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International Bluegrass Vol 28, No 11, Nov. 2013

New project: Re-defining their format

Also in this issue ■■ Joe Mullins and Junior Sisk talk Hall of Fame Bluegrass! ■■ New healthcare policies: What you need to know ■■ Social Media 101: Get on the bandwagon - now!


World of Bluegrass official numbers are in! International Bluegrass

International Bluegrass International Bluegrass Music Association Vol. 28 | No. 11 | November 2013

Cover Feature


Creating a catalyst: YMSB’s new music format

News 4 | World of Bluegrass: The official numbers 8 |Q&A: Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins on Hall of Fame Bluegrass!

12 | Colorado floods affect many musicians 14 | Sound Healthcare: What’s new with Affordable Care Act

15 | Teacher Workshop at Country Music Hall of Fame 16 | World of Bluegrass photos 18 |Bluegrass Nation’s Backyard Bluegrass Sessions 18 | World of Bluegrass merch for sale 20 | Youth Council at WOB 24 | Social Media tips and tricks

Departments 3 | Editorial from Eddie Huffman 22 | Bluegrass Music Industry News

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 Designer: Erin Erdos Humann 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. The monthly emailed publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association 608 W. Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204 USA 615-256-3222 | 888-GET-IBMA | Fax: 615-2560450 Email: | Website:

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, staf or members of IBMA. Portions of International Bluegrass may be reprinted provided that explicitty citation of the source is made: “Reprinted with permission from International Bluegrass, the publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association,”

Thoughts from a first-timer by Eddie Huffman Is it crazy that World of Bluegrass 2013 still registers high on the mental activity meter? Maybe, but then again, how do you forget over 140,000 bluegrassers of all strains—artists, managers, talent buyers, merchandisers, journalists, fans, and more? I do not want to re-hash Nancy’s editorial from our previous issue of IB here, but I just wanted briefly share my impressions and experience as a first-timer. Working World of Bluegrass proved to be taxing mentally and physically. By the end of the week, I was answering the phantom call of my name ringing in my ear. I became a bit on edge, thinking everyone wanted to ask me questions. That fellow is not beckoning me; he’s waving to a friend behind me. Paranoid? Maybe. Exhausted? Definitely. In fact, I’m still thinking and writing in choppy statements rather than complete sentences because the mental capacity to do so, if it was ever there to begin with, has not returned. But for all this, and I might be exaggerating a bit there, looking out over the 6000 plus crowd Saturday night at the Red Hat amphitheater or snaking through the 60,000 outside at the street fair earlier that day was somehow soothing after a week of sixteen-hour work days. Viewing success unfold before one eyes is such a simple satisfaction, elegant and effective. The business conducted at World of Bluegrass forms the basis from which anything like Wide Open, Streetfest, or any other bluegrass festival (and many “roots” and “Americana” festivals, to boot) could ever spring forth. These festivals are symbolic of the success of the industry. They denote the state of our union, so to speak. Of course, a successful industry is what a trade organization is for, and that is what you all achieved at World of Bluegrass. You all made a 140,000-strong Wide Open Bluegrass a reality. Not by your physical presence, but by being the business, by discovering that emerging artist, by showcasing your talent, by connecting with your colleagues, by exhibiting your instruments, by putting records out, by producing festivals, by volunteering at your local associations, by producing radio shows and publications, and so much more. These are the seeds with which the bluegrass fields are sown. Your dedication enables our growth and harvest. When I looked over that crowd, I glimpsed the professional, creative, and vibrant fruits of our industry. The global musical landscape continues to unfold, and bluegrass music has great things on its horizon. You will take your experiences in Raleigh and apply them to your craft throughout the year. The IBMA staff will do the same. Of course, we’re already thinking about WOB 2014, but we’re also thinking about the interim (as not simply “the interim”). Our goal as a staff is to create opportunities for you to conduct business and nurture professional relationships and shape the musical landscape throughout the year, not for just one week in September. The staff is working to facilitate a more robust set of tools that connect bluegrass professionals around the world. A primary push in this direction is to provide increased member access to industry information and increased member-driven functionality. We also want to reach out to the membership directly; we want to hear your ideas. To this end we have established, for members only. So send us your thoughts, and let’s keep the momentum generated during WOB going! International Bluegrass


IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Generated $10 Million $5 Million

in Media Value. Thanks to our in Direct Visitor Spending and sponsors and attendees, this was possible.


orld of Bluegrass Week included: the four-day IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, Bluegrass Ramble evening showcases on seven stages five nights, the two-day Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, and the free to the public weekend Wide Open Bluegrass Street Fest which partnered with the N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue State Championships. Combined, these events brought approximately 84,000 visitors from outside of Wake County to the area, generating approximately 20,000 hotel room-nights. According to IBMA records, the cumulative attendance for the week was 146,894. In addition to the 140,000 on Friday & Saturday at Wide Open Bluegrass, this includes 2,259 at the IBMA Awards Show Sept. 26 and 4,635 cumulative attendees at the IBMA Business Conference.   Total attendance figures for the weekend, including both local and out-of-town attendees, were estimated to be 140,000, by the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau--with 60,000 on site Friday, Sept. 27 and 80,000 attendees on Saturday, Sept. 28 at paid and free stages.  In addition to the $10 million in direct visitor spending, IBMA’s World of Bluegrass also produced $5 million in media value for Greater Raleigh. This figure was researched and calculated by Vocus, Inc., a leading marketing cloud provider, which used the keyword terms “International Bluegrass Music Association” in conjunction with the word “Raleigh” during the past 12 months. Vocus, Inc., provided the media value based on nearly 2,000 domestic and international media impressions throughout a variety of mediums. 

