Monthly Archives: February 2019


‘Banjo 12’ – 2019 Update – News – Artists – Performances

The ‘Banjo Event of The Year’ takes place on May 11th 2019

Dear Friends,
Here is our ‘Banjo 12’ latest update, Join us at The North Light Gallery (behind Eagle Music Shop), Brooke’s Mill, Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield, HD4 7NR …to celebrate Eagle Music’s 12th consecutive year as the #1 world dealership for the Deering Banjo Company, USA. Things are really hotting up for our celebrations.

Here is a brief outline of the arrangements for the day. Don’t miss out !!! TIMETABLE TO FOLLOW

Have you Booked Your Ticket ? Tickets are selling fast – Please Click Here to Buy Tickets

* Your ticket will be on the door when you arrive … just give your name at the door*

What’s happening at ‘Banjo 12’?

A fantastic day of banjo teaching workshops, on-stage banjo presentations, jamming sessions and world class on-stage performances from some of the world’s most respected players in the banjo world. The all-day event will be packed with a fusion of world class music including the best of American and Irish …All topped off with a showcase evening concert.

Showcase Evening Concert …


All the way from North Carolina, USA the awesome Kruger Brothers
Jens Kruger 5-string banjo virtuoso, Uwe Kruger guitar/vocals master, Joel Landsberg bass virtuoso

Kruger Brothers at Banjo 12

Support Artists …

The Kruger Brothers will be supported by Damien O’Kane Irish tenor banjo ace, guitarist and singer with David Kosky (Guitars) and Cormac Byrne (Bodhran)

Damien O'Kane at Eagle Music Banjo 12 2019


Meet the Makers …


Interact throughout the day with the world’s master banjo makers
‘The Deering Banjo Co’ Greg, Janet & Jamie Deering ‘The Deering Family’

The Deering Family Greg Janet and Jamie Deering at Banjo 12 2019 Eagle Music
Guests of Honour: Greg, Janet and Jamie Deering will be giving advice and Greg will be working as always on your banjo set-ups throughout the day.

Greg Deering at Banjo 12 Eagle Music 2019
Picture: Greg Deering

Afternoon On-Stage Performances …

Kruger Brothers: On-Stage Performance Workshop
The awesome Kruger Brothers will talk us through ‘How they put their music together and perform it on stage’.

Kruger Brothers at Banjo 12 Eagle Music 2019

Kruger Brothers on Stage workshop Banjo 12 at Eagle Music
Picture: Kruger Brothers on-stage afternoon Performance Workshop

Special on-stage Presentation …

Pete Seeger ‘100th Birthday Celebration Tribute’ : Presented on-stage by Pat Kelleher and Greg Deering

Pat and Greg will jointly host this on-stage Long Neck Banjo presentation in tribute to the Daddy of the Long Neck Banjo Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27th 2014)

Both Pat and Greg have had their lives touched by Pete Seeger, they are both lovers and players of the Long Neck Banjo and as such they both had a personal contact with Pete Seeger. Pat and Greg will talk about their long neck banjo experiences, tell stories of their meetings with Pete, demonstrate and play long neck banjos on stage during their presentation.

Pat Kelleher at Banjo 12 2019 Eagle Music
Picture: Pat Kelleher

Pat Kelleher and Pete Seeger
Picture: Pete Seeger and Pat Kelleher pictured outside the front door to Pete’s house in Beacon, New York, July 2009

Greg Deering Long Neck Banjo
Picture: Greg Deering relaxing in the comfort of his own home and playing his beloved Deering Vega Long Neck Banjo

Pete Seeger Iconic Banjo Head
Picture: Pete Seeger’s Iconic Banjo Head

On-Stage afternoon Performance …

‘Banjo Jen’ Yorkshire’s all-singin’, all dancin’ badass banjo-pickin’ girl’.

Sheffield singer-songwriter ‘Banjo Jen’ will be on-stage and perform in the afternoon …“all-singin’, all-dancin’, badass banjo-pickin’ girl”. Playing her style of frailing banjo and singing her original songs, weaving clever lyrics with catchy melodies.
(See below for more details of Jen.)

