Monday, October 5, 2009

IBMA 2009 - Fan Fest - Friday

As I begin to try to create an overview of the past week's experience, I'm overwhelmed by both the good feelings I'm coming away from IBMA with and the size of the task. During IBMA week (Sept. 28 - Oct. 4, 2009), we attended many seminars and presentations, two awards events, three banquets, dozens of showcases (both official and after hours), a couple of private functions, and a three day bluegrass festival featuring fifty different bands.  There were also the exhibition hall and the workshops, the meeting and greeting in the hallways, the elevators, and various other nooks and crannies, as well as quiet moments spent chatting with old friends, meeting new ones, and saying hello to readers of this blog.  There's no way to capture it all.  Over the week, Irene and I took 4776 pictures.  What I'll use in the blog represents only a sample, a good one I hope, of our experience, and my words can only give a verbal impression.  I expect photos from this week will be appearing in different contexts for much of the coming year on artist web sites, my own highlight selections, and in other places.  Thanks for you patience during the past week, when all the work and fun of attending the convention took place.  I'll be posting frequently for the next two weeks, and, as usual, look forward to your comments and corrections. I've decided not to try to do this in any particular order, although I hope to examine the entire event.  For openers, we'll look at some highlights from Fan Fest on Friday.

IBMA Fan Feast

As a fund raiser for the IBMA Foundation and the organization itself, 200 tickets were sold to a buffet breakfast served by bluegrass artists.  Everyone appeared to be having a great time, and I beat a hasty retreat when the aroma of bacon and sausage began to overcome me.

Alan Bibey, Steve Gulley, and Tim Stafford on the Serving Line

   Donna Ulisse - A Comely Waitress

Bill Knowlton, IBMA President Greg Cahill, and Kitsy Kuykendahl

Dreama Stephenson & Cia Cherryholmes Wait on Table


Kids on Bluegrass
Each year, Fan Fest opens with a presentation from the "Kids on Bluegrass."  Coordinated and directed by Kim Fox, does more, perhaps, than almost any other activity during the week, to provide assurance for those concerned about the future of bluegrass that the music will continue to be in good hands.  Throughout the week, these kids and dozens of others could be found all over the convention jamming, performing with bands, and interacting with each other and with established people in the music. The future is in good hands.

Bertie Sullivan (Emcee and Promoter of the Two Rivers Bluegrass Festival

Space doesn't permit posting a large selection of pictures of these talented kids.  Follow the link below to view, and download if you wish, a full set of my pictures of Kids on Bluegrass

Fan Fest Impressions

Jeanette Williams 

Elderly Instruments Booth in Exhibition Hall

Danny Roberts (The Grascals) and Daughter Jaelee

Greg Cahill (Special Consensus): IBMA President

Jeremy Abshire (The Grascals)

Kristin Scott Benson (2009 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year)

The Grascals

Michael Cleveland (2009 IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year)

Jesse Brock (IBMA 2009 Mandolin Player of the Year)

Marshall Wilborn (IBMA 2009 Bass Player of the Year)

 Banjo Workshop
Jens Kruger, Uwe Kruger, Tony Trischka, Pete Wernick
John McEuen, Cia Cherryholmes, Ron Block

Ronnie Bowman Sings "Saving Grace" for Miss Bertie and Garnet Bowman

Audie Blaylock

Alicia Nugent

Carl Jackson &Alicia Nugent

Fan Fest Audience

J.D. Crowe

  Jerry Salley, Clay Hess, Carl Jackson, Jim vanCleve

Ronnie Bowman

Ron Stewart, Ricky Wasson, Ronnie Bowman, Larry Cordle,
Garnet Imes Bowman, Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson

 John McEuean & Son Nathan

Donna Ulisse &Donna Hughes

Adam Steffey Band

Adam Steffey

Doyle Lawson, Carl White & Corey Hensley

Sadie's Got Her New Dress On

Doyle and the Sadies

Sandy Lee,Skip, Molly Kate, BJ, and Cia

Del McCoury

Del McCoury with Presentation Guitar
Martin Del McCoury Model d18 #1 with Rob McCoury

Jim VanCleve (Mountain Heart)

Josh Shilling (Mountain Heart)

The Farewell Drifters at After Hours Showcase

Tomorrow's News at After Hours Showcase
Bryce, Victor & Kalyn Hall with Keith Bass

Four Daughters of Bluegrass

Annette Kelley, Frances Mooney, Tami Butler, & Jeanette Williams

The Gary Waldrep Band at After Hours Showcase

Jerry Butler and Two of the Blu-J's
John Wade, Jerry Butler, and Tim Goins

And so to home and bed at nearly 2:30 AM.  I want to thank Irene for her huge help.  Without her support of this effort, I wouldn't be able to this.  Now, she's also got a camera in her hands, which extends our range of coverage and adds to the quality of this blog.  At Fan Fest, Carl Jackson's asking me to take pictures back stage has provided an unequaled opportunity to view bluegrass at this huge event from the inside.  Ms. Bertie Sullivan also deserves much thanks for allowing both Irene and me to work backstage and work with her and her very able crew.  I'll be posting on various elements of IBMA for the next week or so.  Visit often, and thanks for your support, too.