• Bringing Songwriters into the IBMA Community

    Louisa Branscomb remembers the feeling of a different IBMA world. Walking along the banks of the Ohio river at a past World of Bluegrass celebration (then held in Owensboro, Kentucky), she reflected on the honors bestowed upon groups, vocalists, instrumentalists,

  • They’re Changing MY Music

    As if I wasn’t conflicted already, Laurie Lewis had to fan the flames. The face of the Bill Monroe stared down from the huge banner that adorned the stage. Preparing to announce the Dobro Player of the year award, she

  • Danny Paisley and the STILL Southern Grass

    Wednesday’s final showcase performance put the exclamation point on an evening that was decidedly bluegrass. Danny Paisley took the stage with the current version of Southern Grass, and the resulting show was everything the enthusiastic crowd was expecting. Opening with

  • Wednesday – Bluegrass is Alive and Well

    It’s hard to tell if attendees to the Wednesday morning showcase were there for the talent or for the free brunch. Whatever drew them, the crowd left fully satisfied. After all, what’s better than free food and bluegrass? Even while the buffet line

  • Bluegrass Current Flows in Cumberland River

    Harlan, Kentucky is likely mentioned in more bluegrass songs than any other place in the world. Any band comprised of residents of Harlan County had better have their bluegrass act together. The boys in Cumberland River exude bluegrass from the time

  • Keeping the Mountain Faith

    Imagine that your little family band has been playing at churches and small local festivals for over a decade. Just as the kids are becoming of age, you score a contract with Mountain Home Records and release a highly-acclaimed album.

  • Town Mountain, a Mountain of Bluegrass

    Fans of traditional bluegrass had good reason for optimism before the sound check was concluded for the Tuesday evening showcase featuring Town Mountain. The setup featured a single condenser microphone at mid-stage, hinting at the old-style performance to follow. The

  • Bearfoot – Tuesday at IBMA

    If there is an effort by the IBMA to “expand the tent” with the inclusion of more non-traditional bands, it was fully evident in the Tuesday night showcase lineup. The festivities began with Bearfoot, a name befitting a band whose

  • Rockin’ Acoustic Circus at IBMA

    Watching Emma Hardin take the stage with her carbon-fiber cello was a solid clue that the assembled crowd was not about to see another Bluegrass Boys clone; a clue that proved to be delightfully correct in the ensuing 25 minutes.Eric