Michael Stockton isn’t just a dobro player extraordinaire, he’s also pretty good with a camera. A point and shoot camera on a homemade selfie stick, to be exact.
The Flatt Lonesome slide man went around this past week’s IBMA convention videoing folks’ answers to “Why do you go to IBMA?” Instead of sitting around and crying over who didn’t win what award, or complaining on Facebook, he looked at IBMA with a positive light and I thank him for that. Sometimes it’s easier to sit back and snark instead of jumping in and doing something, but this is definitely not the case with Michael.
The YouTube video features a whole gamut of folks from all aspects of the music, answering questions like “What’s your favorite part of IBMA?” or “What does IBMA mean to you?” The answers are extremely pleasant and gratifying to Michael and the viewers with the intent to draw people to the acclaimed event that may be on the fence about going or may not know about it at all. An ingenious idea that I really appreciate. Positive vibes are all I felt at this year’s convention, and that’s what shows up here.
As soon as I watched the video, I shared it and went straight to Michael saying how great it was and asked what made him think to do a video like this. Here’s an excerpt from the message he shared with me yesterday.
“There’s been a lot of criticism toward the IBMA lately. I don’t want to get in to reasons why or which side of the fence I’m on pertaining to these criticisms. However, I did want people to remember that the IBMA is an overwhelmingly good thing. It’s a great avenue for bands pursuing a career to network. It’s an awesome place for people that are consumers of bluegrass to come and find new music. Most importantly, it’s a great place for young kids to cultivate their desire to possibly pursue bluegrass as a career, which is actually what happened to me. Had I never gone to IBMA, I’m not sure I ever would have considered this as a career.”
Pretty stout words from a young man. You may wanna read that last quote again and let it soak in.
I then asked Michael what he hoped this video would do.
“Maybe someone will see my video and see the importance of IBMA and come. Going to the convention and getting involved is a lot better than throwing up our hands and giving up on this great tool that we have. Whether you’re a musician or a fan, it’s important for everyone to buy in and keep this thing going.”
There you have it!