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International Bluegrass Vol. 28, No. 4 April 2013

International Bluegrass Music Association Join the team

working together for the future of bluegrass music.

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International Bluegrass


International Bluegrass International Bluegrass Music Assocation Vol. 28 | No. 4 | April 2013

Features 4 | Leadership Bluegrass 2013 16 | Backyard Bluegrass Sessions 20 | Street Team

IBMA Staff Nancy Cardwell Executive Director Jill Crabtree Member/Convention Services Director Taylor Coughlin Publications Editor/Special Projects Director Katherine Coe Administrative/Media Assistant IB | International Bluegrass Editor: Taylor Coughlin Designer: Katherine Coe

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver: Page 18

NEWs 8 | May is IBMA Membership Month 12 | Success in Bluegrass From Outside the U.S. 11 | Raleigh Preview 20 | Open Position at IBMA 21 | Amtrack

Departments 7 | April at IBMA 14 | Fresh Sounds in the World of Bluegrass 17 | Heard ‘Round the World 17 | Bluegrass Music Industry News 21 | New IBMA Members

INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS (ISSN #1095-0605) IBMA: Working together for high standards of professionalism, a greater appreciation for our music, and the success of the worldwide bluegrass community. The monthly emailed publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association 608 W. Iris Drive; Nashville, TN 37204 Phone: 615-256-3222, 888-GET-IBMA FAX: 615-256-0450 E-mail: Website: Statements of fact and opinion are made on the responsibility of the writers alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the officers, directors, staff or members of IBMA. Portions of International Bluegrass may be reprinted provided that explicit citation of the source is made: “Reprinted with permission from International Bluegrass, the publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association,”

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Leadership Bluegrass 2013 Not for Sissies, Something Special

By Shannon W. Turner

Your brain is fried, but you feel exhilarated. You’ve been presented with so much information, met so many new and wonderful people, seen so many new horizons that your head is spinning. You’ve heard great music, shared important goals, and been vulnerable to people who were complete strangers a few days ago. But now it’s the last day, and a new friend has presented you with a plaque that has your name on it. Congratulations; you have just graduated from Leadership Bluegrass, the intensive three-day event that prepares current and future leaders in the industry to recognize the strengths and challenges facing the bluegrass industry, and how to integrate their own goals with the needs of the music. Twenty-five class members from around the country and Canada convened in Nashville March 7 through 9 to experience the extraordinary program that is Leadership Bluegrass. Since its inception in 2000, more than 300 leaders have graduated from the course, from all corners of the industry – artists, songwriters, publishers, journalists, promoters, event planners, managers, booking agents, attorneys, and the whole range of roles that serve the bluegrass community. They were challenged by panelists, lecturers, group activities and discussions to unearth their individual strengths, so that they could apply what they learned to their responsibilities at home.


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Attendees were welcomed Thursday by Planning Committee Chairperson Alan Tompkins of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation in Dallas, IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell, Mark Mason from BMI, the host of the event, and facilitator Trisha Tubbs from Seattle. The class was thrilled by the appearance of Hall of Fame member Sonny Osborne, banjo legend of the Osborne Brothers, who kindly took the time to encourage participation in the industry and welcome everyone to the conference. After a presentation from Cardwell, participants got to know each other during lunch; the program places a high value and priority on creating positive relationships among its membership. There were ample opportunities to make business connections, but better yet, there was the wide open chance to make new friends.

The remainder of Thursday was highlighted by presentations from Alison Brown and Garry West, musicians and owners of Compass Records, who stressed the importance of making and maintaining a business plan to help you strategize and reach your goals in a practical way. The group also heard from Al McCree and Scott Scoville, entrepreneurs who have built their successful businesses from the ground up, and how to maintain momentum through the lean years. Awardwinning bassist Missy Raines (Missy Raines and the New Hip) lent her insights on living the life of an artist, the trials of the road, the joys of the music and other facets of the total artist experience. One highlight for many was learning about the maze of song publishing, royalty distribution and copyright law, as led by Belmont University’s Dan Keen with panelists John Allen from BMG, songwriter/producer Jerry Salley, and Tim Fink from SESAC. Next there was focus on the artist’s team, which featured longtime Alison Krauss manager Denise Stiff, booking agent Lee Olsen, digital marketer Katy Kirby from Thirty Tigers, John P. Strohm, attorney from Loeb and Loeb LLC and Kim Fowler, owner and publicist from Two Dog Media. A class favorite was the Leadership and Individual Applications workshop, led by Liz Allen Fey of Management Solutions Group, LLC. Members took a survey of various leadership traits to discover their own leadership style and learned to determine how their personal style might best serve them as they go forward. For IBMA Administrative/Media Assistant Katherine Coe, who was part of the class, this was an important part of her experience. “I enjoy doing [projects] that help me learn more about myself,” says Coe. “The more I understand the way I personally approach a project or problem, the better I can successfully work through it.” There are now opportunities to study bluegrass music in higher education, which Andy Carlson

(Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Denison University in Ohio) spoke more on. He shared some of his teaching methods with the class, and then invited the group to get out their own instruments for a short jam on “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Being a room full of bluegrassers, he didn’t have to ask twice! On Friday the class was welcomed to Missy Raines and Ben Surratt (also on the planning committee) for a night of good food, good company and grand picking. Some extra guests were invited, including esteemed author Neil Rosenberg, who was later found picking the Five with great ease; Carlson, who makes magic with a fiddle; Lora Murphy from the Muddy River Band; Daniel Routh from Nu-Blu; songwriter/producer/IBMA Board member Jon Weisberger with his wife Deborah; and Brian Perry from Sixthman Productions (Mountain Song at Sea). It wasn’t long before much of the party drifted to the basement, where a studio filled with musicians and toe-tappers who got their jam on until late in the evening. Saturday the group was welcomed by Stephanie Taylor from Bone McAllester Norton, who hosted the day’s events. Navigating the Digital Jungle was a great session teaching how to best market yourself, band, or entity through social and digital media with Jay Frank from DigSin, Jenny Smythe from Girlilla Marketing and Cassie Petry from Crowd Surf. New Trends and Developments in Presenting Live Music was the next panel, where artist Peter Cooper, Warner Music Group’s Jamie Younger and Lindsay Hayes from Red Beet Records demonstrated the unique possibilities of the online Stage It program; Craig Havighurst showed examples from Bluegrass Underground and the popular

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Music City Roots radio show and Brian Perry fielded a number of questions about the Mountain Song at Sea cruise. Lunchtime Saturday marked the official graduation from Leadership Bluegrass. Each participant was awarded a plaque, presented by another member of the class with words of personal encouragement. Attendee Ron Murphy from Ohio, a longtime ‘grasser and member of the Muddy River Band, was chosen to represent the 2013 class at IBMA in Raleigh during WOB. One of the topics in the open forum was: How do we make the big umbrella of the bluegrass genre appeal to the largest possible audience? How can we make it a mainstream music in the marketplace? These continue to be topics of the larger conversation that face our industry, and this group and all of bluegrass will be working together to find the answers. Kayla Hotte of Kayla Hotte and Her Rodeo Pals, from Edmonton, Alberta, is taking away much from her Leadership Bluegrass experience. “It helped me understand aspects of the business that I knew nothing about,” she explained. “Like how publishing works, and the different parts of an artist’s team. It was good to hear Missy Raines talk about all the things that an artist goes through to make their music. I learned it is important to make a business plan.” She agrees that the program will be very advantageous to her as she moves forward with her career as a singer/songwriter in her native Canada. Closing, IBMA Board of Directors Vice-Chair Jon Weisberger spoke about leadership opportunities within the IBMA and the industry, while Alan Tompkins shared his story of how he used his skills and opportunities to grow bluegrass right in his home area of Dallas, TX.


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If you have any questions about how you can be a part of the exciting changes that are happening right now in bluegrass, contact the IBMA staff. They are ready to help you find your place, and just like the old Uncle Sam posters, they WANT YOU!

Congratulations to the graduates: Darin Aldridge Melissa Armstrong Andrea Ball Katherine Coe Jeremy Darrow John DeMarce Susie Glaze KC Groves Kayla Hotte Caroline Isachsen Steven Johnson Lori King Jordan Laney Ron Murphy Amy Reitnouer Carolyn Routh Sheila Selby Carly Smith Erin Stamper Shannon Turner Missy Werner Jill Wiese Kristi Wilcox Courtney Worthen

L-R: Nancy Cardwell, Taylor Coughlin, Katherine Coe, Jill Crabtree

Howdy, IBMA

When I moved to Nashville from Colorado in September 2012, I couldn’t wait to experience all the live music this city is beloved for. I went to Robert’s Western World twice in three days, walked by the Ryman (okay, and maybe bowed down), and saw Loretta Lynn’s 50th Opry Anniversary show within my first week. But when I finally made it to the Station Inn on a Sunday night to check out the open bluegrass jam, I knew it: I had found my place. As I watched the pickers sitting around each other in a circle, I noticed how they interacted. The banjo player laughed with the bass player while the man in overalls on Dobro furrowed his brow and slid out a heart-melting solo. One fiddler showed another some fingering, and a woman confidently took over lead on vocals. It was a perfect representation of what the bluegrass community represents; joyful, wickedly talented, generous people who love the music they play and genuinely want others to join in and love it, too. There are no exclusions, no unfriendly competition, and no one stealing the spotlight (for too long, anyway). Everyone thrives on others’ success just as much as their own. I may be biased, but what other music industry can claim that?

In this issue of IB, we hear how an international artist was made successful in part from the support of other musicians here in the U.S. We also hear how Leadership Bluegrass teaches talented leaders in our musical community to go out and develop the success of the industry, and find that its future is in good hands. We talk about how to help IBMA grow in May during Membership Month, preview what to look forward to in Raleigh, hear about the latest music, and more. When I accepted the position at IBMA, like a novice picker joining a jam, there was a place made in the circle right away. I am proud and excited to be part of this society connected by the music we all love. My goal at IBMA is to help propel the success of the bluegrass music industry as a whole by hearing your stories, telling your stories, and providing you opportunities to make even more of them. Because what’s a good song if it doesn’t tell a story, and what is bluegrass without a good song? When I’m not writing and editing at the IBMA office, you can find me running on trails, catching live music, or enjoying Nashville culture with friends. I welcome all of your comments, suggestions (and flattery and complaints) at or (615)-256-3222. I look forward to hearing from you; don’t be a stranger!