IBMA reports the following statistics for World of Bluegrass events:  IBMA Business Conference 2013

4,635 Unique Attendees at IBMA Business Conference (8,636 cumulative attendees over 3 days, Sept. 24-26) *includes Bluegrass Ramble evening showcase attendance

94 attended the Leadership Bluegrass Alumni-hosted pre-event reception at Williams Mullen

101 booths at the World of Bluegrass Exhibit Hall (Thur – Sat, 9/26-28)

30 showcase bands (est 150 artists), who performed 3 times during the week

10 showcasing songwriters with 3 co-hosts

1,616 Professional Development attendees: 21 seminars, 1 keynote address, 2 storytelling sessions, 1 song demo listening session

250 appointments at Gig Fair (appointments for event producers and artists/ agents)

50 attendees at Leadership Bluegrass Master Class Tuesday, September 24.

300 Youth connected through the Youth Council Room, Wednesday through Saturday

1 General Membership Meeting with est. attendance of 50

200 estimated attendance at 8 Member Constituency Meetings, 1 breakfast meeting for new members & board members, 1 breakfast meeting for international attendees & board meetings

156 sets at 30 Bluegrass Ramble evening showcases on 7 stages Tue & Wed nights 9/24-25, 6 stages Thur night 9/26, 5 stages Fri & Sat nights 9/27-28  (326 5-day wristband attendees & 2,610 individual night attendees)

10 bluegrass bands presented educational bluegrass programs at local schools during the IBMA Business Conference, Sept. 24-26.

A BIG ‘THANK YOU’ - to -

Wide Open Bluegrass Festival 2013 •

140,000 total attendees at the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival (free to the public) & the paid stage areas of the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival combined (Friday: 60,000; Saturday: 80,000) 12,000 tickets purchased for 6000-seat Red Hat Amphitheater, sold out Friday & Saturday nights

16 sets on Red Hat Amphitheater stage

19 sets on Raleigh Convention Center stage

66 sets on Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival stages

12 presentations on Fri-Sat workshop stage

1 “Learn to Jam” workshop attended by 45

1 five-part “Emerging Bands” workshop, Sept. 27, attended by 15

101 Exhibitors (inside Raleigh Convention Center)

8 weekend educational seminars attended by 315

1 Youth Stage with 16 bands; Saturday organized by Youth Council

PNC Bluegrass Unlimited PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music and more! Turn the page for our comprehensive list of generous sponsors! IBMA Awards Show •

2,259 attendees at the IBMA Awards show

Post Awards Show Party/Concert hosted by Foundation for Bluegrass Music at Tir Na Nog, attended by 300+

Radio Broadcast live on Sirius XM and streamed live on and with over 10,000 viewers and listeners

Syndicated broadcast to 250+ Network Affiliates (mailed CDs)

Downloads from radio broadcasters around the globe through AirPlay Direct 

Largest Broadcast of any Bluegrass Special (broadcast coverage estimated +20 million worldwide)

ESTIMATED UNIQUE TOTAL ATTENDANCE FOR THE WEEK: 146,894 *IBMA Business Conference (4635 unique attendees) + IBMA Awards (2,259) + 140,000 at Wide Open Bluegrass Festival)  ESTIMATED CUMULATIVE TOTAL ATTENDANCE FOR THE WEEK: 150,895 *8636 Business Conference cumulative attendance for 3 days (includes Ramble attendees) + IBMA Awards (2259) + 140,000 at Wide Open Bluegrass Festival LOCAL/REGIONAL ECONOMIC IMPACT – ESTIMATED $10 MILLION in direct visitor spending for Raleigh and Wake County, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

It’s not too early to start thinking about sponsorship opportunities for World of Bluegrass 2014, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in Raleigh, NC! Contact Nancy Cardwell at (615) 256-3222 or for more information about how you can get involved. International Bluegrass



to Wide Open Bluegrass Presenting Sponsor PNC, IBMA Business Conference national sponsor Bluegrass Unlimited, & World of Bluegrass Host Sponsor PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music


to our partners in Raleigh, including our friends at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the World of Bluegrass Local Organizing Committee


to IBMA Awards Sponsors Deering Banjos, John Pearse Strings, Compass Records, BMI and the International Bluegrass Music Association, plus streaming broadcast sponsors Bluegrass Today and Intellitouch Tuners. And National Wide Open Bluegrass Festival Sponsor, D’Addario Strings

THANK YOU! THANKYOU! We Could NOT have done this without you!


to Business Conference & Wide Open Bluegrass sponsors: AirPlay Direct, BlueHIghways TV, CBA, Front Porch Fellowship, GearTrack, GEICO, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Martin Guitars, Homespun Tapes, Knee Deep in Bluegrass, Mast Farm Inn, Morgan Stanley, Musicians Against Childhood Cancer, New Belgium Beer, The North Carolina Pork Council, SteelBridge Insurance, and WAMU’s Bluegrass Country


to Bluegrass Ramble co-sponsors: Artists United to Protect Bristol Bay, Bluegrass in Cherokee, Bluegrass in the Plains, Christmas in the Smokies, Class Act Entertainment, Dark Shadow Recording, Deep River Management, Foreign Affairs, Foundation for Bluegrass Music, Make Welcome Entertainment, Good Home Grown Music, McCoury Music & Rainmaker Management, John Boy and Billy LLC, Pinecastle Records, Mountain Home Music Group, KCA Artists, Quicksilver Productions, MerleFest, Moonstruck Management, SteelBridge Insurance, and overall Ramble sponsor Yep Roc


to Awards Show co-sponsors Chris Stuart & Jon Weisberger, Director Allen Reep and crew. THANKS to Wide Open Bluegrass Festival co-producers Craig Ferguson & William Lewis, and all the fabulous artists who performed. THANKS to William Lewis, Taylor Traversari and the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival staff. THANKS to all of our wonderful Business Conference speakers & presenters, including keynoter Noam Pikelny. THANKS to all our smiling, hard-working volunteers.

