by Becky DerbyshireDo we not all have one of those friends who just seems to be able to discover bands and singers who no-one else has heard of? Mine introduced me to bluegrass through a band who I most cordially encourage you to seek out, Nickel Creek. Impressive enough on CD, on stage they are open-mouth gawpingly awesome. It is only on stage that you can fully appreciate the skill, talent and downright enthusiasm that bluegrass musicians have for their genre.Bluegrass has only had an impact on mainstream British music fairly recently. Often mistaken for folk music, bluegrass in fact has many influences on it. The genre combines old-time British and Irish inspiration with a great African-American influence (gospel, ragtime, jazz and blues all having their effects), to create a mesh of sometimes toe-tapping and sometimes incredibly soothing music.The father of the genre however was one Billy Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys. The band formed in 1939, but it was only in 1945 when Earl Scruggs, a banjo player, joined the group with his distinctive playing style (a three-fingered roll on the banjo) that this new genre of music actually developed.It only became truly distinctive in the mid-1950s during the emergence of Rock and Roll, and whilst electric guitars began to be strummed by the fingers of many Country players, the Bluegrass players stuck to their acoustic instruments. There has indeed been much debate between those in the know as to what constitutes a bluegrass band, Most accept the benchmark of a fiddle, a five string banjo, a mandolin and an upright bass. Nevertheless, there have been movements in recent years to more progressive bluegrass music with some electric instruments.Like with any style of music boundaries are flexible and the style of bluegrass in often very varied. One of the few guarantees of bluegrass though is that the music is likely to be very technically demanding with fast and complex melodies often being improvised. Indeed the great aptitude of these players is amazing when one considers that often all within the band are not only good singers but virtuoso musicians.With the fusion of different styles that have influenced this genre, there is a little of something for everyone. From the pure and meaty sounds of Flatt and Scruggs, to the silky feather-light voice of Allison Krauss, to the more progressive sounds of ‘newgrass’ with Nickel Creek, Bluegrass is a well worth giving some ear time to.
23 February 2006The Soweto Tourism and Information Centre is set to provide a comprehensive service to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit South Africa’s world-famous township every year.The one-stop tourist information shop was opened this week at the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in Kliptown, where the Freedom Charter was adopted 50 years ago.“Soweto is the most visited township in South Africa,” Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo said at the launch. “Its heritage and history, its culture and unique position in the liberation struggle, make it a must-see destination for foreign as well as local visitors.”Masondo said some 250 000 local and international tourists visit the township every year.From its place on the historic site, the centre will provide comprehensive and integrated help and information to tourists. Visitors will be able to book accommodation in Soweto, and plan and book tours and site guides.The centre, developed by the Johannesburg Tourism Company in partnership with the private sector, has a visitors’ area, a fully equipped conference and meeting room, a curio shop, a call centre, an internet cafe and a cafeteria.It will also have a training facility for aspirant young entrepreneurs wanting to establish small businesses in the hospitality and other related sectors.The centre will be operated and managed by the Johannesburg Tourism Company. For more information, call +27 (0)11 214-0700.Source: City of Johannesburg
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Klopp admits Liverpool unlikely to break Man City recordby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveJurgen Klopp thinks it is unlikely Liverpool will break Manchester City’s record for most consecutive Premier League wins.The Reds made 16 with the win over Sheffield United on Saturday, two shy of City’s record of 18.Asked about the possibility of winning 18 straight games, he said: “(There are) interesting games coming up. It doesn’t sound too likely. But we will try and first and foremost Salzburg and then Leicester.”Then it is the international break and hopefully everybody comes back healthy. That is most important.Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will play against each other in Singapore, very interesting game obviously, it’s not qualification for anything. So hopefully everyone comes back healthy and then we try to prepare for Man United.”He added: “I try to understand how other people think about things but from the way I think about things I’m not interested in the number to be honest. It’s just a number.”So, you only can create a streak like this if you’re always in the next job. The next job is Salzburg which is a different competition and then Leicester City and that will be difficult.”
New Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday indirectly hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diaspora outreach event ‘Howdy, Modi!’ in Houston, Texas on Sunday, saying that the ongoing slowdown was a speed breaker in his government’s claims of working towards making India a $5 trillion economy. “Creating a media blitz by repeating $5 trillion everyday and managing headlines will not trigger economic reforms. Sponsored events in foreign countries do not bring investors. Investors have lost faith. Economic investment has lost ground,” tweeted Priyanka without taking the name of the ‘Howdy Modi!’ event. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “The BJP government is not accepting the truth. This economic slowdown is a speed breaker in the path of becoming an economic superpower. Without corrective measures, all the show-off is worthless,” she further tweeted. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal too questioned the logic of organising publicity extravaganzas outside the country. “If ‘Howdy Modi!’ is being held out of India, then it should take place here as well. Modi should have an event like ‘Howdy Modi!’ in the rural areas of the country and the people will tell him what they are facing.” “He organises such extravaganzas for both internal and external consumption, these don’t result in prosperity for ordinary people here, they are only for publicity,” said Sibal. The White House had confirmed that US President Trump will be making a joint appearance with Modi at the Houston event.
