International Bluegrass Vol. 28, No. 5 May 2013
WIDE OPEN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL LINEUP PETER ROWAN
Membership Month Backyard Bluegrass
International Bluegrass International Bluegrass Music Assocation Vol. 28 | No. 5 | May 2013
IBMA Staff Nancy Cardwell Executive Director Jill Crabtree Member / Convention Services Director Taylor Coughlin Publications Editor / Special Projects Director Katherine Coe Administrative / Media Assistant
Cover story 3 | Wide Open Bluegrass 2013 Lineup
Features 5 | “Wanted Dead or Alive: Traditional Bluegrass
Music” Peter Rowan interview by Bill Conger 8 | Get IBMA Awesome: May is Membership Month 12 | Backyard Bluegrass Sessions Heat Up
NEWs 10 | IBMA Board Meeting Highlights: Spring 2013 11 | Raleigh Preview Weekend 13 | Nominations Open For Special Awards 14 | Sponsorship Webinar, May 16
Departments 9 | New IBMA Members 16 | Fresh Sounds 18 | Bluegrass Music Industry News 20 | Heard ‘Round the World
IB | International Bluegrass Editor: Taylor Coughlin email@example.com Designer: Katherine Coe firstname.lastname@example.org INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS (ISSN #1095-0605) IBMA: Working together for high standards of professionalism, a greater appreciation for our music, and the success of the worldwide bluegrass community. The monthly emailed publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association; 608 W. Iris Drive; Nashville, TN 37204; 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.”
Initial Talent Lineup Announced for IBMA’s
WIDE OPEN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL Special collaboration between bluegrass titans Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Alison Krauss, Del McCoury and Tony Rice, in addition to Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell, and Punch Brothers, are the first performers announced for the two-day Raleigh, NC festival; tickets go on sale this month
The International Bluegrass Music Association – IBMA – is pleased to make its first announcement of talent for the newly-named Wide Open Bluegrass festival, to be held at the Raleigh, NC Convention Center and Amphitheater on September 27th and 28th. The initial slate of artists scheduled to perform at the Wide Open Bluegrass festival include a special collaboration between bluegrass giants Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Alison Krauss, Del McCoury and Tony Rice, a performance from one of the most anticipated tours of the summer, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell and the acclaimed Punch Brothers, with their first appearance at the IBMA festival. Tickets for the Wide Open Bluegrass festival will go on sale May 15 for IBMA members and May 29 for the general public. Bluegrass fans can join IBMA in order to take advantage of
early ticket availability and member discount rates, by calling 1-888-GET-IBMA or going to www.ibma.org. Serving as onstage “mistress of ceremonies” for the Wide Open Bluegrass festival is celebrated banjo player/songwriter Abigail Washburn. Additional ticket information for the Wide Open Bluegrass festival – as well as the full slate of performers - will be announced in the coming weeks. The two-day festival is part of IBMA’s annual World of Bluegrass event: bluegrass music’s annual industry gathering and family reunion. Held for the first time in Raleigh, North Carolina, World of Bluegrass runs from September 24-28. The International Bluegrass Music Association – IBMA – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. International Bluegrass 3
Friday night’s performance from artists Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Alison Krauss, Del McCoury and Tony Rice offers a unique reunion of recipients of IBMA’s inaugural International Bluegrass Music Awards, presented in 1990—a group of artists whose names are synonymous not just with the best in today’s bluegrass, but with the most memorable acoustic music of any kind. Rooted in tradition yet with distinctive, forward-looking visions that have propelled bluegrass music into the 21st century and brought its sounds and influences around the world, these are true masters who are equally at ease in bringing audiences to the edges of their seats with finely-wrought intimacy, and to their feet with bold instrumental virtuosity and signature vocals. Individually, they have been among the genre’s most important role models and musical mentors for the current generation of bluegrass musicians. Though they’re friends and colleagues of long standing, this appearance marks their first time together on stage in more than 20 years. Mark Schatz, Bass Player of the Year in 1994-1995, will be standing in for the late Roy Huskey, Jr., who took top IBMA honors on Bass from 1990-93. Audiences are already familiar with the award-winning combination of actor/musician Steve Martin and the Grammy-winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers; the addition of artist Edie Brickell to their spring/summer tour – which will take them from Town Hall in NYC to the LA’s Hollywood Bowl - has made them on of the most talked-about tours of the year. The Washington Post has nothing but praise for Martin and Brickell’s new Rounder album, “Love Has Come For You, ” declaring that “Mixing the traditional with the modern, Brickell and Martin find a comfortable groove on what may seem like an unlikely collaboration but that turns out to be a perfect fit.”
