This year the surprises we encountered were all good, primarily the talented young pickers we came across, jamming in every nook and cranny of the host hotels. Where we stayed at the Marriott, the corridors were full of nighttime picking, and the hotel bar had put up a small stage where anyone could hop up and play a set. There we saw the latest iteration of Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, who played a blistering version of Don Stover’s Rockwood Deer Chase. It’s not likely that any of those boys were born when Don passed in 1996, but there his music was, preserved in their youthful imaginations.
Another bunch we ran into several time was The Meyers. I first saw this Missouri family band at SPBGMA earlier this year, where they took first place in the Band Championship. The group consists of four siblings: John on banjo, David on guitar, Mary on mandolin, and Jimmy on bass. John and David sing lead, with all four taking their turns with harmonies.
They generated quite a buzz throughout the week, and youngest brother Jimmy played the Awards Show as part of the Youth Bluegrass All Stars.
Here are a couple of videos from IBMA week. This first has them playing on the main stage in the convention center lobby with Wyatt Harmon on bass and Gaven Largent on reso-guitar. Jimmy was off doing an All Stars show.
And here they are in a hallway jam with Largent on reso again and Cory Piatt on second mandolin.
Keep an eye out for this bunch. They will be making quite a noise in bluegrass this next few years.