And THANKS to so many of YOU reading this, for being with us in Raleigh this year. We’re looking forward to 2014 already!


September 30-October 4, 2014! International Bluegrass


Q&A: Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins on Hall of Fame Bluegrass  By Taylor Coughlin Banjo player, vocalist, and broadcaster Joe Mullins, nominated for 2013 IBMA Broadcaster of the Year, and 2013 IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Junior Sisk are both treasures to and ambassadors of traditional bluegrass music. Their individual histories in bluegrass lend conviction and emotion to their voices, and both are also revered for their instrumental mastery. Their roles as band leaders have cemented them as stalwarts in bringing time-honored bluegrass to the masses, Mullins with The Radio Ramblers, and Sisk with Rambler’s Choice. It really, then, is no surprise that creating an album honoring songs made known by Bluegrass Hall of Fame members would be done by two such musicians as Mullins and Sisk, who do the songs a glowing honor. International Bluegrass caught up with Joe Mullins and Junior Sisk by email to dig deeper into the makings of the album, which was released in October.

International Bluegrass: Briefly, what was the process in making this record? Joe Mullins We knew we wanted to sing together years ago. Junior asked me to sing and play banjo on one tune in his 2012 release with Ramblers Choice. We had a good blend and received very positive reviews. It encouraged us to pursue a project and Rebel Records was all over it! Junior Sisk We liked our blend [when Joe sang on my record]. [We] both thought it would be a great tribute to our pioneers in bluegrass. IB Whose idea was it to collaborate and cover these beloved songs? JM We both have a passion for first and second generation artists and songs. When we got serious about creating a CD, we found no artists or label had done an IBMA Hall of Fame salute CD. I then got excited by the challenge of seeing if we could sing that broad of a variety material. It was fun! IB Tell me about how you chose which songs to record out of such a broad catalog; there must have been a process in listening to and selecting these songs – what made the chosen ones stand out? 8

International Bluegrass

Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins with IBMA staff. L-R: Eddie Huffman, Taylor Coughlin, Junior Sisk, Joe Mullins, Nancy Cardwell, Joe Lurgio.

JM We had a few in mind quickly, tunes we knew had not been heard in years that fit us well. Then we had to start digging. Fortunately, I have a great collection of material from all the Hall of Famers. Balancing keys, tempos, content and so forth is always tricky, but we found a good collection. A few are tried and true, but some have never been covered. We rehearsed several that didn’t fit or got replaced with tunes we thought fit together better. We only argued over two tunes- Junior got his way with one and me the other! JS [We tried] finding songs that covered as many in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame as we could, and the rarest cuts as well.

JS Traditional Bluegrass music will never die. IB What did learning and recording these songs teach you? JM That so much original bluegrass was so great because it was not over arranged and over produced. Just pure, powerful picking and singing. Also, that it’s an honor to carry on the traditions established by so many devoted pioneers of our music.  JS There is so much good music that has been forgotten or lost. IB Did you discover anything new about the music, or yourself while in the studio? JM Yes, Junior can really sing high and I’m getting old! 



“Traditional Bluegrass music will never die.”

IB How did recording these old songs contribute to your personal growth as artists?

JM I loved the challenge of covering such a broad selection of material and still making a record that sounds current and sounds like Sisk and Mullins. Junior sang with such great feeling, as always. When a guy can sing songs originally done by everyone from A to Z, Red Allen to Mac Wiseman, and make them his own, it’s inspiring. And what fun playing with an award winning studio team! They kept us on our toes. JS I had forgotten a lot these gems myself. It was good to bring them back to life. IB What message do you hope to send by collaborating on this project, either together or separately? JM Well I hope it warms the heart of fans who enjoy forgotten classics. I also hope it served as a little history lesson for the younger fans and players. Lastly, I hope the performances are deemed a worthy tribute by our mentors in the Hall and IBMA members. 

IB Do you have future plans to tour together, playing songs from this album? JM If the occasion presents itself, we may go a few appearances together. We are both blessed to be extremely busy with our own bands. JS We hope to do some special shows together next year when we are billed together. [We’ll] most likely use our own members. IB Individually, what is your favorite song on the album, and what is your favorite song together? JM I love the old Don Reno gospel tune “I’m So Happy.” I think Junior sang the socks off of “Single Girl, Married Girl.” And it inspired us to play with a rich feeling. Hope folks agree.  JS “No Blind Ones There.” All of them! Hall of Fame Bluegrass! was produced by Joe Mullins and Junior Sisk and released on Rebel Records. The album features Joe Mullins on banjo and vocals, and Junior Sisk on guitar and vocals. The band includes: Jesse Brock (mandolin), Jason Carter (fiddle), Dudley Connell (guitar), Marshall Wilborn (bass), Rob Ickes (Dobro), Mike Terry (baritone vocals on “I’ll Drink No More Wine,” and “I’m So Happy”), and Billy Hawks (bass vocal on “I’m So Happy”). International Bluegrass


Creating a catalyst: YMSB’s new music format By Taylor Coughlin

The pursuit of ‘what next?’ is something a band or artists face in their career, and it’s something that progressive bluegrass Coloradoans Yonder Mountain String Band have seemed to always embrace. This time, the answer to their ‘what next’ has given them a catalyst in redefining your run of the mill studio album. Bass player Ben Kaufmann spoke to International Bluegrass on behalf of the band before their Harvest Music Festival in Ozark, Arkansas in late October. Citing extensive touring and the band becoming more family oriented, he said it was time to do things differently when it came to producing and recording their in-studio work. “The things that have worked for bluegrass bands in the past have never really fit us,” he said. “So we thought: let’s just do something different and see if it works for us, and see if other people like it.” What they decided to do was of no surprise to fans that have come to expect the unexpected from the four-piece string band: release a series of self-produced, four-song EPs from their own label, Frog Pad Records, recorded in different studios across the country while out on tour. “We’ve got these days off on the road when we’re already


