Live Preview: Doolin Craft Beer and Roots Festival

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Next weekend (Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August) in Doolin, there will be a special type of festival. Two of my favourite things in the world; beer and excellent music will feature. So of course Im going. If you’re thinking of going too, here is what I recommend to see. If you’re not thinking of going, you might find some artists that are in the line-up that are worth investigating.

From what I can gather this is the third year of the festival. The festival is based at the Hotel Doolin who also organise the Doolin Folk Festival each year. If you’re not aware, Doolin is a lovely little town in Co. Clare on the Irish west coast. The festival has quite a line up this year.

The weekend features some of the best Irish musicians around. On Friday night, the line-up features Hickory Wind (a great traditional band), Old Town Rounders and the headliners The Young Folk. With their beautiful melodic tunes, they are a perfect opener to the weekend.

On Saturday, some of the finest americana is featured on stage. N.C Lawlor specialises in raw blues. He is a man that can often be seen busking with his slide guitar in Dublin. I have been aware of the name for a long time but didn’t realise his music was this good.

It is quite the weekend of americana and roots based music. Apart from the Kilkenny roots Festival, it would be hard to find a line-up as good as this in this genre. Tickets for the weekend are on sale for €25 with day tickets €15 which can be purchased on tickets.ie or on the day itself.

Also on Saturday,the man that could be regarded as the godfather of modern Irish Americana;Gavin Glass will perform. Gavin gigs are few and far between especially outside of Dublin so you should take this chance to catch one of the best exponents of the genre, national or international live.

The last band on Saturday night are one that has built up a reputation as one of the best live acts around. Mongrel State play punchy, rocking blues. They are a band that have been under the radar for quite a while but deserve a bigger platform. Hopefully that will happen soon.

Finally on Sunday, the line-up features a more relaxed affair. With John Blek & The Rats headlining, you are guaranteed a beautiful set of soulful americana melodies. Expect to hear a few tunes from the band’s upcoming second album. Also featuring is Anna Mitchell who apart from singing with John Blek & The Rats also has a successful solo career of her own. Sandwiched in between those sets are Prairie Dawgs, fine exponents of roots based folk tunes.

Don’t forget to look up the line-up of beers too. For more on the festival, check out their Facebook page and the official website.

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