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IB International Bluegrass Vol. 27 No. 10 October 2012

Gibson Brothers

IBMA Entertainers of the Year

Momentu m Awards Behind the Scenes at IBMA

International Bluegrass

Vol. 27 No. 10

October 2012

Cover Story

4 Gibson Brothers Receive Top Honor Features

6 International Bluegrass Music Awards 7 Momentum Awards 8 Behind the Scenes at International Bluegrass with Katherine Coe

9 A Few Old Memories‌ and Lots Of New Challenges by Randy Pitts

12 World of Bluegrass Photos 16 IBMA Finalizes Financial Audit

Welcome to the digital edition of IB: International Bluegrass! The newsletter that brings you the freshest, ripest bluegrass industry news on the planethas 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. 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.

IB IBMA Staff Nancy Cardwell, Executive Director Jill Crabtree, Member/Convention Services Director Katherine Coe, Administrative/Media Assistant Caroline Wright, Editor & Special Project Director IB/International Bluegrass Editor: Caroline Wright, Designer: Katherine Coe, Cover Photo Mark Stultz Photos in this issue Alane Anno, Katherine Coe, Irene Lehmann, Stephen Ruffo, Mark Stultz 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:; Website: Statements of fact and opinion are made on the responsibility of the writers alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the officers, directors, staff or members of IBMA. Portions of International Bluegrass may be reprinted provided that explicit citation of the source is made: “Re-printed with permission from International Bluegrass, the publication of the International Bluegrass Music Association,� 3

Gibson Brothers Receive Top Honor

L-R: Kitsy Kuykendall, Sam Bush (photo by Stephen Ruffo)

The Gibson Brothers took home the Entertainer of the Year Award at the 23rd annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Thursday night, September 27, 2012 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Brothers Eric and Leigh Gibson, along with their band (Mike Barber, Clayton Campbell and Joe Walsh) also picked up an award for Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for “Singing As We Rise.” Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice received their first two IBMA Awards for Album of the Year (The Heart of a Song) and Single of the Year (“A Far Cry From Lester & Earl”). Russell Moore (of Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out) and Dale Ann Bradley were male and female vocalists of the year, respectively, and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers were the recipients of the prestigious Emerging Artist award. A full listing of all this year’s winners and award recipients appears on the next page. Doyle Lawson and the late Ralph Rinzler were the 2012 Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductees. As always, some of the best musicians in bluegrass delivered a night filled with amazing performances. Hosts Del McCoury and Laurie Lewis joined a new ensemble called “the Masters of Bluegrass” -- J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, Jerry McCoury and Bobby Osborne -- to get the show off to a rousing start. Other standout performances included Dailey & Vincent’s stirring a cappella rendition of “When The Roll is Called Up Yonder,” which brought the audience to its feet; Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen’s bluegrass interpretation of The Box Tops’ classic “The Letter;” and Hall of Fame inductee Doyle Lawson’s performance, with his band Quicksilver, of “Dixie Home.” A stunning all-star finale, led by last year’s Entertainer of the Year recipient Steve Martin, filled the Ryman stage with some of bluegrass music’s top banjo players and musicians, in a tribute to late banjo legend Earl Scruggs, who died earlier this year. Participants in the Scruggs tribute included Tom Adams, Eddie Adcock, Jessie Baker, Terry Baucom, Sam Bush, Kristin Scott Benson, Alison Brown, Jason Burleson, Greg Cahill, Jason Carter, J.D.Crowe, Jason Davis, Joe Dean, Steve Dilling, Glenn Gibson,

Eric Gibson, Mark Johnson, Doyle Lawson, Laurie Lewis, Del McCoury, Ron and Rob McCoury, Lynn Morris, Joe Mullins, Mike Munford, Chris Pandolfi, Graham Sharp, Sammy Shelor, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys (Jonny, Robbie & Tommy Mizzone), Ron Stewart, Mike Sumner, Tony Trischka, Scott Vestal, Pete Wernick, Roland White and more.

Star-filled tribute to Earl Scruggs featuring Steve Martin and the top musicians in today’s bluegrass music caps a night of stellar performances and special moments. The International Bluegrass Music Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. The IBMA Awards Show is the centerpiece of the World of Bluegrass Week, which also includes the IBMA Business Conference and Bluegrass Fan Fest. For the first time ever, the 2012 IBMA Awards Show was broadcast live from the Ryman as streaming video on and The Awards Show was also broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction, Channel 14), on 650 WSM AM and will be syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to sponsors Compass Records, ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass, Deering Banjos, BMI, the International Bluegrass Music Museum,, Boston Bluegrass Union,, Music City Roots/ Bluegrass Underground, and 650 WSM AM. Program directors and station managers may register as affiliates by calling 888-GET-IBMA or 615-256-3222. 5

