Friday Night Main Concert - Celebrating Old Time Music

Dirk & Amelia Powell / Martha Spencer and the Wonderland Country Band (USA)

Westport Town Hall at 8pm

Admission: €25

This year’s Friday night concert is going in search of American Old Time music from two different parts of the USA.

First to the stage are Dirk & Amelia Powell

Dirk and Amelia Powell are a father/daughter duo from Southwest Louisiana. Dirk is well-known to Irish audiences from his performances with Transatlantic Sessions, his collaboration with Brendan Gleeson, and his work with artists such as Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens, Eric Clapton, and many more. He is regarded as a champion of rural Americana, with a focus on the music of his Appalachian roots and his Cajun home. However, Dirk has longstanding ties with the Celtic music world, as evidenced by his latest CD, “When I Wait For You”, which was released on Vertical Records and produced by Donald Shaw.

Dirk’s daughter, Amelia, grew up in the bayous of Louisiana, immersed in the musical culture of her grandfather, Cajun fiddle hero Dewey Balfa. Her driving guitar and soulful vocals, as both a lead and harmony singer, are in demand throughout Cajun country and beyond. She has toured internationally since her teenage years.

Together, this duo not only plays music of their heritage, but write and craft original songs, and bring audiences the kind of soulful connection that comes from family playing together with trust, humour, and love.

The second act of the night comes all the way from the hills of Virginia:

Martha Spencer and Wonderland Country Band.

Led by Martha Spencer, the Wonderland Country Band includes Jamie Collins on bass/vocals, Lucas Pasley on fiddle/banjo/vocals and Jake Dwyer on percussion/washboard/dance.

The Wonderland Country Band has toured across the USA from California to Nashville - recently performing in venues such as the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Festival, Buck Owens Crystal Palace, Ashkenaz Center, the Oklahoma Banjo Museum, and Song of the Mountains PBS.


Martha Spencer is a singer-songwriter, mountain musician, and dancer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She grew up in the musical Spencer family and learned to play several instruments (guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, dulcimer, mandolin) and to flatfoot/clog dance at a young age. She performs and has recorded with various groups and has been involved with several roots music projects. She has played shows, festivals, and led workshops across the US, Australia, UK, and Europe. Martha’s first solo album has been featured in articles in Rolling Stone Country, No Depression, Wide Open Country, Bluegrass Situation, Americana Highways, PopMatters and more. She also has been included in articles in the NY Times, Austin Chronicle, and Billboard, and was a part of the Fiddlin’ documentary movie.


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