IB International Bluegrass Vol 2 9 , No 2 , Feb. 2014
Center opens its doors!
Town Mountain: On the Rise Cruise In Style: Bluegrass on the River
Showcase Application Deadline Feb. 28! Leadership Bluegrass Class Announced
International Bluegrass International Bluegrass Music Association Vol. 29 | No. 2 | February 2014
FeatureS 8 | Earl scruggs center opening 12 | town mountain - on the rise
News 4 | 2014 Grammy winners announced 5 | leadership bluegrass class of 2014
IBMA Staff Nancy Cardwell Erdos Executive Director Joe Lurgio Member/Convention Services Director Taylor Coughlin Special Projects Director/Publications Editor Eddie Huffman Technology & Office Systems Manager IB | International Bluegrass Editor: Taylor Coughlin email@example.com Designer: Erin Erdos Humann firstname.lastname@example.org
18 |”Bourbon & Bluegrass” River Cruise
INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS (ISSN #1095-0605) IBMA: IBMA is the trade association that connects and educates bluegrass professionals, empowers the bluegrass community, and encourages worldwide appreciation of bluegrass music of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
20 |IBMA Membership: Helping you save your bluegrass greens
The monthly emailed publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association 608 W. Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204 USA
6 | world of bluegrass showcase deadline 16 | honorees announced for foundation for blugrass grants
615-256-3222 | 888-GET-IBMA | Fax: 615-256-0450
Email: email@example.com | Website: www.ibma.org
Departments 3| from the executive director’s desk 22 | bluegrass music industry news 25 | Fresh sounds 24 | Heard ‘round the world 27 | welcome new members
Statement 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, www.ibma.org.”
From the Executive Director’s Desk by Nancy Cardwell Erdos I hope the new year is treating you well, and that you’re all managing to stay warm this winter (those of us north of the equator, anyway!) You might think this is a slow time in the IBMA office, but the truth is that things are hopping already in 2014. Final planning for Leadership Bluegrass in March is in full swing, and your board of directors is meeting Feb. 4 by teleconference. We welcomed two new board members last month: Ned Luberecki of SiriusXM and Chris Jones and the Night Drivers in the Broadcasters’ seat, vacated by Cindy Baucom when she was elected Vice-Chair last October, and Becky Buller, singer and fiddle player with Darin & Brooke Aldridge joins Henri Deschamps as an At Large rep. Becky is also a songwriter and a radio broadcaster, and is working on her solo album with Dark Shadow Recording. We’re a month away from launching World of Bluegrass registration and the hotel reservation process (March 3 for members, March 17 for general public), so watch your email inbox and ibma.org for more info later on this month. We’re knee-deep in schedules, professional development plans, graphic design ideas, an incredibly exciting Talent Buyers Focus day, and festival plans. William Lewis and his staff at PineCone—The Piedmont Council for Traditional Music based in Raleigh, will be producing the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival for IBMA this year. IBMA member Susan Newberry is heading up the Talent Buyer Focus, which will attract a number of new event producers and agents to the conference this year. We’re in the process of hiring additional contract and commission-based staff to help out with the Bluegrass Ramble, as well as IBMA sponsorship coordination and development. It’s been a year of growth for IBMA, and more hands are needed as we grow and power forward. Look for some updates to the IBMA website in the next few months, thanks to the hard work of our new IT Committee headed by Henri Deschamps and IBMA staff liaison Eddie Huffman. You’ll also read in this issue about a new venture IBMA is entering into with the American Queen Steamboat Company, and I hope many of you will join us on the river in late August and early September, because what goes better with great live bluegrass music than a paddlewheel riverboat? We have a very hardworking Finance Committee, headed by IBMA Treasurer Elizabeth Wightman at SteelBridge Insurance; currently revising draft #6 of our proposed 2014-15 fiscal year budget and streamlining IBMA’s financial systems, and the audit of IBMA’s 2012-13 finances will begin in the next few weeks. Our newly re-organized Membership Committee, led by chairperson Charles Humphrey III of Steep Canyon Rangers and IBMA Member Services Director Joe Lurgio, is taking a thorough look at current and possible new member services and some exciting monthly promotions. You can read more about their initiatives in “Saving Your Bluegrass Greens” in this issue. We are growing, as mentioned above! It’s an exciting time to be a member of IBMA. IBMA is blessed to have a number of sister organizations that support each other in mutual efforts to promote roots-based, acoustic music (including bluegrass, of course!) If you can make it, I encourage you to attend the Folk Alliance International conference at the Westin Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, Feb. 19-23. While you’re there, look for me at booth #201 in the exhibit hall and at the IBMA-sponsored bluegrass official showcase night and please say hello! New on the schedule this year at FAI is a Winter Music Camp, which features group and individual instruction, performances and jam sessions for all levels of musicians (and songwriters) in all styles of roots music. You’ll recognize some of the instructor names from the bluegrass community: the amazing Byron Berline, Mike Compton, Casey Driessen, Missy Raines, Betse Ellis, Bill Evans, Alan Munde, Gerald Jones, Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick, and many talented others. Check out www.folkalliance.org for more details. I hope to see some of you there and hope you will help me spread the good bluegrass word to our brothers and sisters in the folk music community.
Honored to serve as your IBMA Executive Director
The Del McCoury Band on winning Best Bluegrass Album at The 56th Annual Grammy Awards for Streets of Baltimore from your friends at IBMA!