International Bluegrass

playing together, and playing really well and connected… [we thought] let’s just drop the idea that we have to do anything in any one way, and let’s see what works for us,” Kaufmann explained. The first EP in the series, YMSB ’13, features a song written and sung by each member. “Straight Line” by Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals), “Don’t Worry Happy Birthday” by Dave Johnston (banjo, vocals), “Rag Doll” by Jeff Austin (mandolin, vocals) and special guest songwriter Danny Barnes, and “All the Time” by Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals). Each song has a distinct character and tells a different story, and wholly sounds like the band at its best. “The time it took to record these four songs was really an approachable amount of work,” Kaufmann said. “The good part was, we knew we could go and sink our teeth into this work and at the end we were actually going to make something and release it. That’s pretty satisfying.” Kaufmann said recording this way has breathed new life into the band’s ambitions and flows well with their oftrenegade way of doing things in the bluegrass/jam string band vein. Their spirit of do-it-yourself and independence has always been a signature in their artistry. With this new

venture, the band’s ubiquitous liberty has been nurtured and propelled even further. “There’s a whole new way that we can operate that is completely removed from any traditional album release. We are completely independent of almost any mainstreamed, structured thing and we really can do it our own way,” he explained. “It’s really time to make our own way about it, and I think this series of EPs is the thing.” With each of these EPs being self-produced (read: no producer to pay); frequent, new material to release; and the worldwide decrease of whole record sales, this new method is exciting and may also prove to be financially sound. “By scaling everything back…what I’ve found is: the finances aren’t as scary. And we get to produce it ourselves, which is something I’ve been looking forward to doing for so long, because we’re ready now to do it,” Kaufmann said. “The stuff we learned from watching Tom Rothrock work was invaluable, and really, that’s why you spend the money to hang around serious producers, because if you’re paying attention and doing it right, you learn so much.”

The first on-tour, in-studio recording process was a catalyst in producing more ideas for the band, giving them a newfound spark. “There are so many of these cool studios all over the place,” Kaufmann said. “If we have two days off in New York City, Asheville, or Chattanooga, and each of these places has these cool, moody, groovy studios that inspire music and creativity, we could actually come up with producing more material this way than if we were just waiting for an album and then another album, and another album.” As YMSB ’13 picks up in downloads and sales, and as the

This new way certainly works for the band, but it will also appeal to their hungry, loyal fan base, always eager for new

“We’re not living in a world where Yonder can wait four years between releasing albums anymore.” material. “We’re not living in a world where Yonder can wait four years between releasing albums anymore. We’re living in a world where we should release something every year, maybe even more than once a year,” he realized. Fans will also appreciate the new avenue it gives YMSB ways to apply their wide reaching ideas, and stretch their creative musical muscles. “It inspires creativity for me because it means that not only can we release several of these EPs where each of us sings or writes a song for the record,” Kaufmann explained, “we can release a four-song EP featuring one writer. There are a lot of different ways to do it. It’s something exciting that we can make fit in ways that other things really haven’t fit.” YMSB ’13 was recorded in the “vibey” Electric Audio studio in Chicago during a two-day break in the band’s schedule. The studio attracted them because of its moody energy, recommendations from friends, and an engineer who was a friend and someone they were comfortable working with.

tour continues (they’re on the road until the end of the year), they’re already looking ahead with anticipation and a willingness to create. “We’ve got studios all over the country that are candidates, and we’re sitting on material. [Banjo player]Dave [Johnston]’s got this new tune that’s kind of got a Motown feel to it, so I’m already starting to think what we could do with that,” Kaufmann contemplated. Despite the trend-setting, trailblazing format, the band still knows their bottom line: “All we’ve got to do is generate as much recorded music and play as many live shows as soon as we can. Just continue to produce that stuff and produce it as regularly as we can,” Kaufmann said. “That’s the job, there’s no other trick to it.” Yonder Mountain String Band is from Nederland, Colorado outside of Boulder, which was recently struck by a thousand year flood (see “Floods Devastate Colorado on page 12). As is standard with YMSB around New Years, they will play a five-night stint at the Boulder Theatre in Boulder, Colorado December 27-31.They will dedicate Monday night, December 30th to helping those affected by the flood with a clothing and food drive, and gathering of prominent local and regional artists to play. All proceeds from the 30th will go toward flood relief.