Banjo Jen at Banjo 12
Picture: Banjo Jen

Banjo Jen at Banjo 12 2019 Eagle Music
Picture: Banjo Jen


On-Stage Jam with the Kruger Brothers to be filmed for YouTube …


Group Jam Banjo 12 Eagle Music

Everyone is welcomed on stage to play a group jam after the Kruger Brothers on-stage workshop (2019 Tunes to be announced)


Banjo Teaching Workshops …

Damien O’Kane – Irish Tenor Banjo Masterclass – Improvers /Advanced – Ticket Entrance Only – Private Room Group Workshop.

Damien O'Kane at Banjo 12 2019 Irish Tenor Banjo Workshop

Damien is a much sought after, highly respected musician and accomplished Irish tenor banjo player and teacher. Damien O’Kane continues a long tradition of Irish traditional music within the O’Kane family which can be tracked back generations in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. The much acclaimed Irish Tenor Banjo CD ‘Mystery Inch’ recorded with guitarist David Kosky and other highly respected guest musicians is hallmarked as a milestone Irish tenor banjo album. Damien also toured and recorded with master USA 5-string banjo virtuoso Ron Block in 2018 and recorded the much acclaimed ‘Banjophony’ album.
Join Damien in this beginners / improvers workshop, and take this opportunity to have some of Damien’s playing skills handed-down to you by the man himself.

Graham Holt– 5-string banjo beginners / improvers – Private room group workshop (FREE ENTRANCE …to the first twenty applicants …Please call and put your name on the list.)

Graham Holt Banjo Workshop
A key man at Eagle Music, Graham is a seasoned musician with years of experience both on and off stage playing both Banjo and Guitar …Graham is our in-house banjo teacher and during his workshop he will set you on the right track if you are an absolute beginner, or pass on valuable tips and advice if you are an accomplished banjo player.

Matt Chaffer – On stage afternoon demonstration of electric banjos and explanations of pick-ups and amplification.

Matt at Banjo 12

Matt is a key member of the Eagle Music team and also a part time gigging musician. Here Matt will demonstrate and explain the different types of electric banjos that are used for differing styles and genres of music …Matt will explain the different types of pick-ups and amplifiers that are used in the banjo world …and will be available throughout the day to answer any of your questions after the presentation.

Customer of The Year Presentation …


The evening will also include:
‘Eagle Music’s Customer of the Year presentation’ – It could be you in 2019?

Customer of the year banjo 12
Rachel reads out ‘Customer of the Year’ presentation to Tom Jenkins at our Banjo 10 celebration


Eagle Music ‘Yearly Raffle Draw’ …

Amazing value musical instrument prizes sponsored by Eagle Music, Eastman Strings, Mainland Ukuleles and Tanglewood Guitars

Special Guests at the Event…

Howard ‘Shep’ Shepherd, Bill Forster, Joe ‘The old Grey Dog’ Mac, and so much more throughout the day …

Shep at Banjo 12
Howard: ‘Shep’ Shepherd: ‘Mr Plectrum Banjo’ recently celebrating fifty years of professional banjo playing! Howard ‘Shep’ will be with us on the day and be around to mingle with visitors, tell his amazing banjo stories and give advice where you may ask him for it!

Continuing the theme of recent years, we welcome the return of Joe Mac and Bill Forster to run the picking sessions throughout the day

Joe mac at Banjo 12
Picture: Joe Mac

Bill Forster at Banjo 12
Picture: Bill Forster

Picking Sessions: Join Joe ‘The Old Grey Dog’ Mac’ and Bill Forster for jamming sessions throughout the day

Jam Session at Banjo 12


Eagle Music’s ‘Special Celebration Discount Prices on The Day’.

The Eagle Music stall at the event will offer you the opportunity to browse what will be the largest selection of Deering Banjos ever to be displayed for public viewing in the world.
It will be a golden opportunity to personally meet and interact with some of the world’s greatest icons in the banjo and traditional music world.

