Six New Discoveries from IBMA 2014

Here it is the following Wednesday and I'm still recovering from all the fabulousness of IBMA! Abigail and Bela were one of my highlights, too. (The new album is just insanely good, and YES, aren't they so adorable together?) And there was so much going on that I missed a lot of the other acts you mentioned, so thanks for catching me up on those! Some of my new finds this year were Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Barefoot Movement, and New Country Rehab. Can't wait 'til next year's IBMA so I can discover even more!

Glad you got to enjoy the week down there, Did you like the awards program?  Did you get to see Balsam Range perform? I watched the awards show on Music City Roots, a real great show. Flatt Lonesome has some serious talent for a bunch of youngsters, they won the emerging artist award and played 7 shows in 5 days down there. This group is exciting as their new CD "TOO" is receiving a lot of airplay on Sirius Radio. Young leader of the group , Buddy Robertson, is an excellent guitar player, and also with his 2 sisters present some very good 3 part harmonies. Plus they have a fast developing Dobro player in Michael Stockton. You add A great young Banjo player and song writer in Paul Harrigill. Bluegrass music is exciting as it is keeping to the old ways, yet moving along with acoustic technology.  You know what is neat, these groups are all close, liking to jam together and support each other.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Oh yes, I think that's the very best part of IBMA, and bluegrass festivals in general -- the mix of old and new, and the welcoming atmosphere that encourages musicians to join each other on stage to the delight of surprised crowds! I missed the awards show, but I did see Balsam Range perform Friday morning -- barely 12 hours after winning all their awards. They looked like they'd celebrated fully, but they still put on a great show. :) REALLY hate that I didn't get to see Flatt Lonesome. I had so many opportunities, as you point out, but I managed to miss them all. Hope they come back next year!

My 1st IBMA was last year, 2013.  One of the business meetings I attended was how to bridge the gap between "traditional" and "progressive" bluegrass music and musicians.   I believe that the bridge has always been there.  Bluegrass is probably the most inclusive music genre there is.  Some of the impromptu jams this past week spanned 4 generations of players and  styles varied from traditional "Monroe" to gypsy jazz to blues and on and on - all within the same song,  all within the same circle - and everyone dug it!  Bottom line,  even the devout traditionalists seem to know that Bluegrass has always been and will continue to be a progressive art form.




Thanks for the comments.  I got to see two bands I had never heard before, Balsam Range and Wood & Wire (Austin-based) and was very impressed with their energy level.  It seemed to me that even the traditional bluegrass bands amped up the energy level and added some extended jams.  I'll have to catch the Revelers another time.

I also spent a lot of time near the Dance Stage and got to see lively sets by The Dukhs and Scythian, two Merlefest favorites for their energetic acts.  Not exactly bluegrass but athe shows added variety to the festival scene. 

Since I live a short distance from downtown Raleigh I know the urban demographics and evening entertainment scene pretty well.  What surprised me was the number of folks in their 20's and 30's watching the street festival stages and getting energized by the music.  They are usually bar hopping or heading for the rock venues.

I am new to the south in general and to North Carolina specifically. While I knew this "Conference" was taking place, I naively did not know that it included concerts and a festival vibe for those like me who are not employed in the music or bluegrass industry. I am truly dismayed that I missed it despite being only about 90 minutes from Raleigh. Since I am here in Winston-Salem for the long haul, I will plan on making it to IBMA next year.