On Saturday October 22nd 2016, over two hundred banjo and bluegrass music enthusiasts from all over the world took part in our 10th anniversary celebration for Eagle Music as the #1 world dealership for Deering Banjos USA.
The event took place in the tiny village of Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield, Yorkshire to celebrate Eagle Music Shop’s remarkable achievement of maintaining the number one world dealership status for the California based Deering Banjo Company for the past ten consecutive years. Yes folks, ten years! We are proud as a UK family business to gain this accolade from America’s largest banjo maker! Steve Noon and daughter Rachel Price manage the business along with Steve’s son James and a team of dedicated musical staff, we still have to pinch ourselves about this achievement!
The one-day festival complete with workshops and performances showcased Eagle Music’s success with a glittering array of world class musical talent including the only UK performance of the North Carolina super band Kruger Brothers. JigJam (Ireland) flew in from their recent tour of the USA to support the Kruger Brothers in an evening showcase concert. Eagle Music’s MC for the event Matt Chaffer got the day rolling by announcing free refreshments to get the day rolling at 10.30am!
Throughout the day, workshops were held covering different styles of banjo playing a beginners/improvers workshop was held by Eagle Music’s Graham Holt. Bill Forster who is well known to UK festival goers is now living on the west coast of Ireland. Bill came over especially for the celebration and ran an advanced 5-string workshop. Gavin Strappe from County Tipperary, Ireland is a member of JigJam. Gavin ran an Irish tenor banjo workshop and later performed with JigJam on mandolin and tenor banjo supporting the Kruger Brothers in the evening concert.
Joe Mac and Bob McLean of the Uk’s own bluegrass band The Old Grey Dogs joined in with the celebrations and ran the picking sessions throughout the day.
The daytime on stage performances commenced with some fast banjo picking from the Uk’s new banjo whizz kid on the block, 19 year old James Allan. James played a brilliant set of bluegrass banjo standards that got the audience buzzing, James was accompanied on guitar by Eagle’s in-house banjo teacher Graham Holt. James recently clocked up over two and a half million views on Facebook for one of his banjo picking videos!
Greg, Janet and Jamie Deering took to the stage and gave an enlightening talk on the development of the banjo and its place in the modern world of popular, bluegrass, American old time, folk, roots and traditional music.
Kruger Brothers gave a spellbinding on-stage afternoon workshop of music and songs and captivated the audience with their on stage magic and explanation of how they work together and build their musical arrangements …The Kruger Brothers then invited everyone on stage with their own instruments to play and perform the classic song Buffalo Gals which was filmed for YouTube.
All the way from Dripsey in County Cork Ireland, we were uplifted with a great set of tunes and songs from long neck banjo virtuoso Pat Kelleher who was joined by his son Ricky on guitar and vocals.
Closing the afternoon on-stage sets, and another one of the highlights was the stunning banjo and vocal performance from Dan Walsh. Just back from a recent tour of India, Dan is without question the finest clawhammer banjo player that the UK has ever produce, playing in his own unique style. At the age of 29, Dan has only been playing the banjo for around 15 years! Now with a firm foot on the world stage playing with his own band called the Urban Folk Quartet. In the past Dan has played as far away as New Zealand and Canada as well as the USA, Denmark and Germany.
A DVD will be available soon as a momento of the 10th Anniversary afternoon at Eagle Music 2016.
Kruger Brother Showcase Evening Concert
The evening concert commenced with presentations from Steve and Rachel to Eagle Music staff for their extra work input towards this amazing event. Steve announced the newly introduced ‘Outstanding Eagle Customer of The Year Award’ which was awarded to Tom Jenkins for un-waving customer loyalty over the past ten years.
Fresh from their storming USA summer tour JigJam, all the way from Tullamore in Ireland, took to the stage in support of Kruger Brothers. The four piece band consisting of Jamie McKeogh on guitar, lead vocals and tenor banjo, Daithi Melia on 5-String banjo and vocals, Cathal Guinan on double bass, fiddle, guitar and vocals, and Gavin Strappe on mandolin tenor banjo and vocals won everyone over with their amazing musical ability, energy and stunning fusion of bluegrass music fused with Irish traditional music. They launched their second CD ‘Hello World’ online on the day …we’re going to hear a lot more from this multi-talented band, they are really saying hello to the world!
JigJam’s brilliant set was followed by the interval where a musical instrument raffle was drawn with over £1,000.00 worth of instrument prizes, all were claimed on the night!
A special surprise draw took place to celebrate Eagles 10th anniversary. All the names of the persons that had bought tickets for the event were put into a hat, the lucky winner was presented with a Deering banjo from Greg, Janet and Jamie Deering!
Greg Deering called on Steve and Rachel presented Eagle Music with a tenth anniversary carved maple plaque in recognition of ten amazing years as the #1 world dealership.
Greg went on to present Steve with the latest Deering banjo model a beautiful maple six string banjo, serial number one! This banjo will join a collection of other priceless serial number one Deering banjos that have been presented to Steve and Eagle Music throughout the past ten years.
The showcase of the event followed with the world renown Kruger Brothers in concert. Jens Kruger is recognised by the world’s banjo community as probably the greatest 5-string banjo player of all time, along with brother Uwe Kruger on vocals and guitar and Joel Landsberg on bass. The show was spell binding with maestro banjo playing from Jens, heartfelt songs and guitar wizardry from Uwe coupled with the masterly bass playing of Joel.
Following their world performance with full orchestras and the Kontras Quarte, we were treated to musical bliss listening to the Spirit of the Rockies, their Roan Mountain Suite and Kruger classics form many of their past two dozen CD recordings! A standing ovation closed the evening after a much loved Kruger Brothers encore.
The amazing world renown Bernie Velutti, Kruger Brothers sound engineer mastered the sound throughout the day for all the on-stage artists.
What has become an annual event, is now set in the hearts so many of the UK’s popular, bluegrass, American old time, folk, roots and traditional music lovers. Eagle Music has built up its friendship over the past ten years with many of the notable UK musicians through dedication and service.
Some of the UK musicians and bands that have attended and played at the event throughout the past decade include Howard ‘Shep’ Shepherd and Mike Dexter, Down County Boys, Kentucky Cow Tippers, House Devils, Jonny Hulme, Jon Strong, Paul Bienek, Tom Napper, Nic Mann and Joe McIlvenny and the Old Grey Dogs,
Eagle Music specialises in banjos, mandolins and traditional musical instruments. We have a very busy shop that has show rooms and a workshop that specialised in set-ups and repairs…Pay Eagle Music Shop a call, you won’t be disappointed!