We look forward to celebrating ‘Banjo 12’ with you.

Steve, Rachel and the Eagle Music Team.

Eagle Music Team at Banjo 12 2019 The North Light Gallery Huddersfield

More Details about the Artists that will be with us on the Day…

A small Part of the Deering Banjos Story:
Greg Deering began learning woodworking from his father at the age of two by watching him build model airplanes. Growing up in San Diego, he received his first tools and tool box which he had carefully laid out in his wagon on his third birthday. Many of these tools he still has today. That is how important this was to him. It was a career in the making.
At the age of 13, Greg purchased his first banjo by investing pay from his paper route into a used banjo. He learned to play Kingston Trio songs on his banjo with his best friend Tom playing guitar.
Greg made his first banjo as an industrial arts major at San Diego State College. In 1970, at 19 years of age he joined other enterprising young college students at the American Dream Co-Op and began doing instrument repairs and building banjos. This co-op would become the birth place of at least four now world renowned instrument manufacturers – a true tribute to the concept of the American dream! The American dream became the theme of Greg’s life when he and Janet started the Deering Banjo Company in 1975 as a family business. Together they not only raised two children but built, piece by piece, the Deering banjo factory.
Today, over 40 years later, the Deering Banjo Company has seen many a milestone including the launch of the Goodtime Series in 1997, the relocation to a new 18,000 sq.ft. premises in 2001 and the launch of the Eagle II in 2009, a breakthrough in banjo tone with the development of the new Twenty-Ten™ tone ring.
In its young 41 year life, Deering has delivered the finest hand built American instruments to over 100,000 happy musicians and counting… one banjo at a time.

The Kruger Brothers:
Originally from Switzerland, where the trio first formed, Jens Krüger and Uwe Krüger later moved to Wilkes County, NC. The brothers began playing North American folk music at an early age and were particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music. Their first public performances were as a duo, busking on the streets of cities throughout eastern and western Europe. Later, after gaining a recording contract as well as a radio show on SRG SSR, the Swiss public broadcaster, they teamed up with bass player Joel Landsberg, inaugurating a trio that has been playing professionally together since 1995. Landsberg is an American citizen from New York, NY. The first recording project to include Landsberg was Behind the Barn, Vol. 2, which was released in 1997.
Today the group is highly regarded within the world of acoustic music in North America, in particular by those within the industry. They have also gained the attention of some of the musicians, including Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Tut Taylor, and Bobby Hicks, that once served as models. Watson once remarked that, “The Kruger Brothers are just about as fine a band as I’ve ever played with. … I love to play music with them.”

Damien O’Kane:
Irish musician and singer Damien O’Kane is a musician of many talents. He’s a singer, a superb one too with a relaxed assured vocal style that exudes a natural warmth and empathy with the colourful characters who occupy his songs.
He’s also a brilliant, award winning banjo player, a fine guitarist, and an ingenious arranger. Not to mention an accomplished tunemaker, researcher, bandleader and accompanist of rich imagination and fearless vision.

Steeped in music, Damien grew up in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. Touring the world with his very own family band, he developed a deep respect and understanding of the folk tradition but also forged a healthy appetite to explore its broadest borders and test its boundaries.
Having already been nominated twice in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, in 2016 his ‘groundbreaking’ album AREAS OF HIGH TRAFFIC was nominated for the prestigious ‘Album of the Year’. Radical and revelatory, this was his first solo record in five years, sending traditional Irish songs reeling into a contemporary soundscape.

‘A bold and inventive set that could well become a crossover commercial success.’ – 4* The Guardian The songs Damien chooses are mainly rooted in his homeland and several have long been part of the fabric of Irish music, recorded numerous times down the years – but never like this. Steeped in tradition he may be, but he also has a thoroughly modern take on folk song and, in league with his outstanding co-conspirators (Steven Iveson on electric guitar, Anthony Davis on keyboards, Steven Byrnes on guitars and Josh Clark on drums and
percussion), he brings a treasure trove of fresh ideas and radically original arrangements to the table.

