International Bluegrass Vol. 28, No. 1 January 2013
RUSSELL MOORE & IIIrd
APRIL 13 2013
Bluegrass & the GRAMMYS
at WOB 2013
International Bluegrass International Bluegrass Music Assocation Vol. 28 | No. 1 | January 2013
6 Cover Story Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out Reaches Out With Cracker Barrel Album by Vernell Hackett
Features 10 | Raleigh Preview Scheduled for April 13 12 | Showcase Artists Sought for World of Bluegrass 2013 15 | GRAMMY Nominees Announced 17 | IBMA Welcomes Elizabeth Wightman to Board of Directors
Departments 4 | Behind the Scenes at International Bluegrass
with Nancy Cardwell: Bluegrass Music, your 3rd place?
11 | New Developments at Spotify: Your Music is Everywhere! by Katherine Coe 14 | Foundation for Bluegrass Music Announces Grants to Honor Doug Dillard and Doc Watson, by Tim Stafford
16 | Score Cleaner, Plug and Play Notation System Introduced, by Tony Trischka 16 | Seminar Suggestions Requested 18 | Remembering Mike Auldridge 19 | Fresh Sounds in the World of Bluegrass - New Recordings 20 | Bluegrass Music Industry News 26 | Webinars, Anyone? 27 | Heard ‘Round the World 31 | Bluegrass Magic Moments: Jerry Shereshewsky, Flatt & Scruggs, a girl named “Martha White” and December 8, 1962
36 | IBMA Office to Move to Berry Hill District in Nashville
Welcome to the digital edition of IB: International Bluegrass! The newsletter that brings you the freshest, ripest bluegrass industry news on the planet has now gone digital, with a beautiful full-color interactive magazine that looks and behaves like a print magazine! For those of you who prefer to read this issue of International Bluegrass in the traditional way, click here for the current table of contents on the IBMA website. But please give our new digital edition a try, and don’t forget to turn up your speakers! How to read the new digital International Bluegrass Check out the toolbar at the top of the "page." The slider bar on the left zooms in and out of the pageview. The single page/double page icons? Click back and forth between them for a one-page or two-page view. The little arrows facing away from each other will open to a full-page view; simply click on the X to get out of it. Use the arrows in the center of the toolbar to navigate back and forth between pages. In a two-page view, click on the thumbnail pages at the bottom of your screen. You can use your arrow keys to navigate, too. IBMA Staff Nancy Cardwell, Executive Director Jill Crabtree, Member/Convention Services Director Katherine Coe, Administrative/Media Assistant IB | International Bluegrass Editor: Nancy Cardwell, email@example.com Designer: Katherine Coe, firstname.lastname@example.org Audio: “John & Mary” by Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, used with permission Cover photo: Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out by Alane Anno INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS (ISSN #1095-0605) IBMA: Working together for high standards of professionalism, a greater appreciation for our music, and the success of the worldwide bluegrass community. The monthly emailed publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association; 2 Music Circle South, Ste. 100; Nashville, TN 37203; USA; Phone: 615-256-3222, 888-GET-IBMA; FAX: 615-256-0450; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: www.ibma.org Statements of fact and opinion are made on the responsibility of the writers alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the officers, directors, staff or members of IBMA. Portions of International Bluegrass may be reprinted provided that explicit citation of the source is made: “Reprinted with permission from International Bluegrass, the publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association, www.ibma.org.”
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Behind the Scenes at International Bluegrass, with Nancy Cardwell Bluegrass Music - your third place?
A couple of weeks ago I was listening to “The Ted Radio Hour” on National Public Radio, and the speaker was talking about the importance of finding “a third place” in our lives. Home is your first place, she explained. Work is the second. A third place is where you go to hang out with friends and enjoy yourself, a community where you fit in. For some it’s a church group, a civic organization, or maybe a neighborhood pub. For many of us reading this publication, bluegrass music is our “third place.” It’s a community of industry friends and fans who spend a great deal of our time playing, supporting and enjoying bluegrass Nancy Cardwell music. The worldwide bluegrass family is one of the best third places I know of—where we can find a place to learn, grow, do business, hear some amazing music, meet some fascinating characters of all ages and cultures that we absolutely never would have met otherwise, to laugh and have some fun. To belong. It’s like walking into that bar on the Cheers television show, where everyone knows your name. This is a part of our mission at IBMA: to bring more people into the bluegrass circle, so that those out on the road performing the music and working in other behind-the-scenes roles can be successful and keep doing what they do so well. But in helping new fans discover some of the best music on the planet, we also give them a place to make new friends—at dozens of festivals, concerts, local bluegrass association events, and (of course) at World of Bluegrass every fall. In this issue of International Bluegrass there’s an article about the great band IIIrd Tyme Out, who in conjunction with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will reach out to thousands of potential new bluegrass fans as they’re enjoying some biscuits and gravy and a hot cup of coffee at restaurants across the country. There’s an article about how Flatt & Scruggs touched and connected the lives of Jerry Shereshewsky, Pete Wernick and Saburo Watanabe Inoue 50 years ago. This month—the beginning of a new year—is a great time to think about how you will share bluegrass music with someone. It could be the gift of a great CD, a concert ticket, taking the time to teach someone a few chords on the guitar, visiting a school with your band, or maybe you need to talk to someone about joining IBMA and getting more actively involved in supporting the business that keeps the banjos rolling. Bluegrass is a great “third place,” and I hope to see many of you there with some new friends, sometime soon in the coming year! - Nancy Cardwell IBMA Executive Director/ International Bluegrass Editor for January
Holiday greetings from our friends in Raleigh, NC, looking forward to a wonderful World of Bluegrass 2013!
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out Reaches Out With Cracker Barrel Album By Vernell Hackett
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out is one of bluegrass music’s most beloved bands, so it should come as no surprise that Cracker Barrel tapped them to be a part of its CB Records series. The album, Timeless Hits From the Past Bluegrassed, is a collection of songs from several genres of music, including bluegrass, country and pop that will be released in January. “We always look for a bluegrass album to include in releases for our exclusive music program, and as we evaluated our options, IIIrd Tyme Out stood out due to their quality and authenticity,” says Julie Craig, who manages the music program at Cracker Barrel. “It was kind of mutual, because as we reached out to their folks they were in contact with us.”
“The song selection came out of a collective effort from the band members, as well as Josh Trivett and Peter Keiser from Moonstruck Management and representatives from Cracker Barrel,” explains Russell Moore, lead singer for IIIrd Tyme Out. “We discussed a theme for the recording, and what we settled on and what we felt would work best for us was songs that influenced us as we were growing up in music and helped shape us later in our careers. Of course every one of us have listened to country music, so when you start talking about that, at our age and what our influences were, you go back to George Jones and Merle Haggard, singers from that era. So we started looking at that era of music and then came forward.” As group members looked back on music they listened to after Jones and Haggard, they began to talk about entertainers like Gene Watson, John Denver and Travis Tritt, as well as some of bluegrass tunes that influenced them in later years.
