During June, I had the pleasure of going to a bluegrass festival near Stuttgart which was organized by Karl-Heinz Siber, who also runs the BJCF club in Guglingen. The festival is now in its seventh year and always has an international flavor. This year was no exception, with bands from the USA (Shady Mix), Italy (Hot Stuff), Germany (Helmut & the Hillbillies) and the UK (Southern Exposure).
There was one person I met in Guglingen who has a very special problem -- Andrey Gor-batov from Moscow, who is a promoter, journalist and enthusiast, and who organizes a festival in March each year. He told me that there are over 50 groups playing bluegrass and country music throughout the Commonwealth. A Russian journalist recently interviewed Andrey about the history of bluegrass and country music in the CIS, and that article is reproduced below.
Although there are now shops in Moscow selling records, tapes and equipment, the cost is enormous and ideally needs to be made in US dollars. This is because of the restriction that rubles cannot be taken out of the country. He would really appreciate help from us, to be able to buy instruments, equipment and recorded music for the young players and members of the Russian Country & Blue-grass Club. Andrey asked me to publish his plea for help, so if anyone would like to give support to bluegrass music in the CIS, please write myself and we'll give you Andrey's details.
Our address: 12 Audley Grove, Bath, Avon, BA13BS, England.