Congratulations to winners in bluegrass-related categories: Best Americana Album: Old Yellow Moon by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
Best American Roots Song: â€œLove Has Come For Youâ€? by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Congratulations to fellow nominees for Best Bluegrass Album
IBMA Announces Leadership Bluegrass Class of 2014 NASHVILLE, TN. The International Bluegrass Music Association is proud to announce the Leadership Bluegrass class of 2014. Leadership Bluegrass is an intensive, three-day program focused on interactive learning and networking experiences that invite participants to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the bluegrass music industry, along with leadership development issues. This will be the 15th year of Leadership Bluegrass, which now boasts over 350 alumni. Leadership Bluegrass 2014 will be hosted at BMI and Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee March 20-22. Trisha Tubbs will return as facilitator. Each year participants, who are invited through a selective application process, represent a cross section of current and future leaders from various aspects of the industry, coming from various regions of the U.S. and the world. In addition to BMI and Bone, ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� McAllester, Norton PLLC, our sponsors include The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, Wintergrass Music Festival (Acoustic Sound), and John & Trisha Tubbs. Congratulations to the following new class members: Alane Anno, Alane Anno Photography (Hendersonville, TN) Richard Bicknell, Bluegrass Music Association of Maine (Windham, ME) Sherrill Blackman, the sdb music group (Nashville, TN) Seamus Brady, G7th Ltd (Peterborough, UK) Lizard Thom Case, Bobby’s Idle Hour/ Songwriter (Nashville, TN) Taylor Coughlin, IBMA (Nashville, TN) Jamie Deering, Deering Banjos (Spring Valley, CA) Mark Dillon, University of North Carolina Greensboro (Randleman, NC) Pam Gadd, Songwriter & Musician (Nashville, TN) John Curtis Goad, East Tennessee State University/ Bluegrass Today (Rogersville, TN) Pattie Hopkins, Kickin Grass (Winterville, NC) Nate Lee, Chuck Lee Banjo Company/ Alan Munde Gazette (Nashville, TN) Ted Lehmann, Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books & Brainstorms (Keene, NH) Chris Luquette, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (Alexandria, VA) Cameron Matthews, AOL Music/ The Bluegrass Situation (Astoria, NY) Patrick McAvinue, Audie Blaylock & Redline (Parkton, MD) Matt Merta, Songwriter/Artist/Manager/Freelance Writer (Dearborn, MI) Daniel Perry, Belmont University (Nashville, TN ), Student Monitor Claire Ratliff, Laughing Penguin Publicity (Nashville, TN) Cass B. Scripps, Agency for the Performing Arts/APA (Nashville, TN) Matthew Slocum, DC Bluegrass Union (Falls Church, VA) Amanda Smith, Kenny & Amanda Smith (Lebanon, TN) Anna Sommerville, Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) Rick Sparks, Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association (Reno, NV) Ashlee Jean Trott, Music City Roots (Nashville, TN) Vickie Vaughn, Vickie Vaughn Band (Nashville, TN) The Leadership Bluegrass planning committee this year includes Alan Tompkins (Chair), Louis Meyers (vicechair), Joan Kornblith, Jean Spivey, Emilee Warner, Ben Surratt, Nolan Lawrence, Trisha Tubbs (facilitator), and Nancy Cardwell (staff liaison). For information on the Leadership Bluegrass program, contact: Nancy Cardwell at (615) 256-3222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
World of Bluegrass: Showcase Artist Submission deadline Deadline to Apply: February 28, 2014 The premiere opportunity to introduce talent and new music at IBMA’s annual World of Bluegrass Business Conference comes in the form of “official” showcase performances which help the music industry assembled discover emerging new bands, as well as established bands with new music or new personnel. In Raleigh, N.C. this year each showcase band will perform at least twice during World of Bluegrass Week—once on a convention center stage and once on a local “Bluegrass Ramble” town venue stage. Up to 30 showcase artists will be invited for World of Bluegrass 2014, depending on the number of applicants and the qualifications of groups that apply. IBMA showcase artists are chosen in a juried selection process that takes into consideration every applicant’s entertainment value, level of professionalism, potential appeal and quality of work. There are generally more than 100 acts who apply every year, and the Selection Committee is appointed by the IBMA board chairperson. In addition to the two showcase opportunities, official IBMA showcase bands receive a number of benefits and complimentary services, including: • Featured profile in conference program and on the WOB smart phone app • Distribution of one mp3 per band on our AirPlay Direct account, providing radio DJ access to showcase band music • Inclusion of one mp3 on the 2014 Noisetrade/ IBMA Bluegrass Ramble Showcase Compilation
• Inclusion in the Bluegrass Ramble Spotify play list, promoted on social media by IBMA • Priority access to “Gig Fair” appointments (new & improved in 2014—more info coming soon!) • Scheduled consultation in advance of events on maximizing showcase opportunities
• Complimentary booth space during business conference (value $600+) • Full conference registration package for performing members of group (value $1000+) • One organizational membership for group (value $205) • And other exclusive services available to official showcase performers.
The value of booth space, conference registrations and IBMA membership alone adds up to more than $1,800 for a band. WORLD OF BLUEGRASS 2014 Members Only Registration, Tickets and Lodging March 3-17, 2014 Is your membership is current? Renew now to receive the members only sale and discounts. Email email@example.com or call 888.GET.IBMA for more info.
Y ou r
APPLICATION PROCESS: IBMA’s World of Bluegrass is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2014 in Raleigh, N.C. Artists are not required to be IBMA members to apply for the showcase opportunity, but are required to submit a $25 fee to help defray selection process costs. If invited to participate as an official showcase artist, there is an additional fee of $500 to offset costs of services and showcase production. To apply for an official WOB showcase opportunity (deadline Feb. 28, 2014), please do one of the following: 1. Click here to submit your application online OR 2. Mail to the IBMA office: 5 copies of a representative recording of the act’s work. (The recording can be a full CD, demo of new cuts not yet released, demo of highlighted material, or other, but should be representative of the act’s most recent work.) We also need complete contact information for the group, and a $25 check made out to IBMA/application fee. Address: IBMA Showcase Selection Committee, 608 W. Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204. We’re encouraging as many bands as possible to apply online in 2014. Questions? Give Joe Lurgio a call at 615-256-3222 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ba n d h
What do you need to apply? Checklist: • Contact Info for the band members (names and emails) • Contact info for band management or rep (if applicable) • The following media • MP3 • YouTube Link • Hi-Res color photo (4MB) • Band bio (copy and past from source) • Payment to process the application (credit card only) International Bluegrass
Opening a New Door on Earl Scruggs Earl Scruggs Center opens in Shelby, NC by Craig Havighurst
Photo of Nashville portraits 8 courtesy International Bluegrass
hen Earl Scruggs left this world in 2012, he was sent home by many of the great living banjo players and a few shade-tree pickers in a moving banjo honor guard at the Ryman Auditorium. It was as meaningful and elegant a tribute as anyone could have imagined. But one thing nobody could ensure was that Earl would live to see the grand opening of the museum and cultural center that bears his name in Shelby, North Carolina. It’s officially known as the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories From the American South, and we who were there for the opening ceremonies on January 11, 2014, hoped and believed that Earl would have approved.
