BMAI Appreciation Day in Knoxville…Huge Success!!

On September 8, 2013 about 3o musicians and 50+ bluegrass fans and listeners showed up and attended the BMAI Appreciation Day Soup Supper and Jam Session at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, IA. During this event BMAI Play it Forward participant Josiah Heckman experienced what it was like to play his banjo in a jam session. His brother Noah was also in attendance and enjoyed this opportunity as well. BMAI shared with those attending information regarding the association and how bluegrass music is continuing to grow throughout the state. At the event music was played, a silent auction of donated homemade baked goods and raffles were held, and the BMAI Bluegrass Quilt was displayed. What a great day to celebrate our music and spend time together. All but one of the BMAI Board of Directors was in attendance and explained their roles in the organization. BMAI would like to thank all the volunteers for making this event such a huge success. We are always in need of volunteers so if you want to donate some of your time and help us grow please let us know. To join BMAI and become a member or get more information regarding BMAI please visit our website at http://www.iowabluegrassmusic.com. You may also follow us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bluegrassmusicassociationofiowa. We hope to see you soon. Next upcoming event is Honey Creek Festival on October 24-26, 2013.


BMAI on the Road

Well we have made our first attempt at putting together a short video regarding travels with BMAI Executive Director Lori King and husband and BMAI Vice President Joe King. This is called BMAI on the Road. Our hope is that you will get a brief overview or idea of what we are doing when we are traveling to events, meeting other artists, and various information regarding BMAI and bluegrass in Iowa. Some of our travels take us to other states across the U.S. You can watch our video on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO5C6pUsHks&feature=share&list=UU2go9HeiZVhk3FbYHhPeReQ. Please let us know what you think.

If you haven’t already done so and are on Facebook please go and Like our page at: https://www.facebook.com/BluegrassMusicAssociationofIowa

Also, if you would like to volunteer for any of our events, make a donation, or have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact us at iowabluegrassmusic@gmail.com or visit the website at www.iowabluegrassmusic.com

Bluegrass & BBQ and Silver Dollar City Single Mic Competition

Joe and I had the priviledge to attend part of the Bluegrass and BBQ Festival at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO this past weekend.  Bluegrass and BBQ this year is a 3 week event filled with great bluegrass music by some of the most talented artists put together by DA Callaway and his staff.  Part of the event is a National Single Mic Competition where bands are selected to participate using just a single microphone similar to that used by the father of bluegrass himself Bill Monroe.  This year there were 22 bands that performed from all across the United States..including Fine Line Bluegrass from Iowa.  I (Lori King) was asked to be a judge for the first round of the competition.  All bands are given 6 minutes to showcase their talents by performing 2 songs and have specific criteria that the judges are looking for based on the performance including: Stage presence, vocal ability, instrumentation, and audience appeal.  The contest has 3 judges for the first round and 3 different judges for the 2nd tround.  The scores are then added together from both rounds to determine a winner.  This years winners were close:

 1st Place – Lonesome Meadow, from Westerville, OH (514 points)
2nd Place – Pure Tradition, from Jay, OK (512 Points)
3rd Place – The Lindsey Family, from Greensburg, KY (511 points)

1st Place received $2,000, 2nd Place $1200, and 3rd Place $800.  In addition the winner will be guaranteed a spot to perform at SDC at the 2014 event.  It should be noted that all the bands did a fantastic job performing on such a large stage to a packed house of people.

Also while we were there we had the great opportunity to visit with our good friends of Blue Highway who performed for us here in Iowa on March 1, 2013.  The guys were gracious as always and put on two stellar performances that we were able to attend. 

Once again thanks to everyone that supports our bluegrass efforts here in Iowa.  Maybe someday we can put on our own event similar to this one.  For more information regarding BMAI check us out on the web at www.iowabluegrassmusic.com

Bluegrass on the Lake

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Bluegrass on the Lake will be on June 7, 2013 at Honey Creek Resort in Moravia, Iowa from 7-10pm. This is a free event and open to the public. Performances by the BMAI Bluegrass Band and Highway Home. Other to be determined later. We also encourage others to come and jam in the lobby area. Honey Creek Resort has a full restaurant and lounge. Also join us for our 3 day festival on October 24-26th, 2013 for a great weekend filled with lots of bluegrass and gospel music. For tickets and more information visit our website at http://www.iowabluegrassmusic.com.

IBMA Leadership Bluegrass 2013

This is an article recently published by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA).  Lori King, Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa (BMAI) Executive Director was a part of this experience and wanted to share it with you. 

By Shannon W. Turner

Your brain is fried, but you feel exhilarated. You’ve been presented with so much information, met so many new and wonderful people, seen so many new horizons that your head is spinning. You’ve heard great music, shared important goals, and been vulnerable to people who were complete strangers a few days ago. But now it’s the last day, and a new friend has presented you with a plaque that has your name on it.

