Gary Reid on Leadership Bluegrass

Here’s one last piece on IBMA’s 2010 Leadership Bluegrass, this time from Gary Reid. Gary has spent a lifetime in service to bluegrass music, working first at Rebel Records and then with his own label, Copper Creek Records.

He has also received a number of IBMA nominations and awards for his in-depth liner notes to historical box sets and CD releases.

“I have known of the program for years and had received countless prods and urgings over the years from moderator Fred Bartenstein and IBMA’s Nancy Cardwell to attend. I’m not sure why I finally acquiesced, but… finally I said, ‘Why not!’

I received a packet in the mail with an itinerary for three busy days in March. But, I still wasn’t fully prepared for or understood what awaited me. What I received was an intense infusion of knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm from many of the brightest people involved in the music scene today.

The program’s sessions were well thought out, fast-paced, and always thought provoking… from the opening remarks on Tuesday morning by Eddie Adcock to Fred’s Thursday afternoon wrap-up. As someone who has been involved in the dissemination of recorded music for 30+ years, it was comforting to learn that I was not alone in the drastic state of affairs that have beset labels with the decline in sales of physical merchandise (CDs). But, even better, was the realization that there are new business models and technologies that offer exciting new frontiers for those brave enough to jump on board. And then… there was the fantastic sense of fellowship that developed between the 25 students of the session.

An amazing assemblage of talent, the class consisted of marketing gurus, songwriters, event promoters, artists, label owners, educators, and more. I feel confident that I made new contacts that will prove invaluable to endeavors that I undertake in the bluegrass community.

It’s been several weeks now since class was dismissed and some of the dust has settled. But, it’s only now that I’ve gained a clearer focus on what I learned and the contacts that I made. I’m confident that Leadership Bluegrass is probably the single best thing to happen to me in a long time, and I look forward to utilizing the knowledge and friendships for years to come.”

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.