Actors David Harewood (best known for his role in the award-winning US TV drama ‘Homeland’), and Linda Robson (from legendary BBC comedy ‘Birds of a Feather’), have lent their voices to two online videos in support of the British Lung Foundation’s campaign to ban smoking in cars when children are present.In a break from their previous acting roles, the two videos see both actors providing voices for toddlers, highlighting the need to give a voice to one in five children in the UK who are regularly exposed to the potentially dangerous concentrations of second-hand smoke in cars. Legislation to ban smoking in cars when children are present is due to be discussed in the House of Lords as part of the Children and Families Bill in November.David Harewood commented: ”Like most parents, I would hate to see my children exposed to dangers of concentrated second-hand smoke in the car. Yet we know that this is regularly happening to over two million kids across the UK, either in their parents’ car or in the car of another adult. I, for one, am therefore proud to have spoken up for our children in calling for this important child protection measure to be made law”. Linda Robson explains the importance of supporting the campaign: ”Having lost my father to lung cancer, I know only too well the devastating effect cigarette smoke can have. We know that children are even more vulnerable to the dangers of second-hand smoke than adults, especially within the confines of a car.“We’ve already introduced a ban on smoking in public places to protect workers from second-hand smoke. Surely we can take this small step to protect our children too?”Dr Penny Woods Chief executive of the BLF said: ”We are delighted that Linda and David have donated their time and effort in supporting this vital child protection campaign. ”Research has shown that smoking in a car, even with the windows open or air conditioning on, can create levels of pollution deemed unsafe by World Health Organisation guidelines. With their smaller lungs, faster breathing and less-developed immune systems, children are even more susceptible to these dangers than adults.“With one in five children still being exposed to passive smoke in a car, we hope that our videos will highlight just how important the need for a ban is in order to help protect their health”.You can watch the videos here.
Kolkata: West Bengal Private Tuition Welfare Association (WBPTWA) has written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and state Education minister Partha Chatterjee urging them to take steps to stop private tuition by school teachers.At a press conference in the city, WBPTWA claimed to soon launch a strong movement against the practice of private tuition by school teachers, alleging that they have been flouting the government order and imparting private tuitions throughout the state right from primary to the Higher Secondary level. WBPTWA is an organisation of unemployed youths, who earn a living through private tuitions, and recognised by the state. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”We have been protesting against this for 17 years now. In 2009, the Supreme Court had said teachers associated with government schools from primary to Higher Secondary level cannot conduct private tuitions. The law of the state government also bars private tuition by teachers of state institutions. But the practice is rampant throughout the state and the school authorities have turned a blind eye to this,” said Amitava Kar, who is the president of Cooch Behar chapter of the Association.The WBPTWA has recently carried out a survey of where it has been found that the guardians of the students are spending a huge amount of money behind private tuitions of their wards in a number of districts in North Bengal.”More than 2000 youths in Cooch Behar are in this profession. However, the District Inspector (DI) of schools have taken no steps,” Kar alleged.
Singh Sahib, at the Eros Hotel, Nehru Place presents an out-of-time experience, where one can embrace the heritage of undivided Punjab while indulging in the wide repertoire of delicacies that are offered at this quaint restaurant.Packaging itself as an Indian restaurant, its difference lies in its journey back to the north-west frontier, at a time when cultures, tastes, spices lived in accordance, still unaffected by the woeful partition. Like it claims, the grand décor of the restaurant, further amplified by a grand menu provides the visitor a complete culinary experience, where not just taste, but vision, and olfactory senses all collectively experience the richness of authentic Indian cuisine. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile alcohol is served, the best method to beat this heat would be a sip into the refreshing mocktails that are unique to the restaurant. The Annaras Panna, was one such delight-crafted from the pulp of the pineapple and concocted well with light tangy flavours of basil, a sip into the glass would soothe your mind as the perfect combination of sweet and sour instantly refreshes the tired body.The kebabs which are intrinsic to Indian cuisine did not disappoint either. The Multani Paneer Tikka and Mutton Sheekh Kebab were the standouts. The paneer tikka stuffed with mushroom was cooked to delight as the spices of the mushroom perfectly balanced out the softness of the cottage cheese. The Sheekh Kebab wins hands down because of the succulent meat that would just melt in your mouth as you take your very first bite. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAs main course follows you will again be welcomed by a variety of dishes to choose from – dals, paneer, mushroom, potatoes, chicken, fish, lobster, lamb – you name it and you can have it. The Dhaba meat, a mutton gravy dish cooked in traditional Indian spices was the take-away from the main course. But only after the Bharwan Gucchhi- an exotic dish created out of mushroom that has a unique taste which will linger on your palette for a long time to come. It is the kind of dish that could make a non-vegetarian say yes to vegetables only. The Patiala Shahi Chicken curry, yellow dal, and Bharman Aloo all mark up to the reputation of this hotel, but the mutton and the mushroom were the ultimate winners of the menu. Even if you are not a big fan of Indian sweets, the Badam Halwa will leave you wanting for more. The most attractive aspect of Singh Sahib would be its balance between preserving heritage while ushering in newness-innovations in cooking style, and presentation. Overall, Singh Sahib provides the perfect venue for a lunch get together with friends and family, or a quiet dinner date with your beau. With qawwali being played each evening, the restaurant promises to take back its loyal customers to the era of unbroken culture, unadulterated tastes, and undiluted tranquillity.