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International Bluegrass Music Museum Begins Executive Director Search

International Bluegrass Music MuseumThe International Bluegrass Music Museum's board of trustees announced in December that Gabrielle M. Gray, the museum's chief executive, would be ending her exceptional 12-year tenure as the museum's creative leader and retires as executive director. Carly Smith has been acting as the museum's interim director. The Museum has officially commenced their search for a new Executive Director to carry on the tradition and lead the museum on the next page of its journey.

Dolly Parton Signs Producer Development Deal with NBC

Dolly PartonUniversal City, CA -- NBC has signed a development deal with Dolly Parton, one of the most honored female country musicians of all time and an American icon. The network will develop a slate of two-hour movies with the legendary country music icon as their producer.

Ripsaw Partners with Patuxent for Louie Setzer Bluegrass Album

Louie SetzerRipsaw Records announces that it has partnered with Patuxent Music to produce a Louie Setzer bluegrass album to be released in the early spring of 2015. Setzer, aka "The Duke of Bluegrass" with his "titanium tonsils," was Ripsaw's first recording artist (Ripsaw 209; 1976). He is also Ripsaw's most recent artist, having recorded two tracks released in April 2014 on The Best of Ripsaw Records, Volume 4.

Steep Canyon Rangers & Oskar Blues Brewery Announce Partnership

Steep Canyon Rangers and Oskar Blues BreweryNashville, TN -- The popular North Carolina-based bluegrass ambassadors, Steep Canyon Rangers, are proud to announce a new partnership with Oskar Blues Brewery, brewers of Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, and other craft beers. This collaboration, which kicks off in January 2015, is the culmination of a long-standing friendship rooted in a shared commitment to music, the environment, and community-oriented charitable causes. A shared love of craft beer helped seal the deal.

IBMA in Need of New Ethics & Conflict of Interest Policies

Code of EthicsThe International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has a long history of leadership problems. In virtually every case, the underlying issue was "transparency" or, the lack there of. The lack of transparency was caused by two factors. Communications were non-existent, late or self-denial and, a lost trust in the leadership as a result. If one goes back through the years of emails and other communications, there is always a common thread and, for the past 12+ years, a common individual in the mix as well.

Telefunken to Sponsor Podunk Bluegrass and Litchfield Jazz Fests

Pictured picking up an assortment of mics at TELEFUNKEN headquarters in Connecticut, (L-R) are Litchfield Jazz Fest audio engineers Brian Silver and Nick Joyce.Telefunken Elektroakustik of South Windsor, Connecticut, recently sponsored two important and historic music festivals in their home state. The Litchfield Jazz Festival, a favorite of the public and critics alike has been going for the past 19 years and the Podunk Bluegrass Festival has been a yearly success since 1996.

Belk Seeks Southern Musicians for 2015 Southern Music Showcase

Belk logoCharlotte, NC -- As part of its 2015 The Road South campaign, Belk, the nation's largest family owned and operated department store, announced today its second year of the Southern Musician Showcase. The Showcase will promote Southern musicians by offering them a chance to win a cash prize and an opportunity to perform at major fashion, sports and music events, a performance wardrobe and stylist provided by Belk and an opportunity for their songs to be featured in Belk television commercials.

Vector Management Adds Nathan Stanley to Roster

Nathan StanleyNashville, TN -- Rising bluegrass prodigy Nathan Stanley has recently joined the Ken Levitan co-founded Vector Management roster for representation. Following his "Bluegrass Album of the Year" win at the 2014 Dove Awards, Nathan Stanley is gearing up for an exciting New Year. At just 22 years old, the Virginia native now joins his Grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stanley as the newest member of the Vector Management roster.

IBMA Desires Change for the Future...

Change and DirectionFor as long as I was a member of IBMA and for the many years since, people have always been asking for change. They want a change. The board needs to change. This or that needs to change. Change. Change. Change. What is it they want changed? What direction do they want association to go in? What is it they want? These questions are rarely asked and, when I ask members, I receive as many different opinions as I do people I ask. There doesn't seem to be any consensus.

Thoughts & Observations of the IBMA Board

Board of DirectorsFirst of all, this is an opinion piece -- not a news story. I've been reading comments through social media, the web, emails sent to me and comments on Cybergrass. There are certainly a lot of upset people and a lot of frustrated people. There are also many members that don't know what their own association is doing. Only a small percentage of members are really active in the IBMA. As one member said, "What is going on? I am a voting member, but do not know anything about the board." Another said, "Apathy is strong within the IBMA." Others have voiced similar thoughts. This indicates many card carrying members just carry the card. IBMA has never been an association to do something for you. It is an organization that members contribute to. For the decade that I was a member, I contributed constantly for various programs, regional rep program, created their first web site, worked on several Bluegrass in the Schools activities, spoke on sessions, mentored others and more. My hands were always involved in something the association was working towards. That is the true nature of IBMA. It really hasn't changed over the years.

Nashville or LA: Session Aces Rate Two Schools of Recording

CMA Close Up/CMA/By Michael Ross
During a recent conversation, session guitar whiz Guthrie Trapp casually referenced a distinction between classic Nashville studio procedure and what he described as Los Angeles or New York types of sessions being done in Music City.

IBMA Board Hemorrhaging Continues with Three More Resignations

IBMAThree more board members of the International Bluegrass Music Association have tendered their resignations. Brian Smith, Henri Deschamps and Elizabeth Wightman joined others who have earlier submitted letters of resignation including Executive Director Nancy Cardwell, Craig Ferguson and Dwight Worden. Board Chairman Jon Weisberger had also offered to resign however the recent board vote was to not accept that resignation.

Introducing a New Depot for Bluegrass Music

R&R ProductionsBluegrass music is no longer under-represented in the Phoenix metro area! In 2014, R&R Productions was formed by two long-time bluegrass devotees, James Reams and Ned Robbins, to promote all things bluegrass in the central desert. “It was heartbreaking to see opportunities like concerts, films, and other events bypass Arizona completely on their way to or from the west coast,” lamented James Reams. “Ned and I put our heads together and pooled our resources with the goal of making Phoenix an oasis for bluegrass artists and a leader in innovative opportunities for bluegrass-related events.”

IBMA Board Turmoil Continues with Second Resignation

IBMAThe International Bluegrass Music Association's Board of Directors is again the focus of IBMA activity as Vice Chair Craig Ferguson of Planet Bluegrass has resigned his position on the board. This comes just after the Executive Director, Nancy Cardwell, tendered her resignation just a few weeks ago. Jon Weisberger, Chairman of the IBMA board wrote us yesterday with more information regarding this latest resignation.

Moonstruck Management Signs The HogSlop String Band

The HogSlop String BandNashville, TN -- A multi-award-winning old-time band, The HogSlop String Band has signed with Moonstruck Management for management and booking. Headed by Josh Trivett, Moonstruck has an impressive client roster that includes notable and award-winning acts such as: Dr. Ralph Stanley, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, The Roys, Adkins & Loudermilk and former clients like Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Bobby Osborne and more. The Moonstruck team is focused on a deep appreciation for Bluegrass, folk and old-time string music.

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