This year, Dailey & Vincent enjoyed almost unprecedented success, winning seven awards at the annual IBMA awards show. The pictures below were taken during one of their first performances, at the Rodeheaver Boys Rance in Palatka, FL in mid-February.
At age 84, Tut Taylor continues to be a force in bluegrass music. He is an eternal font of ideas. From inventing a new way to pick the Dobro as a young man, to inventing a new form of resonator guitar he calls the Tutbro, to putting out two new albums in the past three years, Tut continues to have one of the most creative and inventive minds in music.
Sierra Hull & Hiway 111 have made a huge impact in the past couple of years. Fronted by a, now, seventeen year old mandolin phenom and featuring Cory Walker, two years her elder, the band showcases the virtuosity and energy of so many young musicians. People who have given up hope for the future of bluegrass need look no further than this group.
It doesn't take being around bluegrass too long for fans to recognize that this music is nearly lily white in complection. The Carolina Chocolate Drops create a fascinating and entertaining linkage between bluegrass music and the string band music of the early twentieth century, which is one of the wellsprings from which bluegrass sprang. Their lively shows are something no bluegrass fan should miss.
Each year, Merlefest puts a group of the country's finest mandolin players on the Creekside Stage on Saturday afternoon for a set called Mando Mania. Here are four of the great pickers chosen for 2008. Look for an equally appealling and challenging group in 2009.
Merelefest is a huge festival and the Watson Stage faces a vast sea of seats. Few performers can carry an audience with a solo performance in a venue like this. Tim O'Brien is one of them.