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May is IBMA Membership Month How can you get involved?

With a new office, two new staff members, a slew of newlyappointed committees, and a thrilling, new venue for World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, IBMA members have a lot to look forward to. The membership of IBMA, reaching all 50 states and 30 countries, is the trade association for bluegrass music—or more simply put: the team working together for the future of bluegrass music. What, you’re not a member of IBMA? Or, maybe you were, but your membership has lapsed. Well folks, now is the time to do something about it! You’ll be just in time for first round ballots for the 2013 IBMA Awards and for a membersonly ticket purchase week this spring for IBMA’s “Wide Open Bluegrass” festival (formerly Bluegrass Fan Fest) in Raleigh, NC, FridaySaturday, Sept. 27-28. We’re almost ready to announce the first names in the staggeringly impressive line-up for Wide Open Bluegrass. Keep an eye on your inbox, and if you’re not on our mailing list already give us a call at 1-888-4384262 or email and check our sites and regularly.


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The members of IBMA’s newly-appointed Membership Committee, led by the San Diego Bluegrass Society’s Dwight Warden as chair, with Charles Humphrey III (The Steep Canyon Rangers), Tim Surrett (Balsam Range), Matt Munsey (Monroeville), Ted Lehmann (Ted’s Bluegrass, Blogs & Brainstorms), Ohio educator and longtime Bluegrass in the Schools committee chair Dr. Tom Kopp, Elizabeth Wightman (SteelBridge Insurance), Danny Clark (The Bluegrass Bus Museum) and IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell, are excited about reaching out to more musicians, local associations, industry folks and dedicated fans in the bluegrass music community to offer the opportunity to get involved with a trade association for the music that belongs to all of us. What does IBMA membership offer? In addition to World of Bluegrass, Wide Open Bluegrass and IBMA Awards ticket discounts and voting privileges for professional members, IBMA membership offers opportunities for showcasing, year-round professional development, and networking. We have a critically acclaimed monthly online newsletter (IB), a number of industry-focused databases and a membership directory that may be emailed upon request. We offer rental car and group insurance plans for health, instruments, and event liability (for festival and concert producers). What has IBMA done? IBMA is responsible for the Bluegrass Album Grammy Award, and we were involved in the beginnings of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, starting the Foundation for Bluegrass Music, and the Bluegrass in

the Schools program. The annual International Bluegrass Music Awards shine a spotlight on the genre in mainstream press, while also recognizing some of the best music of the year. Our Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Distinguished Achievement Awards honor significant contributions to the music; a slate of IBMA Special Awards honor broadcasters, event producers, writers, graphic designers and songwriters. IBMA’s Leadership Bluegrass program is going strong in its 14th year, with a new class announced in an article elsewhere in this publication. The Bluegrass Trust Fund continues to quietly and effectively help individuals in the bluegrass community in times of emergency need. This program is funded with part of the proceeds from our annual festival, and was started by Sonny Osborne and several other founding members of IBMA. What’s new? Check out and for news about the incredible week we’re planning for you in Raleigh, NCincluding a streamlined schedule (less expensive, shorter week) with new events for youth, arts presenters, talent buyers, and emerging bands. Resuming in May, we’ll feature our monthly webinars on topics suggested by members (maybe you?). The IBMA Youth Council has elected Andrew Rigney as Chair and they have new projects to be announced soon. IBMA’s new Momentum Awards, with a committee headed up by Dan Keen (Belmont Univ.) and Echo Propp (WAMU/ Nashville Opera), will continue in 2013, with the goal of recognizing notable emerging talent and industry mentors. The World of Bluegrass Street Team, led by Danny Clark and Katherine Coe, will kick into gear this month, right in time for festival season. IBMA continues to expand our social networking community with Bluegrass Nation, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube and Instagram. Bluegrass Nation’s Backyard Bluegrass Sessions is a new series featuring exclusive artist videos. We

produced a live stream broadcast of the IBMA Awards for the first time in 2012 with help from our pals at Music City Roots and, and we’re investigating the possibility of doing it again this year. Stay tuned in a couple of months for news from Kentucky Educational Television about when and where their “Jubilee” series will air this summer—with several shows filmed live at IBMA’s Bluegrass Fan Fest in Nashville, Sept. 2012. Finally, look for info soon about a newly constituted International Committee and Advisory Council. How do you get involved? Artists and merchandisers who have booths at festivals and other events can contact IBMA to get some “Ask Me About IBMA” and “Bluegrass Nation” stickers, along with small cardstock membership fliers to put on your table. Feel free to go to to click on a link to print off your own tri-fold membership brochures. We’ll also have an icon on Facebook you can easily share. Artists and industry leaders are encouraged to record 30- and 60-second audio clips that say what you find valuable and important about belonging to IBMA. Please email those to We’re also asking for short (funny or serious) video clips from members with similar messages—why you’re an IBMA member, and also telling viewers that you’ll see them at World of Bluegrass Sept. 24-28, in Raleigh. Video clips may be posted to IBMA’s YouTube Channel or Facebook page,, or emailed to If you need help, let us know. Radio broadcasters can keep an eye (or ear) for IBMA membership public service announcements to be posted on AirPlay Direct in May (or sooner, as we get them from artists)! Association leaders and event producers, and bands can encourage your members, International Bluegrass 9

