This post is a contribution from Grace Van’t Hof, one of our 2010 IBMA correspondents. She will report about her experiences at IBMA as she tries to promote her group, Della Mae.

Tuning up to go on the air with WAMU!

The exhaustion has already set in. I told myself I would get to bed early last night, but then that jam happened, and then I saw that friend I hadn’t seen in months, and then that other jam happened. You get the picture.

All things considered though, for someone who went to bed at 5:30am and woke up bright and early at 8:30, I’m feeling pretty good. The power-through is necessary, for at IBMA there is much to be done.

With all the women of Della Mae successfully decked out with conference passes (thank you Sonya and Nancy for the volunteer spots!), we powered into the convention center bent on conquest. Unfortunately, getting everyone on the same page and headed in the same direction is sometimes akin to herding (sleep deprived) cats. Nevertheless we made it to our taping with WAMU on time.

Props to Echo Propp at this point. She is completely professional, completely congenial, and has a great radio voice to boot. Her interview skills made us feel at home and the 30 min spot was a breeze! It was great to see our friends from England, the Toy Hearts. This sisters and father trio was joined by David Mayfield on bass (who I believe produced their latest record, Femme Fatale). If you get the chance this week, check out this band. Hannah has a huge husky voice that almost mismatches her petite size, and Sophia is a monster on bluegrass and gypsy jazz guitar (I’m pretty fond of a girl who can rip guitar lead).

In addition to spotting our friends from over the pond, we ran into Nedski and Mojo, aka banjo stylist and SiriusXM DJ Ned Luberecki, and Sam Bush sideman and voice-cannon Stephen Mougin. Their duo show is one I look forward to catching tonight, and it was great fun to joke around a little with them.

Kimber needed fiddle strings so she and I headed to the exhibit hall. No luck with the strings (anyone have a set of Pirastro Chromcores?), but I got to check out some of the new Huber “TrueTone” banjos, and by check out I mean I got to watch these guys pick the stuffing out of two of them.

Now I’m a Sullivan girl myself, but Steve Huber sure knows how to advertise his banjos. These two sounded fantastic!

Time to go get dolled up for tonight’s showcases. Hope to see you all there!