The resulting play list went from Travis Tritt’s “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” to Gene Watson’s “Farewell Party.” It included “The Old Home Place” by J.D. Crowe & The New South, “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams and “Only You” by The Platters, along with “Golden Ring” by George Jones and Tammy Wynette and “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard, plus five more classics. Russell says that one of the songs that made them push the envelope a little bit, as far as what the band has done previously, was the Travis Tritt song “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde.” “It was a song that all of us knew from hearing it on the radio, and we knew that Travis is a big bluegrass fan and plays the banjo. Plus there was the tie with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs doing the theme song for the movie Bonnie and Clyde, which took the banjo to places it had never been before. This song didn’t have a banjo on the original recording, but we thought it would sound great on it. We tried to stay with the arrangement as close as we could but add a bluegrass flair to it.” “There was a lot of picking and choosing, weighing out one song against another and the values that it would have for the recording,” Russell admitted. “Not only did we look at the influence of songs on us as musicians and a band, but we also wanted to make it appealing for the people who would purchase the CD. If you look at the lineup, most people will recognize the majority of songs on the project. You have to have something that is familiar to the audience that you are promoting to.” Craig said Cracker Barrel was very pleased with the finished product that Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out brought to them. “We look to the artist, and especially with them, because they have had success over the years due to their talent and the quality
they put into their projects, to bring us an album they think will work for what we discussed going into the project. We work with them, think about the opportunities and options for each project, and brainstorm with the band. If it is cover songs, we then look to them for some of their favorite tracks; and if it’s a brand new album, we look to them to find great new songs to record. Once we discuss the concept we ask the artist to bring their top favorites to the table and then we narrow that down “We let them go with their artistic and expertise, work with their producer, and bring to us the best product. At the end of the day, that is what they have been successful doing over the years. Of course we review it, and 100 per cent of the time they bring us the product we need to have.” Cracker Barrel has carried music in their stores since 1969. In 2005 the company started its exclusive music program and have since released more than 30 titles. “We release four to six albums per calendar year, and each project is only available at Cracker Barrel. “We provide something people who frequent Cracker Barrel can’t find anywhere else,” Craig says. “From a bluegrass perspective, bluegrass fans are Cracker Barrel guests, so it makes sense to continue releasing those projects.” “I guess for our side of the coin, we are looking at not only representing IIIrd Tyme Out and bluegrass in a positive way, but it’s an opportunity for us as a band to be exposed to people who have never heard of us or heard our music,” Russell says of the project. “This gives us a jumping board into different demographics. To be associated with Cracker Barrel and its brand is a positive situation. They are a International Bluegrass 7
to focus on a duet situation,” Russell explains. “Sonya had the perfect voice for this song and she was gracious to do Tammy’s part on the song. She is a wonderful talent, a great singer and a wonderful person.
wholesome, family-oriented type company and it’s a good thing to be associated with. These are positive things for us. Plus, we love to eat. “We do frequent Cracker Barrel’s when we are touring. Steve and I are the biggest breakfast eaters on the bus; we are up and going before the other people are. You’re not going to get anything better than a Cracker Barrel breakfast, because you can get as down in the trenches as you want to get, or you can eat healthy as well.” Russell said that it is definitely a win/win situation for the band. The group will be representing Cracker Barrel during the time that they have exclusive rights to the album, and they will be making appearances to promote the recording. “It’s a great thing for us. We’re proud to be a part of the mix.” The band invited a couple special guests to join them on the recording. Pam Tillis, daughter of Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis, and Sonya Isaacs, join them on a couple songs. “We were looking at the songs that we had, and “Golden Ring” gave us the opportunity
“Then we had the song ‘John and Mary,’ which has been one of our most popular songs over the years. We were looking for a way to remake the song, because it is still one of our most requested numbers in live performances. Pam agreed to be a part of this song, and she ended up not only doing harmony but doing a few lead lines the second verse. It is a creative expressive way that works well; she knocked it out of the park. She is a very gracious lady, a wonderful talent, and her history and career are a testament to that. It was an honor to have her on the recording as well.” One of the differences in this recording than previous ones by IIIrd Tyme Out is they had a producer work with them. “We have always produced our own records,” Russell says. “With our other recordings, we were doing new songs; but because we were doing songs we were all familiar with on this one, we felt like it would benefit us as a band to bring in an outside producer to have fresh ears for the songs, and who had a little more background into the type of material that we were going to record for the project. “When Barry Bales found out we were doing this he approached us and we felt comfortable with Barry and his knowledge and talent as a member of Alison Krauss’s band and the other bands he’s been in. When we made the decision to work with him it took a lot of stuff off of our shoulders, so we could concentrate more about the music and let him call the shots as producer, working with us. One of the
things he said before we got started was he was not there to reinvent the wheel; he just wanted to listen to us and listen to our ideas, and get the best out of us for the recording. It worked really great.” The group recorded 12 songs in five days, which Russell says is not the norm for them. He said them being able to do that was a testament to Bales and his producing abilities—to make things happen, to get the best out of them and to work to get the songs knocked out and move on. He described their first recordings with a producer as a “really great experience.” Russell went on to say that it would not be uncommon for them to spend a couple weeks just doing the tracks and the vocals, depending on how well things go as they record. The band will have the full support of Cracker Barrel for the release of
the album in January. Not only are stories being placed in various media outlets, but Cracker Barrel will promote the album in-store as well as integrate the band’s tour with signage, banners and tour support. They also use social media and each of their respective websites to inform fans about the album release. This project is also available digitally on iTunes and on amazon.com. Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out will celebrate the release of Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed on January 7 with several appearances in Nashville throughout the week. They’ll appear on Fox 17’s Tennessee Mornings on Tuesday, January 8 at 9:00 a.m., WSM 650 AM with Bill Cody on Wednesday, January 9th at 9:00 a.m. and at Music City Roots later that evening at 7:00 p.m. Cracker Barrel will present a special CD Release Broadcast event on Thursday, January 10 from 5:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. on WSM 650 AM when the band interviews with DJ Mike Terry and then will perform an hour long concert including several songs from the new CD. They’ll also perform at The Station Inn later that night beginning at 9:00 p.m. They’ll conclude their media tour with a performance at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, January 12.
Raleigh Preview Set for April 13
Are you curious about World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, North Carolina? Want to get a peek at the facilities before arriving in September? Or are you maybe just looking for an excuse just to get away for a weekend? Well here’s your chance! You’re invited to join the IBMA Board of Directors, IBMA staff, and all our Raleigh hosts on April 13, 2013 for some hospitality, North Carolina style. Take a tour of the World of Bluegrass facilities, the Raleigh Convention Center, Red Hat Amphitheatre, and The Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Check out the host hotel properties, nearby restaurants and clubs, and all this green city will offer our attendees. Join in for some group hospitality and we are sure…some picking! Saturday, April 13, facility staff will be on hand to provide several guided tours or folks are welcomed to check out the campus on their own. Everyone is invited to gather for some hospitality and music in the evening. Make a weekend out of it! A group hotel block is available at the downtown Sheraton Raleigh Hotel for $139.00, which puts you right in the center of the downtown campus. Click through to make reservations at this hotel property: https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/StarGroupsWeb/res?id=1212194111&key=27934 Please let us know at the IBMA office if you are coming so we can anticipate how many tours to hold, space for our gathering, and finalize the schedule for the day. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-256-3222 to let us know if you plan to join us! We look forward to seeing you in Raleigh!
10 International Bluegrass
New Developments at Spotify: Your Music is Everywhere!
by Katherine Coe Spotify is a Swedish music service that can stream songs to most any device on an Internet connection. Recently releasing a new Discovery engine, Spotify is becoming even more popular on the list of mainstream music platforms. Announcing the big milestone of 5 million paying subscribers, Spotify continues to impress the masses. Since Spotify links to Facebook, sharing music now becomes even easier than sharing pictures. Just click and drag a song, album or playlist to a friend’s name (no uploading included). For those of you who follow the IBMA Facebook page, you’ll know that I share a playlist each Thursday called “IBMA Weekly.” The playlist changes up each week and has featured themes like: song requests from our Facebook followers, tracks of winners from the IBMA Awards Show, and on National Philanthropy Day I featured the Life Goes On album recorded by the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer. Spotify is also the way to share music on BluegrassNation.org , with video posts coming from YouTube.com. Spotify gives a new experience to the music world. Sharing and listening to any song wherever you are! It also gives a new insight to the teams behind the music. Now not only are there SoundScan selling reports, but there are the specific statistics Spotify can gather. What age group, male or female, which regions of the world, exact time in peaks from listeners... This information will greatly help artists in their marketing! If you haven’t checked out this new streaming music program yet, make sure you give it a chance. And don’t miss out on the apps, Spotify Radio, and sharing your favorites with friends! International Bluegrass 11
Magnificent Sevens at World of Bluegrass, photo by Alane Anno
SHOWCASE ARTISTS SOUGHT FOR World of bluegrass 2013 Deadline to Apply: February 15, 2013
The premiere opportunity to introduce talent and new music at IBMA’s annual World of Bluegrass 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. In Raleigh, N.C. this year each showcase band will perform two or three times during World of Bluegrass week. The showcase fee after being invited has been lowered to $500/group—which still includes full attendee registration for band members and a complimentary booth in the exhibit hall. Up to 50 showcase artists will be invited for World of Bluegrass 2013, depending on
the number of applicants and the qualifications of groups that apply. Each official showcase act will perform twice, and possibly three times during World of Bluegrass Week in some combination of following areas: the Raleigh Convention Center, evening showcase rooms at the Marriott or Sheraton hotels, evening showcases at six in-town venues, or as a part of the weekend street fair. There will also be opportunities for merchandise sales and, potentially, a share in showcasegenerated revenues after off-site venue expenses are covered. (More info on this as details are firmed up.) IBMA showcase bands 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.