Saturday night’s Punch Brothers, led by widely acknowledged mandolin genius Chris Thile, have earned acclaim by blending the traditional interplay of bluegrass instruments with the complexity of chamber music—and a healthy dose of contemporary indie sensibility. “With a new host city on the horizon for our annual World of Bluegrass gathering, it was the perfect time for IBMA to assemble a spectacular, one-of-a-kind artistic lineup to celebrate the move,” said IBMA Executive Director, Nancy Cardwell. IBMA’s World of Bluegrass 2013 will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Red Hat Amphitheater—all within easy walking distance of each other. Evening showcases will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center and at various venues in town. For more details and to purchase tickets/register for World of Bluegrass 2013, IBMA Awards, “Wide Open Bluegrass” weekend festival and showcase passes, visit www.worldofbluegrass.org or call 1-888GET-IBMA. Follow IBMA’s World of Bluegrass news at f and on t (@intlbluegrass, #ibma, #wob2013, #bluegrassnation and #bluegrass). For more info, contact: Judy McDonough, McDonough Media 615-243-5994, firstname.lastname@example.org Taylor Coughlin, IBMA 615-256-3222 email@example.com
Wanted Dead or Alive: Traditional Bluegrass Music
Peter Rowan, Bobby Osborne, and others talk old school and the new school. Click here to listen to “That’s All She Wrote” By Bill Conger
Is traditional bluegrass music going the way of the dinosaur? With many founding fathers of the music now deceased, some aficionados of the genre fear that the music the original class of true bluegrass created will pass away too. "I think traditional bluegrass is becoming extinct for the younger generation of players and possibly the fans within their generation," said IBMA Hall of Fame member Bobby Osborne. In fact, he foresees traditional bluegrass snuffed out by the next century with no audience to support it. However, another member of the older generation of bluegrass holds a more optimistic outlook. "Bluegrass will survive," said Peter Rowan, who in his 20s was one of Bill Monroe's bluegrass boys. "I know that there is this fear that everything will all be lost somehow. It's part of my music crusade to keep it alive." As part of Rowan's campaign to preserve traditional bluegrass music, he recorded The Old School (Compass Records), produced
by Alison Brown, with an intergenerational mix of musicians. "I came up through the old school, where you were tested, literally, on the bandstand," Rowan recalls. "You didn't go to college and study the guitar or fiddle, like people do nowadays. You learned by jumping into a jam session where you were expected to hold a part." On the album he featured some of the early teachers of bluegrass like Osborne on the duet "Stealing My Time," Del McCoury on "That's All She Wrote" and Jesse McReynolds' mandolin playing on "Mountain Man's Dreams." Rowan also welcomed to the studio younger players who are seen as the future torchbearers of bluegrass. Michael Cleveland, Bryan Sutton, Jeremy Garrett (Infamous Stringdusters), the Traveling McCoury's, Don Rigsby, Chris Henry and members of Rowan's band among others added their talented touch to the project. Rowan's approach to keeping traditional bluegrass alive is through Monroe-inspired International Bluegrass 5
new material as the singer/songwriter demonstrated with 11 of his originals on this album. "I don't want it to sound like the old material, but I want it to have that same kind of spontaneity and freshness. I like to find out what makes bluegrass, bluegrass, and then explore those aspects rather than trying to keep everything sounding like what people imagine bluegrass to sound like." Part of the disagreement over traditional bluegrass music's future survival begins with differing views on how it is defined. "I can't really define it, and I really wouldn't want to," Rowan said. "It's just when you listen to music with somebody or you witness a vibe, a feeling, where two people kind of look at each other and say uh-huh, that feels cool right there." "Bluegrass, as I know it today," explains Osborne, "became the only way when Earl Scruggs stepped on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry on the night of December 8, 1945, and changed the world of bluegrass with the 5-string banjo." "One of the things that characterizes the old school musician is their way of recording," said Don Rigsby, a 4th generation bluegrass musician. "It's not so much slick and polish, and every note and meter doesn't have to be spot on. They go more for feel." Many contemporary musicians give a reverential nod to the music's early creators but say they don't want to imitate the pioneers. Instead, they have developed a new style that they believe pays respect to the past with an infusion of other genre influences. "The younger generation of players are exposed to so many different things that the older generation couldn't be just because of television and radio and Internet," Rigsby said. "They'll hear a
little bit of something they like from Lester and Earl, and they'll put it with something Chris Thile is doing, and he'll take it from some rock and roll or pop singer. It's all cool, but it's not strictly defined like the old generation of music was." Although Rigsby, 45, likes the new ideas, he would like to see the young guns of music dig deep into the past as he did with his new tribute album to Ralph Stanley, Doctor's Orders. "I've taught a lot of kids over the years, and I always tell them you've learned your bluegrass from 1990 forward," Rigsby said. "You're missing a whole lot when you do that." "They'll study Sam Bush and Tony Rice instead of studying who Sam Bush and Tony Rice studied," adds Henry, who also leads his own band, Hardcore Grass. "They're missing a big part of the foundation that made their heroes so great."
"It's just when you listen to music with somebody or you witness a vibe, a feeling, where two people kind of look at each other and say uh-huh, that feels cool right there."
