We got back Sunday night from the super IBMA gathering in Nashville. We had a fun and productive trip, enjoying the company of friends both old and new. We even managed to do some business between picking tunes and seeing some great musicians, both on stage and off.
Thanks to Dan Hays, Executive Director of the IBMA. He asked us to provide the artwork that the IBMA will use in their promotional and graphic materials for the 2008 World of Bluegrass. We can't be prouder about this and can't wait to see the art in action. Dan's guidance and encouragement for us to participate as exhibitors got us involved. I believe this is a significant landmark for our Appalachian Studio. We sure plan to be back next year. We could not have been more fortunate than to have had Benoit Guitars, represented by Anita and Carroll Benoit in our neighboring booth. They provided advice and a helping hand. Class folks with beautiful resonator guitars.
Reflecting on some personal highlights of this past weekend...picking "Whiskey Before Breakfast" with David Harvey at the Gibson booth on the Ricky Skaggs Master Model Mandolin #1...renewing acquaintances with Alaskan Cruise mates Louis Champagne, Tom Thorpe, Dwight Worden, David Moultrie and, of course, Carla and Greg Hoover of Cottage Music. Louis brought his entire band, Grassfire, to IBMA and let me jam some with them...thanks Louis. This was all after attending the IBMA Award spectacular...talent of this level is inspiring to say the least. And attending late night showcases by The Claire Lynch Band, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, The Infamous Stringdusters, J.D. Crowe, among many others.
And from the home front...Karen and Bob Artis helped guide us through our first IBMA. They were there with Bernie and Mary Beth Cunningham. Karen, Bob and Bernie are 75% of The Allegheny Drifters...a truly fine bluegrass band from the western Pennsylvania region. These folks need to be showcased.