that we are together, all of us, Southern children going forward at top volume. ”— Colton Wooten, Raleigh News & Observer
Clear, powerful playing. Great singing. Respect for the past, all the while setting the bar high for musicians of the future. Strong music.” — Joe Newberry
✭ Sonoran Dogs (USA)✭
Formed in 2011, The Sonoran Dogs have exploded upon the bluegrass scene! They have performed and headlined many festivals and concert venues in the Southwestern US, touring as far as Australia, from Melbourne to Brisbane and beyond. The “Dogs” are made up of seasoned veterans who have come together to enjoy bluegrass music and friendship, often times adding one or more “strays” on fiddle, dobro and even accordion! With every show, The Sonoran Dogs play with expertise, often improvising and showcasing original songs, traditional and contemporary music as well as an eclectic mix of Bluegrass, Folk, Americana, Celtic, and Newgrass.