Henry says many of today's players are more focused on hotdogging. "I'll be in a jam session, and I'll be playing in the old school way, which is melody based,” Henry explained, "Then, I'll be like, let me play the trashiest, nastiest lick I can think of, and the people around me will go ‘Yeah! Son!’ If that's the context the newer types are coming up in, then they're going to build their style on what's feeding these kinds of responses from their peers. It's basically a style out of a gratuitous hot lick instead of digging deeper into the music and really using the melody to make the statement. That's been lost with a lot of the younger cats." "I know young people who really love the old stuff, but for the most part they're all trying to learn bigger and better and faster," adds Rigsby. "They somehow got in their minds that playing fast and hard and loud is drive, and it's not." Traditional bluegrass still has an audience today, a fact that was emphasized for Rowan when he was performing Monroe tribute shows. "The audience reaction is absolutely blowing the roof off the whole thing," Rowan said. "It's as if people still want to hear that kind of music, but they never get to hear it. When we do ‘Somebody Touched Me’ or ‘On the Rock Where Moses Stood,’ really old bluegrass stuff, that's the best response." "I play shows consistently with my band the Stringdusters for 1,000 plus people," Garrett said. "We always play at least one to two traditional numbers during the night. The people go absolutely bonkers for that stuff!" He doesn't think traditional bluegrass will become extinct, but he says bluegrass music could be in danger if newer audiences and bands aren't embraced.
The raw, pure spirit of bluegrass continues to be transformed as it passes into new hands, but many believe the fundamental core remains intact. "The fact is that the average bluegrass audience is getting older and shrinking year after year," Garrett states. "There are vast opportunities that are outside the bluegrass genre and community for younger artists. If the community embraces some of them a little more, I think it could expand the audience, which would, in turn, make a much bigger pool of an audience for everyone." The raw, pure spirit of bluegrass continues to be transformed as it passes into new hands, but many believe the fundamental core remains intact. "The fact that if it evolves doesn't mean that it stays evolved," Rowan said. "Nothing is permanent, so we can always return to the roots. The leaves are growing healthfully, but the roots have to be refreshed." "The thing about art is that if it doesn't evolve somewhat," Garrett said, "then it becomes stagnant and must be preserved to survive, rather than thrive.”
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MEMBERSHIP MONTH Get IBMA Awesome: May is Membership Month! It’s an exciting time in bluegrass, and what better way to foster its success than by supporting the International Bluegrass Music Association in its efforts to keep that success growing? May is Membership Month at IBMA, and there’s no better time to join. You’ll be just in time for first round ballots for the 2013 IBMA Awards and for a members-only ticket purchase week this spring for IBMA’s “Wide Open Bluegrass” festival (formerly Bluegrass Fan Fest) in Raleigh, NC, Friday-Saturday, Sept. 27-28. We’re offering new membership opportunities: A free one-year membership for students enrolled in a higher education bluegrass program, and the new Friends non-voting membership for $25 a year. Get more details by calling the IBMA office at 615-256-3222.
What’s new? Check out www.worldofbluegrass.org and ibma.org for news about the incredible week we’re planning for you in Raleigh, NCincluding a streamlined schedule (less expensive, shorter week) with new events for youth, arts presenters, talent buyers, and emerging bands. The IBMA Youth Council has elected Andrew Rigney as Chair and they have new projects to be announced soon. IBMA’s new Momentum Awards, with a committee headed up by Dan Keen (Belmont Univ.)
and Echo Propp (WAMU/ Nashville Opera), will continue in 2013, with the goal of recognizing notable emerging talent and industry mentors. The World of Bluegrass Street Team, led by Danny Clark and Katherine Coe, will kick into gear this month, right in time for festival season. IBMA continues to expand our social networking community with Bluegrass Nation, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube and Instagram. Finally, look for info soon about a newly constituted International Committee and International Advisory Council.
How do you get involved? Artists and merchandisers who have booths at festivals and other events can contact IBMA to get some “Ask Me About IBMA” and “Bluegrass Nation” stickers, along with small cardstock membership fliers to place on your merch table. Feel free to go to www.ibma.org to click on a link to print off your own membership brochures. We’ll also have downloadable ads and a special Facebook icon you’ll easily be able to share. Artists and industry leaders are encouraged to record 30- and 60-second audio clips that say what you find valuable and important about belonging to IBMA. Please email those to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help making one, let us know. We’re also asking for short (funny or serious) video clips from members with similar messages—why you’re an IBMA member, and also telling viewers that
you’ll see them at World of Bluegrass Sept. 24-28, in Raleigh. Video clips may be posted to IBMA’s YouTube Channel or Facebook page, BluegrassNation.org, or emailed to email@example.com. Here’s a great example of a video we’ve already received from the Steep Canyon Rangers. Radio broadcasters can keep an eye (or ear) for IBMA membership public service announcements to be posted on AirPlay Direct in May as we get them from artists. Association leaders and event producers, and bands can encourage your members, attendees and fans to call 1-888-GET-IBMA or go to www.ibma.org to join IBMA. Websites, liner notes, onstage emcee announcements and Facebook are all great places to help us get the word out. Bloggers, journalists, educators, publicists, songwriters, luthiers and fans, please mention IBMA where you can, and help support the trade association of your friends and peers who are working to keep bluegrass music growing strong.