The 2012 International

Bluegrass Music Awards

Recorded Event of the Year “Life Goes On” by Carl Jackson, Ronnie Bowman, Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley, Rickey Wasson, Randy Kohrs, D.A. Adkins, Garnet Bowman, Lynn Butler, Ashley Kohrs, Gary Payne, Dale Pyatt, Clay Hess, Alan Bibey, Jay Weaver, Ron Stewart & Jim VanCleve (artists); Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Jim Van Cleve & Randy Kohrs (producers); Rural Rhythm Records Banjo Player of the Year Sammy Shelor

Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductees Doyle Lawson, Ralph Rinzler

Bass Player of the Year Marshall Wilborn

Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients Byron Berline, Joe & Lil Cornett, Orin Friesen, Pee Wee Lambert, Kitsy Kuykendall

Fiddle Player of the Year Stuart Duncan

Entertainer of the Year The Gibson Brothers Vocal Group of the Year Blue Highway Instrumental Group of the Year The Boxcars Emerging Artists of the Year Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers Male Vocalist of the Year Russell Moore Female Vocalist of the Year Dale Ann Bradley Song of the Year “A Far Cry From Lester & Earl” Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice Album of the Year Heart Of A Song Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice Gospel Recorded Event of the Year “Singing As We Rise” by the Gibson Brothers with Ricky Skaggs Instrumental Performance of the Year “Angeline The Baker” by Lonesome River Band 6

Dobro Player of the Year Rob Ickes Guitar Player of the Year Doc Watson Mandolinist of the Year Adam Steffey Broadcaster of the Year Kyle Cantrell Bluegrass Event of the Year ROMP, produced by the International Bluegrass Music Museum; Owensboro, KY Print Media Person of the Year Marty Godbey, author of Crowe on the Banjo: The Music Life of J.D. Crowe (Univ. of Illinois Press) Best Graphic Design Bedrock Manufacturing (designer) for Nobody Knows You, by the Steep Canyon Rangers (Rounder Records) Best Liner Notes Marian Leighton Levy (liner notes), for Tony Rice: The Bill Monroe Collection, by Tony Rice (Rounder Records) Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year Jon Weisberger

The 2012 Momentum Awards During World of Bluegrass 2012, IBMA’s new Momentum Awards, designed to recognize promising new talent, were presented. This year’s recipients of the Momentum Awards – which focus on artists and business people in the early years of their careers in bluegrass music – are... Band of the Year


Vocalist of the Year

Emily Bankester

Instrumentalists of the Year Bassist Sa mson Grisman Fiddler Alex Hargreaves Fiddler Christian Ward


Event/Venue of the Year Uprising, produced by Steve Cielic in Scottown, Ohio Industry Achievement Emilee Warner, Crash Avenue Mentor of the Year

Mike Bub

L-R: Matt Munsey (Monroeville), Emily Bankester (The Bankesters), producers of Appalachian Uprising photo by Alane Anno

Behind the Scenes at IBMA with Katherine Coe, IBMA Media & Administrative Assistant

There is something special about each “first” in life, which always holds a special place in your heart. This week was my first time at World of Bluegrass, the annual Business Conference, Awards Show, and Bluegrass Fan Fest for IBMA, and it was quite the way to be initiated as a new staff member! The first CD I ever owned was Alison Krauss’ Now That I’ve Found You. I played those 12 songs so much that my uncle bought me my first CD player and I’ve Got That Old Feeling, also by Alison Krauss. Jump forward about 15 years to my college graduation day when I kissed my parents goodbye and drove over 400 miles to Nashville. I had never been to Music City, but I knew that it was where I needed to be to start the career I was anxiously anticipating. By the end of the month I set up my first internship interview and walked out of an office with a copy of—you guessed it-- Paper Airplane, Alison Krauss’ latest record, in my hand. The next day I started my first day of work with Denise Stiff’s management company. I spent a crucial year watching, listening, and learning from her before I got my first full time job with the International Bluegrass Music Association. This past Tuesday, Alison joined us in the Center Hall at the Nashville Convention Center for a special performance, and I flashed back to the first lines of the song I’ve sung along with her for so long called “Broadway”:

“I stood on faith and the corner of a mbition. I ca me here to sink or swim, And to show them all that they were wrong, And though I never thought I’d make it this far.” Constantly anticipating what will happen next in my life, these lyrics by Sidney and Suzanne Cox hit me hard. So far my faith and ambition have led me to be a part of an association that brings people from all over the world to share a love of music! What more could I want? And to top it off, I am literally on “Broadway” meeting Alison Krauss for the first time. Thanks to all of you who made such an encouraging first impression on my life this week. It has been an amazing welcome as I join the IBMA staff. I finally feel like my “stride is in rhythm to the beat of home, sweet home.” This might be the last year in Nashville for a while, but I will always remember the 2012 World of Bluegrass as my first! Photo of Alison Krauss & Katherine Coe by Alane Anno