The Back Story I come to this account with no journalistic distance whatsoever. I was involved with the Center’s creative development team for more than four years. My chief job was producing and directing three documentary films for permanent installation. But I also contributed ideas to the museum’s flow and content, and it was truly one of the most exciting and rewarding projects I’ve ever been a part of. Besides the public events – a ceremony and concert - the grand opening marked happy closure on a big project and a round of toasts with a team of clever people I really like and admire. Those people began with Destination Cleveland County, a non-profit economic development group tasked with imagining and inventing a future for a region of North Carolina that’s been hurt by the offshoring of the textile industry and the closure of the cotton and thread mills that prospered in the 20th century. Earl worked in that very industry for a time while his musicianship developed and while he earned a reputation in the area. As Earl told us for the films, he got offered too much money to turn down, and went into radio. About the same time, a friend of his connected him with Bill Monroe for an audition. Bill and guitarist Lester Flatt were blown away by Earl, and hired the 21-year old picker. The rest is history, as we know. It was all upside for Earl, but not so much for the mills and textile workers who remained in Cleveland County.
his center (along with DCC’s other big renovation project The Don Gibson Theatre which opened in 2009) is a beacon for tourists and music pilgrims who visit the delightful town square in Shelby, about 40 minutes west of Charlotte in North Carolina. When I first saw the 1907 Cleveland County Courthouse in 2009, it was shuttered and being used for storage. The DCC worked with a team of architects and designers managed by Museum Concepts in Arlington, VA, whose delightful Mississippi-raised director Cissy Anklam previously worked on the Newseum in Washington and the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS. There were hang-ups in fundraising of course, given that the project launched in the teeth of the great recession, but eventually things came together. I’d never seen a project like this from the inside, where a core team had to coordinate graphic design with panel scripts, case fabrication with multimedia programming, and artifact acquisition with film and photo clearances, films and more. It was all as cool as you might imagine.
The idea was bigger than telling the story of a great native of Cleveland County and the world’s most admired banjo player. Earl was to be put in context of the Carolina Piedmont, which I can’t claim objectivity about because it’s my home region. The rolling hills of central North and South Carolina are called the Piedmont because that translates literally as “foot of the mountains.” And indeed looking west from Shelby, one sees the foothills of the Appalachians rising up. The area, rich in farm land and waterways, proved a great place to grow and process cotton. So in the new museum, we learn about the growth of cotton in the region and its troubles with the boll weevil (including several actual boll weevils). And we see Earl in a group photograph from the Lily Mill of the “Spinning, Twisting, Spooling and Reeling Departments,” which sounds like great preparation for a career in bluegrass to me.
The Center The Earl Scruggs Center features an exhibit on the evolution of the banjo and its unique journey from Africa to the American South, and in popular music. Then the stories merge as Earl moves to Nashville, plays the Grand Ole Opry with Bill Monroe, meets his wife Louise, and splinters off with Lester Flatt to form Flatt & Scruggs: the most consequential bluegrass band of all time. There’s a lot to see, read and hear in a relatively compact space, which is divided into three galleries of exhibits, plus one with seating for the 12-minute biography/ orientation film. They built an eyepopping faux Ryman Auditorium to house one of the films I worked that covers Earl’s debut on the Opry and meeting Louise at a show. At one point, Louise took over as manager of Flatt & Scruggs, helping them take their music to national television, Carnegie Hall, Hollywood and in truth the whole world. Finally, there is a gallery where Earl’s next chapter with his sons in the Earl Scruggs Revue is illustrated with an electric guitar, an amplifier and 1970s stage wear from Randy Scruggs. Earl’s musical genius is clear throughout his career, but here’s where we truly feel his inborn progressive spirit. Few other
bluegrass stars of his era were willing to go electric or try radical new musical ideas. But he was, and that was the central revelation I took away from my time working on the Scruggs Center project.
The Opening Ceremony
Before the general public could get into to see all this, ribbons had to be cut and ceremonies had to be held. Hopes (not unreasonable) for a clement day in January were dashed by 40 degrees and steady rain. But the Central United Methodist Church, right on the square and across the street from the Center, offered shelter from the storm. And then some magic happened as one, then six, then a dozen and then almost 60 musicians began to appear out of the woodwork, all playing “Reuben,” the song Earl had been playing as a boy when he suddenly worked out the three-finger style that would become his stock in trade. An Earl Scruggs Center video of the performance, which included North Carolina’s Steep Canyon Rangers, Sam Bush, Darin & Brooke Aldridge and many
others, captures the surprise and wonder of the moment well.
Words of gratitude and welcome were spoken. A ribbon was cut in the drizzle. But the tribute took its ultimate shape that night at the nearby high school auditorium where a large sold-out house was treated to an intimate two-set show by some of Earl’s closest musical colleagues. Randy and Gary Scruggs (Earl’s sons) sat in
a semi-circle on stage with Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Travis Tritt, Rob Ickes and drummer John Gardner. North Carolina banjo master Jim Mills quietly blew everyone away with his mastery in what was, after all, a rather sensitive role. It was a throwback and homage to the picking parties that took place at Earl’s birthday parties in the years when Earl and Louise lived in George Jones’s former house on Franklin Pike in Nashville. Songs and stories flowed, which is, after all, the mission of the Earl Scruggs Center. It will be a major new outpost for telling the story of bluegrass music and a man without whom that music would not exist. Visit, donate to, or become a member of the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, North Carolina. There are multiple opportunities to enjoy and preserve the legacy established by Earl Scruggs in the form of education, remembrance, and celebration at the Center. Visit www.earlscruggscenter.org for more information and schedule your visit.
