This is going to be brief, as I’m still in the throes of post-IBMA-World-of-Bluegrass/Wide-Open-Bluegrass fatigue syndrome (PIBMAWOBWOBFS, or “Pib-ma-wob-wob-fus”). I hid away for three days, eating nothing but buckwheat pancakes and ramen noodles (not together), watching baseball, and listening to Stevie Wonder and Johnny Horton (also not together). I’m still a little dizzy.
It was a wonderful week, though, and I’ve spoken to many who agree.
I know that what I’m supposed to do right now is write some thoughtful-yet-self-serving reflections on the week, do some name-dropping, and make sure to subtly work in the subject of any awards I may have won, but honestly I just don’t have the energy.
Instead, here is a list of high and low points of the week, from my perspective (the 10th floor of the Marriott):
- Raleigh, Raleigh, Raleigh! It was clear that they didn’t take us for granted in year 2, and they seem to genuinely consider the event important to their city.
- Wide Open Bluegrass and Street Fair attendance. It was pretty thrilling to walk around and see how quickly this event seems like its been building there for ten years instead of a mere two.
- The IBMA Awards Show and the awards themselves. It was a really well-produced show, and it was refreshing to see some changing of the guard with the winners, from Noam Pikelny to Balsam Range.
- Amanda Smith’s acceptance speech.
- Frank Solivan’s snacks in the Quicksilver room.
- The Raleigh bus system . . . and I used it extensively.
- The hyper-banjoization of Sir Walter Raleigh. Is there any way we can get “hyperbanjoization” worked into the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary?
- The “gigging through Europe” seminar. I was lucky to get to participate in it, and beyond getting to share some war stories and discuss exchanging currency, I learned some things.
- The fact that the “gigging through Europe” seminar (and any seminar after Tuesday) took place before 10:00 a.m.
- Attendance for the Town Hall (and I was guilty too) – See time comment above.
- Trade Show Attendance in general – The IBMA’s next challenge is to build the trade show to match the impressive growth of the other aspects of the World of Bluegrass.
- The hotel maid who opened up my door and announced (with a straight face) “I opened your door because you had the ‘do not disturb sign’ on it.” I did not make this up. She went on to say, “sometimes people put that on the door when they’ve checked out.” Sure, that explains everything.
- Excessive name-dropping. Del and I agree this is really tacky (thank you, Jim . . . Lauderdale, for once again allowing me to borrow your bit.)
So, as you can see, there were more high points—at least for me—than low, or, as Lester sang, “The good things outweigh the bad.” All that, and hyper-banjoization too. Can you ask for more than that?
More name-dropping tips and guidelines next week.