• 2015 Retired Bluegrass Adjectives of the Year

    I hate being an alarmist, but we may need to start varying the adjectives we use in bluegrass artists’ bio material and press releases. The problem arose recently after the official retirement of three heavily-used (until now) adjectives, in ceremonies held

  • Night Drivers in Güglingen

    Güglingen, Germany. Day 8 of European tour: We just wrapped up a show at the Altes Theater in Heilbronn, Germany. As with last week’s show in Prague, this was a double bill with Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. It’s a charming

  • Greetings from Prague, Czech Republic

    You may be used to this being my weekly humor column, unless you were one of the handful that missed that memo and thought this was deadly serious stuff I’ve been putting out every Wednesday (you have my sympathy, in

  • Date line: Raleigh, NC

    Date line: Raleigh, NC This is traditionally a short column, written some time in between the IBMA World of Bluegrass keynote address and a showcase I need to attend at Tir Na Nog (that’s a local pub which I believe is

  • Don’t they know…?

    I got a wide range of response to my suggestion that the world was going to be ending during the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. After reading those responses, and in giving the whole issue some thought (but not

  • The end of the World (of Bluegrass)!

    I can’t delve too far into the specifics of it, but apparently the world is ending at the end of the month, more-or-less exactly in the middle of the IBMA World of Bluegrass, possibly during the Momentum Awards luncheon (I’d

  • Songs to skip at your next gig

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a theory that a sizable chunk of modern bluegrass fans aren’t listening to the lyrics of any of the songs. I’ve even tested this theory out on more than one occasion: once, when

  • Virtual reality, songwriter edition

    I never thought I’d find myself discussing video games in this space; I’m really more of a pinball guy, which I like to think of as an acoustic video game that you can set a drink on. Still, there’s been

  • Raw, Rested, and Ready

    The recording of bluegrass music, both in the studio and in live performance has undergone a lot of changes in the past decade or two. We’ve seen the introduction of YouTube, digital editing and pitch correction, and the advent of

  • Where all the bears are friendly

    Joe Lurgio recently contributed a thoughtful guest editorial about the stagnant nature of the IBMA Awards with suggestions about what might be done to keep the process updated. This prompted some give-and-take, which included discussion of the “big tent,” the

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