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Katy Leonard on 5th Generation of Bluegrass Music

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ICMC 2013Nashville, TN -- The International Country Music Conference, (ICMC) virtually always has a solid representation of Bluegrass oriented sessions and ICMC 2013 is no exception. Previously, we announced that Lance Kinney would tackle the always vexing WIBA (What Is Bluegrass Anyway) question and be followed by Katy Leonard of Birmingham Southern. Leonard’s presentation is not designed as a formal rebuttal to Kinney, but it will certainly provide fascinating thoughts about Bill Monroe and the nature of innovation, continuity, and change in Bluegrass.

Titled “Bill Monroe’s Boldness: The Tradition of Innovation in Bluegrass Music’s Fifth Generation.” Leonard contends that “the next generations of bluegrass musicians have become the bearers of the tradition” and “addresses the issue of continuity of tradition and tradition as evolving process as represented by fifth generation bluegrass musicians. Many fifth generation (age 18-35) bluegrass musicians have favored individual expression over the repetition of the sound of the first generation, which I propose is true to the original nature of bluegrass music.” We look forward to Leonard’s insights!

ICMC friend Lance Kinney of Nick Saban University (NSU), formerly known as the University of Alabama -- will be presenting and dealing with the thorny WIBA issue--What Is Bluegrass Anyway?! If you have read or heard debates on BGRASS-L, or elsewhere, WIBA is not for the feint of heart!

Kinney will deal with “What Is Bluegrass Anyway: In Search Of Parameters and Definitions.” He indicates that he will be “analyzing what many consider the real bedrock of Bluegrass, Monroe's recordings with his 1946 band” and “will examine those recordings structurally and aesthetically to start the defining bluegrass conversation.”

You may not agree completely with Lance Kinney, but you’ll definitely know where he stands! Watch for a Bluegrass presentation by Katy Leonard of Birmingham Southern to be announced as the second session in the time slot with Kinney. Leonard’s presentation is not designed as a rebuttal to Kinney, but it will certainly provide fascinating thoughts about Bill Monroe and the nature of innovation, continuity, and change in Bluegrass.

The ICMC will also feature bluegrass and banjo artist/historian Murphey Henry on Women in Bluegrass. Published articles will make it into the International Country Music Journal.

One item of note for ICMC friends who have yet to experience their “fifteen minutes of fame.” There is a country music game show in development designed to pit country music experts as they play for a grand price of some $50,000. After phone calls from and to Los Angeles--and having a couple of ICMC friends talk to the same LA contact---it appears legitimate. That, of course, doesn’t mean that the program will ever make it to network telly. If you would like to be considered as a possible contestant call Angelo at 323.648.5740. Good luck!

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