The best part of IBMA it the energy of the participants. Now, there are plenty of bluegrass festivals that contain something similar, but this gathering is special.
We are part of a group of grassroots club members that are here for the music and atmosphere, rather than for the seminars. Although we would qualify for a professional membership, the decision to take that step is still on the table.
Anyone who earns a living, or a portion of their living in any field connected with music or the arts knows these are tough times. Spending on arts and related activities is one of the first cuts in every budget. I certainly have admiration for those who soldier on. Music and art make my world a much more enjoyable place to live.
Here is a photo of one of those magic IBMA moments, a jam featuring Michael Cleveland on the fiddle, David Peterson on guitar and vocals, Jon Weisberger on bass, and a mandolin player I don’t know Richard S. Brown of the Reunion Band on mandolin. If you have ever heard David Peterson sing, or Michael Cleveland play the fiddle, you have a small idea how great this was.
One more question or comment this afternoon, before we head back down to the convention center. How is it that four people with connections to our little home town of Cadillac, Michigan, were sitting at the same table during the official showcases? Would someone like to explain to me why they think bluegrass is only of interest to people from a certain region? I remember meeting those people a few years ago, right here in Nashville, and thinking it was remarkable that they lived in “my” hometown, and were also attending IBMA.
All of Papa’s photos from yesterday are on his site.