The current line up of Dalebilly (Kevin Garatt, Neil Garatt, Claire Collins, Richard Collins and Richard Holland) first played together at the Coastline Bluegrass festival in June 2008, entering the open mic session. From that followed an invitation to play in the evening concert. The Band had previously performed with Terry Holland playing Banjo, and focused around the Yorkshire Dales Festival run by Kevin: Hence the Bands name of Dalebilly. Terry’s death, from Cancer was a sad loss to the Bluegrass community as well as the band – he was a good friend.
It must have seemed logical to replace one Holland with another – and although sharing the same surname, Richard and Terry are not related! Now, several years down the road, Dalebilly have played quite a few of the British Festivals, as well as the odd venue where possible. The geography of the band has dictated the gigs and venues, the original concept being to play at festivals. Kevin and Neil live in Yorkshire, and the rest of the band in Hampshire.
The band provides Richard Collins with the opportunity to play Bluegrass Mandolin – where he clearly demonstrates his talents as one of the best multi instrumentalists in the UK. His skills on the 5 string Banjo have long been recognised playing in A Band Like Alice. A chance too for Richard to play alongside his wife Claire (bass) – Claire is the most highly qualified musician in the band, and keeps everybody grounded!
Kevin has a long history in the music, having been an important part of the development of Bluegrass in the UK working with the BBMA. His involvement with Generation Gap (playing both in the UK and the States ) helped develop the music, setting new standards with arrangements and presentation. Dalebilly is also a chance for him to play again with his son Neil. Neil who also played in Generation Gap has a wide experience of music of several different genres, and is fast building a reputation for his flat picking. He along with Kevin and Richard (Collins) is an important part of the Dalebilly vocal “wall of sound”
Richard (Holland) – the most recent addition to the band has come through the world of Folk, and before that Classical music. The 5 string Banjo has become an important element in his music, and with Dalebilly – a chance to play in the traditional style, providing that driving element to the bands material.
Dalebilly continue to enjoy playing together, and the bands choice of material and its arrangements make them different and an exciting prospect. An evening spent with Dalebilly is a musical experience not to be missed!