The showcases are designed to introduce any one or all of the following to the bluegrass industry:
In addition to the two or three showcase opportunities mentioned above, official IBMA showcase bands receive a number of benefits and complimentary services, including:
• Emerging talent capable and willing to broaden their market • Established bands who have significant changes in their act • Artists who have significant, new recorded product.
• Featured profile in conference program • Priority access to “Gig Fair” appointments (new & improved in 2013—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. Application Process IBMA’s Business Conference is scheduled for Sept. 24-28, 2013 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 as one of the official showcase artists, there is a showcase fee of $500 to offset costs of services and showcase production.
The board-appointed Talent Committee’s selection process involves a fair, but subjective evaluation based on the information presented by each applicant. Depending on the number of acts which apply, the selection process takes approximately three months. IBMA makes the full selection criteria available upon request. Any act wishing to apply for an official showcase should submit the following by February 15, 2013: • Five complete promotional packages for each act making application, including five copies of a representative recording of the act’s work. 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 acts most recent work. (Please remove any shrink wrapping) • Complete contact information for the group • A $25 application fee, payable to IBMA. Send all submission packages to: IBMA Showcase Committee, 2 Music Circle South, Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. NOTE: IBMA is moving its office to another address in Nashville in late February, but we will still be at the address above through the showcase deadline of Feb. 15.
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Foundation for Bluegrass Music Announces Grants to Honor Doug Dillard and Doc Watson
by Tim Stafford The world of bluegrass music lost two very important musicians in 2012, Mr. Doug Dillard and Mr. Arthel "Doc" Watson. The Foundation for Bluegrass Music will be funding grants in their honor this year and has set June 30, 2013 as the deadline to apply for these resources. Along with his brother Rodney, Mitch Jayne and Dean Webb, Salem, Missouri native Doug Dillard was a founding member of The Dillards, an iconic bluegrass group who introduced the music to millions of listeners as "The Darlings" on The Andy Griffith Show. His driving banjo style influenced countless fledgling pickers, including Alan Munde, John McEuen and Steve Martin. He later became a pioneer of the country rock genre as well through his collaboration with ex-Byrds frontman Gene Clark before leading his own band. More than any other person, Arthel "Doc" Watson is responsible for the creation of the style of lead guitar playing known as flatpicking, an integral part of contemporary bluegrass, although Doc never regarded himself as a bluegrass musician and made incalculable contributions to many forms of traditional American music. Watson first burst on the folk music revival scene in the 1960s, and his impact on modern
flatpickers such as Clarence White, Tony Rice, Dan Crary, Bryan Sutton and so many more is indelible. Blind since infancy, Doc refused to let his lack of sight become a hindrance. When President Bill Clinton presented Watson with the National Medal of Arts in 1997, he said, “There may not be a serious, committed baby boomer alive who didn’t at some point in his or her youth try to spend a few minutes at least trying to learn to pick a guitar like Doc Watson.” A fund of $10,000 has been earmarked to support public projects in memory of Doug Dillard and Arthel "Doc" Watson. Of special interest are bluegrass music-related projects and programs that involve education or youth. This is a competitive application process and candidates must meet the Foundation’s Grant Application Guidelines. Grants awarded will be announced during IBMA World of Bluegrass week, September 24-28, 2013, with funds available after January 1, 2014. 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 nonprofit (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, please go to bluegrassfoundation.org/grants or write to The Foundation for Bluegrass Music; 2 Music Circle South, Ste. 100; Nashville, TN 37203.
Grammy nominations announced
Nominations for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards® ( www.grammy.com ) were announced December 5 by The Recording Academy® and reflected an eclectic mix of the best and brightest in music over the past year, as determined by the voting members of The Academy. The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held February 10, 2013, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). For a complete nominations list, please visit www.grammy.com. Congratulations to the following bluegrass-related artists, producers, labels and labels nominated in the following categories. Best Bluegrass Album The Gospel Side Of Dailey & Vincent, Dailey & Vincent [Rounder/Cracker Barrel] Life Finds A Way, The Grascals [Mountain Home Music Company] Beat The Devil And Carry A Rail, Noam Pikelny [Compass Records] Scratch Gravel Road, Special Consensus [Compass Records] Nobody Knows You, Steep Canyon Rangers [Rounder] Best Country/Duo Performance “On The Outskirts Of Town,” The Time Jumpers, Track from: The Time Jumpers [Rounder] “I Just Come Here For The Music,” Don Williams Featuring Alison Krauss [Sugar Hill Records] Best Country Album The Time Jumpers, The Time Jumpers [Rounder] Best Americana Album The Carpenter, The Avett Brothers [Universal Republic] Mumford & Sons, Mumford & Sons [Glassnote] Best Folk Album Leaving Eden, Carolina Chocolate Drops [Nonesuch] The Goat Rodeo Sessions; Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile [Sony Classical] This One's For Him: A Tribute To Guy Clark; Various Artists; Shawn Camp & Tamara Saviano, producers [Icehouse Music] Best Album Notes Banjo Diary: Lessons From Tradition, Stephen Wade, album notes writer (Stephen Wade), [Smithsonian Folkways] Best Historical Album Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music: 34 Historic Songs, Ballads, And Instrumentals Recorded In The Great Smoky Mountains By "Song Catcher" Joseph S. Hall; Kent Cave, Michael Montgomery & Ted Olson, compilation producers; John Fleenor & Steve Kemp, mastering engineers; Various Artists; [Great Smoky Mountains Association] Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical The Goat Rodeo Sessions; Richard King, engineer; Richard King, mastering engineer; Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile; [Sony Classical]
Score Cleaner, Plug and Play Notation System Introduced By Tony Trischka I went to a small gathering in New York City, early in December, to see a demonstration of the Score Cleaner, Plug and Play Notation system. It was held under the auspices of the VH1 Save the Children Foundation. The score cleaner program notates your music automatically by MIDI-recording. You don't have to set tempo, key, time signature, note values, etc. in advance.
The creator of Score Cleaner, Sven Ohlback, gave the demonstration and it is, indeed, quite handy if you have a keyboard hooked up to your computer and want to create things like lead sheets for your songs, or compose music on a keyboard. I asked Sven if it can create tablature and he said it's something that they're working on right now. In other words, it would be handy to play a tune into a microphone and have everything come out in tablature, for instant transcription. In the end, it seems like a wonderful labor saving program, but of limited use to those of us in the bluegrass community. This program may be of particular interest to songwriters interested in creating lead sheets for new songs. More info: www.doremir.com
Seminar Suggestions Requested The 2013 World of Bluegrass Education Committee will be appointed and begin work on a slate of seminars and professional development opportunities later this month, in January 2013. Do you have a suggestion for a seminar topic? If so, please call or email Nancy Cardwell at the IBMA office: 888-428-4262, email@example.com Here’s what we’re looking for: Seminar topic name • A brief description of information to be covered • Potential presenter or moderator names • Which IBMA member constituencies will be principally interested in this topic? We’re also interested in hearing suggestions that members might have for additional World of Bluegrass educational events, including the Keynote Address, Song Demo Listening Sessions, and a special new educational track for emerging bands.