attendees and fans to call 1-888-GET-IBMA or go to to join IBMA. Websites, liner notes, onstage emcee announcements and Facebook are all great places to help us get the word out. Bloggers, journalists, educators, publicists, songwriters, luthiers and fans please mention IBMA where you can, and help support the trade association of your friends and peers who are working to keep bluegrass music growing strong. Everyone mention IBMA membership and tweet (#ibmamember, #ibmamembershipmonth, #bluegrassnation) in May, to help us network around the globe and get the message out, and share on Facebook and blogs! Got a better idea? Let us know what you’re doing so we can share it with the rest of the membership! (Email all brilliant ideas to or We know you’re a creative thinking bunch of folks!


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What will the future of bluegrass and IBMA look like? That’s up to you. Join, get involved, talk to your friends and business associates. There’s a membership category for everyone, with options for professional individuals, organizations (bands/clubs/businesses), youth and fans. Together, we can work to make things better for bluegrass musicintroducing great artists to new audiences, and helping to support those out there making a living in this musiconstage and behind the scenes. The possibilities and potential are endlessly exciting for our music community. But the first thing we’re asking you to do is to decide to get involved and make a difference. Join IBMA!

Looking ahead: World of Bluegrass Preview in Raleigh, North Carolina

IBMA members and bluegrass fans will head to Raleigh on Saturday, April 13 for a close up look at the facilities, venues and hotels that will play host to World of Bluegrass week this fall. The weekend will start with a guided tour of the three main facilities: the Raleigh Convention Center, Red Hat Amphitheatre, and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Tours will take off from the Salisbury Street entrance of the Raleigh Convention Center (500 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601) at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. There will be more information provided on other places you might want to see and how to access them on foot or from the free R-Line bus service that serves downtown Raleigh. We want you to see everything that is available to you, just a few steps away from where all the action will be. On Saturday evening at 6:00 PM, all the preview attendees are invited back to the Red Hat Amphitheatre for some North Carolina hospitality! Our hosts are rolling out the red carpet for a bluegrass BBQ tailgate party with food, drink, fellowship and picking. Bring your instruments! The IBMA Board of Directors, IBMA staff and plenty of folks from the city of Raleigh will be on hand to welcome you and answer your questions. We are so excited to show you just what all the fuss is about for World of Bluegrass 2013! See you on April 13!

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Niall Toner

I was lucky enough to have been introduced to the bluegrass music of Bill Monroe when I was still in my teens in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, in the late '50s. At such a geographical remove from the hills and hollows of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina (5,000 miles!) I never dared dream in those early days that I might someday make a worthwhile contribution to bluegrass. Well, maybe I did dream a little.

awarded a monetary prize, and my song went on to be cut by several other artists. So in terms of songwriting, I got my first signs of mildly commercial/ marginally artistic encouragement, and decided to get back at writing.

I attended ASCAP and NSAI and IMRO writing workshops, while studying under patient teachers like Ralph Murphy. I also began traveling to Nashville, getting to write with as many writers as possible, and all At one point in the the time utilizing ‘70s I got the notion my experience with to try my hand at the songs of the writing some new masters. The fact songs 'in-thethat I sang, and tradition.’ In the late By Niall Toner played mandolin ‘80s, I had the priviand guitar meant lege to open up for that I could sit in Johnny Cash on a with other musicians and writers in casual string of his Irish Tour Dates, and I was picking sessions, which also lead to several inspired to write a song for Johnny called writing partnerships that have endured to this “Fallen Angel.” I made a rough demo on a casday. Folks like Don Poythress, Jon Robbin, sette tape, and I gave copies of it to Johnny, Terri Lynn Weaver, Wendy Buckner, Keith his musical director, lead guitarist, bass player, Sewell, Barry and Holly Tashian, and many June Carter, and just about everyone else in more, became my teachers, my co-writers his troupe. Johnny Cash never did record my and I'm proud to say, my friends. song, but I entered “Fallen Angel” into a small regional song contest in Glinsk, County Mayo, and lo and behold, it took first place. I was