Flood Devastates Colorado

Lyons Jam organizes fundraiser for musicians

By Garian Vigil The Story of the Flood In the early morning hours of Thursday, September 12, 2013, food waters swept through many of the mountain towns west and north of Boulder. In Lyons, residents, including me, were sheltering at friends’ homes that were well above the river that runs through our picturesque foothills community. Most of us could not sleep, as the sound of rain pummeled us, the emergency sirens pierced the night and the river roared like a freight train through the valley. As daylight broke, we wandered first out to porches, then to sidewalks and finally to the edge of the rushing waters that poured across bridges and through homes. It was shocking. It was surreal. Some of us were trapped across washed out bridges; some of us were trapped inside homes. None of us knew the extent of the damage. All day and into the evening we traded messages with people across town by text and Facebook. We took roll call. We saw pictures of flooding and damage. We contacted friends and relatives from out of town to tell them we were safe. We talked with reporters and gave our first hand experiences. Then we lost power. We lost our connection to each other and to the outside world. That was when we felt more trapped than ever. We hoped for the best but knew it was going to be bad. When we awoke on Friday morning, the waters had receded enough to allow us to wade across the river and see the extent of the damage. I walked with a friend to check on the trailer park near Planet Bluegrass. Walking just one block across the 5th Street Bridge, I started seeing the debris. There were festival tickets lying in the mud. At Broadway & 5th, I saw a church pew from the Wildflower Pavilion stuck upside down in a pile of wood, sand and rocks. I knew that the Planet had to be completely underwater, even at that point. I cried, thinking about being at RockyGrass just a little more than a month earlier. That morning we held the first of a handful of daily town meetings in Sandstone Park. We were told we could stay or evacuate in trucks, but we wouldn’t be able to drive our cars out because all of the highways were washed out or covered in rushing water. Most people who lived south of the river in central Lyons were unable to reach their homes to even view the damage. We could see from the edge of the water that things didn’t look good. I worried for friends, as most did not have flood insurance. Musicians stuck in town had to cancel gigs for Friday night. They worried about the status of instruments or equipment that had been left behind in the rush of taking shelter to higher ground. Most of us did not want to leave until we knew the status of our homes, pets and belongings. By the weekend, Red Cross helicopters chopped the air above us. The Army Reserve had set up at the fire station. We were told FEMA would be arriving. And my musician friends saw first hand what their homes looked like. Along the river, houses were swept off their foundations. Mud had poured into doors and windows. Cars, trucks and band vans were swept a block away and buried in sand. And sadly, instruments and equipment were damaged, some beyond repair.


International Bluegrass

When the Water Calmed Down As Tuesday approached, KC Groves, who had learned that her own home had been spared, thought about the Lyons Jam. The Jam has been held every week at the original Oskar Blues Brewery for 10 years with no cancelations, even during the heaviest of snowstorms. KC says she knew she wanted to keep the jam going as a symbol of the Lyons music community. She contacted Dale Katechis, owner of Oskar Blues, about moving the jam to one of his Longmont venues. “He got back to me and said, ‘Let’s move it to CHUBurger and hey, let’s turn this into a benefit,’” KC says. She decided it would be a fundraiser specifically for musicians affected by the flood. She started posting about it on Facebook and soon it became something bigger. “It kind of took on a life of its own. We raised almost four grand that first night,” she says. There were folks who couldn’t make it that night who wanted to help, so she found herself trying to figure out how to include their donations. She went to Wells Fargo where she set up a special account for the Lyons Musicians Relief Fund. She enlisted a board to help with a mission statement and to sift through the neediest cases to disburse funds. “With the money we raise, we are trying to ease the burden for musicians. Different people have different needs. Some people lost income due to canceled gigs, others lost instruments, amps or cars. Some lost everything,” KC says.

The Aftermath and the Future Path Among those who lost their homes are singer/ songwriter Danny Shafer, who lived in the trailer park across from Planet Bluegrass. His van was swept into a tree down the street and his home was full of mud. Though he was able to save a few belongings, the home is a total loss. Dave Tiller and Enion Pelta-Tiller (Taarka) had a home and a small recording studio south of the river in old town Lyons. The home next door was swept off its foundation into theirs and the river raged through the middle of their house. It is so bad that even volunteer groups refused to even try to help salvage belongings from the home. Thousands of dollars in equipment and instruments are completely beyond repair. The devastation is breathtaking.

Planet Bluegrass is now covered in deep grit and sand. The river had diverted down the center of the festival grounds in front of the main stage. Equipment, furniture, papers, records and appliances were swept away or buried. Obviously, the entire fall concert series at the Wildflower had to be canceled and most folks who saw the damage presumed that RockyGrass would have to be canceled or moved next year. But Planet Bluegrass President Craig Ferguson vows that it will be business as usual next summer. As soon as he was allowed back in, he had equipment there in an attempt to divert the river back to its original path. Stay in touch with Planet Bluegrass on Facebook as they may be hosting a volunteer day sometime soon as they attempt to dig out the massive amount of mud and sand that was deposited there.

How to Help These are but a few of the many Lyons musicians affected by this tragedy. If you would like to donate money specifically for them, please go to any Wells Fargo and donate to the Lyons Musicians Relief Fund, Account # 3868653936. There is also a Facebook page set up for the Fund, just click here. Until water service is restored to Main Street businesses, the Lyons Jam will be held on Tuesday nights at CHUBurger on Ken Pratt Boulevard in Longmont, Colorado. For more information contact KC Groves or Eric Thorin, jam hosts, or sign up for the Lyons Jam email list by sending an email to

Additional Assistance Individuals who derive most or all of their income from the bluegrass music industry are also encouraged to apply for financial assistance from IBMA’s Bluegrass Trust Fund. To request an application form, call (615)256-3222 or email Nancy Cardwell at

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Sound Healthcare: What’s new with Affordable Care Act? As the final provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out, it’s time to prepare for the transition: •

Lock in your rate: Health insurance plans underwritten in 2013 can remain in effect throughout the 2014 plan year. These plans will be less expensive than those written in 2014.

Understand your options: Learn the difference between “On the Exchange” and “Off the Exchange” regarding the guaranteed issue policies with effective dates January 1, 2014 and beyond.

Review your coverage: Staying put may be your best option. Let the experts at Sound Healthcare assist you in making your decision

The International Bluegrass Music Association alliance with Sound Healthcare provides you with direct access to advocacy and counsel regarding healthcare reform. Give us a call at 615-2568667 for a quick reform readiness checkup. RJ Stillwell will be participating in a webinar for IBMA members Tuesday, December 3, 2013 so be sure to “attend”! Registration for this webinar is free to all current IBMA members, as a membership service. Call Taylor at (615)256-3222 to reserve your spot.