New Members John Avery Larry Bowers Brice Russell Gene Brown Sam Buckmaster Mary Ann Burggraf Harold Cameron Johnny Campbell Debra Campbell Charles Earhart Michael Evans Ken Faircloth Flatwater Studio Sophie Galep Melissa Holland Dominic Illingworth Jan Johansson Sherry Ann Johnson Robert Jones Thomm Jutz Donna King Gene Knight James Kornegay John Laird R.T. Lassiter Rebecca Levy Brenda Matthews
Ron McFarlane Nancy McFarlane Milan Miller Charles Milliron Doug Montgomery Shawn Porter Maxwell Raybon Michael Raybon Melanie Raybon Jenny Raybon Joshua Richards Buddy Robertson Charli Robertson Harrigill Craig Rowley Robert Sar Jennie Smythe Nathan Stanley Michael Stockton Texas BluegrassMusic Association Paul Trenwith Mechelle Vickers Warren Vickers Zackary Vickers Johnnie Vickers Christopher Wade John White Dave Wilson
Everyone mention IBMA membership and tweet (#ibmamember, #ibmamembershipmonth, #bluegrassnation) in May, to help us network around the globe and get the message out. Got a better idea? Let us know what you’re doing so we can share it with the rest of the membership! (Email all ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) We know you’re a creative thinking bunch of folks!
Flatt Lonesome joins IBMA
International Bluegrass 9
IBMA Board Meeting Highlights
The IBMA Board of Directors met April 12-14 in Raleigh, N.C. to consider a variety of business matters and to hear key committee reports. An executive session to develop a strategic plan for the next three years was facilitated by Fred Bartenstein. Reports from IBMA committees were approved, including a report from the Membership Committee on May as IBMA Membership Month and a report from the Marketing Committee, with info on recent progress with Bluegrass Nation. The board voted to change the way IBMA Special Awards are currently chosen. Small committees will chose five final nominees (up from three per award in the past), and then the final vote will be determined by the IBMA Panel of Electors, a group of over 200 professional members with more than 10 years of experience in the bluegrass music industry who also vote on inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. A motion to add commercially released tracks to the IBMA Awards Eligibility List (posted online at ibma.org in time for the first ballot) was passed. New board member Elizabeth Wightman and new IBMA staff member Taylor Coughlin were welcomed. The World of Bluegrass program and rate schedules were reviewed, along with a list of confirmed artists who will perform at Wide Open Bluegrass in Raleigh Sept. 27-28, and a report was presented on new plans for showcasing (see article elsewhere in this publication). A Tuesday evening keynote meal was added to the IBMA Business Conference schedule. A number of edits to the IBMA Bylaws were suggested, and will be voted on at the board’s next video-conference meeting in July. A proposal to require two signatures on all checks from IBMA written for $5000 or more was passed. A budget for 2013-2014 was presented and approved. A report of the 2012-2013 budget will be published after the end of IBMA’s fiscal year, June 31, 2013. The auditor’s report on IBMA finances 2011-2012 was presented to the board and accepted. Any IBMA member may request a copy of the auditor’s report Chris Stuart and Jon Weisberger were appointed as co-producers of the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Awards. During a three-day strategic planning session, the IBMA Board adopted the following goals for the next three years: 1) Enhance and diversify revenues, 2) Solidify financial and operational management, 3) Increase and add value to IBMA membership, and 4) Strengthen marketing and brand awareness for bluegrass music and IBMA. Specific action plans for each goal are being edited and prioritized, and will be formally adopted by the board at their next meeting.
Raleigh Preview Weekend
April 13, 2013
If the authentic North Carolinian barbecue and pickin’ party on April 13 in Raleigh, NC was any forecast for the World of Bluegrass in September, we are all in for a mighty fine time. IBMA members were welcomed to Raleigh to tour the facilities on April 13 for this year’s World of Bluegrass Festival in downtown Raleigh, and everyone was invited to the Red Hat Amphitheater Saturday night. Of course, people picked and jammed into the night with their bellies full of BBQ, local craft beer, and sweet treats. The preview weekend was also the board’s spring meeting, of which you can find highlights of on page 10. The people of Raleigh are rolling out the BLUE carpet for us, and we were all made to be more excited than we were before. Pictures by IBMA’s Katherine Coe.
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Backyard Bluegrass Sessions Heat
Bluegrass Nation’s Backyard Bluegrass Sessions beefed up their catalog with some stellar performers in April. Keep your eyes on BluegrassNation.org for the latest Backyard Bluegrass Sessions. The Tina Adair Band – Tina Adair plays a fiery mandolin along with her powerful voice, and is backed up by some of the toughest instrumentalists in the biz. Her song “Now Forever’s Gone” is a spitfire. Kayla Hotte – Kayla is a singer-songwriter from Alberta, Canada and heads up Kayla Hotte & Her Rodeo Pals. “Poor Mary Johnson” is a murder ballad written by Hotte. Della Mae – This group of dazzling young women are nothing short of show-stopping. Their smart harmonies, instrumentals, and stage presence mean business. “Turtle Dove” is off their new album This World Oft Can Be out May 28. Peter Rowan – Peter is a revered musician in more than just bluegrass, having begun his tenure under Bill Monroe and explored many genres since. In Rowan’s newest project, The Old School, traditional bluegrass is the name of the game. Flatt Lonesome – They may look young, but don’t let their youthful nature fool you. Their fresh harmonies, authentic arrangements, and dynamic individual talents make them one outstanding group. “Just Any Moment” won 3rd place in Chris Austin’s Songwriting Contest at MerleFest, written by mandolinist Kelsi Harrigill. If you’re passing through Nashville and want to be featured in a Backyard Bluegrass Session, we’d love to have you! Email Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time.
