We drove down to the Tönder Folk Festival http://www.tf.dk/pages/page.php?id=19&set_menu=19&setLanguage=english in Danmark for the weekend and heard and played a lot if music. We hadn't bothered going for three years as there were few Irish bands, musicians performing there. Anyway we played a lot of tunes during some long sessions in the pub upstairs, and also met up with Danish and German musicians we hadn't seen for a while. One reason for going to Tönder was to hear Liz Carroll & John Doyle. They played very well, both are wonderful musicians, great sound they have going there, fine tunes. Another couple of great bands were Dirk Powell's band with Riley Bagus, playing Appalachian stuff, and Balfa Toujours who played Cajun music. We also heard an amazing alternative bluegrass band called The Crooked Still. They were for us the big hit of the festival, great musicians, especially their out of control, and very entertaining cello player, Rushad Eggeleston, and their singer, Aoife O'Donovan - http://www.myspace.com/crookedstill
Danu, Solas, Eleanor Shanley Band, Karen Casey Band and Liam Clancy were also on the bill. Didn't get to hear Solas as we were playing ourselves, but we did manage to hear Danu at the Sunday afternoon ceilidh concert. Karen Casey and John Doyle joined them on stage, great music as usual. We also missed the Taj Mahal Trio as we were in a session, but we'd heard them four days earlier at the free festival at Malmö, Sweden. A surprise at the Tönder afternoon celidh was a 3 man group from South Africa called MoZuluArt, who just happened to be playing another gig in Tönder, and were called in to play at the ceilidh. One of Ireland's best uilleann pipers, Ennis piper Mick Coyne also turned up to play. Well the weather was great, we were camping, and the sessions too. There are some fine musicians playing Irish trad in Denmark and Germany. Danish band the Trad Lads together with the dance group Green Steps, played and danced well.