Town Mountain | On the Rise By Derek Halsey
all photos courtesy of Amy Daniels
hen Town Mountain ended their late-night set at a club called Kings in downtown Raleigh, NC in September of 2013, the crowd was on their side. It was around midnight on a Wednesday evening during the IBMA World of Bluegrass, the first to be held in North Carolina’s capital city. International Bluegrass
As the group finished their last song and began to walk off, the audience was having none of it. When Town Mountain answered the call to do an encore, it was a spontaneous and true request for a return to the stage, not one brought on by a pushy announcer. Town Mountain was one of over 40 bluegrass acts showcasing that night at six different venues in the “City of Oaks,” with each group getting one hour to show their wares. What was impressive about their encore was it was asked for by a mix of both
music fans and accomplished bluegrass musicians who were in town for IBMA Week. It was an amazing 24 hours in the life of Town Mountain for another reason. Earlier that same day at the World of Bluegrass Momentum Awards and Showcase Luncheon, the group won the 2013 Momentum Award for Band of the Year, and lead singer Robert Greer won a Momentum Award for Vocalist of the Year.
The members of Town Mountain that day included Greer on vocals and guitar, Jesse Langlais on banjo and vocals, Bobby Britt on fiddle, Phil Barker on mandolin and vocals and Jake Hopping on bass. Since then, Hopping left the band in December and Rob Parks has been chosen as his replacement. “When Town Mountain’s name was
called, I had a big piece of pork tenderloin in my mouth and I almost choked on it,” says Langlais. International Bluegrass
“We’re closer to original bluegrass than a lot of bands out there today.” “It’s a proud moment in Town Mountain’s history, for sure. We’re out there doing what we do because we love to play the music. Anytime you start to pit one’s art against the other, it’s hard because who is to say that some music is better than somebody else’s? But aside from that, it is really nice to be recognized by the IBMA and we have experienced some good things to come from it already. When you look at it as this big wheel that is spinning, the music industry wheel, it’s great and hopefully we can live up to those momentous expectations and I think we will. We will do what we can to help to carry the legacy of the music on and make the IBMA and all who believe in Town Mountain proud of what we do.” Town Mountain was formed out of the fertile music scene found in the city of Asheville, located in the mountains of western North Carolina. Like many bands that are based there, the members of the group migrated to the Southern Highlands from different places. Langlais traveled south from Maine, Barker came from nearby Greenville, South Carolina, Greer is from Cuthbert, Georgia, Britt arrived from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Parks hails from the East Coast. Greer and Langlais met at a jam one evening and they soon began to piece a band together over the next couple of years.
“I’ve been here in Asheville for 12-plus years now and about 15 years ago it really started to blow up as a music town,” says Langlais. “We met through that music scene. There were two bluegrass jams there, one that still goes on and one that hasn’t happened in years. The one jam that is still going on is at the Jack of the Wood pub on Thursday nights, and the other one was in nearby Black Mountain, NC, at the Town Pump. You can ask any bluegrass International Bluegrass
musician in Asheville, whether they have lived there for three months or 13 years, ‘How did you all meet?’ and the answer will probably be through one of those jams.” After Greer and Langlais decided to form a band, Barker came along soon after. Town Mountain really hit the ground running when Britt joined the group on fiddle.
All four of Town Mountain’s albums have featured mostly original songs except for one or two covers thrown in the mix. Every member of the group has had a hand in creating these new compositions. Recently, the group recorded two wellreceived albums for Pinecastle Records including Steady Operator and their newest effort, Leave the Bottle. Both projects were produced by Mike Bub, recipient of five IBMA Bass Player of the Year nods, as well as many other IBMA awards won during his time with The Del McCoury Band.
Town Mountain’s sound can be described as traditional bluegrass, albeit with a roughhewn side to it that is not too slick or glossy. They are definitely a band of the here-andnow, yet they also bring forth a groove that is based on the bluesy and rocking sounds made by the first generation of bluegrass pioneers.
“I feel like we’re closer to original bluegrass than a lot of bands out there today,” says Langlais. “I listened to a radio show recently that featured Ricky Skaggs and he flat-out said that Bill Monroe influenced rock and roll. He said that folks like Elvis and Carl Perkins and those guys were looking up to Bill Monroe. So, I feel like our band has a lot of that influence as well, of the blues and early rock. If you go back and listen to Monroe pre-Chuck Berry, those are Chuck Berry licks. A lot of music in the 1940s and
‘50s was so overlapping. It is easy to put genre labels on it today, 60 years later. But to be honest, it was all so new and it was influencing each other at the same time.”
Town Mountain will release a new album in 2014 and will ride the wave of their newfound momentum with appearances at many venues and festivals around the country. Those will include upcoming performances at Mountain Song at Sea at the beginning of February, Wintergrass, MerleFest, Suwannee Springfest, and more. As the year progresses, Town Mountain will also appear at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, the Grand Targhee Festival, the California Bluegrass Association’s Father’s Day Festival and others. More information and tour dates can be found at www.townmountain.net. International Bluegrass
Foundation for Bluegrass Music Announces Annual Grants to be Awarded in Honor of Mike Auldridge, Bobby Slone, Jim Shumate, and Don Tucker By Nancy Cardwell The Foundation for Bluegrass Music has announced August 1, 2014, as the deadline to apply for annual grants to support educational, literary and artistic activities related to bluegrass music. A fund of $10,000 has been earmarked to support public projects in 2015, with one to four grants in the amount of $2500 - $10,000 per program. This is a competitive application process and candidates must meet the Foundation’s Grant Application Guidelines. Of special interest are bluegrass music-related projects and programs that involve education or youth. Grants awarded by the Foundation in 2014 will honor the memories of four legendary figures in the bluegrass music world: resophonic guitar stylist Mike Auldridge, influential bluegrass fiddlers Bobby Slone and Jim Shumate, and Huck Finn’s Jubilee event producer, Don Tucker.