IBMA Welcomes Elizabeth Wightman to Board of Directors The IBMA Board of Directors welcomed Elizabeth Wightman in a board-appointed, At Large seat during their September 2012 meetings in Nashville. â€œAs a longtime fan of bluegrass music, I am really looking forward to using my business experience and music industry experience to help the IBMA grow its membership base as well as to continue to achieve its mission,â€? Wightman says. Elizabeth Wightman is a native of California and currently resides in Santa Cruz, CA. She earned both her Bachelors in Economics (1988) and Masters in Business Administration (1992) at Santa Clara University and then went on to join the family insurance business. She has been in the insurance business for over 20 years and is the co-founder of SteelBridge Insurance Services which specializes in providing insurance products for nonprofit entities and the entertainment industry (primarily music related accounts). SteelBridge administers the IBMA Insurance Program for Event Producers as well as similar programs for other music associations. Elizabeth works with music festivals of all types, music-related nonprofits and touring bands throughout the country on safety planning and risk management. She has been a music advocate for many years in a variety of roles. Elizabeth Wightman
New & Returning IBMA Members Gus Arrendale Jeanna Benoy Michelle DiGiovanni Dale Faunce Scott Law Bruce Lefenfield Brooke Logan Packard Richard Martin Alyssa McLean David Music Harry Packard Justin Roberts Craig Watson John Wright
Sam Babbitt Morris Barnett Darlene Bass Darby Brandli Ernest Brumage Uncle Billy Dunbar Bill Evans Marco Ferretti Sherri George Janice Guthrie Tony Guthrie Henry Hipkens Peter Huening JW Hutchins
Erik Igelstrom Hannah Johnson Lance Kinney Paul Kovac Rick Lang Charles Matthews Francine Michaels Blaise Nauyokas Echo Propp Harvey Reid Cathy Rogier Jerry Salley Allan Sanders Anne Saunders
Susie Seace James Seitz Okamura Takeshi Wayne Taylor Ron Thomason Bert Van Linter Donald Wallo Joe Weed Tom Wolf
International Bluegrass 17
Remembering mike Auldridge The bluegrass world was saddened to hear of the passing of legendary Dobro artist Mike Auldridge on December 28, 2012, Called by the Washington Post "one of maybe a handful of truly innovative Dobro players in the history of country and bluegrass music," Mike Auldridge's modern approach to the Dobro played an integral role in the development of contemporary bluegrass and country music. Born in 1938 and raised in Kensington, Maryland, Auldridge began playing guitar and banjo at an early age before settling on the Dobro at age 17. While the Dobro was used by such musicians as Josh Graves, who performed with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Auldridge is credited with bringing the Dobro new recognition. In 2004 NEA National Heritage Fellow Jerry Douglas said, "Mike changed everything. He phrased differently. He was the first guy to use the Dobro in a more modern way, to phrase it more like a saxophone or some other instrument." “A lot of people talk about Mike Auldridge’s tone on the Dobro,” said WAMU Bluegrass Country ’s Katy Daley, "I hope they'll also remember him for how much grace and elegance there was in his music and stage movements. He was the perfect counterpoint to John Duffey's powerful onstage presence.” Auldridge was also a gifted artist who worked as an illustrator for the Washington Star. In fact, he designed three of the four logos used by Bluegrass Unlimited magazine since the publication began. After graduating in 1967 from the University of Maryland, Auldridge continued to play in local clubs in the Washington, DC area. In 1969, he joined the band Emerson and Waldron, later called Cliff Waldron and the New Shades of Grass, and in 1971 he co-founded the Seldom Scene, a group he remained with until the mid-1990s. The Seldom Scene, which performed weekly at the Birchmere in Virginia, incorporated elements of jazz, folk and rock into traditional bluegrass harmonies. Auldridge's first two solo albums, Dobro and Blues & Bluegrass, demonstrated his versatility; he went on to record six more solo albums as well as doing session work on more than 200 recordings with a diverse array of artists including Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Patty Loveless, Lyle Lovett, Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, Hank Williams, Jr., and Bill Monroe. In addition to the Seldom Scene, Auldridge has performed with a number of other bands, including Chesapeake, the Good Deale Bluegrass Band, John Starling and Carolina Star, and in a trio with Jimmy Gaudreau and Richard Bennett. He has also performed with the touring bands of Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris. In 2007, Auldridge was recognized for his contributions to the development of bluegrass with International Bluegrass Music Association's Distinguished Achievement Award. He was honored with the NEA National Heritage Award in 2012. Sources: NEA, Katy Daley, Jerry Douglas, The Washington Post
Fresh sounds in the world of bluegrass january 2013
Darin & Brooke Aldridge Live at Red, White and Bluegrass! Mountain Home Music Company www.crossroadsmusic.com
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out Timeless Hits from the Past BLUEGRASSED Rural Rhythm/Cracker Barrel www.crackerbarrel.com
Barcelona Bluegrass Band Old Time Blues www.barcelonabluegrassband.com
Swing 42 Deboucher! firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Edwards Portrait of a Bluegrass Songwriter Rural Rhythm Records www.ruralrhythm.com
Wayne Taylor Praise His Holy Name: A Christmas Celebration Raincoe Music www.waynetaylor.com
John Frazier Frazier Band www.frazierbandmusic.com
Various Artists An East Nashville Christmas PH Balance Recordings www.phbalancerecordings.com
John Driskell Hopkins & Balsam Range Daylight www.johndriskellhopkins.com John Lowell I Am Going to the West www.johnlowell.com
Darrell Webb Band Breaking Down the Barriers Rural Rhythm Records www.crackerbarrel.com
International Bluegrass 19
Bluegrass Music Industry News january 2013
AGENTS & MANAGERS Bluegrass booking agent/manager Randy Campbell passed away Nov. 2. Randy was involved with promoting Ralph Stanley, Jesse McReynolds and The Dillards, among others. Our sympathy is extended to the Campbell family. To post a remembrance, please go to www.memorialwebsites.legacy.com
ARTISTS & COMPOSERS We extend heartfelt congratulations to Claire Lynch and Tony Trischka, who recently received USA (United States Artists) Fellowships. The 50 annual fellowships, each with an unrestricted grant of $50,000, recognize innovative and influential artists in their specific fields. Reflecting the diversity of artistic practice in America, they include cutting-edge thinkers and traditional practitioners from the fields of architecture and design, crafts and traditional arts, dance, literature, media, music, theater arts, and visual arts. Dobro master Rob Ickes is a previous recipient of this grant. Congratulations to the following artists whose music is topping charts at press time. The Steep Canyon Rangers, “Nobody Knows You,” written by Graham Sharp (Rounder Records) – Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey
The Special Consensus, Scratch Gravel Road, (Compass Records) – Bluegrass Unlimited Top 15 Bluegrass Albums Chart Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, “Catch Me If I Try” (written by David Wilcox & Pat Patrick), Bluegrass Today Monthly Airplay Chart. Banjo player/instructor Bill Evans has a new Fretboard Journal video at www.tinyurl.com/awtwxj9 in which he explains the history of the banjo in 14 minutes. Bluegrass Hall of Famer Doyle Lawson has been in the studio with his band the past two months, preparing a new album to be released in March on the Mountain Home Music label. Doyle was also asked to be the official grand marshal of the 31st Annual Bristol Christmas Parade in Bristol, TN/VA last month. The Grand Marshal honor marked a series of firsts for Lawson this year, as Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver received their first Inspirational Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year Award in October, on the heels of Lawson being inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in September. Info: www.doylelawson.com
The legendary Peter Rowan is currently in the studio working on his upcoming Compass Records release The Old School. On the new album, Rowan delves further into his bluegrass history with an intergenerational cast of musicians that includes some of the first generation musicians who really know “the old school” as well as younger players considered to be the torchbearers for bluegrass music. Working again with producer Alison Brown, Rowan offers a set of 11 new songs and a rework of “Freedom Riders,” the Civil Rights anthem made popular by Odetta. Featured guests so far include Bobby Osborne on a stunning duet called “Stealing My Time,” Jesse McReynolds on the soon-to-be-classic “Mountain Man’s Dream” and Bryan Sutton on “Doc Watson Morning,” a tribute Rowan wrote to the late Doc Watson. Other guests to date include the Traveling McCourys, fiddler Michael Cleveland, Jeremy Garrett (Infamous Stringdusters), Chris Henry and the members of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band. The album is slated for release in spring 2013. To give fans a sneak peak of the project, Compass Records has released a teaser video which features Rowan with Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds on the album’s title track, as well as members of the Traveling McCourys, Michael Cleveland, Mike Witcher, Chris Henry and members of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band. Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/SbBaZH Have you heard about Sam Bush TV? Click here www.sambush.com/index.php?cID=293 to check it out, and ask Sam a question for his next online broadcast. Mandolinist/songwriter/event producer/association organizer Chris Henry has finished part three of his “Formlessness into Form” music documentary, posted at http://youtu.be/ZavJziLTnlM. The latest segment focuses on the dynamics of
