Music at the Bay Spring Festival : Ramapo Mountain with Nadine and Andy Highfield.
2:18pm Thursday 30th April 2009 in Newport
Ramapo Mountain, singing Blue Grass and folk music, will feature at the Marquee on the Parrog at 12.30 pm on Sunday, 3rd May. "The name Ramapo Mountain comes from the area in the Appalachians in Northern New Jersey where I grew up," says Nadine. Blue Grass has been influenced in style, but not in material, by jazz and blues. The Scots-Irish traditional music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains has evolved into Bluegrass music . Nadine explains that, "Blue Grass is acoustic and usually features unamplified mandolin, and fiddle and does not use electric instruments. It is a natural sound." Bluegrass has come to symbolise an older and less industrialised America and is often used as back up music on films and television. I remember the films Deliverance, Bonny and Clyde and the television series The Beverley Hill Billies. Much that does appear on film or television is an indifferent version of Bluegrass. The influx of Welsh immigrants from the coal mines of Wales also became absorbed into both the culture and music of the areas where Bluegrass developed.
Andy Highfield, who will appear with Nadine at the Parrog, has been playing Bluegrass and folk for more than 30 years. Nadine is an enthusiast for Welsh, Irish, Scottish and American folk music.
The Celtic influence is strong. "I enjoy the music of Dafydd Iwan and so many others from that Celtic background whether the Irish fiddle or singers." Nadine has lived in Moylegrove for seven years and says she feels settled and happy there.
"Nadine and Andy are music publishers who live in Moylegrove and have an astonishing scope and quality of music contacts in the States as we heard from musician friends at the Bluegrass Festival last year," one of the Festival organisers told me before I talked with Nadine. "They are also extraordinarily generous in the way they give their time and encouragement to those who are interested in developing a knowledge of Bluegrass."