From The Side of the Road… Turn Your Lanyard Around

Greetings from the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, or whatever city this is (it’s easy to feel disoriented during this week). A few years ago here, I wrote and recorded a song dealing with the number one problem facing IBMA WOB attendees—more than sleep deprivation or figuring out the exhibit hall map: the turned-around lanyard.

Feeling that the original version was a little low and sleepy, I re-recorded it last year in a similar (though not identical) hotel room. Ken Weil, though, a Bluegrass Today reader who has since used this song at other conventions where this is also a problem, told me that he liked the original better, because lower and sleepier seemed more appropriate for the song. Upon rewatching the two versions, I had to agree. 

This went counter to standard bluegrass training, mind you: most bluegrass fan focus groups will pick higher and faster 85.9% of the time. The 14.1% probably filled out the form wrong. With that in mind, I thought a slightly higher and faster version, recorded earlier in the night (2:30 a.m.), would be more appealing. Perhaps to some, but I now agree with Ken that the full sleep-deprived, low, slow version has the right feel for the week. 

Of course, which version was better is now a moot point as IBMA has issued double-sided lanyards this year. As a tribute to that innovation and for some one-sided lanyard nostalgia, here is the original Turn Your Lanyard Around from four years ago. The days of IBMA anonymity are officially over!

P.S. I slept eight hours last night, and I feel pretty guilty about it. For that reason I’m also in no condition to record a new version of this song.