creative expectations, creating for an audience, the psychic/telepathic connection between creators, the editing process, Aboriginal songlines, impacts of technology and urbanization on creativity, parallels with ecology, environmental influences, the balance of art and commerce, psychedelic and medicinal modulations, birth and death, using secondary or unfamiliar tools, Bill Monroe, and much more. Featured: Peter Rowan, Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Billy Smith, Mike Bub, David Grier, Mike Compton, Matt Combs, Shad Cobb, Julie Lee, Roni Stoneman, Rob Ickes, Todd Phillips, Marty Raybon and more. The Grascals have a new website at www.grascals.com . The Grammynominated group will appear on The Jimmy Kimmel Show (ABC) Jan. 21, and they will tape a show with The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC) on Jan. 25, to be aired in February when Jay is taking some vacation time. A Skaggs Family Christmas, featuring Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, The Whites, Rachel Leftwich, Emmylou Harris, the Nashville String Machine and Steven Curtis Chapman, benefitted the John Hiatt Fund for Adolescent Treatment at Cumberland Heights this year in Nashville. The concert took place Dec. 6 at The Ryman Auditorium. Christmas time is over for another year, but Dailey and Vincent fans will want to be sure to view every one of their entertaining “12 days of Christmas” videos on YouTube. Here’s the first one: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmFCNkacOnA
Mandolinist Andy Statman was profiled in a Nov. 30 article in the New York Times titled, “On Religion: A Search for God through Bluegrass and Klezmer.” Read it here: www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/nyregion/andystatmans-search-forgod-in-music.html?_r=1& Donna Ulisse guested on Kyle Cantrell on Bluegrass Junction’s Track by Track show in December, to play and comment on all the tracks from her new, already criticallyacclaimed bluegrass Christmas album, All the Way to Bethlehem. The Roys appeared on Marie Osmond’s program, Marie! on the Hallmark Channel Dec. 13. Lee and Elaine Roy shared insights unique to performing siblings with Marie and discussed their new CD and career goals. The duo performed their current single, "Still Standing,” from their album, New Day Dawning on Rural Rhythm Records. Fans are invited to catch up with The Roys at TheRoysOnline.com, Facebook and Twitter. Marty Raybon, The Roys and Carrie Hassler have joined the ranks of artists supporting The Pink Arrow project, dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. The “On Target” campaign promotes a line of pink archery products featuring the fictional character, “Karing,” who has proven popular with archery students, ranges, hunters, fans of The Hunger Games, hit TV shows Revolution and Arrow, and more. Info: www.PinkArrowProject.com
Donna Ulisse and Kyle Cantrell
Reigning IBMA Emerging Artists of the Year, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers had music topping two charts last month! Their new CD on Rebel Records, They're Playing My Song, was December’s #1 CD on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Albums chart. Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs chart for the week of December 7 put the CD's first single, "Bottom Of A Mountain" at #1. James Reams & The Barnstormers have just released a free digital version of Barnstormin', their 2001 CD, as a thank you to friends and supporters throughout the 20 years that James Reams has been a bandleader. Go to www.noisetrade.com/jamesreams to get your free album. Congratulations to James on getting his documentary funded at kickstarter.com. We look forward to seeing the new DVD documentary, Making History with Pioneers of Bluegrass: Tales of the Early Days in Their Own Words. We were saddened to hear about the death of James King’s 18-year-old daughter, Shelby Ann on Dec. 9, after an automobile accident in Amelia County, Virginia. A note may be sent to the family at this address: James King Family, PL Box 10179, Danville, VA 24543. Carl Franklin, age 59, died December 11, 2012. Carl was a well-known fiddler and banjo player in the middle Tennessee
region. He was on the speed dial of every local musician and could be seen at most any festival, contest, jam or gathering that involved some picking. He held many contest titles and finished in the top 25 of the Grand Master Fiddler Championship in Nashville last fall. Carl was also a former member of the Melvin Sloan Dancers on the Grand Ole Opry. Friends will remember his willingness to befriend young musicians he would meet at jams and festivals. Attention, Songwriters: IBMA member Louisa Branscomb writes: Beyond Bones, 2013 Advanced Songwriter Series will begin Feb. 22-24 in Cartersville, GA with our Woodsongs Winter "Cave-In," a chance to re-connect, re-treat, and tap into the magic and mystery of hibernation as a source of creativity and nurturing the creative soul. There will be a minimum of didactic presentation and a maximum of time to write. Structural issues (rhyme, meter, etc) will be covered as we critique your work. There will also be a special section on co-writing. There are some scholarship spots at a reduced rate. This workshop is geared toward songwriters, but is also appropriate for anyone wishing to enjoy a retreat weekend that fosters creativity in any medium. All donations/fees go toward the Woodsong Tornado Fund. We've neared the end of our two year recovery, and I am excited for you to revisit the farm. Out of pocket expenses were approximately 70K. Our first workshop raised approximately $2500 toward reconstruction efforts. Info: Louisabranscomb@yahoo.com, or Louisa Branscomb on Facebook
Inn in College Park, MD. Cash prizes totaling $1,300 will be awarded, plus a performance slot at the 2013 DC Bluegrass Festival for the winner. Contact the DC Bluegrass Union at email@example.com for registration information. The Mid-Atlantic Band Contest is presented by the DC Bluegrass Union as part of the DC Bluegrass Festival, honoring the 70-year tradition of bluegrass music in the greater DC area. This family-friendly, event offers a full day of bands, vendors, instrument workshops and much more. Bluegrass legend Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers will be headlining the Fourth Annual DC Bluegrass Festival, along with Bill Emerson and Sweet Dixie, Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Jay Armsworthy & Eastern Tradition, Remington Ryde, and Newgrass Effect with Tom Gray. Info: www.dcbu.org
BROADCASTERS Bluegrass Underground has scheduled their season 3 taping for PBS for March 8-10, 2013. Featured bands include Leon Russell, Andrew Bird, Old Crow Medicine Show, Yonder Mountain String Band, The SteelDrivers, Alison Brown, BouSoleil and more to be announced. The concert series is staged in the Volcano Room in Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, TN. Ticket info: www.bluegrassunderground.com
ASSOCIATION NEWS The DC Bluegrass Union presents the Mid-Atlantic Bluegrass Band Contest, scheduled for Feb. 22, 203 at the Holiday
International Bluegrass 23
Campbell Mercer, bandleader of the Cumberland Highlanders, reports that RFD-TV recently purchased Family Net TV. Beginning in January, Family Net will carry the one-hour version of Mercer’s show, Crossing the Cumberlands on Saturday mornings and the 30-minute version on Saturday nights, airing the program to more than 61 million homes in the U.S.
EVENT PRODUCER NEWS The 5th Annual Great 48 Hour Jam will take place at the Bakersfield Double Tree Hotel Jan. 3-6. Rhonda Vincent & the Rage will headline. Info: www.cbaontheweb.org The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky. announces two fundraising concerts this month: Monroeville, on Jan. 11 and The Spinney Brothers on Jan. 17. Info: www.bluegrassmuseum.org The 20th Annual McReynolds Memorial Concert will take place Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Texas Troubadour Theatre, 2416 Music Drive, in Nashville, TN, from 7-10 p.m. The line-up features Jesse McReynolds, The McReynolds Tradition, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Audie Blaylock & Redline, The Expedition and more to be announced. Produced by Amanda McReynolds (Keith’s daughter and Jesse’s granddaughter), the event will benefit the Mid South Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Info: www.themcreynoldstradition.com , firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper and The Nathan Stanley Band closed out 2012 with a concert at a new bluegrass venue in Pigeon Forge, TN, Musick’s Mountain Theater.
The new theater is located at 140 Showplace Blvd Pigeon Forge, TN and the show starts at 7:00pm. Info: www.MusicksMountainTheater.com (865)774-2995.
LUTHIERS & MERCHANDISERS Daley Instrument Co. is building guitars! Daley Mandolins are already instruments of legend and now Sim Daley, partnered with Adam Chowning, is bringing those standards to guitar building. They're already taking orders and these beautiful D18 and D28 models are starting to go out all over the world. Adam is most excited that "The Shredder" Brad Davis got his very own Daley Guitar and is playing it in workshops and concerts all over the place. For more info, go to www.simdaley.com .
PRINT, MEDIA & EDUCATION Thanks to Dr. Tom Adler and Frank Godbey for making this video available of Bluegrass Hall of Famer J.D. Crowe’s honorary doctorate ceremony at the University of Kentucky: www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7dnMSQfZ 9E&feature=youtu.be. Congratulations, Dr. Crowe!
