Chris Pandolfi’s IBMA Address

Chris Pandolfi has posted video of the Keynote Address he delivered last Tuesday (9/27) at IBMA’s 2011 World Of Bluegrass convention. After a brief introduction from Craig Havighurst, Chris launches into the thoughts behind the Bluegrass Manifesto which he published earlier this year.

Both his address and the Manifesto behind it deal with the decision by The Infamous Stringdusters to avoid the term bluegrass in describing their music to promoters. There is a great deal to chew on here, and Chris deals with the topic with grace and wisdom.

The video runs just short of an hour and was shot by Drew Becker. It’s well worth the investment of your time.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Bob S.

    Thank you Chris!

    Very well spoken words from another side of this great of this great bluegrass community. As a beginning mandolin player, I can say that I love what Bill Monroe has created for this music, but I see myself leaning towards a more modern style of playing this wonderful instrument. I love Blue Highway, LRB, Balsom Range, Volume Five, New Foundroad, etc. – to me, this is the future of blugrass. Thanks again

    Bob

    • Joe P.

      I started mando a long time ago and deeply love Monroe’s style. That said, most of what I play is not a direct Monroe styling … but I can play a lot of his style when I want.

      I think all musicians benefit when learn the roots of the music even if they play in a different style.

      • Joe P.

        Edit: I think musicians benefit when they learn the roots of the music even if they play in a different style.

  • Donald Scobie

    Great presentation, wished I had the time to attend it. As a production type (lighting guy), I have seen the reluctance for change express itself by audience members yell and scream at me concerning the lighting design and sets. I have been told that colored lights are ok for rock rap and even country but have no place in bluegrass. My use of moving lights has been deemed inappropriate and I have been even told that using a cyc or drape was not acceptable. Sometimes I think many of these people would be fine if we just left the metal halide light on and threw some hay bales on the stage.

  • Donald Scobie

    Great presentation, wished I had the time to attend it. As a production type (lighting guy), I have seen the reluctance for change express itself by audience members yell and scream at me concerning the lighting design and sets. I have been told that colored lights are ok for rock rap and even country but have no place in bluegrass. My use of moving lights has been deemed inappropriate and I have been even told that using a cyc or drape was not acceptable. Sometimes I think many of these people would be fine if we just left the metal halide light on and threw some hay bales on the stage. As to Chris’s comments towards the jamband/grass community, I think the bluegrass world should look towards their audience as a natural demographic to expand. Just look at the success Del has had with the hippies. As an audience they are probably the most open group to embrace different musical genres and sometimes make them their own. IBMA as a trade group should make these bands feel welcome, and invite them into the fold, I have been told by many of the band members and promoters that they are not welcome at IBMA. Maybe the first step would to invite Yonder Mountain to fanfest next year. The ironic thing is the first year in Nashville, they played a show in town on Sat night, and probably had a bigger audience then FanFest did, and had many of the of the band members from fanfest sitting in with them.

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