The Bluegrass Calendar 2008 is now available from Bluegrass Productions of Virginia, and can be purchased on-line via the website. I am sure that I am not the only bluegrass fan who missed the joys of having one of the calendars last year and news of a new calendar is tremendous.
The 2008 bluegrass calendar has as its theme the ladies of bluegrass; from pioneers, to group members and then to band leaders, as the trend developed.
Since the 1980s there has been a proliferation of women in bluegrass music, more and more actually leading bands. Previously there was a small number playing the music; just Sara and Maybelle Carter; Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard; and Rose Maddox. Now following in the footsteps of those pioneers is, firstly, Alison Krauss, then Lynn Morris, Laurie Lewis, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Valerie Smith, Dale Ann Bradley, Lorraine Jordan, Alecia Nugent and Honi Deaton.
In addition there are the side musicians such as Janet Beazley, Missy Raines, Kristin Scott Benson, Becky Buller, Rayna Gellert and Sally Love, all of whom make a very significant contribution to their respective bands.
Gary Reid shares some recollections of the way in which his 2008 Bluegrass Calendar came to have women in bluegrass as its theme.
“Maryland-based photographer Priscilla Warnock had a lot to do with the concept. We met at the IBMA World of Bluegrass event in Nashville several years ago; I had a booth set-up in the trade show and was promoting the most recent edition of the Bluegrass Calendar. Priscilla made me aware of her photographic activities and shortly after the trade show, I contacted her and began a dialog that led to the 2008 edition of the calendar. It’s been a while since we started the project, but… if memory serves me correctly, I think it was her idea to highlight the role of women in bluegrass.”
The ladies featured in the pages of the 2008 Bluegrass Calendar are Margie Sullivan, 3 Fox Drive, Sally Love, Cherryholmes, Hazel Dickens, Rhonda Vincent, Laurie Lewis, Lynn Morris, Valerie Smith, Becky Buller, Megan Lynch, April Verch, Nancy Cardwell, Jeanette Williams, Sharon Gilchrist, Casey Henry, Murphy Henry and Janet Beazley.
Gary Reid has been publishing the Bluegrass Calendar since 1991. In addition he continues to manage Copper Creek Records, write liner notes for CDs, to do production work for other companies and to do research into the lives of his much beloved Stanley brothers. Gary has set up the new organization, Bluegrass Productions of Virginia, to deal with those matters not related to Copper Creek Records’ business.
Maryland-based photographer Priscilla Warnock has been the staff photographer for the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival for the last few years, as well as being active in photographing events such as IBMA’s World of Bluegrass festivities.