Sound Healthcare Breaking News! Introducing Sound Financial IBMA & Sound Healthcare’s new partnership with New York Life means IBMA members have healthcare advocacy for: : • Life Insurance • Long Term Care • Disability Income Protection • 401(k) Plans • Wealth Creation and Preservation Strategies For the past several years IBMA has trusted Sound Healthcare to maximize its buying power to provide added value benefits at reduced cost. To discover what Sound Financial can do for you, call today!

Sound Healthcare/Sound Financial 555 Church Street, Suite 2403 Nashville, TN 37219 615-256-8667 14

International Bluegrass

IBMA, Foundation for Bluegrass Music & Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Collaborate on Teacher Workshop in Nashville November 8

If you are a classroom or music teacher in the Nashville area, you’re invited to a free, interactive “Utilizing Bluegrass Music in the Classroom” workshop Friday, Nov. 8, from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the new Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

For information and registration, contact Nathalie Lavine at 615.416.2088 or Registration for all Metro Nashville educators is at this link: https:// Sessions will include presentations on the history of bluegrass music with the Foundation’s Discover Bluegrass DVD as a resource, a banjo lesson, instruction in clogging and square dancing, a demonstration of the instruments used in a bluegrass band with a live, professional band, a sing-along workshop on bluegrass vocal harmony, and more. Lunch will be on your own from 12:15-1:15 p.m., and attendance certificates for professional development will be distributed. Educators from Nashville are welcome to register also. The workshop is sponsored by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, The Foundation for Bluegrass Music, and IBMA.

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Say Cheese! More photos from World of Bluegrass 2013!

Finnders and Youngberg play at the Bluegrass Ramble showcase (Photo by Willa Stein)

Children enjoy music at the Red Hat Amphitheater (Photo by Willa Stein) 16

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Tony Williamson presents a seminar on vintage instruments (Photo by Dave Brainard)

The Steel Drivers WOB 2013 (Photo by Dave Brainard)

The Bluegrass Youth All Stars play at the Awards Show (Photo by Willa Stein)

Banjo Pride WOB 2013 (Photo by Dave Brainard)

The Ozaki Brothers accept the Distinguished Achievement Award on behalf of the East Mountain Boys (Photo by Alane Anno) 17

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New Backyard Bluegrass Sessions Bluegrass Nation’s series of artists’ recordings in the backyard (or sometimes in the IBMA conference room, if the weather’s disagreeable) has picked up steam! Watch our latest videos of 10 String Symphony, made up of duo Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer, and Swedish bluegrass band G2. Keep an eye out on Bluegrass Nation for these videos coming up: Aoife O’Donovan, Wood & Wire, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, John Jorgenson Band, Junior Sisk & Joe Mullins, Chasing Blue and more! If you’re passing through Nashville, let us know and we’ll set up a time to hang out in the Backyard. Contact Taylor at

Wide Open Bluegrass t-shirts and posters for sale Did we run out of your size, or were you too busy in seminars and attending shows to get your World of Bluegrass t-shirt for 2013? Lucky for you, IBMA’s online store has sizes small-3XL, in a short sleeve ($20) or long sleeve ($25) option, blue or green, AND a full lineup of this year’s festival bands printed on the back. Click here to buy your shirt! We’ve also got World of Bluegrass posters from 1998 all the way up until 2013 for sale for $5 ($10 for 2013). Browse the store and get some bluegrass inspired artwork for your home, office, tour bus, or tour van.


International Bluegrass

Created in 2007, the Foundation for Bluegrass Music is a non-profit charitable organization (501c3) created to serve as an “umbrella” under which funds can be placed and disbursed to support educational, literary, artistic and historic preservation activities of public benefit. Donations may be designated to create or sustain a particular program or may be unrestricted. And by combining it with the gifts of others, the legacy of the music and your contribution grows and takes on even greater importance. All gifts – no matter the size – are acknowledged and are tax deductible as a charitable donation.* Make a donation today. Visit the Foundation website or call 615-256-3222 for information.


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Some examples of programs that can grow under this umbrella: • Bluegrass in the Schools (grants, workshops, other resources) • Academic conferences • Literary work and related efforts • Public artistic presentations of an educational nature • Historic preservation • and other works of a charitable nature

Youth council takes off at WOB | 2013



World of Bluegrass 2013 brought about many new changes for the International Bluegrass Music Association. The new city of Raleigh, and the addition of the free Street Festival aligned with the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival gave an extra appeal to those who don’t normally attend World of Bluegrass events.

But let’s get down to the fun part, the cool part: the YOUTH! All week, the «Who›s Feeling Young Now» room (taken from a popular Punch Brothers› song) was open for kids and youth to gather, jam, and hang out. Here›s what happened for youth during World of Bluegrass 2013: •

Youth Council programmed the Youth Stage on Saturday featuring Ash Breeze Band, The Willis Clan, Lonesome Meadow, Snyder Family Band, Vickie Vaughn Band, and Flatt Lonesome. 

The bands Della Mae, Flatt Lonesome, and The Bankesters all came to hang out and jam with the youth. How cool is that?

About 60 were in attendance for the kickoff party on Wednesday which had free pizza, soft drinks, and hot jamming.

Meeting for those interested in the Youth Council and planning youth activities

Bluegrass Youth All Stars, coached by Stephen Mougin, Tony Watt, and Laura Orshaw played at the IBMA Awards Show. The Youth Council were heavily involved in the production of this ensemble. Reps from the Youth Council also handed out trophies onstage at the IBMA Awards Show Sept. 26. . 

Kids on Bluegrass - led by Kim Fox - rehearsed during the week and performed at the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival on Friday, and the senior KOBG performed at the BMI Nominees Reception before the Awards Show.

