Photo's - Annie Ford
Sadly I have retired from Blossom Hill - the long drive to rehearsals has become more difficult to cope with! (Age!) I have loved every minute with the band, and may well dep for them sometime in the future - My eternal thanks to Gary & Sherryl XXXXXXXX
About Blossom Hill
What do you get if you start with the fine heady bouquet of Gary Payne's fine tenor voice and the strong mature claret that is his driving rhythm Guitar? Then add in the peachy high tones of Sherryl's voice with the ever- dependable base-notes of her Bass lines. Top up with the champagne effervescence of Richard's jangling Banjo, and finally the delicate strawberry wine overtones of Ed's Dobro?
The musical equivalent of cheap wine in a box!!!!!
Blossom Hill originated from a trip to the Czech Republic where the band first came together as Home Territory. In 2003 three of us went to Prague (to buy a Banjo), and after an impromptu trip to a Bluegrass festival, we were invited back the following year to play as guests. Home territory was formed with Gary on Guitar, Sherryl on Bass, Len on Dobro and Richard on Banjo. The band morphed over a period of time into the more familiar six piece with Joe Hymas and Emily Smith on Mandolin and Fiddle. Geography and other commitments proved to be difficult, and after many happy years together the band shrank to its original four - and was renamed Blossom Hill. Like several other bands to have graced the Bluegrass stages, Blossom Hill was built around the talents of Gary Payne and with a history dating back to the days of Bluegrass Stampede and Fingers and Co, he provides a wealth of knowledge and material, along with a fine Tenor voice and the driving rhythms that have become such an important part of the bands engine room.
The other part of that engine is Sherryl Payne who was hooked on music from an early age and with influences like the Seekers was quickly drawn to singing harmonies - followed by Guitar lessons whilst in her teens. Years spent in Folk Clubs gave her a rich experience of live music, and in 1993 after meeting Gary was quickly drawn into the world of Bluegrass. The upright Bass was to follow, and after a spell of playing with Blackjack (Gary, Rod Jackson and Pat Francis) Sherryl was invited to join A Band Like Alice (Gary, Richard Collins, Bob Winquist and Alan Ward).
The Piano and Sport occupied Richard Holland until Teacher Training College where he took up playing Guitar. However it was 1987 before he discovered the Banjo, and then a good number of years learning to play before forming the Lynne Butler Band. The original band brought Richard into contact with Emily Smith (Fiddle) and Richard Hampton (Mandolin) - Emily was to become part of Home Territory, and Richard Holland was to join Richard Hampton playing in Contraband. Sherryl Payne joined the band on Bass, and when the Guitarist (Simon Sprott) left, Gary took up the Guitar slot. A number of years playing Guitar in Folk Clubs gave Richard a wide experience of acoustic music.
So Blossom Hill have been together in one form or another now for at least 14 years, and in that time have played a number of festivals both in the UK and Europe. At the Cornish Bluegrass Festival they had the honour of playing with Jack Lawrence the one time partner of Doc Watson.
Regulars with the British Bluegrass scene, both Gary and Richard have been recognised for their contributions to Bluegrass - and Sherryl is a central figure in the BBMA - Blossom Hill, a band with its roots in the right place!
Sadly we have to report Ed Gallagher our latest Dobro player has had to leave the band - work place and family commitments have made it impossible for him to continue. The next gig at The Gower festival will see Roland Emanuel (Mandolin) filling in for Ed.
New 4 track EP from the band - only £3.00 -available from any of the band members, or contact through the web site.
Check out the New Recording - with Ed on Dobro.
Wed 5th April 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Fri 28th April 2017 - Down By The Riverside (BluegrassStaines) - Riverside Club Staines TW18 2DX
Sunday 30th April - Charity Festival Gig Aldershot Traction Club, Weybourne Road GU11 3NE - 14.45 - 15.15
Wed 3rd May 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Fri 5th - Sat 7th May 2017 - Orwell Bluegrass Festival - Ipswich IP10 0JP
Sat 27th May 2017 - Little Opry @ Tom Thumb Theatre - Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2LB
Monday 29th May (Bank Holiday) 2017 - Bluegrass In Bloom - St Julians Club, Sevenoaks TN15 0RX
Wed 7th June 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Fri 23rd - Sun 25th June 2017 - Tamworth Bluegrass Festival - Fillongley Village Hall, CV7 8EQ
Sunday 25th June - Boars Bridge Folk Festival, Bramley Road, Tadley, RG26 5EY (about 4.00pm)
Wed 5th July 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Thu 13th - Sun 16th July 2017 - South Essex Bluegrass Festival - Bulphan Village Hall, RM14 3RU
Wed 2nd Aug 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Sat 12th Aug 2017 - The Gardeners Arms 268 Merton Road, Southfields, SW18 5JL London, United Kingdom
Wed 6th Sep 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Fri 8th - Sun 10th Sept 2017 - Gower Bluegrass Festival - Gower Heritage Centre, SA3 2EH
Wed 4th Oct 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Wed 1st Nov 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Wed 6th Dec 2017 - The Garden Gate - Aldershot GU11 3BT
Wed Jan 3rd Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm Free Entry
Wed Feb 7th Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm Free Entry
Friday Feb 9th Poppy’s Blackwater Valley Golf Centre in Sean Deveraux Park GU46 7SZ 8.00pm
Wed Mar 7th Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm Free Entry
Wed April 4th Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm Free Entry
Saturday 7th April Garden Gate Birthday party - evening
Wed May 2nd Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm Free Entry
May 11th /13th Orwell Bluegrass Festival
May 18th / 20th Crossover Festival
June 1st / 3rd Vintage Nostalgia Festival Cancelled due to health problems- http://www.vintagenostalgiafestival.co.uk
June 15th / 18th East Anglian Bluegrass Festival
Wed 6th June Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm Free Entry
Friday 22nd June Tamworth Bluegrass Festival - Cancelled
Sunday 24th June Boars Bridge Festival - Just Gary & Sherryl
Wed 4th July Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Wed 1st August Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Wed 5th Sept Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Fri 31st Aug / 2nd Sept Didmarton Bluegrass Festival
Fri - Sun 21st / 23rd Sept Cornish Bluegrass Festival
Wed 3rd Oct Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm.
Wed 9th Jan Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Wed 6th Feb Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Wed 3rd April Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Wed 1st May Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
May 10th - 13th Orwell Festival
May 26th - Private Wedding
Wed 5th June Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Friday 21st /Sunday 23rd June - Tamworth Bluegrass Festival
Saturday 29th June - Rural Life Gig Details - Farnham 2.00pm
30th - 1st September Didmarton Festival
Wed 4th Sept Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Friday 6th - Sunday 8th Sept Gower Bluegrass Festival
Wed 2nd Oct Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Wed 6th Nov Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm
Wed 4th Dec Garden Gate Aldershot 9.00pm