Damien O'Kane & Ron Block Band @ The Live Room at Saltaire, Leeds [27 July]

Damien O'Kane & Ron Block Band

06:30 - 09:30

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The Live Room at Saltaire
Caroline Social Club, Caroline Street, Saltaire, BD18 3JZ Shipley, Bradford, United Kingdom
Two of the world's greatest exponents of the banjo teamed up some time ago and will release their first duo record, 'Banjophony', on July 20th 2018. Both from opposite ends of the globe, America and Ireland respectively, the record features a host of grade A guests including Stuart Duncan, Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Duncan Lyall, Michael McGoldrick Music and loads more. They will tour Banjophony starting at Underneath The Stars Festival on July 21st right through to their performance at Cambridge Folk Festival on August 5th. Highly addicitve and highly banjo, catch them along the way for a plucking spectacular masterclass in picking! Complete with band, get yourself along to see this very unique music.

Here is what world renowned musician Jerry Douglas said about Banjophony:

— Ron Block and Damien O’Kane have created something I have never heard. Even though these two banjos separated by miles of ocean are related, it has taken two people of common sensibilities to bring them so close. From my own first landing in Ireland, the banjo style I encountered left me spellbound and I just reckoned that’s where it would culminate into what Damien has made it, exact and toneful while still being the driving force it has always served itself to be. I have for many years been an over-served fan of collaboration and this collection brings forth the most pleasant factors and boils them down to a delightful
tincture that would please anyone in search of something at the same time beautiful and wild. There are no boundaries here.
Damien’s sense of piston-like drive and Ron’s stately tone and string-bending accuracy mix to create a confluence of the perfect banjo. Yes I said “stately” about a banjo, but Ron Block is the only person I would ever say that about. I have worked
alongside him for many years and have always enjoyed the way he can inspire a phrase. Damien is the perfect foil to draw him out with a left hook now and then before they both settle in for a series of notes perfectly carved into a statement. The other musicians, all distinct and respected, are aware of them but dance around them and give Ron and Damien the space to chase, harmonize, or counter each other throughout this experiment. It works. It all works. Listen to it and see if you agree with me.

Jerry Douglas, June 2018.
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