• Breaking up is hard to do… isn’t it?

    There’s plenty to worry about in the world of bluegrass, if you’re the worrying sort. Even those that aren’t the worrying sort can get that way in an election year, so let’s go ahead and worry. We have the issue of

  • Oh… so you think you’re special?

    A question has arisen in the last couple of weeks about a growing IBMA mystery: what on earth happened to the Special Awards? If you’re not familiar with them, those are the awards that are given out during the Special

  • Just sign on the dotted line…

    I’m taking this week off to recover from the stress of taking the previous week off. Therefore I’ve asked John Lawless to rerun a slightly edited version (I changed one “the” to an “a”) of a column I wrote a

  • Are you sure? No, I’m positive!

    In many parts of our society, we place a high value on being positive. “Just stay positive,” we’re often told, even if we’ve just received the news that we have three months to live. Some countries are more positive than others,

  • Bluegrass haiku for me and for you

    I’ve recently had a few requests to revisit the bluegrass haiku, or at least to write a few more of them. The people making these requests have asked not to be identified; apparently there’s some shame connected with the bluegrass

  • Remembering Ralph Stanley – without muffins

    This is a column normally devoted to tongue-in-cheek coverage of bluegrass topics, faux advice, and the occasional bluegrass haiku, but one day after the public funeral of Ralph Stanley, I’m not exactly feeling in that spirit. There’s been eloquent writing about

  • Please speak slowly and clearly

    There are just a few days left in IBMA second round voting, and some things have surprised me this time around: One is how few “for your consideration” solicitation emails I’ve actually received. Perhaps I’ve dropped off of mailing lists, and

  • The round 2 IBMA nomination blues

    If you follow the bluegrass church calendar at all, you know this week is known as the Feast of the Second Ballot. It’s a time when believers are urged to shun many of their usual worldly activities and spend the