Originally from Washington, D.C., and one of bluegrass music’s most emulated Dobro players, Mike Auldridge’s first professional job was with Cliff Waldron and Bill Emerson’s band, “The New Shades of Grass.” In 1971 he co-founded The Seldom Scene, and in 1993 he formed a new band called Chesapeake with Jimmy Gaudreau, Moondi Klein and T. Michael
Coleman. A sought after studio musician, Auldridge recorded with Linda Ronstadt, Hank Williams, Jr., Emmylou Harris, James Taylor and Ry Cooder, in addition to a number of bluegrass artists. Mike toured with Lyle Lovett in 1998, and in 1999 formed “Auldridge, Bennett and Gaudreau” with Jimmy Gaudreau and Richard Bennett. Auldridge was honored with IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2004, and in 2012 he received the National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. Also a graphic designer, Mike designed several of the Scene’s early album covers, as well as the logo for Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
Originally from Hickory, North Carolina, Jim Shumate is considered one of the pioneers of classic bluegrass fiddling, serving as a sideman with each of the “bluegrass trinity” Hall of Fame bands: Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, The Stanley Brothers, and Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. While with the Blue Grass Boys from 1943-45, Shumate was the person who introduced Earl Scruggs to Bill Monroe. In 1948 he won the National Fiddlers Convention in Richlands, VA, and he worked briefly with the Stanleys. Later in ’48 he joined the Foggy Mountain
Boys, recording on their first Mercury recordings. Shumate was honored with the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1995, and he appeared in the CNN television special, Grass Roots to Bluegrass in 1999. He was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame in 2011, and in addition to working as a furniture builder in the Hickory, N.C. area, he also performed with his own band, Sons of the Carolinas, up until his death in 2013 at 91.
Born in Pike County, Kentucky, left-handed fiddle and bass player Bobby Sloan was a member of one of the most influential modern bluegrass bands: J.D. Crowe and the New South. Bobby started playing fiddle with J.D. in 1964 in Lexington, Ky., later moving to bass to record three albums with Crowe’s Kentucky Mountain Boys before The New South was formed in 1971. Four years later Sloan and Crowe, along with Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs and Jerry Douglas guesting on Dobro, recorded the legendary “Rounder 0044” album. Sloan toured Japan twice with the New South—once in 1975 and then again in 1979, playing both fiddle and bass. Bobby was with J.D. Crowe for 24 years, the longest tenure of any musician who ever worked with him. In 1989 Sloan left road touring to perform in the house band at the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in Kentucky.
Don Tucker, producer of the Huck Finn Jubilee at Mojave Narrows Regional Park in Victorville, and one of the pillars of the California bluegrass community, died last year at the age of 63. For 36 years, Tucker crafted a celebration of Americana that put visitors in touch with their roots and earned IBMA’s Bluegrass Event of the Year Award in 2001. Passionate about
landscape and design, Tucker, born in Riverside, CA, earned a landscape architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona. Tucker, who had an extensive career with the San Bernardino County Regional Parks Department, was also the CEO of DVT Marketing, a family-owned business that was created in the mid ’80s. He also served as a management consultant to the Ramada Hospitality Group, the County of San Bernardino, the City of Barstow, Lake Arrowhead Village, California Desert Tourism Association, and Calico Ghost Town. A longtime member of IBMA and a graduate of Leadership Bluegrass, Tucker was generous about sharing his event production and marketing skills with new festival promoters. His mentorship made a difference to many on the business side of bluegrass music. Grants awarded will be announced during IBMA World of Bluegrass week, September 30-Oct. 4, 2014, with funds
available after January 1, 2015. Taxdeductible donations to the Foundation for these and related efforts are welcomed in any denomination, and these grants will be funded regardless of donations received. The Foundation for Bluegrass Music is a non-profit (501c3) organization created to serve as an “umbrella” under which funds may be placed and disbursed to support educational, literary and artistic activities related to bluegrass music, of public benefit. Examples of programs that can grow under this umbrella include Bluegrass in the Schools (grants, workshops, programs); academic conferences; literary works and related efforts; public artistic presentation of an educational nature; historic preservation; and other works of a charitable nature. For more info, contact us by email or write to The Foundation for Bluegrass Music; 608 W Iris Drive; Nashville, TN 37204. Click here for a grant application form.
Crooked Road Festival March 19-23, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 8 PM Wayne Henderson & the Virginia Luthiers and special guests Mac and Jenny Traynham and Mountain Fling
Friday, March 21, 8 PM The Seldom Scene and special guest No Strings Attached
Saturday, March 22, 8 PM The Rickie Simpkins Quartet and special guests Hoorah Cloggers, Jen Barton, and Indian Run Stringband Visit artscenter.vt.edu for tickets and information on many free events around the New River Valley. Packages: The Oaks Victorian Inn and Clay Corner Inn
www.artscenter.vt.edu | Box Office: 540-231-5300 MOSS ARTS CENTER, 190 Alumni Mall Blacksburg, VA
American Queen Steamboat Company Presents
“Bourbon & Bluegrass” River Cruises in conjuction with ibma in august & september 2014
The American Steamboat Company, in conjunction with IBMA, will produce two nineday “Bourbon & Bluegrass” riverboat cruises on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, from St Louis to Cincinnati Aug. 29-Sept. 6, and then back from Cincinnati to St. Louis from Sept. 5-13. Individuals who identify themselves as IBMA members or say they heard about the cruise from IBMA will receive a $100 coupon that may be used for items in the gift shop or drinks. IBMA will receive 5% of fare rates collected for the Bourbon & Bluegrass cruises, which will help fund the trade association’s professional development and marketing efforts for bluegrass music year round. Fares, which range from $3,699 - $7,099 per person depending on the size and location of the cabin or suite, include five-star level meals and snacks (with complimentary beer and wine during dinner) during the week plus daily 18
entertainment. “Hop On – Hop off” guided bus tours of historic sites, museums and boutique craft shops at the following daily ports are also included with the package tour: Cape Girardeau, MO; Paducah, KY; Henderson, KY; Louisville, KY; and Madison, IN. Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, and Storefront Congregation have been booked for the Bourbon & Bluegrass tours in 2014, with additional lectures, bourbon and moonshine tasting events, and plenty of designated jamming areas. “I wish Bluegrass Hall of Fame member and riverboat pilot John Hartford was still with us to celebrate IBMA’s new collaboration with the American Queen,” said IBMA executive director Nancy Cardwell. “There’s a natural connection between bluegrass music and rivers—based on
the number of song titles alone that mention rivers and boats. A Mississippi/ Ohio River-based floating bluegrass festival experience sounds like a lot of fun for bluegrass fans. Like the ocean liner-bluegrass cruises a few of our members produce, this event will provide a place for the bluegrass community to enjoy access to some of their favorite artists and daily live performances, along with time to jam and enjoy each other’s company in a beautiful, natural setting with fascinating places to explore at every port. I hope the Bourbon & Bluegrass Cruise will become an annually anticipated event for fans on their bluegrass calendars.” The American Queen, with accommodations for 450, is the largest riverboat in the world. The steam engine paddle wheel-propelled boat hosts a range of amenities and programs including a state of the art gym, bicycles available for exploring port towns (as an option to the bus
tours), the American Queen Spa, meal options at the Front Porch Café and the River Grille in addition to the Romanov Dining Room, late evening entertainment at the Engine Room Bar and the Main Deck Lounge, Q&A presentations on the legend and lore of the river from the boat’s official “riverloarian,” and tours of the engine room and pilot house. If you are a current IBMA member, call the IBMA office at 615-256-3222 for your special discount code before reserving your spot on the boat (call 888-749-5280 or go to www.aqsc.com). If you are not a member, consider joining us to get your $100 onboard coupon. Thanks for supporting IBMA and bluegrass music by considering the Bourbon & Bluegrass riverboat cruise on the American Queen in 2014!