Nominations Open For Special Awards
Deadline : June 14
Nominations are currently being accepted from IBMA members for the following awards, to be presented during World of Bluegrass Week on Sept. 26 in Raleigh, North Carolina: Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year, Print Media Person of the Year, Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project, Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project, Bluegrass Event of the Year and Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year. The eligibility period for special awards is April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013. Broadcasting and print media accomplishments during this time frame should be considered by those writing letters of nomination. Bluegrass events nominated need to have taken place during this time frame, and writers/designers nominated for the Liner Notes and Graphic Design awards should have their work included on CDs released for the first time commercially during the eligibility period. The Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year Award recognizes contributions to bluegrass songwriting during the eligibility period. IIBMA members or individuals involved with an album being considered may send a letter of nomination. You are welcome to nominate yourself. To make a nomination, please send the following items: Broadcaster & Print Media: Send a letter of nomination stating why you believe the person is deserving of the award during the current eligibility period. A CD or DVD sample of the broadcaster's work is appreciated (with music edited out of radio shows). Links to a writer's articles online, photocopies of articles or copies of books are helpful for the latter award. Six (6) copies of all materials are appreciated—particularly if it’s something that cannot be photocopied easily. Bluegrass Event: Send a letter of nomination stating why you believe the event is deserving of the award during the current eligibility period. Event programs, links to websites, photos & videos are helpful. Liner Notes & Graphic Design: Please send SIX (6) COPIES of each nominated CD and include a note saying which award is to be considered (or if it's both). Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year: Any IBMA member, songwriter or publisher may recommend themselves or another writer. A letter listing the achievements of the candidate during the eligibility year is requested. The letter may be accompanied by a compilation CD of songs from the writer that year, but sending a CD is not required. Following are examples of items to be included in a nomination letter: - Songs released as singles, on CDs, or as digital downloads during eligibility period - Songs achieving chart success (sales, radio airplay, etc.) - Significant airplay on terrestrial or satellite radio - Songs used in television or films - Songs used in live performances - Professional involvement in songwriter-related work like workshops, books and articles. Recommendation letters and submissions for all IBMA Special Awards should be submitted by June 14 to: Special Awards committee, 608 Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204 or by email at email@example.com. For more info on IBMA Special Awards, please call 615-256-3222. Five nominees per award will be determined by small committees of individuals with expertise in the various areas represented. The final recipients will be determined by a larger panel of electors, drawn from the professional membership of IBMA. International Bluegrass 13
Sponsorship Webinar, May 16
with Al McCree, Atticus Brand Partners Ever wondered how to nab a great sponsorship? We are proud to announce the next webinar in our series, presented this month by Al McCree on doing just that. The webinar will take place Thursday, May 16 at 6:00pm and will last until 7:15pm. The webinar will cover the following topics such as: What sponsors look for What artists should look for Types of sponsorships The sponsor brokerage model Sponsorship vs. Patronage Crowd sourcing Building your audience to gain sponsorship How to get sponsors Servicing the sponsors Al McCree is an entertainment entrepreneur. He owns and operates Al McCree Entertainment, a concert promotion company and Musical Concepts Inc, a digital distribution company. He is also an associate with Atticus Brand Partners, a Nashville based brand services company that matches national brands with artists, venues and festivals. To register, call Taylor at 615-256-3222. IBMA webinars are $20 for members and $40 for nonmembers.
IBMA’s “Bluegrass Ramble” a weeklong World of Bluegrass showcase experience Sept. 24-28 Most things in life are improved with a theme song—including our slate of artist showcases planned for World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC Sept. 24-28. IBMA’s “Bluegrass Ramble” Showcases will take place from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 24-25 on seven stages, and on six stages from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday – Saturday, Sept. 26-28. But first—before reading any more or clicking on venue links below for photos, crank up our theme song on YouTube, performed by Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqPuQTKDPwU. Conference attendees will be rambling around Raleigh all week, listening to 30 official showcase bands and a number of co-sponsor presented bands. Official IBMA showcase bands will perform two or three times during the week---on stages at the convention center and town venues, at the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Fair Fri-Sat, Sept. 27-28, and also for local schools and university classes.