Dr. J.D. Crowe
Kent Gustavson, author of the Doc Watson biography, Blind But Now I See, would like to make copies of his paperback books available to schools or other non-profit programs who would enjoy reading them. Qualified non-profits and educational institutions are welcome to contact Kent at email@example.com . Dates for the Julian Family Fiddle Camp have been set for April 10-14 in Julian, CA. The camp is now affiliated with Fractured Atlas.org , Camp info: www.familyfiddlecamp.com
The Stelling Banjo Scholarship to Pete (“Dr. Banjo”) Wernick’s Advanced Banjo Camp has been awarded to 26 year-old multi-instrumentalist Jacob Panic, of Baltimore, MD. Jacob aspires to a career in bluegrass music and has recorded an album of original songs on which he plays all the instruments. Jacob said, "I'm humbled and grateful to Pete and Stelling. Pete Wernick is one of my banjo heroes." The Advanced camp (January 21-26), for players with band experience, still has several spots left. Wernick's Basic Skills Camp (January 7-12) has 3 spots, and the Intermediate camp (January 14-19) is full
with a waiting list. Pete’s winter camps, the “original” Banjo Camps, have been held annually in Colorado since 1984. www.drbanjo.com/camps.php for information and registration. And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: IBMA member James Akenson announces that Lance McKinney of the University of Alabama will make a presentation titled “WIBA—What is Bluegrass Anyway,” at the International Country Music Conference at Belmont University in Nashville, TN May 23-25, 2013. Kinney says he will be “analyzing what many consider the real bedrock of bluegrass, Monroe’s recordings with his 1946 band,” and will “examine those recordings structurally and aesthetically to start the defining bluegrass conversation.” Former IBMA staffer Dr. Katy Leonard, who now teaches at Birmingham Southern, will also be presenting a bluegrass-related paper. Info: www.internationalcountrymusic.org The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail is one of 832 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Crooked Road (TCR) is recommended for a $10,000 grant to support traditional music education in Southwest Virginia. TCR’s Traditional Music Education Program Phase 2 builds upon findings from the program rolloutgenerating more after-school programs, school assembly programs, and performance opportunities for the region’s youth while strengthening the educational foundation through curricular material distribution, teacher training workshops, and a teacher re-certification course serving a 19-county region of rural Southwest Virginia. “This award strengthens The Crooked Road’s work in place-based education by creating opportunities to serve the region’s youth through our traditional music,” said Jonathan Romeo,
Project Manager. “TCR’s Traditional Music Education Program promotes learning that is rooted in what is local—the unique music, history, and culture of Southwest Virginia.” NBCNews.com recently featured an online article about a roots music program for students in Mountain View, AR. Read about it here: www.dailynightly.nbcnews.com
RECORD LABELS & Publishers Good HomeGrown Music has released a video for their new single, “Walking Through Bethlehem,” featuring Sonya, Becky and Lilly Isaacs. The song was written by Tom T. and Dixie Hall with Billy Smith. View here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrckbLL6NWU Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce they have signed Dave Adkins & Republik Steele to the label. A new single, "That's Just The Way I Roll" written by Tim Stafford, Steve
Gulley and Terry Herd, will be released to radio later this month. The song is the title track of their upcoming new album scheduled for release early 2013. The band has also signed with Josh Trivett and Peter Keiser of Moonstruck Management for exclusive booking and management representation. David Akins is joined by: mandolin player and baritone singer, Kenny O’Quinn; bass player Danny Ray Stilner; sixteen year old Wesley Wolfe on guitar; and banjo player and tenor singer, Matt Cruby. The name Republik Steele serves as a tribute to the hardworking coal miners of the area. The fathers and grandfathers of three of the members worked for the same large mining company by the name of Republic Steel. For more information, please visit www.republiksteele.com More info: www.moonstruckmangement.com and www.ruralrhythm.com
...Webinars, Anyone? IBMA will be organizing a new slate of monthly webinar topics, presenters and dates for 2013, to be announced in the February 2013 newsletter and online at www.ibma.org . Do you have a particular bluegrass industry-related topic you’ve been wanting to learn more about? Topics may include repeats or updates from previous topics, ideas based on World of Bluegrass 2012 seminars and professional development sessions, or entirely new ideas. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include topic name and suggested presenter if you have someone in mind.
heard ‘round the world cabin or higher. Info: www.travelrite.com.au/bluegrass_cruise.shtml
BLUEGRASS IN OZ Australian bluegrass artist Karen Lynne’s new gospel album, Shine Your Light was finished up in December and is available for order now. Karen and her husband, banjo player Martin Louis recorded the album at the Good Home Grown Music studio with producer Jerry Salley, last fall when they were in Nashville for IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. Val Story, Stella Parton and Daryl Mosley guest on the project. Karen also sang on Dixie Hall’s new four-disc Daughters of Bluegrass set entitled Pickin’ Like a Girl, set to be released soon. Karen will appear on the Feb. 19-23 Bluegrass Music Cruise of New Zealand and Southern Australia on the Voyager of the Seas, for the first Sydney to Auckland leg. Organizers are offering free flights from Perth to major capital cities if you book an ocean view
Karen and her band will be at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in Tamworth, New South Wales for her 28th consecutive year, Feb. 21-26. She and Martin will be appearing on Sam Smythe’s bush poetry show at the Tam City Bowlo, and they’ll be guesting at Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club (Tuesday night on “Girls Night” and Saturday for “Bluegrass Night"). Karen will present the Bluegrass Brunch show on Thursday-Friday, Jan. 24-26 at the North Tamworth Bowling Club. She will also perform at the Southside Uniting Church Gospel Concert Jan. 21. Check www.karenlynne.com for details. If you’re not familiar with Karen Lynne, check out her “Blue Mountain Rain” video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NdU_K8JPzg Australian broadcaster Geoff Morris, host of Wall-to-Wall Bluegrass on www.worldwidebluegrass.com, presented his last program for a few months Dec. 31. Morris has re-located to Melbourne for cancer treatments for the next six weeks, and hopes to be back on the air with his 500th show the week of Easter. If you’d like to send him a note of encouragement, he’s at email@example.com .
News from Richard Hawkins at the European Bluegrass Blog www.blog.ebma.org
bluegrass in Germany Oliver Waitze reports that his New Acoustic Gallery ( www.n-a-g.net ) in Germany will be moving from Solingen to new premises in Wuppertal in mid-January. He will continue to International Bluegrass 27
stock banjos, mandolins, and classical and steel-string guitars by leading makers. New stock includes instruments by Santa Cruz, Furch, Collings, Bourgeois, Rozawood, Kentucky, and Eastman, and a new 'Celtic banjo' book by Oliver Waitze will be out next month. New address: New Acoustic Gallery, Schloss Lüntenbeck, Lüntenbeck 1, 42327 Wuppertal, Tel. +49 0202/94672730 Rainer Zellner of the Music Contact Agency reports his 4th Bluegrass Jamboree! – Festival of Bluegrass and Americana Music which concluded Dec. 16 was a success, after 18 shows in 20 days all over Germany, including a trip to Prague. Rainer writes, “We had a great time, an amazing line-up, and extremely enthusiastic crowds... I notice a continuing growth in audience and interest of media in the project. As the 'bluegrass scene' is way too small to keep this concept alive, I am very happy that we do find and build true music-loving audiences that enjoy good live music of highest level without being limited to one style. There was a huge amount of media coverage before and after the tour.” The two most important German cultural radio stations (WDR and DRadio Kultur) recorded performances and interviews and will each do broadcasts of sixty to ninety minutes in January. Check the Jamboree! www.bluegrassjamboree.de/ and on Facebook, for tour videos and photos. The fifth edition of Bluegrass Jamboree! will be hitting the road in December 2013.