International Bluegrass

Success in Bluegrass From Outside the USA

In 2000, I made a decision to beginperforming only my own original material. Within a year, and with a lot of support from my colleagues, Clem O'Brien and Dick Gladney and I became the Niall Toner Band. We had established a whole new reputation as an all-original string band. This, in turn, lead to our three all-original recordings released on the Avalon Records label, “There's A Better Way,” “Mood Swing” and “NTB3.” Our Bill Monroe tribute songs established us firmly on the broader bluegrass scene and lead to bookings at many Festivals in Ireland and further afield. I had also been attending the Annual IBMA conference since it was held in Owensboro and Louisville, and later in Nashville, all the time networking my songs and showcasing at every opportunity. In 2011, I performed a showcase during IBMA as part of the then Mountain Music Entertainment Group (now Make Welcome Entertainment ) with my European Colleagues, Martino Coppo (Red Wine) and Jimmy Sunnebrandt (James King Band). The new owners of Pinecastle Records were in the audience for our show. After my set, I was approached by Lonnie Lassiter, owner of Pinecastle, and he offered to sign me to his label. It felt like overnight success after 50 years! The deal was done, and I was signed to a label in the US that had most of my heroes in its back catalog. I recorded my debut Pinecastle album, Onwards and Upwards, in Nashville at Loud Studios in May 2012 with Keith Sewell as a producer, and a whole host of great players to help out in the studio. We launched officially during IBMA 2013 at Jack's Barbecue on Broadway, and followed our launch with a tour of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Being signed to a great label like Pinecastle is an honor and a privilege, and they are always very encouraging and supportive. However, I am a firm believer in not leaving it all to someone else, so I began to develop a relationship with Air Play Direct that I had established originally in 2011. AirPlay Direct is based in Nashville, and have been in operation for the past eight years under the leadership of Robert and Lynda Weingartz. The way this digital delivery service works is that you make your music available for free to download to over 8,000 radio stations around the world. This does away with the whole business of mailing out CDs and press kits, and the entire operation can be performed at the click of a button. This, folks, is one of the main secrets of my success in bluegrass/folk/roots music, and all organized from outside the US. Take a look at the evidence yourself by going to AirPlay Direct. In six months, Onwards and Upwards album reached number one and is currently 700 downloads ahead of its nearest rival in the Bluegrass/Folk charts. Also as a result, Onwards and Upwards is at the number 23 spot in the Roots Music Report download Chart for 2012.

Visit Bluegrass Nation to see Niall’s feature!

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Fresh Sounds in the World of Bluegrass First Quarter 2013

Mary Beth Cross, Beyond Good and Evil: Singer-songwriter Mary Beth Cross weaves bluegrass, folk, and Americana on this album, featuring original tunes, an African spiritual, and some covers like The Gershwin’s “Love Is Here to Stay.” Inspired by the spirit and grit of the pioneers, Beyond Good and Evil is a tribute to the melting pot America has become and what we treasure. (Produced by Dave Bechtel & Mary Beth Cross, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Roads Well Traveled: Bluegrass Hall of Honor inductee Doyle Lawson has no shortage of the industry’s biggest accolades under his belt. On Roads Well Traveled the seasoned mandolinist, singer, and songwriter showcases his ability to maintain his signature sound, blending in his passionate innovation. Lawson and his faithful Quicksilver tell stories that touch the soul deep down, proving his longevity and influence in music. (Crossroads, John Lowell, I Am Going To The West: Critically acclaimed bluegrass guitarist and singer-songwriter, John Lowell’ s first solo project proves to be engaging and inspired. I Am Going…shows how nature has inspired Lowell in his songwriting and influenced the melodies. A favorite track is his version of “Eight More Miles to Louisville,” as well as the original (and title track) “I Am Going To The West.” (John Lowell, Mountain Faith, Battlefield: With female lead vocalist Summer Brooke McMahan at the helm of Mountain Faith, Battlefield shows off


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the Christian bluegrass group’s originality and versatile arrangements. Singing stories from the Bible, and harmonious hymns, Mountain Faith proves it’s got a winner with Battlefield. (Crossroads, Aaron Ramsey, Gathering: Aaron Ramsey finely displays his breadth of talent on his first solo album. He plays mandolin, guitar, upright bass, banjo, and sings. With an all-star group of musicians like Tony Rice, Stuart Duncan, Ron Block, and Ricky Wasson featured on the album, Ramsey is sure to gain recognition as a prominent multiskilled artist. (Aaron Ramsey, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, The Back Forty: Industry legend Marty Raybon is back with Full Circle for The Back Forty, a collection of heartfelt, soulfully-sung, and upbeat bluegrass tunes. Sweet ballads like ‘Look For Me (For I Will Be There Too),’ toe-tappers like opener ‘That Janie Baker,’ and heartbreaker ‘Hurt Me All the Time’ show Raybon’s love and talent for storytelling through song and fine musicianship. The album celebrates 40 years in the music business for Raybon. (Rural Rhythm Records, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, The Farthest Horizon: One listen to this album, and you’ll ask out loud: “These boys are HOW old?” The Mizzone brothers from New Jersey and are made up of 10-year-old banjoist Jonny, 13-year-old Robbie on the fiddle, and 14-year-old Tommy on guitar. This is the first album they’ve released that showcases their own songs, with some old favorites (Monroe and Scruggs) thrown in. The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys are as fun to listen to as they are prodigious. (Sleepy Man Banjo Boys LLC, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Catch Me If I Try: IBMA award winners (Emerging Artist of the Year 2003) Kenny and Amanda Smith play with some new musicians on their newest release since 2008. Cory Piatt joins the Smiths on mandolin