A Few Old Memories… and Lots Of New Challenges by Randy Pitts, exclusive to IBMA Attending the annual International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass convention, trade show, and Fan Fest has always been an excellent method of determining the state of bluegrass at a given historical time. This was particularly true of this year’s justconcluded events, the last World of Bluegrass to be held in Nashville, at least for a while. As an attendee of more than 20 years in various capacities (fan, interested observer, job seeker, talent buyer, booking agent, and supportive partner of a showcasing band member), I was struck repeatedly this year by several things: at just how integral a part of the warp and woof of the music this event has become; at how dependent we in the business have become on the organization; and -especially now -- how IBMA faces the challenges of the future and the World of Bluegrass move to Raleigh in 2013. In less than 25 years, World Of Bluegrass has become THE essential event for anyone who derives a livelihood in bluegrass music, be they musician, agent, manager, event, festival, or concert promoter, luthier, sound equipment manufacturer or salesman, radio or television show producer, book or blog author, talent buyer, or just someone looking for good bluegrass music. By attending this year’s trade show, one was able to compare tuners, strings, guitar straps, tone rings, promo packages, and myriad other examples of the products available to inhabitants of today’s bluegrass world. By attending the various panels offered throughout the week, one is able to connect and interact with fellow citizens of the

bluegrass world and exchange thoughts, ideas, arguments, and even licks. For instance, I attended a panel entitled “Creative Music Arrangement.” Moderated by Nashville heavyweight Harry Stinson, and including panelists Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Bill Evans, this was not an atypical panel! Similar star-studded sessions filled the week’s activities. Often characterized as part business conference, part trade show, part bluegrass festival, and part family reunion, the annual World of Bluegrass is all of that, but it is so much more. Since bluegrass is a music whose appeal depends in great part on its rich historical significance, much of the thrill of attending the events has always been the opportunity to re-establish vital connection with one’s heroes. From the inductions of new Hall Of Fame members Doyle Lawson and Ralph Rinzler… to recognition of Distinguished Achievement honorees Byron Berline, Kitsy Kuykendall, Pee Wee Lambert, Orin Friesen, and Joe & Lil Cornett… from Fan Fest performances of icons Jesse McReynolds, J. D. Crowe, and Larry Sparks… to poignant tribute events celebrating the music and lives of recently-departed icons Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Hazel Dickens, Doug Dillard, and the Lilly Brothers… this year continued the tradition of connection in exemplary fashion. Along with Laurie Lewis, Hall Of Fame member Del McCoury hosted 9

Thursday night’s awards show held at the historic Ryman Auditorium. (Typically, Del charmed the audience with the quote of the week, by my reckoning. Regarding his tussle with the teleprompter, he quipped, “Well, I found my glasses, but I lost my composure.”) The very presence of Curly Seckler, George Shuffler, Roland White, Bill Keith, Eddie Adcock and other icons in the Convention Center halls further reminded us of the important contributions of the pioneering heroes of bluegrass – contributions not just to its past but to its future, as current stars performed or testified in storytelling sessions how encounters with these icons have enriched their lives, careers, and music. Of equal importance to the future of the music and the organization, it seems to me, is the growing number of young people taking up the tradition, a trend much in evidence this year in hallway jams, the trade show, the Fan Fest stage, and even at the Awards Show. I don’t recall ever, in years past, so many youngsters involved in hallway jams as this year, strong evidence that the future of the music is in good hands. Even a cursory listen to the tunes emanating from those jams indicated that the rich history of the music is being carried into the future by a capable new generation. Jams dominated by teenagers and even younger children proliferated, and their repertoire was largely derived from the classics of past masters.

Chad Graves, of the Hillbenders, participated in a Dobro tribute to Pete “Bashful Brother Oswald” Kirby and Josh Graves September 24 (Photo by Alane Anno)

This year, several important awards underscored the importance of tradition in looking to the future of the music. Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice received awards for both Song Of The Year and Album Of The Year. For Sisk, a longtime favorite and richly deserving tradition-based vocalist, the unforgettable event was undoubtedly a professional breakthrough. The Gibson Brothers, whose sound harks back to the brother duets of yesteryear, won the prestigious Entertainer Of the Year award.

