Friday, September 27, 2013

IBMA Awards Show 2013 - Two Highlights

The Awards Show at IBMA's World of Bluegrass on Thursday night gives the performers a chance to present themselves before their peers and fans in their best light.  I'll have much more to say next week, but there were two highlights I want to mention this morning before we head down to Raleigh for the first day of Wide Open Bluegrass (Fan Fest) which promises to be an extravaganza never before imagined in bluegrass.

Tony Rice 

Tony Rice was inducted into IBMA Hall of Fame. He appeared with dignity and grace to a standing ovation. After the crowd sat, he gathered himself together, obviously struggling with a deep emotional moment that meant even more to him than to the crowd that was there. He croaked, in the voice we have all become sadly accustomed to, that he would speak in his own voice. After a few agonizing moments of concentration and effort, he began to speak in a voice not heard in public for nearly twenty years, and the room exploded.  He spoke eloquently about his hope and faith that with continued work, he might be able to learn to sing again and thanked the many people who have helped him and had believed in him over the years. He spoke briefly and with a depth of sincerity and level of personal risk that everyone there understood as a more than special moment that might signal the possibility of more to come.  Tony Rice provided a moment few will ever forget as millions of his fans and supporters continue to send best wishes to him for his continued recovery. He dedicated his moment to Alison Kraus, who is suffering from the same vocal dysphonia that has plagued him. What a moment!

Entertain of the Year
The Gibson Brothers

The Gibson Brothers repeated as Entertainer of the Year to cap off a triumphant evening, proving that authenticity and sponteneity are the crucial ingredients for creating a path the sustained greatness.  It was an immensely popular selection in a strong and impressive field.  Congratulations to this superb band of very real people.

More next week, as we get a chance to put this remarkable move to Raleigh and rebirth of IBMA as an organization. Looking forward to two more days of the finest performances by some of the best musicians in the world.