First off, Raleigh was a great host! I must admit that I wasn't a fan of moving it, for my own selfish reasons, but Raleigh won me over pretty much the first day!
IBMA is always fun, but this year some pretty incredible things happened, the least of which was having a song on the ballot and on Balsam Range's Papertown, which ended up winning album of the year! From Noam Pikelny's speech to start the week off to Tony Rice's amazing acceptance speech, it was a monumental week. If you haven't seen his speech yet, you should go and watch it on youbute right now. It was an incredible! The room got suddenly very still, everyone had tears in their eyes and looks of sheer astonishment frozen on their faces. I still get chills just thinking of it. I could tell you all about it, but its not something easily put into words, so do yourself a favor and watch it here.
It was wonderful to get to see many old friends, make new ones, play music with some pretty fun people, run all around Raleigh and hear many of my friends and favorite musicians play! I was so honored to have had a song on the ballot and so pleased that Papertown and Balsam Range won album of the year! Love those guys!
The theme of this year's gathering seemed very much one of acceptance and keeping the spirit and essence of bluegrass music alive, and I'd say it was the best year yet!
Here are a few pictures from the week:
Take care, and stay tuned for more updates!