Strinfdusters…? Fran Solivan…?

At Bluegrass Today, we try to offer our readers the most up-to-date information possible. Therefore, we depend on tips from our readers, industry professionals, and numerous contributors. The following statement comes from longtime tip-giver Katy Hill. 

ibmaBeing an avid lover and follower of bluegrass music, you can imagine my excitement when I received the second-round ballot for the IBMA Awards a few evenings ago. I eagerly opened it and began scanning through all of the choices, excited to see which of my friends and favorite musicians had been chosen. However, as I read through the list, I soon became confused. Just who are “The Infamous Strinfdusters?” I’ve been to lots of bluegrass festivals, and never heard of them. They must be that band that always comes on when I head out for a bathroom break – surely they’re not multi-award winning group The Infamous Stringdusters. I really like those guys.

As I looked on through the list, my confusion only grew. “Rickie Skaggs?” Now, Little Ricky Skraggs I’ve heard of, but not him. “Keith Garret?” “Audie Blalock?” “Marty Rabon?” Was there some sort of identity crisis going on? I went ahead and voted for some of these guys, but stopped short of choosing “Fran Solivan” – not because I didn’t think he deserved it, but because I just wasn’t sure who he (or she) was.

I’m not sure how many IBMA voting members noticed these mistakes before IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell sent an e-mail to all those who had received a ballot apologizing for the numerous typographical errors within. Obviously, at least several did, and I can only imagine that those artists whose names were misspelled were concerned as to whether or not the IBMA had accorded them the level of respect they deserve.

Now, usually there’s more complaining than praise for the IBMA. I don’t necessarily agree with the overabundance of complaints because the organization has always, and continues to, work for the good of the bluegrass music community. I’m also sure that I am not an expert on ballot-making, vote counting, or any type of technology. However, my status as a fan ensures that at least I know how to spell the names of the artists I listen to – and even most of those I don’t. So, instead of complaining like the rest, I instead offer this suggestion to the IBMA: get someone who knows bluegrass to make your next ballot. I’m sure there are many fans and other bluegrass professionals who would be glad to help spellcheck.