Tom Bibey has extensive Merlefest commentary available on his blog as well. Tom is a physician (now semi-retired) who also writes fiction, and is a bluegrass picker to boot.
His Merlefest posts primarily convey his impressions of the weekend’s events, including comments about two of our favorite bluegrass artists.
“Kristin Scott Benson shows she didn’t win the IBMA banjo player of the year just cause she’s young and a pretty face; the kid can burn up the five string. She not only blisters the breakdowns as well as any man alive, but plays the backup with uncommon sensitivity. Maybe it is from years of nurture, but women seem to know how to be supportive and make a man look better. I know my Marfar does. The Grascals are fine players, but Kristin sure did brighten up the stage when she joined the group.
I like a female in the mix. As Sierra said, bluegrass was once a boy’s club. I remember when it was that way, and the change is good. Why have a refrigerator limited to bologna and beer when it can be everything from tofu and casseroles to chops for the grill? “
Bibey has a book of bluegrass fiction in the works, The Mandolin Case, due for publication in 2010.