and Austin Ward on bass. Special guests are Alan Bartram on harmony vocals and Ron Stewart on banjo. Heartfelt vocals and inventive instrumentation make this album another hit for Kenny and Amanda. (Farm Boy Records, Swing 42, Déboucher: This Spanish quartet knows how to have fun while remaining focused and inventive. Déboucher means “to uncork” which is fitting for this album, because once the album begins it releases a flood of intrigue. From David Grisman, to Django Reinhart and Mozart, Swing 42 expertly cover familiar and fresh songs in traditional bluegrass and gypsy jazz styles. (Red Pig Recordings, The Earl Brothers, Outlaw Hillbilly: With gritty lyrics and upbeat banjo-driven tempos, Robert Earl Davis heads The Earl Brothers on their 5th album release. Dark material covers most of the album, and is played out with convincing emotion heard both through the instruments and the voice. Backed by James Touzel, Tom Lucas, Thomas Wille, Bill Foss, and Jody Richardson, Davis proves his chops as a songwriter and outlaw hillbilly indeed. (Robert Earl Davis, Big Hen Music, The Gibson Brothers, They Called It Music: IBMA Entertainers of the Year The Gibson Brothers (Eric and Leigh) incorporate various influences on their most honest, anticipated record yet. With poignant material, their third album They Called It Music allows the Brothers to accentuate their already tight-knit harmonies. Enthralling songwriting and fine instrumentation make this album worthy of heavy rotation. (Compass Records, ) The Hillbenders, Can You Hear Me?: These bluegrass boys from Missouri show passion and pride in bluegrass’s traditional roots while bringing in their own alluring attitude. The Hillbenders look for freedom, identity, answers, and love in Can You Hear

Me? in songs like “Train Whistle,” “Game Over,” and “Concrete Ribbon.” With creative imagery in their lyrics and great harmonic hooks in their melodies, The Hillbenders prove they’ve got a promising repertoire to add to the industry’s arsenal. (Compass Records, Tim Smith, Fiddler Tim Smith & Friends: Industry veteran Tim Smith shows off his latest cache of self-penned fiddle tunes (except for a couple familiar favorites). With style and versatility, Smith shows off his seasoned skills in rhythm and playing out of the bluegrass box with some blues and folk tastes blended in. (TRS Records, Toshio Watanabe, The Fiction Twins: Japanese artist Toshio Watanabe plays mandolin and guitar and sings to some old favorites like “In My Dear Old Southern Home,” “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone.” In the ‘60s Watanabe heard live recordings of Bill and Charlie Monroe on the radio in Japan and started learning what would be his favorite songs. Toshio was an original member of The Bluegrass 45, the second international bluegrass band to tour the U.S. back in 1971. (Red Clay Records, Wood & Wire, Wood & Wire: Tony Kamel (guitar), Matt Slusher (Mandolin), Trevor Smith (banjo), and Dom Fisher (bass) make up Wood & Wire. They bring an unabashed, yet humble confidence to their music that is rooted in tradition and homespun into something that the younger crowd can get behind. They wear their influences on their sleeve, and they’re not just blue. The material ranges from humorous to heartbreaking and all that’s familiar in between. (Wood & Wire,

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Backyard Bluegrass Sessions We’re here to spread the bluegrass love at Bluegrass Nation. So that’s why we’ve come up with a way to make you, THE nation, feel extra special with exclusive videos by bluegrass’s best artists. Please welcome: The Backyard Bluegrass Sessions. In our Backyard Bluegrass Sessions, we wrangle up some of the genre’s most talented singers, pickers, fiddlers, strummers, and any other “-er” word that fits. They’ll play us a song and we give you the exclusive video! Easy as pie, and cooler than ice cream… don’t ya think? Click here to check out our first session with The Howlin’ Brothers. Keep an eye out here on Bluegrass Nation for the latest exclusive video in the series! If you call Nashville home or are passing through and want to be featured, zip a line to and we’ll have you over. Jam on, Bluegrass Nation!


International Bluegrass

Heard ‘Round the World 0039 (formerly Bononia Grass) of Bologna, Italy released Dial in March. Special guests on the album are Mike Guggino, and Nicky Sanders (of Steep Canyon Rangers), Andy Hall, and Rafe Stefanini. 0039 performed at the EBMA’s Award Shows in March. Covered Grass Band from Cologne, Germany debuted their new CD Toogaroo in March. The CD contains 13 original tracks written by singer Corina Aurin and banjo player Volker Fisher. It also features the new guitar player Felix Eichert. The tracks will also be available on iTunes, Amazon etc. For more information and to order the CD visit Danilo Cartia has announced a 'Bluegrass Meeting' on May 24, 2013 that will be included in the Acoustic Guitar Meeting 2013 in Sarzana, Italy for the first time. Musicians will have a dedicated stage and will be involved in workshops, performances, and jam sessions. The Italian Bluegrass Allstars (Danilo Cartia (banjo), Massimo Gatti (mandolin), Anchise Bolchi (fiddle), Leo Di Giacomo (guitar), Icaro Gatti (double bass), and special guests) will perform on the main stage for the evening gig. Award-winning brother/sister duo The Roys will cover new territory May 1 through 5 as they make their European debut with select dates at two picturesque Danish Culture Houses, Germany's 11th Annual Buehler Bluegrass Festival and the quintessential English theatre, Leicester Square. Irish bluegrass singer-songwriter Niall Toner was announced as the recipient of the first annual EBMA European Bluegrass Personality of the Year award. It was presented on March 16 during the 5th annual Bluegrass Summit in Prague. Oliver Waitze of the New Acoustic Gallery (NAG) in Wuppertal, Germany, announced that two masters of new acoustic music, Mike Marshall and Darol Anger, will be performing in concert at the NAG's new facilities in Schloss Lüntenbeck, Wuppertal, Germany on October 27, 2013.

