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Folk column: Roots manoeuvres
Now in its tenth year, the Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival continues to attract the finest trad and folk performers around.
Greg McAteer, 25 Apr 2007
We’ve all been seduced by the glorious weather over Easter, and now the first inklings of the various festival line-ups are starting to leak out. We’ll be diving for the credit cards in anticipation of basking in a field somewhere with a balmy breeze wafting over us, having somehow managed to bury the memory of last year’s rain-soaked, drunken fiasco.
The Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival, now in its 10th year, comes fresh out of the box over the May Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday, May 4 to Monday, May 7. Whether they’ve gone out of their way to ensure that their passage into double figures is marked by a doozy, or whether it's simply a testament to years of making the experience as good for the musicians as it is for the audience, this year’s event boasts a line-up that any festival would be proud of.
The name that will immediately jump out at the casual observer of this year’s programme is Mark Eitzel, founder member of the legendary American Music Club; he’ll be pulling into town for two shows which are bound to sell out quickly. Richmond Fontaine makes a return visit, having first played the festival four years ago, when they were promoting their breakthrough album, Post To Wire. They now return with their latest long-player, Thirteen Cities. Frontman Willy Vlautin will also be doing a book-reading.
Be Good Tanyas fans can look forward to Po’ Girl, who feature Trish Klein in their ranks; their sound is a mix of folk, country, jazz and punk.
As ever the festival also throws open the stages to the best Irish alt/roots acts, and this year there’ll be shows from Kilkenny’s own red hot rockabilly foursome The Migrant Hawkers (making the 10-yard trip), Cajun-country-blues rockers, Raglan Rodeo, bluegrass stalwart, Niall Toner, the sonic hotch-potch of