IBMA Membership: By Joe Lurgio Helping you save your BlueGra$$ Greens! The IBMA Membership Committee just wrapped up its first meeting in 2014 and I’m excited about all the energy the committee is bringing to the table. IBMA is comprised of many committees and they drive the organization with ideas and implementation of these ideas and tasks. Committee members are appointed by the chairperson of the IBMA Board of Directors. The committees are organized for specific purposes to ensure that various aspects of IBMA are led by volunteer members who are involved in making recommendations to the board and staff. Many times, committees are delegated a specific task, or they may have an ongoing mission created by the board. Most committees have a board and/or staff liaison who assists with many of the needs required to achieve their purpose. If you are curious who is representing the membership on the board or on any committee just click here.
Currently serving on the Membership Committee: • Charles Humphrey III (Artist – Steep Canyon Rangers), Committee Chair • Danny Clark (Hootenanny Publicity – Board of Directors, IBMA) • Ted Lehmann (Media – Bluegrass, Books, & Brainstorms Blog) • Tim Surrett (Artist – Balsam Range) • Elizabeth Wightman (Merchandiser – Treasurer, IBMA Board of Directors) • Phil Barker (Artist - Town Mountain) • Joe Lurgio IBMA Staff Liaison During the January meeting, the committee discussed a wide range of current and potential benefits, including specific ideas for improving existing and incorporating new benefits to provide more value to your membership. Outside of IBMA event discounts, as a group we are able to leverage our buying power to receive discounts and provide access to services not otherwise available individually. The larger our group is, the more buying “power” we have, so to speak, so please keep your membership current and remind your professional contacts to remain current as well.
Current Discounts Currently the IBMA offers discounted Event Liability insurance to members through SteelBridge Insurance. The plan offered is a special event, concert and festival Insurance program specifically designed to meet the unique needs of event producers, offering various coverage needs at an extremely affordable rate. The discounts are as much as 40-60% off standard rates, in many cases. For more information on the program please go to: http://www.steelbridgeins.com/ ibma-event-program/. The committee is working hard to bring more valued-added benefits to you, so keep your eyes peeled for emails and info in IB:International Bluegrass.
World of Bluegrass Discounts If you were in Raleigh last year, thanks for attending! If you weren’t, make plans to be there for WOB14. Registration, festival tickets and lodging will be released on March 3, 2014 to members only for two weeks (make sure your membership is active to get notifications) before they are opened to the general public officially on March 17. Discounts are available to members for all four events during World of Bluegrass: the Business Conference, the Bluegrass Ramble Showcases, the Awards Show, and the Wide Open Bluegrass two-day festival. In 2013, if you took advantage of member’s early bird pricing to all WOB events, you could’ve saved over $70.00 (approximately 16% off retail prices) per person. These discounts alone almost cover the cost of your professional membership. In 2014 we are planning to provide similar or better member discounts to our events. Information on 2014 discounts will be distributed within the next month via email and the March digital magazine. Remember to keep your membership up-to-date to make sure you are notified about registration and discounts for WOB14! If you are a merchandiser, event producer, service provider, etc…and are interested in providing IBMA membership discounts on your products, events, or services please contact email@example.com or call 615.256.3222. If you would like to inquire about the status of or would like to renew your membership, please email eddie@ ibma.org or call 615.256.3222. -Joe Lurgio Membership & Convention Services Director,IBMA.
Bluegrass Music Industry News | February 2014 On the Charts as reflected at press time Billboard: Alan Jackson, The Bluegrass Album at number one; Devil Makes Three, I’m a Stranger Here at number two; Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Love Has Come For You at number three. Bluegrass Today Monthly Airplay: Joe Mullins and Junior Sisk, “Wild Mountain Honey,” (written by Arthur Q. Smith) at number one; The Grascals, “When I Get My Pay,” (written by Dolton Robertson) at number two; and “That’s Kentucky,” by Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road (written by Tom T. Hall, Dixie Hall, and Troy Engle) at number three.
Bluegrass Unlimited songs: “Grandpa’s Way of Life,” by Spinney Brothers (written by Brink Brinkman) at number one; “I’m Putting on my Leaving Shoes,” by Big Country Bluegrass (written by Tom T. and Dixie Hall, and Troy Engle) at number two; and “The Mountain Doctor” by Don Rigsby (written by Larry Cordle and Don Rigsby) at number three. Bluegrass Unlimited albums: No Borders by Spinney Brothers at number one (Mountain Fever Records); Three Chords and the Truth by James King (Rounder Records) at number two; and The Streets of Baltimore by The Del McCoury Band (McCoury Music) at number three.
For the Record On New Year’s Eve, Nashville musician Steve Thomas and his wife Janet suffered severe damage to their home in a chimney fire. The community is rallying together for a benefit titled “Ashes of Love” to help the couple with the expenses. The benefit will take place February 20th at the Ernest Tubb Troubadour Theater in Nashville. The event will start at 6:45pm and there is a $20 suggested donation. With a star-studded cast lined up to play, this will be an easy way to help. Get details, tickets, or make a donation by clicking here. There’s a new festival in North Carolina celebrating bluegrass, Americana, and country music. The Galot Music Festival, June 6-8, takes place in Benton, NC. For the lineup and more details, visit www.galotmusicfest.com. The Bluegrass Heritage Festival takes place March 6-8 in Arlington, Texas. The lineup includes Blue Highway, Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice, Special Consensus and more. Visit www. bluegrassheritage.org for more information. The Rigneys have a brand new video for their single “Double or Nothin’” from their album by the same name. The song was penned by member Andrew Rigney, and producer Stephen Mougin. To see the video, visit www.therigneysonline.com.