Bluegrass Industry News Chart toppers Congratulations to the following artists whose music is topping charts at press time. Audie Blaylock & Redline on their #1 song “Home Is Where the Heart Is,” #4 album Hard Country on Sirius XM, and #3 song “A Real Good Way to Lose” Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 songs. Steven Curtis Chapman debuted his first bluegrass album Deep Roots in March, which came in at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass charts. Flatt Lonesome moved into the Airplay Top 10 on Bluegrass Today with their song “I’m Blue.” Old Man Markley released their second album Down Side Up which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts. Russell Moore & IIIyrd Time Out Timeless Hits From the Past: Bluegrassed remained in the top three top selling albums on Billboard’s Bluegrass charts for all of March. Singer-songwriter Jerry Salley’s “Comin’ Home To You” debuted on the top of the Bluegrass Today airplay charts in March. The SteelDrivers have reigned in the top three spots on Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Airplay Chart for “How Long Have I Been Your Fool” during the month of March. International Bluegrass 17

Broadcast News Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver recorded a special live in-studio performance for Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction the same week Roads Well Traveled was released. The Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee was honored by friends and fellow esteemed musicians in an intimate setting in Nashville where he played the latest songs from his 36th studio album. The special will play on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction Wednesday, April 3, 11:00 AM (premiere), Thursday, April 4, 9 PM (rebroadcast), Saturday, April 6, 8 AM (rebroadcast), Sunday, April 7, 11 AM (rebroadcast). All times are Eastern Daylight Time.

Event news This year’s MerleFest, April 25-28 in Wilkesboro, NC, will pay special tribute to Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doc Watson, who passed away May 29, 2012. This will be the first time MerleFest has been without Doc in its 26 years. A Celebration Jam is slated for Saturday night featuring several of Doc’s closest musician friends and will be hosted by Sam Bush. Doc will also be honored in other ways during the festival through video vignettes, a new display in Lowe’s Hall, a student emergency fund in Doc’s honor, and a special commemorative section in the MerleFest program. Tickets for MerleFest 2013 can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-3437857. Additional details about the festival lineup and other information may be found on the website. The International Bluegrass Music Museum’s 10th Annual ROMP (River of Music


International Bluegrass

Party) in Owensboro, KY will feature an all-star lineup: Merle Haggard, David Grisman Sextet, The Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksliver, Sam Bush Band, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leftover Salmon, The Deadly Gentlemen, The SteelDrivers, The Hillbenders, the museum's student band, the Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars and more. ROMP takes place June 27, 28, 29. Tickets are on sale. Visit for details. This year's Spring Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival was a huge success with great music and an awesome crowd. In addition to Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, the first day included performances from Audie Blaylock & Redline, Art Stevenson & High Water, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, and Lou Reid & Carolina. Day two included another performance by the Radio Ramblers and Art Stevenson & High Water plus James King Band, Dale Ann Bradley, Don Rigsby & Midnight Call, The Seldom Scene and a Longview All-Star Jam featuring Dudley Connell, Don Rigsby, Joe Mullins, James King, Marshall Wilborn, Lou Reid and Michael Cleveland.

Record label and artist announcements Acclaimed bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent will release their sixth studio album, Brothers Of The Highway, on May 7, 2013. The follow-up to 2012’s Grammy-nominated The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent features a pair of original Jamie Dailey

compositions as well as ten stirring and evocative new interpretations of songs made famous by Vince Gill, the Louvin Brothers, Bill Monroe, Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad, George Strait, and Porter Wagoner. Female powerhouses Della Mae will release their second full-length album on May 28 called This World Oft Can Be. It will be their first with Rounder Records. All but three tracks were written by band members Celia Woodsmith or Courtney Hartman. Other Dellas include founder Kimber Ludiker on fiddle, Jenni Lyn Gardner on mandolin, and Shelby Means on bass. Both Hartman and Woodsmith play guitar, with Celia taking the bulk of the lead vocals, and Courtney the lead guitar. Kevin Carter and Full Assurance has announced Tim Greene of Lenoir, NC as their newest member. He will play bass and share in the lead and harmony vocals with the North Carolina-based bluegrass Gospel band. Rural Rhythm Records announced the new album God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories About Real People debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart. The special project has been all over Amazon Best Sellers charts over the last few weeks, ranking as high as #115 in music for all genres. The Snyder Family from North Carolina will release their fourth album Building Bridges in April. The Band features siblings Zeb and Samantha Snyder with their folks Bud and Laine backing them up on bass and vocals, with special appearances from youngest Owen on vocals and guitar.

