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IBMA/World of Bluegrass: Once in a Lifetime...You Gotta Do It!

Posted by myork1 on Monday, October 5, 2009

It's amazing how fast 10 years goes by...that's how long I've been THINKING about attending an IBMA/World of Bluegrass event. So glad I didn't miss this one. The "this-was-worth-the trip" moments were too many to list, and I did try and write a few down so I won't forget.

The unprecedented access to legends and heroes and amazing bands and players makes you feel like some kind of back-stage VIP, along with a couple thousand others. The LIVE MUSIC comes fast and furious and is RELENTLESS, one after another after another. It's a BLUEGRASS/BANJO FANTASY CAMP...except it's all too real. It also showcases the remarkable talent in this genre of music, and what's ahead with coming generations is jaw-dropping. Over and over I saw 7-8-9-year olds playing banjo, fiddle, mandolin with a level of skill that makes you smile and shake your head. It also reminds you that all the lame excuses for why "I can't" do this or that are just excuses...

So many inspiring stories and genuinely nice people who appreciate the opportunity to do what they do. My list of "meets-greets-and talking banjo" experiences include dinner with John McEuen, the pre-show reception with Steve Martin, meeting and talking with Terry Baucom, Jim Mills, Del McCourey, Sammy Shelor, Jerry Douglas, and more. Bill Keith's surprise appearance at a banjo workshop telling his story of tabulature and meeting Earl for the first time, and standing in the lobby talking with J.D. Crowe (just me and him...unbelieveable) about how there wouldn't be a J.D. if not for Earl...and on and on and on. Mountain Heart's live on-stage "burn-the-house-down-performance" at an after-hours showcase, way-after-hours jammin' and so many other huge performances and performers...and oh yeah, the awards show at THE RYMAN!

I met people who came from halfway around the world, all over this country and from towns and cities nearby, making many new friends. I'm not sure what my reasons or excuses were for not coming here before, just that whatever they were they weren't a good-enough reason for missing all this. Congrats to all the winners, and all the was a trip of a lifetime for least until next year.

3 comments on “IBMA/World of Bluegrass: Once in a Lifetime...You Gotta Do It!”

Mark Stonecipher Says:
Monday, October 5, 2009 @7:22:02 AM

I couldn't have said it better myself. I am still trying to wrap my head around it all.

Banjov1 Says:
Monday, October 5, 2009 @9:48:50 AM

I'm still relatively new to the world of acoustic music, bluegrass and banjos. But the more I get hooked on it, the more apparent it seems that I have to make it down the IBMAs at some point.

Michael, you're reinforcing my desire to try to make it down there next year.


TopCat Says:
Monday, October 5, 2009 @1:06:39 PM

Sounds wonderful, Michael. Hopefully one year I will be able to cross the Pond and experience it for myself.

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