Earlier this year, we had a guest contribution from Brandon Adams, in which he described his hopes and goals with regard to attending the 2011 World Of Bluegrass as a songwriter. Here is his follow-up report.
I was part of the songwriter showcase this year, and I have to say that Nancy Cardwell did a wonderful job with it. The meet and greet was the highlight for me. It was kind of a mixer for new songwriters to meet each other, and have a chance to talk to some real legends. The best for me was talking with Carl Jackson and Clair Lynch, two artists I truly admire. They were kind enough to answer questions and just talk. That is what sets bluegrass apart – the respect given to other artists, even those of us lower on the food chain.
After my showcase I spent time checking out other artist showcases. The Livewire reunion was great. I spent a lot of time walking around and making lists of different seminars, and thinking about which ones I would have time to attend. There were really a lot to choose from.
The Gig Fair I think was one of the best ideas: a chance for artists to sign up and get a few minutes with different promoters in order to try and book for an event.
Some advice I can give to anyone interested: take some time to look at the events schedule and make a plan for the time you have available. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is freely given. If you are serious about your career, don’t spend all of your time just looking for a jam. Take the time to listen to the real pros and what they have to teach you.
The picking will go on until dawn every night. Just be sure to go to the hotel and look not just the lobby in the convention center.
All in all, I had a great time at IBMA and I look forward to going back next year.