Alex Hibbits has released his second solo album The Chronicles of Depression. Hibbits regularly plays mandolin for The Expedition Show and is the owner of Depression Lies Studio. Megan McNair has been promoted to Sugar Hill’s Director of Marketing and Media Relations, and Shannon Blauer has been promoted into a new role for the company as Manager of Marketing Administration. North Carolina’s Kevin Carter and Full Assurance have added Jacob Thompson on guitar and vocals. Lloyd Douglas and Jeremy Darrow have joined Michiganbased band Detour, who recently signed with Mountain Fever. The North Carolina band Cumberland River has announced its split, effective immediately. Brandon Green has joined The Darrell Webb Band on the banjo. American Drive has added two new members: Adam McIntosh on guitar, and Shayne Bartley on banjo.
Becky Buller has signed on with Dark Shadow Records and is in the studio working on a solo album. She still plays fiddle and sings harmony with Darin and Brooke Aldridge.
Justin Moses, banjo and occasional reso-guitar player for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder has left the band to pursue individual projects. Cory Walker will temporarily fill in for performances through March.
The Red Roots, a trio of triplet girls and IBMA members, have released their new album Triplicity. You can find it on iTunes and their website www.theredroots.com.
Terry Poirier has left Newtown as their bassist and joined The Spinney Brothers.
From the San Diego Bluegrass Society: Emma’s Gut Bucket Band celebrated the 85th birthday of founding member Al Grennan at their December 11th meeting. Al plays the bass and started the band with Amos and Emma Radcliffe 36 years ago. Wow!
Lynda and Jamie Dawson of Kickin’ Grass are celebrating the birth of their baby girl, Ella Jean Dawson. Lynda says she and Jamie had just seen Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott in concert the night before she gave birth – we think Ella was a fan and ready for more! Congratulations, Dawsons, including big sister Claire!
Doyle Lawson was honored by his record label Mountain Home Music, commemorating the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver song “Dixie Road” topping the prestigious Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine Monthly Song chart at #1 for December 2013. The Northern California Bluegrass Awards are distributed annually by the Northern California Bluegrass Society during their Bluegrass On Broadway festival. Bluegrass traditionalists Bean Creek won Best Bluegrass Band award, with their lead singer, banjo player and mandolin player receiving prizes as well.
Pioneer of contemporary folk music, banjo picker, environmentalist and activist Pete Seeger passed away of natural causes at age 94 in New York City. Seeger was responsible for writing, and making popular such classic folk tunes as “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “This Land is Your Land,” and far, far more. Beyond plucking his banjo and singing, Seeger was an advocate for human rights, environmental activism, and strove for peace and love across the world. His memory will forever live on.
National Hall of Fame Fiddler Herman Johnson, from Sparks, Oklahoma, passed away at age 94. Johnson claimed many titles in fiddling contests across the country after serving in the Army in WWII. He is a five-time National Championship Fiddler, a record yet to be broken. William McCormick of the McCormick Brothers Band passed away in December, 2013, in Oak Grove, Tennessee. He was 74 years old. Singer-songwriter Sarah Elizabeth Campbell of Austin, TX passed away in late December from cancer. She wrote many hit songs recorded and performed by John Prine, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and more. She was heavily involved in the Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society.
The 35th Annual Winter Bluegrass Weekend, produced by the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association takes place February 28-March 2 in Plymouth, MN. Visit www.minnesotabluegrass.org for details. The Utah State Instrument Championships are the fundraiser for the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association and will be held February 15 in Ogden, Utah.
Other winners included: Best Bluegrass Band – Bean Creek Best Male Vocalist – Billy Pitrone Best Female Vocalist – A.J. Lee Best Banjo Player – Pete Hicks Best Mandolin Player – Rob Horgan Best Guitar Player – Glen Dauphin Best Bass Player – Lisa Burns Best Dobro Player – Kathy Barwick Lifetime Achievement Awards were also given to four music teachers for their many years of service to the bluegrass community: Bill Evans, Jack Tuttle, Steve Palazzo, Lee Ann Welch. Congratulations, all! Bluegrass Underground is the recipient of four EMMY Awards from the 20th Mid-South Emmy Awards: Best Entertainment Program, Best Director-Program, Best Audio, and Best Lighting. The series, taped 1,000-ft deep with the Cumberland Caverns near McMinnville, TN were also nominated for EMMYs for Best Photography and Technical Achievement. Mandolinist Jim Reed from Shelbyville, KY and of the Ohio String Theory, passed away at age 47. Reed was a founding member of Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) bluegrass festival in Columbus, OH and is survived by his wife Lisa, son and daughter. The Reed family suggests that remembrances and expressions of sympathy be made as donations to Musicians Against Childhood Cancer, benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: MACC 1434 S 3B’s and K Road Galena, OH 43021 Kip Martin, bluegrass bass player, founder of the DC Bluegrass Union in 2003, songwriter and journalist, died January 29 in Lebanon, TN after a lengthy struggle with liver disease. Martin’s gigs included stints with Jimmy Martin, Darren Beachley, Mike Auldridge, Wayne Taylor, Norman Wright, Kevin Church, John Miller, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many more.” Kip also wrote music for the soundtrack of A Fool and His Money, starring Sandra Bullock. Kip was an active working musician in the Washington, DC, Nashville and Boston areas over the years. He was educated at Harvard University. (source: John Lawless, Bluegrass Today)
FRESH SOUNDS | FEBRUARY 2014
Ralph Stanley & Ralph Stanley II, Side By Side: When your father is a living legend, making a record with him might be a little intimidating. Fortunately, Ralph Stanley II (aka “Two”) has performed with his father and The Clinch Mountain Boys for over 20 years, and has established a successful solo career. He approached Dr. Ralph Stanley about making a duet album, and Side by Side is the final product, out on Rebel Records. Complete with the familiar, timeless haunting vocals of Ralph, the album takes listeners through Stanley Brothers classics, along with songs written by Shawn Lane, Ernest Tubb, and more. The Stanleys’ duets prove the mountain sound crafted by Ralph and Carter Stanley in the ‘40s and the enduring music created by Ralph and the Clinch Mountain Boys from 19662014 is still alive and hasn’t lost its significance in bluegrass music.
