Neil and Billy Matthews, and Barry Murphy prepare to record
by Charlie Hansen
We’re going to deal with a couple of different things this month. The first on is the 4th annual Island Bluegrass Gathering at Marco Polo Land in Cavendish.
This year’s gathering was held on September 10–12 and was, by all reports, a resounding success. The weather was not co-operative as is this case at this time of year but everyone was warm and cozy inside the park rec hall.
This year the gathering went in a slightly different direction by hiring all Island bands, mostly bluegrass or a form thereof.
It was an interesting event as events of this type go as there was no defined headliner. Each group had one or two forty five minute sets and each group have a different slant on the music.
The show started outside Friday evening but on Saturday morning moved inside due to rain in the area.
All in all everyone enjoyed the shows and all the musicians had a chance to renew acquaintances and meet and hear some groups that they hadn’t heard before. The gathering will be back next year bigger and better than ever.
The next item this month is a couple of new CDs. Neil and Billy Matthews are in the process of putting together a project that is both a compilation of some earlier material and some new freshly recorded tunes.
Neil has had some health issues over the last little while but he is back playing music and is involved in putting this project together. He’s taken songs from three or four previously released albums and re-mastered them for this project.
Billy is recording five new cover songs to be put on the CD and he’s backed up by a strong cast of musicians. Billy’s other songs will be taken from previously recorded material.
This CD should be on the market by mid-October.
Another CD that’s in the works is one by, first timer, Barry Murphy from Crossroads. His project will be called Crossroads Country and will include hits by George Jones, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard to name a few. Barry has also included two songs that he wrote himself, “My Mother’s Table” and “Ceilidh At The Bay.” The latter is a salute to the fine ceilidhs held in St. Peters Bay. Barry has been singing at this ceilidh for a number of years and also does other concerts and dances. This is his first venture into the studio but I have a feeling that it won’t be his last.
With these two new CDs coming out and more in the hopper there is scarcity of local music for everyone to listen to. This is the time of year that we take it a little easy and like to listen to some new music so here’s your chance.
Until next time don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass music and listen to Bluegrass Island every Sunday evening at 9:00PM on CFCY FM 95.1 in Charlottetown and on the web at www.951fmcfcy.com.