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“The Folk Revival, Country Music, and Social Justice” at ICMC 2014

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Diane Diekman, shown with James Akenson and Don CusicNashville, TN -- The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) is gearing up for their 2014 event. Each year, the ICMC presents topics of interest on bluegrass and traditional country music. The ICMC will do the ‘Big Reveal’ for the ICMC 2014 Thursday evening 22 May keynote event. Of course, the preceding social hour—with some great food—will feature socializing and informal picking. We are very pleased to announce that long term ICMC friend Ron Cohen of Indiana University Northwest and internationally known singer songwriter, activist Si Kahn will be presenting “The Folk Revival, Country Music, and Social Justice.” Ron Cohen has numerous books on the Folk Revival such as “Rainbow Quest: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1940-1970” and related topics and has frequently presented at ICMC. Cybergrass regularly covers the ICMC which frequently has quality bluegrass subject matter.

Woodsongs Michael Johnathon posted on Si Kahn’s significance stating “very few artists have the legacy, commitment, honesty and consistent heart to step into the shadow of the likes of Pete Seeger. ... using music for a reason, not to sell things ... writing song for the heart, not some chart ... performing for an intent more honorable than for just selling a ticket. Very few artists think in those terms anymore. If he chose to, Si could be one of the ones to step into the footprints of Pete, Woody and others.

James Akenson says, "I'm glad that his bluegrass album with the Looping Brothers scored well on FolkDJ and other places, he deserves it. Si certainly isn't done, his creative juices still churn and he has a long road of good work ahead of him. His new one woman play with Sue Massek is just a foregleam of what lies ahead.” Combined with other related presentations for ICMC 2014 the diversity of ICMC should be clearly evident."

The International Country Music Journal (ICMJ) has been launched under the editorship of Dr. Don Cusic of Belmont University. Like the International Country Music Conference (ICMC), the ICMJ is truly international as evidenced by ICMC presenters Linda Daniel (Canada) and Vincent Cherre’ (France). Cherre’s discussion of “The Real Place of Appalachia in Bluegrass Music” is featured in this inaugural ICMJ. Although an official function of ICMC, the ICMJ accepts manuscript submissions from scholars and others from throughout the world regardless if they have attended and presented at ICMC or not. ICMJ is available from Amazon.com. Persons interested in submitting manuscripts for ICMJ should contact Don Cusic at don.cusic@belmont.edu for guidelines.

The ICMC is pleased to announce that Fontenot will be making ICMC all the more interesting with his presentation “I Recall A Story That I Heard: Marty Robbins’s ‘The Small Man.’” Fontenot maiantains that in 1966 country music singer Marty Robbins published his only novel, a western titled The Small Man. The novel tells the story of a Texas Ranger, ‘short in stature, but big in courage,’ who must face violent criminal called El Diablo. Robbins was inspired to write the story by an article he read in True West magazine during the late 1950s.”

Fontenot states that he “will examine Robbins's long time fascination with the romance of the old West, from his childhood in the Southwest (where he was influenced by the stories of his grandfather “Texas Bob” Heckle, a genuine western character), his reading of western novels and magazines, and his recording of the concept album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.” In a future eblurb additional information regarding Fontenot’s presentation will be shared, but rest assured….Kevin Fontenot is ALWAYS engaging, intriguing, entertaining, insightful, and meticulously prepared.

Pickers don’t forget that there will be informal picking Thursday evening prior to the keynote event and Friday evening at Studio B prior to the special soon to be announced presentation. It would also be great if pickers want to start their collaboration prior to the Thursday noon luncheon. And…..if things work out as desired there may be a special opportunity to do some additional picking as a pre conference event Wednesday evening 21 May at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt.

The Holiday Inn Vanderbilt will be again the official ICMC hotel of choice. The $115 single-quad rate is minimally $50 below the current rates available! Plesae call for reservations at 877.327.4707 and identify that you are with the International Country Music Conference. All reservations should be made by Sunday 20 April 2014 after which availability and the rate cannot be guaranteed. There may be some special new ICMC feature that takes place Wednesday evening, 21 May 2014 at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt.

The ICMC web site (www.internationalcountrymusic.org) has been updated to reflect ICMC 2013 events with a variety of photos and awards information a well as ICMC 2014 due dates for proposals and registration. It appears that for ICMC 2014 will have to revert to The Board Room of The Massey Center where ICMC was housed in previous years. Don Cusic was not pleased by the bureaucratic bungle that made the Frist Lecture Hall unavailable. His displeasure was manifested in a slang term for uric acid based liquid waste output far, far too crude for us to to alow such dignified and refined receipients of ICMC eblurbs to be exposed to such déclassé language. We look forward to ICMC 2015 being housed once again in The Frist Lecture Hall.
Pickers don’t forget that there will be informal picking Thursday evening prior to the keynote event and Friday evening at Studio B prior to the special soon to be announced presentation. It would also be great if pickers want to start their collaboration prior to the Thursday noon luncheon. And…..if things work out as desired there may be a special opportunity to do some additional picking as a pre conference event Wednesday evening 21 May at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt.

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