Saturday, October 04, 2008

IBMA Day 2...Still Awake

It's going on 11:30 pm local time and all around you can hear in every nook and cranny of the hotel pickers jamming their last. They'll be at it well into the night and on into the early hours of Sunday. All three levels of the lobbies, and traveling all 25 floors of the hotel, you can hear the music.

Just had a wonderful bout of synchronicity. I was planning to bail out for a couple of hours and swing back for the last show of the evening with Lonesome River Band. Unable to find an open computer station to check in for my flight tomorrow night, I wandered down to the Main Stage early. I was intentionally planning to skip Kathy Mattea which would have been the biggest mistake of my evening.

Mattea has a new album out, titled "Coal", and she did a number of songs from that recording in her set. Needless to say I would have missed the full circle of my weekend if I had skipped it. Future posts will explore this material. For now, suffice it to say that my preconceived notions of Mattea as a country star are ill founded.

Earlier in the evening, I sat in on most of Vince Gill's set. Gill, like Mattea one of the biggest names in country music, is now an avowed, out-of-the-closet, back-to-Bluegrass player. He did several of my favorite tunes.

Heading up to drop some stuff in my room I had the unfortunate experience of sharing the elevator with some sports fans. They were whining about Biden making them depressed. When the elevator opened up on a jam session, the guy whined further, "that stuff depresses me too. I'm a country boy." I thought, Mister, why don't you go downstairs and tell that to Vince Gill when he's done picking his mando for a crowd of about 1500 people?" But I just kept my mouth shut and got off at my stop.

It's going to be a long night, for some. As for me, I'm going to go find a beer, and sample the many picking sessions. I tuned up but the D string keeps slipping out and I don't want to make a mess of anyone's session. So I'll listen and make a few new friends (so far the folks I've met are all presenters from Ohio, ironically) and then maybe, get some sleep.

Hope all y'all are having a good weekend.



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