“In recent years privately hosted showcases during World of Bluegrass week have become so popular that they have conflicted with our official showcase schedule,” IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell said. “Rather than compete with our own members, we’ve decided to join forces this year, presenting official showcase bands several times during the week and also making room for co-sponsor hosted bands in line-ups. World of Bluegrass will be a week-long live bluegrass experience, with lots of bands playing every night. If you miss a showcase band on Tuesday night, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to catch them on Wednesday or later in the week. In addition to conference attendees, we expect a lot of local interest in showcase wristbands—for bluegrass fans in the Raleigh area who work until 5 p.m. and want to come out in the evenings to hear some great bluegrass music.” Admission to showcases in the Raleigh Convention Center is with an IBMA Business Conference registration for the day. Admission to evening showcases at the venues listed below will be with 1) an IBMA Business Conference name badge and photo ID Tue-Thur or a Wide Open Bluegrass festival wrist band on Fri-Sat, 2) a Bluegrass Ramble Showcase wristband Tue – Sat (available for $100/members and $150/nonmembers), or 3) $10 at the door for each venue, per night. After the expenses are covered for the night, door proceeds at each venue will be split Tuesday and Wednesday by thirds between IBMA, official showcase bands, and co-sponsors for their bands. On Thur-Sat nights, proceeds from the door after expenses will be split 50:50 between IBMA and co-sponsors for their bands. Showcase bands will be welcome to sell merch at showcases in all venues. IBMA will cover the expenses for venue rental, sound equipment rental, sound and lighting engineers, and door oversight. Click on the links by the venues below to see photos of our Bluegrass Ramble venues in Raleigh.
• Lincoln Theatre 430 S. Dawson Street, capacity 600, www.lincolntheatre.com • Longview Center 118 S Person Street, capacity 450 (an older church), www.unitytriangle.org/aboutunity/weddings-downtown-raleigh • Tir Na Nog 218 S. Blount Street, capacity 226 (Irish pub with bar & restaurant), www.tnnirishpub.com • Pour House Music Hall 224 S. Blount Street, capacity 360, www.thepourhousemusichall.com • Kings 14 W. Martin Street, capacity 260 (upstairs venue), kingsbarcade.com • The Architect 108 ½ E. Hargett Street, capacity 200-300 (upstairs venue), www.architectbar.com • Raleigh Convention Center stage 4th floor ballroom www.raleighconvention.com/about/facilities/ ballroom Bluegrass Ramble Showcase co-sponsors confirmed so far include MerleFest, Pinecastle Records, Jordan Entertainment, IBMA Foreign Affairs, SteelBridge Insurance, Mountain Home Records, Class Act Entertainment, Christmas in the Smokies, John Boy & Billy, Inc., the Foundation for Bluegrass Music, Folk Alliance International, Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival and several more pending. If your label, association, event or agency is interested in co-sponsoring an evening of showcases, please contact Nancy Cardwell at IBMA. (615) 256-3222, 888-GET-IBMA, firstname.lastname@example.org. Venues are all walking distance from the convention center, and Raleigh’s R-Line complimentary street cars are also an option for transportation. We will have maps available on-site at registration in the Raleigh Convention Center and navigation info on the WOB smart phone app. IBMA’s Bluegrass Ramble Showcases will be produced by Ben Surratt and Cindy Baucom. International Bluegrass 15
Fresh Sounds Tina Adair Band, Born Bad: Fronted by a force (read: voice) to be reckoned with, Tina Adair Band comes barreling out of the gate on Born Bad. Full of songs bolstered by confidence and attitude, TAB display virtuosity and variety, melding traditional, bluesy ‘grass with a soulful, country-rock style. Tina’s songwriting, singing, and playing are all signature to her talents as a well-rounded music creator, and her team of high-esteemed musicians is well paired. Key tracks: “Born Bad,” “Farther Along,” and “Snaker Dan.” www.tinaadairband.com Vincent Cross, A Town Called Normal: International roots-oriented musician Vincent Cross infuses bluegrass with country, blues and folk, and a wealth of solid songwriting in this new album. Cross’ voice is humble and rings true with fitting emotion in each piece. The songs draw from both traditional and contemporary influences, maintaining an authenticity throughout. Key tracks: “Walking on the Outside,” “Turn Your Eyes,” and “Sometimes.” www.vincentcross.com Rebecca Frazier, When We Fall: With her reputation as one of bluegrass music‘s best female flatpickers, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Rebecca Fraziers’ new record has been highly anticipated. Frazier dives deep into her own written material, with a little help from her husband, John who plays mandolin. Frazier’s slick guitar instrumentals shine, while emotional vocals set the tone for this bright, inventive album from a division of Compass Records. Key Tracks: “Better Than Staying,” “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow,” and “Babe In Arms.” Out May 28. Compass Records, www.rebeccafrazier.com Della Mae, This World Oft Can Be: On their Rounder Records debut album, the five females of Della Mae prove their wicked talent, fresh appeal, and powerful chemistry with This World Oft Can Be. While honoring tradition, these fine musicians showcase their collective and individual creativity, honing in on their ability to play emotionally potent, smart, and richly textured music. With Bryan Sutton as producer, this album is poised for the top of the charts. Key tracks: “Empire,” “Turtle Dove,” and the title track “This World Oft Can Be.” Out May 28. Rounder Records, www.dellamae.com John Reischman, Walk Along John: Cultivating a big sound with a small instrument, veteran mandolinist and Canadian John Reischman displays sharp expertise and passionate know-how on his first solo instrumental album in 13 years. A melodic craftsman, Reischman proudly wears his influences on his sleeve, while owning his creativity and imaginative detail. With a mix of traditional and original tunes, Reischman plays with wit and taste on Walk Along John. Chris Thile and Tony Trischka play as guests. Key tracks: “Gold Mountain Blues,” “Joe Ahr’s Dream,” and “Little Maggie.” Corvus Records, www.johnreischman.com
