Each year at Delaware Valley, Ira Gitlin, Washington-based banjo player, teacher, performer and writer, has spearheaded a superlative teaching staff to spend several hours each day teaching and preparing a group of widely young pickers for a performance on Sunday morning. Kids academies at festivals across the country represent an important way to bring young people into the bluegrass community. The kids range in experience from total beginners to those having some familiarity with the music and their instrument. The playful teaching makes the work go easily while the kids enjoy their time.
Between them and as a band, The Boxcars have won an amazing sixteen IBMA instrumental awards as well as the 2011 Emerging Artist of the Year. Adam Steffey alone has been named Mandolin Player of the Year eleven times, while Ron Stewart is the only musician named as Instrumental Player on two different instruments, fiddle and banjo. The group has been Instrumental Group of the Year three times. The Boxcars stick to business, with a minimum of chat and no clowning. Their music is what makes them tick, and audiences like what they hear. While I often emphasize broad-based entertainment value in bands, this is a fine band that lets its music do the talking.
Ricky Skaggs & Danny Paisley
Ricky Skaggs, Tina Adair & Dale Ann Bradley