Repeat winners Russell Moore and Dale Ann Bradley, both decidedly tradition-based, were Male and Female Vocalists of the Year. Longtime favorites Blue Highway garnered the win for Vocal Group of the Year. There was a definite traditional bent, in fact, to the entire evening’s proceedings at the Awards Show, which also included an affecting tribute to Earl Scruggs (led by Steve Martin, kicked off by 10-year-old wunderkind Jonny Mizzone of the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, and featuring seemingly every prominent bluegrass banjoist in the civilized world). The music remains vital and continues to develop. What, then, of the business it has created and continues to support? By attending Thursday’s Town Hall Meeting, I was able to hear from board members the reasoning behind World of Bluegrass’ move to Raleigh (and away from Nashville) in 2013. Economically, the move seemed to make sense to the majority of the board, as did moving from an event that has lasted seven days for years to five days in 2013. Board President Stan Zdonik relayed the consensus opinion that both changes would offer considerable savings to the organization and attendees as well. It is generally felt that event attendance in recent years has largely declined due to rising expenses in uncertain economic times, and a rapidly changing (and uncertain) music industry. “We’ve been doing this event exactly the same for a very long time,” said Zdonik, who went on to indicate that it was time to explore alternative options in several areas. To that end, four new committees have been formed. One committee is charged with the task of examining the way showcases are presented, another with the design of the Fan Fest event, a third with investigating and defining the organization’s relevance to members, and the fourth will interface with the Raleigh organizing committee. I emerged from the meeting confident that IBMA’s leadership, including new Executive Director

Nancy Cardwell, has the situation well in hand, equally cognizant of the pitfalls and opportunities such a move presents. Every single IBMA World of Bluegrass I’ve attended -- 21 and counting -- has afforded memories for a lifetime, and I’ve made lasting friendships every year. But I must admit that for me, the most lasting and precious memories came from Tuesday night’s tribute to Hazel Dickens. Hazel was a friend for a long time, and I booked the last extended Hazel and Alice tour in 1997, just before I moved to Nashville. Hearing Hazel’s music performed by old friends of hers (and mine) -- among them Laurie Lewis, Claire Lynch, Alison Krauss, Todd Phillips, Tom Rozum, Sally Love, Dudley Connell, and James King, as well as the wonderful Kathy Mattea and the phenomenal young all-woman band Della Mae -- provided memories that my wife Chris and I will always cherish. Hazel loved coming to the World of Bluegrass, and seeing her was always a reason for looking forward to the next event. I feel privileged to have been a small part of the Hazel tribute, and I am reminded that creating memories is, among its many accomplishments, perhaps what IBMA does best.

Click here to see the grand finale of the 23rd IBMA Awards, beginning with a heartfelt tribute to Earl Scruggs, presented by Steve Martin:


Bobby Hicks The Del McCoury Band, at Fan Fest

J.D. Crowe

Map of WoB 2013, at the booth

Claire Lynch

WAMU Bluegrass Country’s Katy Daley interviews Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers.

Dan Keen & Sherrill Blackman greet old friends at WoB 2012.

23rd Annual IBMA Awards, at the Ryman Auditorium

We have an “Instrument Check” room instead of a “Coat & Hat Check” room at World of Bluegrass.

Jams! Fan Fest sponsors Bob Fehr (left) and Larry Barnwell of Martin Guitars, with IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell

L-R: Loren Gold, Natt Munsey & Henri Deschamps in WoB exhibit hall

Showcase band, The Magnificent Sevens

IBMA Awards Grand Finale September 27 at The Ryman. Front, L-R: Ron Stewart, Kristin Scott Benson, Sammy Shelor, J.D. Crowe; Front Left: Jonny MIzzone & The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys

More Jams!

photos by Alane Anno Katherine Coe Irene Lehmann Mark Stultz

IBMA Finalizes Financial Audit In addition to its own ongoing financial oversight the IBMA Board of Directors has accepted the first formal comprehensive outside audit of its finances, conducted by Nashville’s Collingsworth Bright & Company, P.C. The audit examined detailed financial records for fiscal year 2010, plus selected transactions going back as far as 2006. The board accepted several recommendations for accounting going forward, including a shift to a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year. “This audit is a welcome development,” said IBMA Board Chairman Stan Zdonik. “It catches the organization up in its fiduciary duty to our dues-paying members and sponsors to affirm their money is being handled responsibly. Based on this audit and all other available facts, the board is satisfied that IBMA finances were handled ethically, legally and responsibly by former Executive Director Dan Hays. And while we continue to face challenges in a time of economic stress, we will know that the financial practices of IBMA will be in exemplary shape as our new executive director, Nancy Cardwell begins her term." Copies of the full audit are available from the IBMA office upon request. Info:

A Reminder The application deadline for Leadership Bluegrass, scheduled for March 7-9, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee is November 15, 2012. Click here for the application form:


International Bluegrass Vol. 27 No. 10 October 2012


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...

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...