Steeped in music, Damien grew up in Coleraine, gaining a deep respect and understanding of the folk tradition, alongside a healthy appetite to explore its every edge. Even though they are an ocean apart, Ron Block of California is somehow the banjo sibling of Damien, seemingly cut from the same cloth.
Both celebrated musicians, they have performed with the likes of Grammy award winning Allison Krauss and Union Station, Kate Rusby and Flook to name a few. Following the successful release of their debut album together in 2019, the pair immediately began recording new work for the album Banjophonics, released in July 2022. The result is a perfect showcase of tenor and bluegrass banjos and how their respective traditions meet and unite in perfect and thrilling harmony.
The full band is on the road for this October tour, and what a band it is. Ron on banjo, guitar and vocals, Damien on tenor banjo, tenor guitar and vocals, Duncan Lyall on double bass and moog and Stevie Byrnes on guitar and stomp.
If that wasn’t enough, they will be joined by two very special guests – BBC Radio2 Folk Award winner and founding member of Lúnasa, Mike McGoldrick (Omagh, Portstewart and Derry) and Belfast will be treated to one of folk and trad’s most sought after bodhran players – John Joe Kelly.
It’s going to be special. Come along!