Tuesday night at IBMA I found myself wandering around on the lower two levels of the convention center during the After Hours Showcases. I heard a bunch of great music, and got to visit with a number of friends I hadn’t seen since this time last year.
I caught a bit of the Songwriter Showcase hosted by Ron Block and Sierra Hull during the afternoon. The duo performed one of Sierra’s own compositions for the assemblage, before introducing Cia Cherryholmes to oversee hosting duties. Due to a pressing business appointment I was unable to stay longer to check out the young songwriters who were taking the stage as John and I left. So many great songs, so little time…
I made it to only one “official” showcase Tuesday evening, and that was to hear Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice. Junior has been one of my favorite singers for years. I love the material he writes, and the soul that comes through in his vocals. I just had to hear him at least once while I was here. This was my first time hearing the new band live. They sounded great with Junior leading the way.
Later than evening as I meandered the halls, I attempted to find a way into the room for a bit of a listen to Dailey & Vincent. It seems I wasn’t the first to have that idea! The crowd was spilling over about 10 feet into the hall. I managed to make it almost to door frame before reaching such a density of listeners that I could proceed no further and just snapped off a photo over the top of the crowd.
I later listened as G2 visited with fans in the hall before proceeding to present their brand of Swedish influenced bluegrass. It was a great set, featuring original material that sounds as if it originated in the Appalachian Mountains rather than Northern Europe. Absolutely amazing that a group of young guys that far from the home of the music have grown into a bluegrass band deserving of being heard at any festival here in the heart of bluegrass country.
I was excited for an opportunity to hear my friend Frank Solivan perform with his band Dirty Kitchen. I’ve been hearing about this band for some time. I’ve heard most of the principles at various times in the past, but never as a unit. Frank recently announced his departure from the Navy Band to pursue his own musical endeavors, judging by what I heard Tuesday night, his future is bright.
I also managed to put an ear to the sets of Gold Heart, Liberty Pike, and David Peterson before retiring for the night. IBMA, there’s nowhere else like it!