Tony Trischka, Great Big World: Tony Trischka…does he ever not deliver? Great Big World from Rounder Records is the banjo genius’ latest album, reminding fans of his artistic creativity and depth. Employing the likes of Michael Daves on vocals and guitar, fiddler Mike Barnett, mandolinist Mike Compton, and bassist Skip Ward, Great Big World has hands (or at last three fingers) in both the traditional and edgy. It’s a story-telling, contemplative, play-over-and-over piece of work. Impressive additional big-name guests aren’t in short supply either. From a Woody Guthrie favorite, to a mini-opera voiced by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott on “Wild Bill Hickok,” Great Big World is a great, big sure-to-be staple.
Blue Highway, The Game: The enduring ‘grassers Blue Highway present The Game from Rounder Records in their 20th year together. With fierce and deep vocals, soulful lyrics, and powerful instrumentals, the band whose members are so individually remarkable delivers their craft with fresh energy. Emotive original songs like “A Change of Faith in Tennessee” and a capella, album ending “Hick’s Farewell,” balance powerfully with driven tunes like the title track “The Game” and “Dogtown.” Tim Stafford (guitar, vocals), Jason Burleson (banjo), Rob Ickes (Dobro), Shawn Lane (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), and Wayne Taylor (bass, vocals) set out to prove that the first 20 years together were just the warm up, and The Game is just the beginning.
Rhonda Vincent, Only Me: The “New Queen of Bluegrass”- as dubbed by the Wall Street Journal comes out with her 15th studio album from Upper Management Music; a selfproduced combination project of bluegrass and country music. Two CDs come in one package: one bluegrass, one country. Each uniquely showcases Vincent’s award-winning vocals and masterful mandolin playing, tickling tastes on both side of the spectrum. Daryle Singletary and Willie Nelson contribute on vocals and guitar, respectively, on the bluegrass side. In the end, the album is a testament to her versatility and wisdom as an artist, proving that it’s only Rhonda, no matter which of the genres you decide to hear. Kristy Cox, Living for the Moment: Australian Kristy Cox is no stranger to success with multiple Australian Country Music awards to her name. But on her first project with Pisgah Records, Cox makes a louder name for herself by Living in the Moment. Produced by Jerry Salley, with a heavy-hitting team of songwriters (with Cox co-writing some herself), Living in the Moment has Cox pouring out songs of heartache, hope, and love – with spice. Session musicians include Stephen Mougin, Carl Jackson, Mike Bub, and more, providing a great setup for 2013 the Bluegrass Ramble Showcase artists’ well-crafted vocals. Out February 18, 2014.
HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD The European Bluegrass Music Association has announced the 6th European Bluegrass Summit will be held March 14-16, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Lonesome River Band will play a special show. Visit www.ebma.org/ebs2014 for more details. The Stetson Family from Australia announced they’ll have a new album out in 2014. In the meantime, they have a slew of tour dates all over Australia. Visit www. thestetsonfamily.com for details.
“Broken Circle Breakdown” is a Belgian film drama about a love story; the male is a banjo player in a bluegrass band and much of the film is circled around bluegrass music. The film has received a lot of attention not just from ‘grassers, but the film critics across the globe. We asked our friend EBMA chair and former IBMA International Rep, Rienk Janssen of The Netherlands to give us his take on the film. *Spoiler alert* This review contains a revealing of some plot points.
Switzerland’s Mala & FyrMoon have almost finished with recording their first band album. Mala says “it was an interesting, long and exciting process, with lots of learning and laughter!” The Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival, held in Moniaive, UK, will be held on September 26-28 2014. The full lineup will include two American, two Scottish, and two English bands: The four-piece band of Carpenter & May (USA), Whitetop Mountain Band (USA), Dirty Beggars (Scotland), the Mairs Family Band (Scotland), Dalebilly (England), and the Jaywalkers (England). Tickets will be on sale starting in April. More details are on the Festival website
WestWend has been added to the lineup for the 15th Spring Bluegrass Festival in Willisau, Switzerland on May 24, 2014 as part of a tour in Europe. They will be backed by a stellar band of Slovak musicians including Richard Cifersky, Michal Barok, and Anton Naroda. The Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Society of Australia reports the Peter Rowan Trio – made up of Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, and Chris Henry – will be at the Blue Mtns Folk & Roots Festival in Victoria, Australia in March.
--Final proof: Bluegrass = Heaven! Not long ago - and much too late, I know - I finally went to a movie theater to see the Belgian blockbuster production “Broken Circle Breakdown.” It was in Borne, NL, and before and after the showing of the film, the Bordertown Bluegrass Boys - Johannes Bodingius, Paul van Vlodrop & Ronnie Snippe showed the people in the foyer what bluegrass music is all about. I experienced the film as a bluegrass song becoming reality. The story, and the music as part of it, confirmed my belief
that bluegrass essentially is a very sad kind of music. Despite the very beautiful sights and sounds, of which the movie has plenty, everything in it turns out for the worst. For those who have not seen it, here’s the shortest possible summary: two good people find each other, they get a beautiful little daughter who dies of cancer, and their ways of dealing with the grief diverge quite drastically, until a bitter end.
But, in the course of the story, bluegrass music is sung and played (and the small amount of factual information about the music in the film is actually correct!), up until the scene around the final death bed. At that moment all is lost, but there still is the music. Which left me with the feeling that, at the end of a life of misery and desolation, you end up in bluegrass music. But wasn’t that the definition of heaven, when many of us still believed in it?
New Members: December 2013 The International Bluegrass Music Association congratulates and welcomes the following as new members: Kevin Pace
John B. Thomas
Rachael Ray Zill
Mark R. Crowder
Dr. Edward & Doris Stanley Bradley, LLB
Edward M. Betts
Lisa D. Brewer
Michael Mitchell Isaac Moore Jim Woolsey Lynna Woolsey
Thanks for joining IBMA!
IB International Bluegrass Vol.2 9 No.2 Feb. 2014