SPBGMA snippets

John Lawless at the Bluegrass Today booth during SPBGMA 2013

Terry and I have been enjoying spending time here at SPBGMA with so many of the fine folks who create, promote, broadcast and write this wonderful bluegrass music we love so well.

Roland White spent much of the afternoon at the booth, which is always a treat. Katy Daley from WAMU’s Bluegrass Country has been with us as well, and we’ve had visits from Kenny Ingram, Phil Bankester, Hunter Berry and Josh Williams. Yesterday afternoon we hosted Chris Jones, who recorded his Monday afternoon show for Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction in our booth, which will include interviews with Alan Bibey, myself and Terry Herd.

Here are a few random tidbits we picked up over the past couple days…

• Mark Freeman from Rebel Records tells us that Larry Sparks will be working this year on a 50th Anniversary album. It will be about 80% new recordings, with a few tracks from the archives. One exciting aspect is that the record will feature reunions of several past editions of the Lonesome Ramblers, including David Harvey, Mike Lilly, Wendy Miller, Barry Crabtree and others. Alison Krauss will also do a guest turn, and they are hoping that Ralph Stanley can participate as well.

• There were some powerful examples of the next generation of grassers here in the exhibit hall all weekend. Terry captured some nice panoramic images of one right next to our booth, featuring Grascal Danny Roberts leading a jam with his daughter Jaelee on fiddle and vocals, Col. Issac Moore on guitar and vocals, Austin Tate on mandolin, Tate Chumley on guitar, and Willow Osborne on banjo and vocals.


• In the lobby last night, I saw the Big Country Show (minus bossman Karl Shifflet) jamming in the lobby with their brand new banjo player, Brennen Ernst. Just 18 years old, he is a real crackerjack, with a firm grasp of Don Reno’s iconic style. Brennen also has a fine tenor voice and the right look for Karl’s band. Be on the lookout for them this year.

• We just learned that IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell was in an auto accident this morning here in Nashville. She was not injured, but her truck has seen better days. Chin up, Nancy!

And yes… we have a little TV to keep track of the big game.

We’ll have some further thoughts on this great weekend tomorrow, and will post the winners of tonight’s awards later this evening.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.