|It feels like a very long time since we Gals were in touch: we have been on the road again and we have not long since left Ibiza, over the moon after a great time on this amazing island entertaining the visitors to Costa del Folk festival. Run at the Sirenis Seaview Country Club resort as a holiday (with no need to camp!) this is a vacation week for like-minded music-lovers and was about as much fun as any performer can legally be allowed to have! We had a good turnout for the Square Dance class with lots of very able dancers participating, with no cases of two-left feet and a lot of energy, which made it extra fun for us too.
We had some great feedback from the audiences in Ibiza and some splendid sessions after hours. We’ve been seeing the photos and videos that some of you have kindly shared on social media, so thank you for that. It’s hard to single out any favourite moment but certainly the joy of meeting old friends from overseas and making new friends every day is right up there, along with Sibs’s final duet dancing with Fran Doonan, during the Mighty Doonans’ big last-night gig. A tasty fusion if ever there was.
Our two stage performances also gave us the chance to show off our fabulous new guitarist, Ben Keogh, who did a super job in his Buffalo Gals debut. He is a great talent who we know will enhance the band and we feel very lucky to have him on board. Ben is joining us from Dublin so, transport and timing permitting, we hope to have him with us at the most of our shows from now on. Formerly of Rough Deal String Band, he is a powerful and beautiful singer as well as having a remarkable feel instrumentally for the music we love.
One of the hot topics in Ibiza was your interest in our Music Week holidays and several people wanting to know more about them. As it happens, we headed straight from Costa del Folk Ibiza to La Fuente in southern Spain, where we are now and where these specialist ‘learning holidays’ take place.
Seven days of heaven at the Old Time MusicWeek. Let us set the scene for you.
Our participants arrived at the private house, with solar-heated pool, in the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains in South East Spain. As they settled into life in the campo (shared or private rooms or, if you prefer, camping away from the main house, the choice is yours) they were greeted with full sun and bright blue skies. As always we adapted the classes to the interests of the people attending and this time we were lucky enough to have West Virginia’s greatest living musician, Dave Bing teaching fiddle, banjo and guitar. More fiddle and banjo was also headed up by highly esteemed teachers Alan Green and Buffalo Gals’ own Johnny Whelan. Sue ‘Sooz’ Clare ran her super-fun guaranteed-results ukulele class and the band’s star dance Sibs Riesen instructed in percussive dance, outside in the shade to the sounds of a bluegrass fiddle. To complete this near-heavenly holiday or a lifetime, widely-travelled and extremely skilled musicians Suzanne Jaroszynski and Jim Hale led group duet-singing classes featuring Carter Family songs along with our glorious old-time singing acts from the early part of the last century. Truly, a beautiful sound.
As well as the classes at La Fuente everyone loves to walk and swim and climb and eat and travel in the ample free-time. Like everything during this week, making new friends and finding your hidden talents is optional (but pretty much impossible to avoid) and once you arrive at the house all food and drinks, bedding, tents or anything else you need is provided as part of the cost of the holiday, so you can just kick back and get on with relaxing and learning at will.
Our next event is Traditional American Music Week, running from 23-30 September. Watch this space for further information about teachers, but you can, of course, expect the same level of talented, inspiring leadership and wonderful fun.
We’re delighted that already Beverly Smith has agreed to join us as host teacher for this week. Her teaching style is second to none and everyone benefits from her brilliantly structured classes, whatever level they may be starting from. Award-winning blues songwriter and singer Katie Bradley will also be with us, teaching singing, song-writing and harmonica, and Stu Weetman will teach blues banjo and guitar. Other classes will be announced as we find out what you want. If you’re interested in joining in the fun then do get in touch.
We are also incredibly honoured to have been included in the next new Arts Alive rural touring menu for 2017/2018. In these days where funding is so hard to find we are delighted that we will be touring our new ‘Miraculous Medicine Show’ to the Arts Alive venues around Shropshire and Herefordshire. If you are part of a local scheme which accepts touring acts and would like Buffalo Gals to visit then just get in touch with your local touring scheme or get in touch direct if you’d like us to guarantee to cure all that ails you by playing our Miraculous Medicine Show at your venue.
As we finish-up writing here from sunny Spain we want to wish you warmth in all of your parts along with a glorious summer filled with music and dance.
Gigs are shown on the homepage and they include:
East Anglian Bluegrass Festival, 16-18 June: click here
Tamworth Bluegrass Festival, 22-26 June: click here
And your chance to see Kate Lissauer as a solo artist at:
Sweet Sunny South Festival, 8-10 September. Have a look here
Thank you for your kind comments, your social media posts and for lending us your ears… please, we say it every time, come up and say ‘hi’ (or ‘hola’) any time.
Our warmest wishes to you all,
The Gals x