Performers

Dom Flemons

Dom Flemons

The American Songster – there are countless artists who would love to claim this title, but there’s only one who genuinely deserves it: Dom Flemons. Originally from Phoenix and now living in Chicago, Flemons earned his nickname by immortalising 100 years of music history as reflected in American folksongs, like a modern-day Alan Lomax. Unlike the legendary chronicler, however, Flemons not only records this music, but brings it back to life by taking it out of the museum and publishing and performing it. His work has been honoured with a Grammy Award and two Emmy Award nominations. And if you think this is impressive, which of course it is, then brace yourself: Flemons is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, slam poet, music scholar, historian and record collector. He is known as an expert player of many instruments including the banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills (the ‘Afro-American panflute’), fife and rhythm bones. He’s also the host of Nashville radio station WSM’s The American Songster Radio Show, and he has a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Northern Arizona University. We’re very honoured to welcome this highly accomplished performer, musical storyteller and educational entertainer to our very own Noordplein.

The Kody Norris Show

The Kody Norris Show

Whether you call it hillbilly, bluegrass or rockabilly, the band’s founder and frontman Kody Norris (vocals/guitar) just calls it ‘dern good entertainment’. That’s actually more of a modest understatement than grandstanding. Besides Kody himself, the band members are Kody’s other half Mary Rachel Nalley on fiddle, banjo player Josiah Tyree and Charlie Lowman on bass. They are a tribute to the musical tradition of Bill Monroe, the showmanship of Johnny Martin and the legendary Grand Ole Opry concerts, adding a dash of Vaudeville theatre. High-level music-making in both ensemble and solo playing is of course at the core but they also add humour and flamboyant stage outfits to make the complete entertainment package that The Kody Norris Show is. Their performances are impressive, fun and simply spectacular, on all fronts. This is one to put in your calendar right now. The Kody Norris Show has never before been seen on our continent, so they’ll be writing bluegrass history here, and that’s something you don’t want to miss!

The Slocan Ramblers

The Slocan Ramblers

If you witnessed the Lonesome Ace Stringband performing at the Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival in 2022, then get ready to welcome another fantastic Canadian bluegrass group this year: The Slocan Ramblers. Like the Lonesome Ace Stringband, they succeed in bringing together equal measures of tradition, innovation, virtuosity and flair in their work, both in songwriting and performing. Their most recent album ‘Up The Hill And Through The Fog’ shows the full breadth and diversity of influences on their music, as well as the fact that they haven’t lost sight of their roots – the gritty bluegrass scene flourishing in Toronto’s concert halls and pubs. While it’s a great disc, it’s onstage where the energy and dynamism in their work all really comes alive. Last year they were named Ensemble of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. And with what will be their first European appearance, they might just clinch it again in Rotterdam.

The Dirty Grass Players

The Dirty Grass Players

The members of The Dirty Grass Players met during casual jam sessions in and around Baltimore, where the core members of the band are from. Their reputation as one of the most exciting new bands playing bluegrass has grown rapidly, and now it precedes them. The Dirty Grass Players operate where traditional bluegrass, the backbone of their sound, meets newgrass, giving their music an innovative and progressive approach. Their astonishing playing gives their steady sound a relaxed yet elegant and adventurous twist that would both totally confuse Bill Monroe, the godfather of bluegrass, and put a smile on his face for the rest of eternity. The Dirty Grass Players are progressive, traditional, experimental, imaginative and – it goes without saying – dirty. Their latest album ‘Shiny Side Up’ (2023), produced by Coldy Kilby of The Travelin' McCourys, continues the evolution of bluegrass, in playing and songwriting. For the first time since their founding, the group is bringing their driving, revolutionary sound to our continent. Come and let yourself be carried away by The Dirty Grass Players’ hot jams and catchy songs.

Seth Mulder & Midnight Run

Seth Mulder & Midnight Run

Seth Mulder & Midnight Run is traditional bluegrass at its best. And that’s no surprise, if you look at where they’re from: the group operates from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, the epicentre of bluegrass. Their aim is to preserve the heritage of traditional bluegrass for the future, but with a fresh approach and more flexibility in interpretation, incorporating elements from country, folk and other roots music in their repertoire. This has resulted in some superb recordings, but for Seth Mulder & Midnight Run, on stage is where the magic really happens. Their shows are entertaining and full of energy as well as high-level music making, with fine vocal harmonies and instrumental playing, interspersed with banjo, mandolin and fiddle solos. Their set lists are a mix of their own original songs and lost ‘traditionals’. With each and every performance they aim to connect with their audience so that everyone goes home with a memory that will last forever. Seth Mulder & Midnight Run are the real deal. One thing’s certain, the future of bluegrass is in good hands with these guys!

Annie Bartholomew

Annie Bartholomew

Multimedia storyteller Annie Bartholomew from Juneau, Alaska conveys an enormous awareness of cultural history that makes her a very special performer. As a guitarist, singer and clawhammer banjo player, she aims to present folk music as a continually evolving tradition. Her songs deal with universal themes such as survival, resilience and revelry, inspired by life during the age of massive prospecting for gold in her home state.  She combines historical source material with old-time and mountain music traditions to honour the brave women who risked their lives and reputations in the far north of North America during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late nineteenth century. She recorded this all on her debut album ‘Sisters of White Chapel’ in 2023, which received critical acclaim from media worldwide. Now it’s bringing her to Europe – for the first time, and at the request of the Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival – accompanied by her band The Sitka Roses, with Nichole Campanale on fiddle, Kat Moore on bass and Taylor Vidic on guitar. Come see and hear these four talented women, and let yourself be transported back to an Alaska saloon over a hundred years ago.

Line Up 2024