Saturday, October 10, 2009

IBMA 2009 - Rural Rhythm VIP Showcase

Several weeks before IBMA opened in Nashville an e-mail appeared in my box inviting us to attend the Rural Rhythm Records VIP Private Showcase to be held on Wednesday evening.  While my sometimes cynical mind thought it might just be an attention getting pointer to try to get people to attend, I sent in our RSVP, and, sure enough, when we arrived at the door, a person stood there, clipboard in hand, checking off invitees as they entered the room.  A table to one side contained gifts (it would be ungrateful to call it swag) including a pair of very nice coffee mugs which now grace our breakfast table in the trailer.  A small buffet was being eagerly attacked by the always voracious IBMA attendees.  Members of the Passamano family, owners of Rural Rhythm, were everywhere in evidence and a number of their artists were there, ready to perform.  Kyle Cantrell, program director of Sirius/XM's Bluegrass Junction was on hand to act as emcee.  The room filled up rather quickly, and after a period of mingling, greeting, and eating, Kyle got the event going. 

Kyle Cantrell - Emcee

Sam Passamano - President of Rural Rhythm Records

Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain

Carrie Hassler has a well-modulated, hard driving bluegrass voice that blends nearly perfectly with the very fine young band she's been travelling with for several years.  She, as well as several other young  emerging women singers, have received undeserved criticism for singing without playing instruments. As bluegrass music has become more sophisticated and difficult, it's time that the voice be recognized as an extremely difficult instrument that takes a lifetime to master and great concentration to perform on.  To ask fine singers to pick and sing is a journey too far.  It's worth noting that very few pickers who sing pick and sing simultaneously.  Many continue to brush the strings while singing, but all their concentration is focused on their voices while they sing.  When singers are allowed to do what they do best, without having to split their attention, both their vocal presentation and the band's instrumental work is improved.
Carrie Hassler

Audie Blaylock and Redline

Audie Blaylock

Patrick McAvinue

Michael Martin Murphey and Carrie Hassler Duet - Wildfire with Audie Blaylock

 Lou Reid Joins In

Lou Reid 

One of the pleasures of events like the Rural Rhythm showcase is the producers' putting together combinations of people from different bands to permit unusual sounds and effects. The use of a variety of Rural Rhythm artists allowed their versatility and ability to shine throughout the entire evening.

IIIrd Tyme Out

Russell Moore

Steve Dilling

Wayne Benson

Justin Haynes

Edgar Laudermilk

Michael Martin Murphey Responds to Gospel Quartet

Lyn Anderson and Carl Jackson Join Russell Moore for Rocky Top

Lyn Anderson

On Friday June 4, 2010, as part of the Graves Mountain Festival in Syria, VA, Rural Rhythm Records will be celebrating its fifty-fifth anniversary by presenting a whole day of Rural Rhythm artists.  The event will be recorded live with Kyle Cantrell as emcee and presented later on Sirius/XM radio.  It's truly a delight to see Sirius/XM return to live recordings of festival events.  To announce this event, Carl Jackson has written a song about the history of Graves Mountain, which was debuted at the Rural Rhytym Showcase, sung and played by an all-star jam.  The rest of the line-up for next year's Graves Mountain Festival is equally luminous.

Carl Jackson

Mark Newton and Sam Passamano

Here's a video of Carl's new song recorded at the event.
Graves Mountain Memories

The Rural Rhythm Records Showcase was an exciting and enjoyable event. Since it was the only such event we were invited to attend, we particularly enjoyed it.  Our thanks to the folks at Rural Rhythm for including us.