Bluegrass Today wrote a terrific article on the happenings which you may read here. All in all, about 300 came in and out of the “Who’s Feeling Young Now” room Wednesday through Saturday of World of Bluegrass. The goals of the Youth Council include:speak collectively for the youth of IBMA, facilitate youth projects and industry mentoring opportunities, and work to share bluegrass music with more young people. To be kept in the loop with what›s going on with the Youth Council, call the IBMA office (615)2563222, or email Taylor at 20

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Leadership Bluegrass 2014 application deadline: November 15 Time is running out to apply for Leadership Bluegrass 2014! Held March 20-22, 2014 at BMI, and the law firm of Bone, McAllester and Norton in Nashville, Tennessee, Leadership Bluegrass is a three-day, intense, unique opportunity for industry leaders looking to explore bluegrass in the larger world of entertainment. Seminars with top insiders, networking opportunities, and critical thinking sessions are part of the program, and more. Leadership Bluegrass is seeking applicants who have: •

A sincere commitment, motivation and interest in serving the bluegrass community today and in the future.

Relative bluegrass community involvment and industry experience.

An interest in advancing one’s own professional or volunteer leadership roles within the bluegrass music industry. The opportunity and commitment to take the time the program requires for completion.

If this sounds like you, or if you have someone you’d like to recommend, the deadline is November 15.  Download an application here, print, fill out, and send to: IBMA c/o Leadership Bluegrass 608 W. Iris Drive Nashville, TN 37204 Read more about Leadership Bluegrass here.

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Bluegrass Music Industry News | November 2013 On the Charts as reflected at press time Billboard: Alan Jackson’ The Bluegrass Album is at number one for its fourth week in a row. Love Has Come For You by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell is at number two. The Isaacs’ Living Years is at number three.. Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart: Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road “That’s Kentucky,” at number one, “There is a Time” by Alan Jackson at number two, and “Big Blue Raindrops” by Del McCoury Band at number three. Bluegrass Unlimited Songs: “They Called It Music,” by Gibson Brothers at number one, “Dixie Road” by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver at number two, and “Steel Drivin’ Man” by Dailey & Vincent at number three. Bluegrass Unlimited Albums: They Called It Music by Gibson Brothers at number one, followed by Brothers of the Highway by Dailey & Vincent, and It’s Just a Road by The Boxcars at number three. Donna Ulisse celebrated the release of her new CD, Showin’ My Roots, on 650 WSM AM radio on the Coffee, Country and Cody show. The hour included some live performances of the songs off the album by Donna & The Poor Mountain Boys as well as interview segments between Bill Cody and Donna. Several tracks were also featured for the listeners. The album release party was October 22 at the Station Inn.

For the Record

The Darrell Webb Band has signed with Mountain Fever Records and will release their 20th Anniversary celebration album in early 2014. Larry Stephenson celebrated the release of his new album What Really Matters on October 12. Folk Alliance International seeks a new Executive Director. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director supervises and directs all aspects of Folk Alliance’s operations and is responsible for the consistent achievement of the organization’s mission. Read more about the organization, job description, and how to apply here. Jeremy Abshire left The Grascals as their fiddler to pursue other musical opportunities. The Grascals have since welcomed Adam Haynes as their new fiddle player. Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers welcomed new bandmember Randy Barnes on bass. Red June has partnered with Organic Records for their third album about which the details have yet to be released. Rural Rhythm has announced the new Locust Ridge album will be name Healed and released on Rural Rhythm Christian. The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN, continues its “Bluegrass and Beyond” series on Saturday, November 9 featuring top players Jim Hurst, NewTown, Tim May and Gretchen Priest May with Alan O’Bryant, and the Claire Lynch Band. The bands will perform at 11am, and 2pm. Admission to the performances is included with a museum ticket. For more information, visit the Hall’s website. Randall Franks shares his talents for a new Share America Foundation fundraising CD. Mountain Opry Memories is a collection of impromptu performances and is available for a $16 donation at or to the Share America Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 42, Tunnel Hill, Ga. 30755.  On November 7th at the University of Colorado Macky Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, bluegrass artists Hot Rize with Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers will be presenting a benefit concert to aid victims of the recent Colorado floods.


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For the Record (cont.)

Jose Martinez, longtime drummer of Leftover Salmon has announced his retirement. Alwyn Robinson has been named the new drummer for the band.

Bobby Hicks is among the honorees receiving the 2014 North Carolina Heritage Award for his legendary work as a fiddler. A Blue Grass Boy who originally started on bass, Hicks switched to fiddle early on and cut records with Bill Monroe, played with Porter Wagoner, and played in Las Vegas on the Judy Lynn Show. In more recent years, Hicks has made a statement with his fiddle playing in The Bluegrass Album Band and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. Hicks, along with four others, will be honored in May 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Standing O!

The Roys received their third Inspirational Bluegrass Artist award at the 19th annual Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Faith, Family & Country Awards in Nashville on October 24. Australian bluegrass and country artist Kristy Cox received the 2013 Capital News Australian Independent Female Vocalist of the Year Award, for the current single “I Hate That I Still Love You’ from the album, Miles and Timezones. Kristy also received the Australian Independent Artist of the Year Award. Bluegrass/folk/rock musician Chris Hillman was recently awarded the FAR WEST Best of the West 2013 award by the West region of Folk Alliance International. The Awards honor individuals who have maintained an enduring presence in the folk and acoustic music scene in the West, inspiring others by embodying folk values and traditions. Congratulations to Bluegrass Underground who has gotten recent national press attention on NBC Nightly News and American Profile Magazine. Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN has recently established a new scholarship honoring bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs. The Ricky Skaggs Endowed Scholarship has been established as part of the Students First campaign. Those interested in making a donation to the scholarship can contact the Carson-Newman Advancement Office by phone (865-471-3245) or email. Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC, recently received a $20,000 matching grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership (BRNHAP) to develop and implement an Appalachian Heritage Arts Music Program at the college.  Music Heritage is identified as one of the core interpretive themes for the BRNHAP focusing on traditional music with significant history in the region. Congratulations to Jeremy Chapman (The Chapmans) and Shaylon (Gray) Chapman who were married in Missouri on October 26.

