Monday, September 27, 2010

Dare to Be Different Showcase - Bell Buckle, TN

Valerie Smith

Each year on the Sunday before IBMA - World of Bluegrass opens in Nashville, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike have hosted the "Dare to Be Different Showcase" at the Bell Buckle Cafe in her home town of Bell Buckle, TN, about 50 miles south of Music City.  In this friendly, informal environment, fans, media people, promoters, and friends gather for a day of music making by quite good, but not necessarily well-known bands.  Highligted this year by her own band and Jerry Butler & the Blue-J's, Dare to Be Different provided a relaxed interlude before the hectic week of IBMA began. Each year Dare to Be Different donates its proceeds to a worthy cause.  This year the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY are the recipients.  Kitsy Kuykendall, Chairman of the Board, and Gabrielle Gray, Executive Director represented the Museum at the event.

Kitsy Kuykendall
  Because this is the beginning of that hectic week for us, too, I won't be posting as many band pictures or descriptions as I might otherwise do.  This pattern will continue through the week, and I'll then spend the next week filling in the holes. 

Friday Night Orphan Brigade

Runaway Freight

Chicken Dinner Road

Brad Long & Friends

Common Ground

Jerry Butler & the Blue-J's

Jerry Butler has established a reputation for improving bands he joins because of his fine singing voice, his pleasant on-stage manner, and his quality work as an emcee.  Jerry Butler & the Blue-J's has a CD out almost before they began to tour.  "Haulin' Grass" is a collection of bluegrass trucking songs made with a fine group of Nashville's best bluegrass session players.  Now, a little over a year after their debut, the band has had some personnel changes that have consistently improved it.  The addition of veteran mandolin picker Bobby Clark has added maturity and strength.  This is a band to watch.
Jerry Butler

Bobby Clark

Tim Goins

Daniel Oxendine
 John Marquess

Jerry Butler & the Blu-J's - Shorty is Forty
Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike

 This is a very popular and proficient band whose range runs from bluegrass through swing to show style numbers.  Valerie Smith and Becky Buller have formed the core of this band, which travels widely and performs enthusiastically.  The band will be undergoing some personnel changes in the coming weeks, so keep any eye on it and this blog.
Valerie Smith
Becky Buller

Ernie Evans
 Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike
"Just to Hear You Whisper Baby"

It's going to be a busy week, so stay tuned.

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