Congratulations; you have just graduated from Leadership Bluegrass, the intensive three-day event that prepares current and future leaders in the industry to recognize the strengths and challenges facing the bluegrass industry, and how to integrate their own goals with the needs of the music.

Twenty-five class members from around the country and Canada convened in Nashville March 7 through 9 to experience the extraordinary program that is Leadership Bluegrass. Since its inception in 2000, more than 300 leaders have graduated from the course, from all corners of the industry – artists, songwriters, publishers, journalists, promoters, event planners, managers, booking agents, attorneys, and the whole range of roles that serve the bluegrass community. They were challenged by panelists, lecturers, group activities and discussions to unearth their individual strengths, so that they could apply what they learned to their responsibilities at home.

Attendees were welcomed Thursday by Planning Committee Chairperson Alan Tompkins of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation in Dallas, IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell, Mark Mason from BMI, the host of the event, and facilitator Trisha Tubbs from Seattle. The class was thrilled by the appearance of Hall of Fame member Sonny Osborne, banjo legend of the Osborne Brothers, who kindly took the time to encourage participation in the industry and welcome everyone to the conference.

After a presentation from Cardwell, participants got to know each other during lunch; the program places a high value and priority on creating positive relationships among its membership. There were ample opportunities to make business connections, but better yet, there was the wide open chance to make new friends.

The remainder of Thursday was highlighted by presentations from Alison Brown and Garry West, musicians and owners of Compass Records, who stressed the importance of making and maintaining a business plan to help you strategize and reach your goals in a practical way. The group also heard from Al McCree and Scott Scoville, entrepreneurs who have built their successful businesses from the ground up, and how to maintain momentum through the lean years. Award-winning bassist Missy Raines (Missy Raines and the New Hip) lent her insights on living the life of an artist, the trials of the road, the joys of the music and other facets of the total artist experience.

One highlight for many was learning about the maze of song publishing, royalty distribution and copyright law, as led by Belmont University’s Dan Keen with panelists John Allen from BMG, songwriter/producer Jerry Salley, and Tim Fink from SESAC. Next there was focus on the artist’s team, which featured longtime Alison Krauss manager Denise Stiff, booking agent Lee Olsen, digital marketer Katy Kirby from Thirty Tigers, John P. Strohm, attorney from Loeb and Loeb LLC and Kim Fowler, owner and publicist from Two Dog Media.

A class favorite was the Leadership and Individual Applications workshop, led by Liz Allen Fey of Management Solutions Group, LLC. Members took a survey of various leadership traits to discover their own leadership style and learned to determine how their personal style might best serve them as they go forward. For IBMA Administrative/Media Assistant Katherine Coe, who was part of the class, this was an important part of her experience.

“I enjoy doing [projects] that help me learn more about myself,” says Coe. “The more I understand the way I personally approach a project or problem, the better I can successfully work through it.”

There are now opportunities to study bluegrass music in higher education, which Andy Carlson (Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at Denison University in Ohio) spoke more on.  He shared some of his teaching methods with the class, and then invited the group to get out their own instruments for a short jam on “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Being a room full of bluegrassers, he didn’t have to ask twice!

On Friday the class was welcomed to Missy Raines and Ben Surratt (also on the planning committee) for a night of good food, good company and grand picking. Some extra guests were invited, including esteemed author Neil Rosenberg, who was later found picking the Five with great ease; Carlson, who makes magic with a fiddle; Lora Murphy from the Muddy River Band; Daniel Routh from Nu-Blu; songwriter/producer/IBMA Board member Jon Weisberger with his wife Deborah; and Brian Perry from Sixthman Productions (Mountain Song at Sea). It wasn’t long before much of the party drifted to the basement, where a studio filled with musicians and toe-tappers who got their jam on until late in the evening.

Saturday the group was welcomed by Stephanie Taylor from Bone McAllester Norton, who hosted the day’s events. Navigating the Digital Jungle was a great session teaching how to best market yourself, band, or entity through social and digital media with Jay Frank from DigSin, Jenny Smythe from Girlilla Marketing and Cassie Petry from Crowd Surf. New Trends and Developments in Presenting Live Music was the next panel, where artist Peter Cooper, Warner Music Group’s Jamie Younger and Lindsay Hayes from Red Beet Records demonstrated the unique possibilities of the online Stage It program; Craig Havighurst showed examples from Bluegrass Underground and the popular Music City Roots radio show and Brian Perry fielded a number of questions about the Mountain Song at Sea cruise.

Lunchtime Saturday marked the official graduation from Leadership Bluegrass. Each participant was awarded a plaque, presented by another member of the class with words of personal encouragement. Attendee Ron Murphy from Ohio, a longtime ‘grasser and member of the Muddy River Band, was chosen to represent the 2013 class at IBMA in Raleigh during WOB.

