Greystones Roots and Americana Festival Review

Stronger than ever, Greystones Roots and Americana Festival’s fourth outing brought together a plethora of local and US artists over the August bank holiday and all for free...

Foot stompin’ sets by Gypsy Rebel Rabble and the Greasy Coat Stringband coupled with, I kid you not, piped cricket noises set the soundtrack for the weekend.

Local Wicklow band The Cujo Family headlined on Saturday and closed a wonderful day in impressive fashion with their well defined, hard folk sound. Anybody present who hadn’t already heard it must have subsequently been checking out their latest, excellent album, Stories Of Ruin.

Niall Toner, with a lifetime’s contribution to the genre to draw on – and celebrating his recent signing to North Carolina’s Pinecastle Records – put in a finely crafted set of material, aided at one point by Irish folk legend and chieftain to all Greystones Root’s proceedings, Al O’Donnell.

However, Portland, Oregon singer Kory Quinn really was the festival slowburner, dishing out six performances of rare intensity and wry humour across the weekend. Quinn is a kind of contemporary hobo intellectual, who has been riding the rails of mixed US folk and country venues for five years, having been made redundant as a Latin high school teacher.

Between road-worn self-penned material, oldtime drinking songs and heart-rending renditions of country-tinged standards, the mighty Quinn is someone to watch out for.

It’s a real credit to festival organiser Conor O’Donnell and his team that artists of this calibre can be introduced here.

We’re looking forward to next year already...


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