Now the master musician, songwriter and vocalist is back to continue that unorthodox musical adventure on his third solo record – and this time the Yorkshire-based Ulsterman is out for revenge! Avenging and Bright, released December 8, 2017, picked up the progressive cudgel once more with heartfelt songs from his Irish homeland mixed in with some English and original songs too – one written by wife Kate Rusby.

Another rapier-sharp release it once again ambushes the tradition and tempts it into undiscovered realms, whilst always staying true to the songs’ roots. The scene is set by the album’s Game of Thrones style cover with a kingly Mr. O’Kane ready for battle!
Bold and unflinching in its course, the 11-track album takes its title from what is deemed to be one of the three tragic stories of the Irish which Damien found in the 19th century book The Songs of Ireland. He has penned the tune to complement the words of Irish poet Thomas Moore. Slickly produced by O’Kane, he plays electric and acoustic tenor guitar and his outstanding trademark tenor banjo. Within the realms of Avenging & Bright, there are lush, innovative other-worldly soundscapes wrapped carefully around traditional Irish songs like Bright Flowers, Poor Stranger and opening number Boston City.

Soaring electric guitars, luxurious programmed percussion and O’Kane’s rich and distinctive Northern Irish brogue prove a captivating, spectacular mix.
Released on the Pure Records label on December 8, Avenging & Bright gets right under the skin of traditional
Irish and English folk seducing it into the realms of rock, pop, jazz and world music – never predictable, always an exciting and uplifting voyage of discovery delivered by one of the most fearless and clever conjurors of modern folk music.
“Another gem of an album from Damien who has found a way of effortlessly harnessing state-of-the-art recordings and technology with a deep understanding of his traditional roots’ Sublime.’ – Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 2/6 Music ‘Great musicianship and a lovely way with the songs. Seriously well produced. Should be one of the top ten albums of 2017’ – Mike Harding
Damien continues to tour extensively with wife, Kate Rusby and her band playing his array of stringy things! He has produced Rusby’s last three acclaimed records and was described by BBC Radio 2’s Jo Whiley as a ‘sonic architect’ following his bold influence on Kate’s music and his own. Summer 2018 seen the release of a much anticipated duo banjo record ‘Banjophony’ with Ron Block, Alison Krauss’ banjo and guitar player and singer since 1991, Block picking up no less than 14 Grammy’s along the way. Banjophony is a perfect melding of American and Irish banjo styles and techniques which has been hailed one of the top Instrumental albums of 2018. ‘Album of the month’ – GUARDIAN, July 2018
‘An album of incredibly captivating music’ – FRUK Having been friends for many years and fans of each other’s plucking and picking skills Ron & Damien recorded Banjophony and set off on their hugely successful debut tour of the UK in summer 2018. The record is not only
inventive and unique, it also includes a stellar list of A-Grade guests from either side of the pond such as Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Barry Bales on bass, Sierra Hull on mandolin and Mike McGoldrick on whistles and flutes. A true talent at glossing the old with the new, O’Kane’s distinctive music looks set to be around for a very long time. January 2019

David Kosky:
Ace guitarist, composer and acompaniest David Kosky will be with us at ‘Banjo 12’ to accompany Damien O’Kane and support the Kruger Brothers in the evening concert along with Cormac Byrne on Bodhran.

David is a writer of fine tunes, he penned the jig which is the title track to the much acclaimed David Kosky & Damien O’Kane banjo album ‘The Mystery Inch’. David also wrote two other excellent tunes on this fine album.

David’s laid back style of accompaniment is both subtle and driving, with harmony and invention bringing the best out in the music.