In Remembrance

Legendary bluegrass fiddler Jim Shumate passed away at age 91. He served as a member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in the early 1940s, before Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs joined. Shumate lived in Hickory, NC.

William Denver Duncan of West Virginia passed away at age 84. Bill played guitar for Bill Monroe in 1957 and 1960. Doug Davidson of Kentucky passed away after a short and tragic bout with cancer. He was 45 years old. Davidson recently joined Laurel River Line earlier this year on resonator guitar. Messages of condolence can be left on the funeral home web site. Alex Campbell of Maryland has passed away at 90 years old. Campbell was a well known bluegrass musician and disc jockey, and tireless promoter of bluegrass music.

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Heard WhyWorld it’s time to jump on the bandwagon SocialRound Media:the by Taylor Coughlin

The Bluegrass Beeg Festival is a new acoustic and autism-friendly bluegrass Grevenbicht in Limburg, one of the Dutch provinces, close to Belgium and GerWhether you’re engineer, or record2label, The festival takes placean onartist, October 26, 2014luthier, in Oosproducer, Hoes, Schoolstraat in 6127 BG Grevenbicht, from noon until approximately midnight. There is nostrategy. admission much of your success is dependent upon your marketing fee, so everybody can come freely to enjoy in bluegrass music, for theone firstthing time And while many thingsin are changing the music industry, in thisisarea. The social festivalmedia will be has organized in aone wayof that will beeffective easy for people certain: become theit most and with various degrees of autism to attend, or to function as volunteer. cost efficient ways to target your listeners, buyers, and potential business

festival in many.

contacts. Wookalily, the ‘female-led Americana folk band’ from Northern Ireland announced that their debut full-length CD will be released soon. Here are some surprising facts about social media:

Swedish bluegrass band G2 are planning to record their next album in the spring of 2014 at J Studio in According a reportitby Business Review Analytic Services and based Nashville, with the aim oftoreleasing on Harvard an independent American label. G2’s banjo-player Jens Koch is on research by Forrester, third of adults postcompiled; at least once week on social quoted as saying that half the material forathe album is already but heaadds:

networking sites and 70% read blogs and Tweet and watch YouTube videos.

We would really like to get some good originals written outside of the band... So, people are still Regardless yoursongs. audience, chances arematerial at leastfrom some of them are Facebook, welcome toof send We are waiting for some writers outon there and can’t wait to LinkedIn, or another social media site. listen to it. Songwriters are advisedistothe contact the band through theirweb, website or Facebook page.resource for traffic YouTube #2 search engine on the making it one great

and leads.

The documentary film Banjo Romantica by Lee Bidgood PhD has been finished. It is based on Lee’sYouTube research in thebe Czech tellsthan the story howvideo. bluegrass The docucan usedRepublic, for muchand more a sillyofcat Use developed it to createthere. fun, engaging ment content was introduced at the Banjo Jamboree and White Stork festivals as well as at a university Brno. like “How To Tune Your Dobro by Jerry Douglas” or “Behind the scenes on in tour More with info: Balsam Range.” YouTube lets you be creative and share your talents, expertise, and

knowledge to an audience you may not have reached otherwise.

The young talented band Twisted Timber won the award ‘Talent of the Country Radio’, the only Czech radio that plays country, will folk,account and bluegrass music. Facebook for 13% of worldwide mobile ad revenue in 2013 (source: L2). Folk Music Ontario has awarded Mike the Estelle KleinorAward. The award is while Facebook can(in beCanada) a great tool in sharing andStevens promoting your band business for free, named after Estelle of Canadian music one of can the early founders offering other Klein, ways atolong-time promoteadvocate or advertise for you Folk based on and rates you set for yourself. of the Folk festival scene in this country. During his career, Stevens has had hundreds of performances at the Grand 69% Ole Opry. He isbusiness-to-consumer also known for his work connecting artists with indigenous youth of online marketers creative use Twitter, compared to 80% for in isolated communities as part of the ArtsCan Circle. business-to-business (source: Brafton)

Twitter has become a resource for people to communicate with their favorite artists, brands, and companies. Twitter provides a simple platform for YOU, the artist/brand/company to respond directly to your fans and consumers, building loyalty and support.

A significant 83% of marketers said social media was important to their business.

Social media is worth your time if you care about building new connections, increasing exposure, and creating a buzz.


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Tips and Tricks: Social Media 101 If you’re just getting started with social media, here are some best practices: 1. Form a strategy – Identify your purpose and don’t be afraid to start slow to develop your presence. 2. Set your goals – They should be specific, attainable, realistic, and timely. 3. Make the time – Don’t start unless you’ve got the resources to maintain your efforts. Research to see what works best for others, and what works best for you to create the best plan. 4. Lose the fear, jump in – Be active, listen, and respond! 5. Measure successes and failures – Did you reach a broader audience and get a few more people to your gig? Did your campaign fall flat and not reach your intended audience? Check out what works best for you. Is it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest? A combination of a couple? Every artist, brand, and audience is unique, and part of the fun is finding what sticks. ‘Like’ us on Facebook, and ‘Follow’ us on Twitter and Instagram, and check out our YouTube channel and Bluegrass Nation website to get some ideas on how to post content. Keep an eye out in future editions of International Bluegrass to see how to best utilize these social tools. The social media landscape is changing all the time, so there is always new stuff to learn, whether you’re a newbie or a pro! Good luck!

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International Bluegrass Vol.28 No.11 Nov. 2013

International Bluegrass - November 2013  

In this issue: Interviews with Yonder Mountain String Band; Joe Mullins & Junior Sisk. WOB '13 numbers, industry news and more!

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