Donna Ulisse has announced her first songbook, All the Way to Bethlehem. The songbook is a companion to the album released around Christmas of the same name. The book contains sheet music, written in the keys that Ulisse sings each song on the album, guitar chords and lead vocal lines. It includes in-depth commentary relating to the song-writing process, photographs of the songwriters as well as the scripture that inspired each song. The songbook, priced $19.95, is available at

In other news Popular Japanese bluegrass guitarist Maro Kawabata died unexpectedly in Japan on March 6 at the age of 51. Maro will be sorely missed for his friendship, humor and fine musicianship. Australian personality and longtime bluegrass radio host Geoff Morris passed away March 5 of cancer. He was 70 years old. A memorial service was broadcast over Phoenix FM in Bendigo, Australia, where Morris worked, and posted online for friends and family who couldn’t attend. Jim VanCleve of Mountain Heart is back at home in Nashville recovering from contracting Dengue fever while working in St. Croix earlier in March. You’re welcome to send him well wishes on his Facebook page:

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be part of...

the Street Team!

The International Bluegrass Music Association is looking for dedicated music fans to help spread the word about Wide Open Bluegrass! Join the Street Team, a fun and exciting grassroots program that allows you the opportunity to earn a FREE ticket to Wide Open Bluegrass! Street Team members will be part of a large group of like-minded music enthusiasts who will promote the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival taking place this September in Raleigh, NC. Street Team members can earn a FREE 2-Day pass (worth) by distributing posters, flyers, and handbills at their local festivals, jams, colleges, music stores, etc. Street Team members must be active on Social Media to be a part of the team. For more information on how to join this new exciting program contact Katherine Coe at

Convention Services/Accounting Position Open


IBMA is currently accepting resumes through April 15, 2013 for the Convention & Membership Services Director position on their staff. Individuals interested in applying are invited to email a resume to or drop one off at the IBMA office at 608 W. Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204. Applicants should have skills in the following areas: accounting, logistics, event planning, database management, web design, contract negotiation, office management and committee work. Experience with Access, Quickbooks, Excel and WordPress is important. Longtime IBMA staff member Jill Crabtree will be departing no later than July 1, 2013. “We’ll certainly miss Jill,” said IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell. “She has worked tirelessly for the organization and contributed greatly to much of what we’ve accomplished since 2000. We wish her well.” In her resignation letter Crabtree said, “I care about the future of IBMA a great deal and hope the events will thrive in Raleigh, NC. The facilities, performances and other events planned for World of Bluegrass Week will certainly be something to see and the potential is exciting. But with any big change comes a need to approach things in a new manner. I feel the organization will benefit from the fresh perspective of someone who can assist the current IBMA leadership with their new set of goals. I’ve learned a great deal in my tenure at IBMA and want to thank everyone who has supported me over these past 13 years. My passion and support of the bluegrass music community will certainly continue.”


International Bluegrass

All aboard!

Amtrak Service for World of Bluegrass Attendees Before you buy a plane ticket, get an oil change or check the tires, why not consider taking your whole World of Bluegrass experience up a notch? We’re talking traveling by train. With over 30 train routes in the continental U.S., there’s sure to be a route that’ll bring you to Raleigh. If riding the rails sounds appealing to you, you’ll be happy to know Amtrak is offering a 10% discount off the lowest available rail fare to Raleigh, NC between September 21 and October 1, just for bluegrass fans! This includes travel up to three days before and three days after the WOB event dates. If you’re traveling with a group of 20 or more, a group discount of 20% per passenger is also available. So get your local jamming friends or bluegrass association together and take advantage of deeper discounts. Amtrak’s 15% senior discount and half-fare children’s discounts may be applicable as well. To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1-(800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent. Please refer to Convention Fare Code X89N-970 when making your reservation. This fare code and discount cannot be booked via Internet and other restrictions may apply. All aboard!

welcome Robert Atwood Bev Atwood Jeffrey Bailey Capo’s Music Store Teresa Bohm Gerald Bolas Linda Bourque Stephen Bridges Ronald Brister Denise Burton Tyler Campbell Emily Clark Tom Cox John DeLuca Sandra DeLuca

New Members

Ernest Dodson Terry Eagan Michael Farrell Marsha Fleenor Joshua Gibson Forrest Goodman Peter Harrington Joyce Hawkins Rodney Hawkins Leo Heile Todd Hemphill Roy Hillier Todd Inman Charles Isenhour Jason Johnson

Thomm Jutz Sonja Kapoun-Roof Scott Lewandowski Corrine Loucks Steve Martin Robert McClung Jere McKeithen John Miller Michelle Mitchell Joe Newberry Gitte Nielsen Dennis Nowack Priscilla Parillo Randall Pitts Zach Rambo

Swift Creek Band Rick Shore Beth Shore Jean Skinner Monty Smith Rick Stanley Trevor Torres James Touzel Noel Tucker Patrick Varker Gary West Barbara West Mark White

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International Bluegrass Vol. 28, No. 4 April 2013

International Bluegrass  

The newsletter that brings you the latest bluegrass industry news on the planet has now gone digital, with a beautiful full-color interactiv...

International Bluegrass  

The newsletter that brings you the latest bluegrass industry news on the planet has now gone digital, with a beautiful full-color interactiv...