• Who Needs Nashville?

    Seriously, who needs Nashville? I was among those not thrilled when IBMA packed up and moved World of Bluegrass from Nashville to Raleigh, N.C. The annual awards show taking place somewhere other than the historic Ryman? Unthinkable. The yearly business conference being held

  • You’ll get some great exposure

    A reader recently asked if I would consider, at some point, addressing the issue of playing for free. I replied: “Sure, for 80 bucks I will.” After some negotiation, my fee was reduced to barter payment of a used lime

  • Wet banjo contest – it’s come to this

    Shortly after the announcements of the IBMA Awards nominations, an important discussion was started here in Bluegrass Today about the award nominations and voting process. Many readers joined in with ideas, constructive criticism, and in some cases, good old-fashioned griping. With

  • Name That Tune!

    One of the many creative challenges facing songwriters (besides paying this month’s utility bill) is the naming of a new song. This is frequently done after the song is written, and sometimes it feels like a big decision. Unlike a

  • IBMA Chief Discusses Awards

    IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell is interested in hearing from members who have ideas about the rules for the association’s award for emerging artist of the year. Cardwell responded after my commentary last month, which pointed out what I saw as

  • Bluegrass dream analysis redux

    This column from Chris Jones is a reprise of one from March 2012 - with a new introductory paragraph. Some time ago, I published a list of topics for bluegrass music camp elective classes that, based on trial and unmistakable error,

  • Bluegrass song epilogues

    Last week, after passing along some of the findings in my research into the whereabouts of some familiar characters in bluegrass songs, I received some questions, comments, and suggestions. The suggestions, which mostly involved where I should go, and what I

  • Bluegrass Celebrity Ghost Stories

    We've all heard tales of boredom on the road, and the clever and often ingenious ways that touring musicians find to occupy their down time. Experienced road warriors know that if you don't find something fun or productive to do with