Cormac Byrne:
Cormac Byrne is a bodhrán player and percussionist from Waterford, Ireland and is now based in the UK. He has received many awards for his work including The BBC Young Folk Award and was winner of the BBC Fame Academy Education Bursary in 2006.
Cormac has appeared at numerous festivals around the world and has toured extensively. Primarily playing with Mercury Music Prize Nominee, Seth Lakeman, he was also a founder member of BBC award winning band, Uiscedwr. His versatility has seen him in much demand across many genres, both live and in the studio, from Traditional Irish and Folk, World Music, Classical, Jazz and Pop.
He has worked with the multi award winning Backbeat Percussion Quartet, Les Commandos Percu, Fidget Feet Performance Company, Show of Hands, Michael McGoldrick, Solas, Pól Brennan (Clannad), Soumik Datta (Indian Sarod virtuoso), Ashley MacIsaac, Kefaya, Giuliano Modarelli, Damien O’Kane, Andrew Dinan, Emma Sweeney, Cara, Ducie, Val Doonican, The Priests, Simon Emmerson, Lisbee Stainton, O’Hooley Tidow, Jesse Banister, Declan Bennett, Neil Yates 5 Countries Trio, Craig Owen (Duel), Baltic Crossing and orchestras such as Scottish Chamber, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and RTÉ Concert. He was recently approached to perform with Irish super-group, The Chieftains.
He has appeared on TV and Radio many times including performances on MTV, BBC’s Top of The Pops, BBC Breakfast, GMTV, Sharon Osbourne Show, Sky Arts, BBC Alba, RTE, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and RTE Lyric FM. He recently recorded music for BBC Film series ‘Inspector George Gently’ and UK’s Channel 4 series ‘The Mill’. He worked with James Divine (the world’s fastest tap dancer) on the international touring show ‘Tapeire’ and with Damien Barber on the dance show ‘The Lock In’.

Pat Kelleher:
Pat Kelleher who hails from Dripsey, County Cork, Ireland is an accomplished musician and singer and has played and sung for over 30 years and is now renowned in Ireland and abroad for his folk singing and in particular his Long Neck five string Banjo Playing in many styles.
Pat has performed in theatres and festivals all over Ireland and has toured in the USA, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

He has had many influences during his life, notably Luke Kelly of The Dubliners, Tommy Makem, Christy Moore, Pete Seeger, Furey Brothers, Peggy Seeger, Stan Rogers, Eric Bogle, Tom Paxton to name but a few. Pat has performed with many of the artists afore mentioned.
He has been sought after as a session musician for recording and has recorded some material himself, home produced. These CD’s are now available for purchase and download from this site. Click here.
Pat has been fortunate to have travelled as a guest musician to the UK, USA and Germany and all over Ireland.
He specialises on the long neck banjo invented by the great folk icon Pete Seeger. He teaches the 5-string banjo and frequently gives banjo workshops on both the clawhammer and long neck folk styles.
If you want to contact Pat directly, email to
For all other enquiries, email

Banjo Jen: Yorkshire’s all-singin’, all dancin’ badass banjo-pickin’ girl’.
Sheffield singer-songwriter Banjo Jen is the “all-singin’, all-dancin’, badass banjo-pickin’ girl”. Using banjo as the lead instrument for her original songs, weaving clever lyrics with catchy melodies, and incorporating Appalachian step-dancing and Yorkshire charm and humour into her sets, she’s beginning to make waves on the UK Americana and folk scenes. Her debut EP ‘Lost & Found’ was released in 2018, reviewed by Maverick magazine as ‘smart and sassy…a distinctly promising debut’. She was also selected twice to represent the Americana Music Association UK at Red Rooster festival and The Long Road festival in 2018.

Playing the traditional ‘frailing’ style of banjo, she is influenced by aspects of folk, country, blues and ‘old-time’ American music. Whilst bringing a contemporary edge to her root-based sound, a strong sense of these traditional influences can be heard in Jen’s original songs; songs of sinning and straying, of characters and conflicts, of running from the law and of running from yourself. As Dolly Parton says, ‘We’re all just a bunch of sinners, but we do the best we can’.

Between the highly original songs, the traditional percussive step-dancing and the Yorkshire ‘gift of the gab’, Banjo Jen’s refreshingly original act is always guaranteed to entertain. There’s a lot more to come from this banjo-pickin’ girl, so grab yer cowboy boots and come along for the ride!