One of the topics in the open forum was: How do we make the big umbrella of the bluegrass genre appeal to the largest possible audience? How can we make it a mainstream music in the marketplace? These continue to be topics of the larger conversation that face our industry, and this group and all of bluegrass will be working together to find the answers.

Kayla Hotte of Kayla Hotte and Her Rodeo Pals, from Edmonton, Alberta, is taking away much from her Leadership Bluegrass experience.

“It helped me understand aspects of the business that I knew nothing about,” she explained. “Like how publishing works, and the different parts of an artist’s team. It was good to hear Missy Raines talk about all the things that an artist goes through to make their music. I learned it is important to make a business plan.” She agrees that the program will be very advantageous to her as she moves forward with her career as a singer/songwriter in her native Canada.

Closing, IBMA Board of Directors Vice-Chair Jon Weisberger spoke about leadership opportunities within the IBMA and the industry, while Alan Tompkins shared his story of how he used his skills and opportunities to grow bluegrass right in his home area of Dallas. Both are real, valuable options, worthy of consideration and practice by anybody in the industry, not just those who have been a part of Leadership Bluegrass.

If you have any questions about how you can be a part of the exciting changes that are happening right now in bluegrass, contact the IBMA. They are ready to help you find your place, and just like the old Uncle Sam posters, they WANT YOU!

Congratulations to the graduates:

Darin Aldridge; Darin and Brooke Aldridge; Cherryville, NC

Melissa Armstrong; Detour; Sand Lake, MI

Andrea Ball; Make Welcome Entertainment; Washington, DC

Katherine Coe; IBMA; Nashville, TN

Jeremy Darrow; The Erin McDermott Band/Freelance Musician; Nashville, TN

John DeMarce; DC Bluegrass Union; Washington, DC

Susie Glaze; Hilonesome Music, Susie Glaze & the Hilonesome Band; Burbank, CA

KC Groves; Artist & Composer; Lyons, CO

Kayla Hotte; Kayla Hotte & her Rodeo Pals; Ardrossan, Alberta, CA

Caroline Isachsen; Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival; Delmar, NY

Steven Johnson; MerleFest; Wilkesboro, NC

Lori King; Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa; Drakesville, IA

Jordan Laney; Appalachian State University; Vilas, NC

Ron Murphy; Muddy River Band; Wilmington, OH

Amy Reitnouer; The Bluegrass Situation; Los Angeles, CA

Carolyn Routh; Nu-Blu, Red Squared Audio; Siler City; NC

Sheila Selby; Boston Bluegrass Union; Brookline, MA

Carly Smith; International Bluegrass Music Museum; Owensboro, KY

Erin Stamper; WAMU’s Bluegrass Country; Washington, DC

Shannon Turner; Freelance writer/journalist; Hermitage, TN

Missy Werner; Missy Werner Band; Liberty Township, OH

Jill Wiese; Bluegrass Association of North Dakota; Washburn, ND

Kristi Wilcox; Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP; Nashville, TN

Courtney Worthen; PineCone – The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music; Raleigh, NC

Dustin Pyrtle joins Doyle Lawson-via Bluegrass Today

Just in from Bluegrass Today:

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver are among the unstoppable objects in the music world, recording and touring now in their 34th year. Together since Doyle Lawson stepped away from The Country Gentlemen in 1979, the band has seen dozens of personnel changes over the years, including some of the top current performers in bluegrass. But the train just keeps chugging along, with Doyle at the helm.

Today it is announced that Dustin Pyrtle has joined the group, playing guitar and singing. He is taking the spot just vacated by Mike Rogers, who is hopping back to the world of country music to work with Syco Music/RCA Nashville recording artist Tate Stevens.

Dustin, who is the nephew of Seldom Scene mandolinist Lou Reid, has worked of late with Grasstowne on guitar and vocals, and more recently subbing for Quicksilver alum Russell Moore while he was recovering from some voice problems this past winter.

Look for the newest modification of Doyle and the boys as their east coast tour takes them from Palm Beach, FL through Valdese, NC, and Princeton and Elkins, WV the rest of April. You can find full details online at doylelawson.com.

BMAI Fundraiser Cookie Book

We’re offering copies of this beautiful Cookie Book. This is more than just another recipe book. It has large, beautiful color pictures of freshly baked cookies…it has 277 cookie recipes that were chosen from over 34,000 cookie recipes in a national contest…each one of the winners was a family favorite. This Cookie Book sells for just $10 + $3.50 shipping, which is far less than cookbooks of this quality you’ll find at the store. You may also want to con-sider extra copies as gifts for family and friends. Some people have ordered as many as 10 copies when they see the quality of this book at this discounted price. Many people have found this book soon becomes one of the most-used cookbooks in their home, and you likely will too.

You can order this and other merchandise on our new redesigned website at www.iowabluegrassmusic.com