Bluegrass in CZECH REPUBLIC Click here www.blog.ebma.org/2006/11/peter-rowanand-druha-trava-nov-2012.html to view photos from Lilly Pavlak from the November Czech tour of Peter Rowan with
Druha Trava. Druha Trava has a new English-version website at www.druhatrava.us Rosťa Čapek and Ivana Louková in the Czech Republic are working hard on the preparations of the Bluegrass Summit (Prague, 15-17 March 2013). The same couple organized the Czech concert of Bluegrass Jamboree! on Dec. 4. The 17th Workshop of Petr Brandejs and Jindra Hylmar in Malé Svatoňovice (in October) as well as Ralph Schut's workshop Dilna s prasetem (in September) were successful events. The details of Pete Wernick's Jam Camp in Prague (22-24 March 2013) are being negotiated. The event is financially supported by the EBMA. Petr Brandejs finished the first European Jam Class on five subsequent Sundays in October. Nine students were happy to learn how to jam according to the Wernick Method. Phenomenal multiinstrumentalist, Ondra Kozák wrote Fiddle Breaks in Czech Country Hits. It was released by the company G+W. The trailer can be watched here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKCJYC_IOK8
Robert Křesťan and Druhá Tráva released another live CD, Live in Telci, and recorded their new DVD featuring Peter Rowan.
Rowan with Druha Trava, photo by Lilly Pavlak
bluegrass in SPAIN Los Hermanos Cubero of Spain report that their 7” vinyl EP released on Carajillo Records launched in Barcelona Nov. 8 is completely sold out and there will be no re-issue. However, the A side of the EP, “La Calle Abajo,” is featured on a video clip produced for Primitive Films here on Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/55110099 The U.K. association for old-time music, FOAOTMAD, announces the next La Fuente de Musica old-time music workshops will be held in Andalucia, Spain May 11-18, 2013. Instructors will include Dave Bing, Kate Lissauer, John Whelan, Rose Ardrom and more. Classes will be offered on fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmony singing and beginners instrumental (all instruments). Info: Kate Lissauer, firstname.lastname@example.org , (0)1373 474 110). Luis Gomez reports that the 11th Al Ras Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival ( www.nuke.alras.es/ ), held at the Mercat Vell de Mollet del Vallés, Pça Prat de la Riba 6, Mollet del Vallés, Barcelona, on 10 November 2012, was a great success, attracting plenty of people including new people interested in bluegrass and old-time music. Lluís also sends this link www.linuxvixion.es/al-ras-2012/ to an album with photos from the festival. Next year's Al Ras Festival will be held on the second or third Saturday of November 2013. Details will be announced as soon as possible.
bluegrass in THE NETHERLANDS Peter Groenveld of Strictly Country Records reports that one of the most productive bluegrass concert organizers in Holland, Bé Holdtman, has passed away on Dec. 8 after a battle with cancer. Bé was a government worker for the council of Emmen, Netherlands. His department was in control of road and water works. He retired from this job only
a few years ago. In the music scene Holdtman was mostly known for his many always-sold-out old-time country and bluegrass shows at the Muzeval Theater in Emmen, from 1985 to 1998. Among U.S. bands that performed there were the Good Ol’ Persons, White Mountain Bluegrass, High Country, Traver Hollow, Laurie Lewis & Grant Street, Lynn Morris Band, Bill Clifton & Pick of the Crop, Robin and Linda Williams & Their Fine Group, Bob Paisley & Southern Grass, Kate McKenzie Band, Liz Meyer & Midnight Flyer, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein, and many others. Bé worked closely together with Rienk Janssen, who was largely responsible for the many U.S. bands touring Europe during that time. Peter says he was the lucky sound guy during all these shows, and some classic “Live in Holland” were recorded at the Muzeval Theater, such as Bob Paisley & the Southern Grass, Robin and Linda Williams & Their Fine Group, and Charlie Louvin & Charles Whitstein. Bé’s Dutch (local) buddies, the Alabama Country Boys, were always part of the concerts. Bé will be greatly missed by .his family and many friends in the USA and Europe.
Bluegrass in BELGIUM Thierry Schoysman, of the band Rawhide, The Sons of Navarone and editor of Bluegrass in Belgium www.bluegrass.be/ reports, “some strange developments in Belgium. Do you know of many movies in which people like Bill Monroe, J.D. Crowe or Tony Rice are mentioned? Well, there is one now. The Broken Circle Breakdown www.thebrokencirclebreakdown.be/ was launched in Belgian movie theaters recently and has sold 270,000 tickets International Bluegrass 29
so far. It’s probably going to be the year’s best-selling movie. (Belgium counts only 11 million people.) Bluegrass music, only known by a happy few over here, is suddenly mentioned in a national media (news, radio, television, newspapers). The movie is a dramatic love story in which the main character is a banjo player in a bluegrass band. He meets a woman and she joins the band as a singer. Their young daughter becomes a victim of cancer”
Bluegrass in the United Kingdom The Toy Hearts are planning to spend six months in the U.S. in 2013, from May – October. The family will be based out of Austin, Texas. More info: www.bluegrasstoday.com/toy-hearts-totexas-in-2013/ UKBluegrass.com announces that Farewell Blues is the new CD from the Leon Hunt n-Tet band. The album is a celebration of the life and music of Earl Scruggs and other first-generation bluegrass musicians. Info: www.leonhuntntet.com
Jamboree finale lineup
The Toy Hearts, photo by Lilly Pavlak
Bluegrass Magic Moments: Jerry Shereshewsky, Flatt & Scruggs, a girl named "Martha White" and December 8, 1962
by Nancy Cardwell The beginning of a new year is a time for reflection—thinking back over the past 12 months and the past in general. One of the best perks of working for IBMA is getting to pull up a chair in various circles of conversation and listen to members tell stories. I lucked into a recent email exchange between Sab Watanabe Inoue in Japan, Pete Wernick in Colorado, Jerry Shereshewsky in Connecticut, and Dave Freeman in Virginia, on the topic of December 8, 1962—the night Flatt & Scruggs played Carnegie Hall. Last month marked the 50th anniversary of the Flatt & Scruggs Carnegie Hall Concert, recorded live in 1962 and released the following year on Columbia Records. If the IBMA Award for Recorded Event of the Year had existed then, a cut from this legendary, influential album would surely have been the winner. Sab contacted IBMA to find individuals who were in the audience that night, for an article in his bluegrass magazine Moonshiner, published in Japan. Freeman lived in New York City at the time, but he was out of town. A 16-year-old named Pete Wernick (later one of the co-founders of the band, Hot Rize) was there, and so was Jerry Shereshewsky. In fact, if you listen carefully you can hear
Jerry’s voice in the audience, calling out for the band to play the Martha White theme song. Since my Japanese is not so good, I asked all the gentlemen concerned in this conversation for permission to reprint their stories in this month’s issue of International Bluegrass. As you read, stop and think about the magic, life-changing moments bluegrass music has brought to you during the past year and series of years. We’d love to hear from you, and continue this series of stories—past and present.
Jerry Shereshewsky Here, to the best of my knowledge (and after a 50 year separation), is our story. I was a wannabe musician who was friends with some of the best younger generation of bluegrass musicians in the City. The band was called The Bluegrass Straphangerswith Karl Knobler on banjo, Jody Stecher on mandolin, Ira Solomon on guitar and Bill Friedman on bass. I had recently met another Jersey Boy, Hank Miller (who played hot, flatpicking guitar like no one I knew), who had a band called the Orange Mountain Boys with banjoist turned fiddler Gene Lowinger and Peter Szego on Dobro. The Orange Mountain Boys eventually merged with the Straphangers, and with additions and subtractions included lots of others over time including Peter Wernick and Winnie Winston. In the summer of 1962 most of us were in our last year of high school and I was working in a record store in South Orange, NJ. That International Bluegrass 31
summer Hank Miller, Gene Lowinger and I, along with our guitar playing friend Bill Kruvant, drove to Nashville in Billy's father's brand new yellow Pontiac Bonneville air-conditioned convertible. Through my record sales connections, I got us tickets to the Opry and invitations to recording studios and the Ernest Tubb Record Store "after Opry" show. We had a total blast. The only misfortune was that Flatt & Scruggs weren't there. But we did get to see Jim and Jesse, who sang the Martha White theme song—they too, were sponsored by the company—and we went berserk. Back in New Jersey we used to drive to the top of the local highest hill and spread out aluminum foil wings for our car radio and listen to (or try to) the Opry and the WWVA
Jamboree. So we'd heard the theme, but it didn't sink in until we saw Jim and Jesse do it live on stage, twice. Cut to November (or October) when we heard the Flatt & Scruggs were coming to Carnegie Hall. It was absolutely mind blowing. The only other “real” bluegrass we had seen was The Country Gentlemen who did a Sing Out! show with Pete Seeger. That, actually, was my introduction to bluegrass, but that's a story for another time. Again, I put the arm on the record sales guy from Columbia, and boy did he deliver! Ten seats, front and center! I think we were in the third row, but wherever it was it was close enough for sweat to hit us from the stage. Karl Knobler, Jody Stecher, Bill Friedman, Ira Solomon, Hank Miller, Peter Szego, Gene Lowinger and two others I can no longer conjure up…plus, naturally me, were there. After the very first song and at every opportunity thereafter we hollered for the Martha White theme song between every song...during and after the applause. The very idea that a commercial jingle could be a genuine bluegrass song with pretty cool banjo and fiddle breaks plus a catchy chorus, was almost unimaginable. Remember, bluegrass fans in New York City were a very small community. Roger Sprung was the grand old man, and The Greenbriar Boys had a real recording contract with Vanguard, a “real” folk music label. There was Winnie Winston, and some other kids from New Jersey including David Grisman and Fred Weisz…. I think I knew Peter Wernick by then, and that was about it. Lowinger took up the fiddle because no one else played. Imagine—in a city of several million eastern European Jews there were barely any fiddle players! Anyway, the second set opened and we, again, begged for Martha White, but this time Lester stepped forward and gave the introduction you hear on the record. He didn't think anyone in New York had ever heard it. He didn't know about us sitting in Hank's car with the aluminum foil car antenna, smoking cigarettes (unfiltered Camels, of course) and basking in the glow of Flatt & Scruggs,
Jimmy Martin (on WWVA), and the entire panoply of country stars who were Opry and WWVA regulars. And that was the end of the story…almost.