Don Rigsby, Doctor’s Orders: It’s simple: Don Rigsby has a hero and idol in Ralph Stanley, and he shows his admiration deeply through his latest record, a tribute to the Doc himself. On his sixth solo project, Rigsby pays homage to Stanley with 13 covers of Stanley and Stanley Brothers material, with one new song aptly named “The Mountain Doctor.” And yes, Dr. Ralph Stanley humbly graces the album, along with some former Clinch Mountain Boys including Ricky Skaggs, and more. Key tracks: “The Daughter of Geronimo,” “Brand New Tennessee Waltz,” and “Six More Miles.” Rebel Records, www.donrigsby.com Peter Rowan, The Old School: One thing is for sure: When you hold a legacy such as Rowan, you’re bound to produce nothing short of intensely rich, and bar-setting music. Rowan’s latest project is a powerhouse of original works, and a finely tuned ‘O Freedom’ with a bevy of the genre’s best like Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, JD Crowe, Bryan Sutton, Stuart Duncan, The Travelin’ McCourys, and many more. With vivid imagery and sharp lyricism, The Old School is the cool school, with plenty left to teach. Key tracks: “Keepin’ it Between the Lines (Old School),” “Doc Watson Morning,” and “Letter From Beyond.” Compass Records, www.peter-rowan.com Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, On the Edge: IBMA 2012 Emerging Artist of the Year Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen has a hot new dish with On the Edge. The band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album shows off their undeniable vigor and solid precision. With delicious support from Tim O’Brien, Rob Icks on resonator guitar, and vocalist Megan McCormick, Frank & Dirty Kitchen show off skill and serve up fun in an inventive, fresh new grass dish. Key tracks: “M80,” “Gone,” and “Bedrock.” Compass Records, www.dirtykitchenband.com The Boxcars, It’s Just A Road: With rich melodies written by Keith Garrett and Ron Stewart, and old tunes with a new spin, The Boxcars’ new album features their best work yet. The two-time and reigning IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year gets down to business, exploring troubles and triumphs in each song. They aren’t afraid to get a little personal, and no surprises here: show off their impeccable musicianship. Key tracks: “It’s Just a Road,” “The Devil Held the Gun,” and “Cornelia.” www.theboxcars.com
International Bluegrass 17
Bluegrass Music Industry News
May 2013 Chart toppers
Congratulations to Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice who are at the top of Bluegrass Today’s Monthly Airplay Chart for April for their latest album The Story of the Day That I Died. The title track is at number 4 on the Weekly Airplay Chart at press time. Dailey & Vincent’s new single “Steel Drivin’ Man” has reigned for two weeks at the top of Bluegrass Today’s Weekly Airplay chart. The single is off their new album Brothers of the Highway out May 7. On The Bluegrass Unlimited charts, Grass Cats’ “The Mountains, My Baby and Me” is at number one for April from their album of the same name. Steven Curtis Chapman’s bluegrass album Deep Roots holds on for the sixth week at number one on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts.
Congratulations! Award winners were announced April 13 for the Appalachian Cultural Music Association’s Blue Ridge Music Uprising. Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year went to Narrow Road, Bluegrass Instrumental Group of the Year was awarded to Rich in Tradition, and The VW Boys won for Bluegrass Entertainers of the Year. Congratulations, all! MerleFest (April 26-28 in Wilkesboro, NC) announced the winners in its prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. All winners received prizes and performed onstage Sunday night. Bluegrass 1st – John Cloyd Miller (Asheville, NC) for “Cloud of Dust” 2nd – Todd Grebe (Nashville, TN) for “Master of My Destiny” 3rd – Aaron Burdett (Saluda, NC) for “Magpie” Gospel/Inspirational 1st- Melody Walker (San Francisco, CA) for “Black Grace” 2nd – Lorraine Jordan (Garner, NC) for “Judgment Day” 3rd – Kelsi Robertson Harrigill (Murfreesboro, TN) for “Just Any Moment” Playing On The Planet has landed an exciting new television licensing deal for its original music. Public Broadcasting Television (PBS) will use “Tennessee Twister,” penned by band member Lisa Jacobi and performed by the group, for the fall season of its show Roadtrip Nation. This is their second song licensed to PBS, and adds to original compositions that the band has licensed to a variety of network television shows and sports broadcasts.
Sugar Hill has a new marketing team. Jess Draper has joined as Sugar Hill’s Director of Artist & Media Relations. Megan McNair has been named Sugar Hill’s new Marketing Manager. And joining the company as Marketing Coordinator is Shannon Koleen Blauer.
