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Check out this nice review about the OIBF festival 2013 featuring the LOUVAT BROS.

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Check out this nice review about the OIBF festival 2013 featuring the LOUVAT BROS.

We closed the festival on Saturday night along with the KRUGER BROS and country star Katy Mattea.  What a great crowd that night!!



OIBF 2013 in Guthrie

Tom Dunning | October 9, 2013 | No Comments

Guthrie, Oklahoma’s 17th annual International Bluegrass Festival (OIBF) brought together music fans from across the United States to hear performers from around the world. Kathy Mattea, whose last record recalls her West Virginia roots, closed out the three-day festival on the Land Run Stage in front of a cold, but appreciative, crowd. The event’s international focus meant a lineup of musicians from Japan and Belgium as well as The Kruger Brothers, originally from Switzerland and guitarist Richard Smith who came to the United States from Great Britain.  While the crowd numbered significantly less than the 40,000 people who came to Guthrie in September for the Mumford and Son’s Gentlemen of the Road stop, it was equally enthusiastic and appreciative of the musicians’ talent.

Festivals in this part of the country don’t get much more diverse than this one and it included Japan’s Blueside of Lonesome who performed two sets. Members participated in instrument workshops during the weekend and younger band members could be found jamming with local kids in the backstage tent despite the language barrier. During their performance, they played Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen and Old Dangerfield, and two Gospel numbers Let Us Travel, Travel On and Cryin’ Holy Unto the Lord with tight four-part vocal harmonies.

A highlight of their set was fiddler Hiromu Teshima singing John Hartford’s Steamboat Whistle Blues. Guitarist Masuo Sasabe spoke of chauffeuring Hartford during one of his trips to Japan and meeting him during an earlier trip to the OIBF. During Friday’s set, they were joined by Byron Berline on fiddle and Barry Patton on bones for Lonesome Road Blues. This performance added to their versions of traditional bluegrass and country songs showed the audience that the band has an appreciation for American roots music history as well as the musical chops to play it.

Vocalist Yoshie Sakamoto fronted the band on some numbers, including Please Help Me I’m Falling and Pathways to Teardrops, with a vocal style reminiscent of 1960s female country singers. Even though her native dialect is different than what listeners are used to, she would fit in any venue where classic country music was performed. Both Yoshie and Blueside play festivals and country music bars in Japan and they were warmly received by the Guthrie crowd. They dedicated a heartfelt version of Berline’s “My Oklahoma” and the crowd responded warmly.

Brothers Steve and Jefferson Louvat with bassist Michel Vrydag performed mostly original songs and were later joined by Uwe and Jens Kruger. This was the Louvat’s fourth trip to Guthrie. Their mandolin and banjo instrumentals were reminiscent of a improvisational style that may be out of place in some festivals, but worked well in Guthrie where musical genre lines are blurred. The OIBF has consistently provided both traditional bluegrass and some that is a little outside the traditional definitions .

The Kruger Brothers set touched on Doc Watson and other styles that originated closer to their North Carolina home but also featured their excellent take on Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready, and their own Watches the Clouds Roll By and Carolina In The Fall. The Krugers have performed at nearly all of the 17 Guthrie festivals and are a crowd favorite, and this trip came on the heels of their Late Night With David Letterman appearance. Jens Kruger facilitated the festival’s banjo workshop as well, which had players from five different countries.

viaOIBF 2013 in Guthrie : Bluegrass Today.

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