Though the World of Bluegrass festivities don’t officially begin until tomorrow (9/25), a good many folks are already in Raleigh or expect to arrive later today. Especially for people coming in from the west coast or overseas, spending the night before in town allows you to hit the ground running on Tuesday morning, ready to take it all in or take care of business as the situation may allow.
For those who are in town early, there are a couple of events this afternoon and evening if you want to hear some music and mingle with other grassers.
Lorraine Jordan is hosting a benefit concert at the Convention Center tonight for the Bluegrass Trust Fund, which donates money to anyone in our industry in times of need. Having such a professionally-administered fund was a chief goal in the establishment of the IBMA back in 1995, and it has since provided assistance to dozens of grassers down on their luck, particularly those suffering from medical issues.
The Trust Fund receives much of its operating capital from the Wide Open Bluegrass festival to be held this weekend in Raleigh, but accepts donations of most any kind from IBMA members and non-members alike throughout the year.
Jordan feels especially drawn to put on this benefit, as her guitarist in Carolina Road, Tommy Long, received help from the Fund during his recent battle with throat cancer. Long will speak about his experiences during tonight’s concert, and shared these words with us about how much it meant to him.
“I am thankful to the IBMA for helping me during the time I was fighting for my life. The Bluegrass Trust Fund is a wonderful thing that we should all support if we can.”
The benefit is billed as the True Grass Benefit for Bluegrass Trust Fund, and will be held in Room 304 of the Raleigh Convention Center starting at 9:00 p.m. Performers include Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, with Danny Paisley and Junior Sisk. The artists are donating their time so that all proceeds can go directly to the Trust Fund. Advance tickets are available for $20 online.
Earlier this evening, at the nearby North Carolina Museum of History, is the 3rd annual Shout & Shine concert, which celebrates diversity in bluegrass. The focus of this year’s show is the impact of the blues in the development of bluegrass music. Artists featured include Che Appalachia, a string band from Argentina, blues artists The Glorifying Vines Sisters, singer/songwriter Amethyst Kiah, and bluegrass icon Danny Paisley.
The Shout & Shine concert begins at 6:00 p.m., and the $25 tickets can be purchased online.
Don’t forget to go to bed – Tuesday starts bright and early!