Artists and band news Vocalist and guitarist Dustin Pyrtle is the newest member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Pyrtle stepped in for Michael Roberts who has chosen to pursue country music. Pyrtle previously played for Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. David Carroll is the new banjo picker for the Darrell Webb Band. Carroll joins Jeremy Arrowood on bass, Jared Hensley on guitar, Jake Joines on reso-guitar, and Webb on mandolin and lead vocals. The band are in the studio recording for their latest project. Mandolinist Joe Walsh announced he is splitting with The Gibson Brothers to pursue other opportunities. The change comes during a busy time for the band who are on tour promoting their newest album. Walsh has a new CD project with Darol Anger, Courtney Hartman, Lukas Pool and Shannon Gilchrist that will be released in the near future. Adam Pye has joined The Spinney Brothers as their new bassist, replacing long-time member Darryl Hebb, who has left to pursue other opportunities. Pye hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Spinney Brothers have a new album out May 7th called No Borders.
New music announcements Head for the Hills announced their newest album, Blue Ruin will be out July 9. Head for the Hills is Adam Kinghorn on guitar, Michael Chappell on mandolin, Joe Lessard on fiddle, and Matt Loewen bass. More information can be found about Blue Ruin at www.HeadForTheHillsMusic.com/blueruin. The Roys will release their latest album Gypsy Runaway Train June 4. This is the third album for the pair with their label Rebel Records. Programmers can catch their new single "Gypsy Runaway Train" through AirPlay Direct and Soundcloud. Jeff Scroggins and Colorado have a new album Western Branches coming out soon. The album features 12 original, traditional and cover songs, and produced by Sally Van Meter. Keep up on the latest announcements regarding the album on their website: www.jeffscrogginsandcolorado.com. GearTrack celebrated its official launch in April and announced the recovery of two valuable stolen mandolins owned by Vancouver, WA musicians Rocky and Deb Blakewood. The instruments went home to their rightful owners as a result of their listing on the online registry.
Out on bookshelves Edited by Fred Bartenstein, Bluegrass Bluesman: Josh Graves, A Memoir profiles the music and life of the father of bluegrass Dobro. Drawing from interviews conducted by Barry Willis and Mike Dow, Bobby G. Wolfe, Stacy Phillips and Betty Wheeler, the new book makes the case for Graves as the missing link between bluegrass music and the blues – with some great stories along the way. Neil Rosenberg wrote the forward, and the book was published by University of Illinois Press. Any fan of bluegrass music – particularly Flatt & Scruggs fans, aficionados of the resonator guitar, and of course musicians and fans who were mentored and inspired by Josh – will enjoy this one. www.press.uillinois.edu. International Bluegrass 19
In Remembrance IBMA member, banjo picker and mandolinist Dr. Bob Mavian passed away Saturday, April 20 in surrounded by his family. He was best known as Gibson Case of The Case Brothers. Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry member, and music legend George Jones passed away in Nashville on April 26. His one-of-a-kind Texas drawl, heart-breaking ballads, and rebel lifestyle influenced many over the years, and he will always be held in the highest esteem as one of the greatest voices of all time. The public are welcome to his memorial at The Grand Ol’ Opry on Thursday, May 2. Bluegrass singer and guitarist William Forrest "Bill" Lowe of West Union, SC passed away on Sunday, April 28, 2013. Bill was recognized as a pioneer of bluegrass by the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2012 in Owensboro, KY.
Heard ‘Round the World The European World of Bluegrass Festival will take place in Voorthuizen, Holland May 9-11. The event is in its 11th year and has been recognized by Bluegrass Event of the Year by IBMA, the only event in Europe so far to do so. Fans can see acts from all over Europe and abroad; the event also features workshops, a trade show, and awards. Click here for more information. The Sons of Navarone have new guitar player: Yves Aerts. After just two years with The Sons, Jef Van Peer decided to leave the band because of his heavy schedule. Aerts also plays with Rocks & Ivy, and previously fronted Blue Cartel. The Earl Brackin Band has been invited to play in Sochi, Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics. In February 2014, The Earl Brackin Band will tour Russia during the Winter Olympic games as performing members of the Engage Sochi project. The band will start in Moscow with a concert then spend 4 days playing in Sochi, the site of the winter games. They are trying to raise the funds to get the band there, feed and house them. Help them get there by clicking and contributing here. The 31st Big Bear Festival will take place Monday, May 20 in Zuidlaren, Netherlands. Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice will headline, along with Rocks & Ivy, Janis McCoury & the Wall of Sound, and more. Click here for more information.
Bluegrass bands from outside the US wanted onstage in Raleigh: We are looking for bluegrass bands that plan to be in Raleigh for this year's World of Bluegrass. IBMA's International Committee, together with the EBMA and Nechville Instruments, will host a number of “Foreign Affairs” showcases, and would like to show the Americans that there is bluegrass music all over the world. These showcase programs will probably be held in a venue in Raleigh, close to the Convention Center, late at night on Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday, when the Award Show and the official Wide Open Bluegrass programs are over. Please email Rienk Janssen at: Rienk.email@example.com
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International Bluegrass Vol. 28, No. 5 May 2013