STARS OF THE LONE STAR STATE Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay will round off their Irish tour with a gig at The Old Woods, Balla, on October 28.
The Balla Bluegrass Festival will return for the ninth year on the October Bank Holiday weekend, October 27-30.
The festival is usually the last bluegrass festival on the Irish calendar and always draws a big crowd of musicians and music lovers for four days of gigs and sessions. For the last three years, the festival has been produced by the same team that organised The Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, bringing a huge array of local, national and international acts.
As in previous years, all the gigs will take place in Mannion’s and The Olde Woods Pubs.
This year’s festival will be headlined by five-piece Bluegrass band from Germany, The Munich String Band. They will play The Old Woods on Friday night, and Mannion’s on Saturday night, and will join a few sessions over the weekend – with both gigs starting at 10pm.
Dublin-based, Americana-style three-piece The Big Muddy will play in The Old Woods on Sunday evening at 8pm and on the same night, Ireland’s leading Bluegrass band, Woodbine, will play in Mannion’s bar. Woodbine are big festival favourites, having played almost all of the festivals over the last nine years.
The four days will wrap up on the bank holiday Monday in Mannion’s bar at 8pm with local band Colonel Bullshot Rides Again, led by by one of the west’s biggest bluegrass ambassadors, Tommy Lyons.
Leigh and McKay
The festival special guests are Austin, Texas-based country/folk duo Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay, who will bring their Irish tour to a close with a gig at The Old Woods on the Saturday evening at 8pm.
The pair have been championed by folk legend Guy Clarke, and have been gaining much praise for both their duo show and the bluegrass band that they front, High Plains Jamboree.
During their Irish tour, Brennen and Noel have played at the Bunratty Bluegrass Festival, as well as dates in Limerick, Tipperary and Sligo, and they are playing three Mayo dates next week.
On Thursday, October 26, they will play Castlebar’s newest music venue, Bridge Street, at 7pm, and Friday, October 27, will see them play an intimate gig at Leafy Greens Café on Westport’s James Street at 8.30pm, with a tapas menu being served before the show.
For more information on the Balla Bluegrass Festival, find Balla Bluegrass Festival page on Facebook, or follow @ballabluegrass on Twitter.