expect to find anyone home, and I am certain that we had no plan to do anything more than gaze at the house, and fantasize about something grander.
Several years later, I think it was the spring of 1966, I was a senior at the University of Wisconsin and heard about a special bluegrass festival in Roanoke, VA, where, according to the grapevine, a Bill Monroe bluegrass reunion was going to take place. I had to be there. It was a different cast of characters, but six of us piled into to someone's 1960-something Plymouth Barracuda and drove from Madison, WI to Roanoke. We had tents, sleeping bags, perhaps a Coleman stove and not much else. Oh, and instruments. I owned a very special Gibson RB-6. Tom Morgan built the neck on a tenor drum. It was beautiful—gold plated & engraved, with sparkletone purfling, curly maple neck and resonator. It sounded great and was the single most amazing banjo ever. How I got it is another story all together, but I eventually sold it to Mike Corcoran from Chicago and it now resides with him at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
As we pulled up to the house the first thing we saw was the Flatt & Scruggs tour bus in the driveway. It stopped us in our tracks. Now we had to figure out what to do. It was perhaps 8 p.m., there were plenty of lights on in the house, and my buddies literally pushed me out the door, banjo in hand, and I stutter-stepped up to the front door. I stood there for a few seconds (that felt like hours) and then rang the bell. Louise Scruggs answered the door and looked at a very unkempt, bearded, rank smelling kid holding a gold plated banjo, asking if Mr Scruggs, sir, his excellency, might autograph it. Earl then ambled over to the door. He was barefoot. The wall-to-wall carpeting was, as I recall, white. Without missing a beat, he invited me in.
After several days and nights of playing, listening and camping (but not showering) we left, sated, and headed back to the Midwest. For reasons I still don't understand we decided to take the long route through Nashville. Perhaps we wanted one more shot at the Ernest Tubb Show. Anyhow, when we got to Nashville we stopped for gas and I noted that we were in Madison, TN. I had sent a fan letter to Earl Scruggs and had gotten a reply from his wife and it was in my banjo case. The address: 44 Donna Dr. Madison, TN. I asked the gas station attendant where Donna Drive was, and it was basically three minutes from where we were standing. We got directions and went there—a pilgrimage, of sorts. We certainly didn’t
Earl did know, and he told us all to come in. And he insisted that we bring all our instruments in with us. Within minutes Earl was playing my banjo. Richard Faverty, a brilliant photographer was in the car with his instruments...Nikons, and took a ton of photos, all of which we believe are lost to history. Louise ordered pizzas. Earl’s sons Randy and Gary Scruggs joined us, and pretty soon we were picking and singing with (expletives deleted) Earl Scruggs. It was absolutely mind blowing. He was amused by my note-for-note renditions of a few Scruggs classics and amazed at our collective knowledge of the entire genre song book. We, in turn, were were amazed by the hospitality...inviting this scruffy bunch to
“Oh, umm. I have some friends in the car, sir, and, I mean, maybe, well, you know…”
come into a white carpeted living room, sit, eat pizza and play music with a genuine god…. Wow! I mentioned my note to Earl and Louise’s reply to me, and I told her about our amazing seats at the Carnegie Hall concert and our whooping and hollering for Martha White. Louise cracked up and told me the back story. The Columbia Record guys were royally [peeved] that night. They were recording the show for an album release and they certainly didn't want it to devolve into a Martha White thing. They were convinced that the Martha White Mills management had planted us in the audience to hijack the record. Today we'd call it guerilla marketing. But of course Martha White had nothing to do with us. In 1962 none of us had ever actually seen a package of Martha White anything. The record execs finally decided that they had to include the song and he rest is, as they say, history. Except a few weeks after I returned to Madison a huge box arrived at my apartment from Martha White Mills, filled with flour and mixes, perhaps weighing 50 or even 100 pounds. There was a thank-you note from the CEO of Martha White Mills with an invitation to come visit. So that’s the entire story, as I know it. Hope you enjoyed it. It was sure fun remembering it and the guys I hung out with, the music we made and the fun we had.
Sab Watanabe Inoue
Sab Watanabe Inoue Thank you, Jerry! I’m sure you were one of the guys who changed the course of my life. In March of 1968 Flatt & Scruggs came to Japan as the first bluegrass act from the U.S. At that time, I thought I was a pretty good banjo player at age 18. But you know how I felt when I saw Earl…. His fingers changed my life and I remember very well that I shouted “Martha White!” after every song—which I learned from you! And when Paul kicked off the theme, I felt a strong connection (in Japan we say a “red string”) between bluegrass music and myself. I believe they heard my shouts! After I graduated college I went into the bluegrass business, which was very rare (and is still rare) in Japan. I married a beautiful fiddler and we raised two kids. One is a professional mandolin player in Tokyo and one is a promoter for bluegrass. My bluegrass life started when I shouted "Martha White" and Flatt & Scruggs played it. I felt like I was in the band, and I still don’t want to leave that band.
Pete Wernick I had seen Flatt & Scruggs twice before [the concert at Carnegie Hall], so had already had the experience of "flipping out" over my heroes. To me, Scruggs was too good to be true! He was like a god to me, looking supremely confident and pleasant in
Pete Wernick in ‘64
his suit, string tie, and western hat, and always delivering a cascade of sparkling strong notes. The band was very polished and professional. They had fun putting on a show, and Paul Warren would really get going with his fiddle, sometimes kicking his leg high in excitement while he fiddled. Everyone liked the choreography, watching them move around the stage, gathering for trios and quartets. New Yorkers were not used to Southerners. Their Southern accents seemed from another world, musical and a little mysterious. Flatt would call us "neighbors,” and really seemed to mean it. It was nice that he was so friendly. The portion of the show with Scruggs on guitar was very special. He made a guitar sing... differently from the banjo, but just as magical in his hands.
Earl Scruggs playing Jerry’s banjo
The thing I remember best from the Carnegie Hall concert was when they first came out on stage. I don't think anyone introduced them, they just walked out to the center of a stage big enough to hold an orchestra, all about the same height, wearing exactly the same dark suits, string ties, and western hats. They seemed like a tribe of men from another world, an exciting world. When they reached the two mics, Earl started “Salty Dog Blues.” Lester sang the first line and then the Foggy Mt. trio hit: "Honey let me be your salty dog." Just at that exact moment was everyone's "fall on the floor" moment. On the record, you can hear the audience almost erupt in glee right then. We knew we would have a great night. It's interesting that that night was the first time that I and other people in the North heard them sing the Martha White song, with the words “Hot Rize.” The song was just heard on the Opry or their TV show, which was not seen in New York, and never on a record. Then it was, of course, on a record. Years later I realized that Hot Rize might be a good name for a band... and sure enough, it is a good name! It is certainly fun to think back 50 years to the time of this concert and all the excitement we had about our heroes and bluegrass music!
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