Well, considering I participated in a seminar at IBMA about blogging, I really have fallen behind during this busy month.
After two days at Silver Dollar City, we had a all night, no sleep, drive to Denton, NC. We made it to the show with about an hour to spare before our first set. Cutting it close.
My mom out-did herself once again in bringing food for all the performers at the festival. She’s becoming more famous for her food then I am for my picking. hehe. Just fine with me. The crowd wasn’t as big as expected at Denton, but it was a fun show and a lot of my family came down to listen. That always makes me feel good.
I was pretty beat down after the all-nighter, but we got up and drove to Nashville the next day. The driving never seems to end. This should be called Ashby Frank’s driving and riding blog.
Once I made it home, being a glutton for punishment and for good music, I met some of my friends at the Station Inn for the annual Ronnie Bowman IBMA Week Kickoff Concert. It didn’t disappoint. Ronnie’s one of the greatest singers of country and bluegrass music, and I know from the little bit of time I spent on the road with him that he’s an equally great guy. First late night of the week… more to come.
Sunday was a day to kind-of relax. I did some quick graphics work, printed up some cards at Kinko’s, then I picked up one of my friends at the airport. We went to meet some more out-of-town musician buds at a restaurant to watch some football and eat some wings. We stayed up kinda late, but that’s the theme of the week.
Monday I went down and did some old fashioned networking and howdys. After that was a rehearsal with the new Special C w/ Ryan Roberts, then 3 after hours showcases (which start at 11PM and end at 2:15ish). Hung around with all my friends afterwards, and got to bed around 5am.
Tuesday, I got to participate as a panelist in a Blogging seminar (apparently people actually read what I write here!) and much fun was had. Heard a lot of good ideas and hopefully someone got something from me. After that was the 3rd annual, totally unofficial and unsanctioned, IBMA poker game (I lost). Then it was off to the Station Inn for a practice for a later showcase, and then Mashville.
Mashville was awesome! Everyone was on their game, and the crowd came to listen from far and wide. We got to debut the Mashville road crew with Terry Baucom, too!
After that, I dashed down to the Station Inn to play that showcase I had practiced earlier for with my buddy Brandon Rickman. Brandon has an awesome new CD out, and is one of the great undiscovered song writers here in town. Anytime he wants to sing and pick, I’ll be there if I can!
I got done with that by around 2:30, then I got to jam some with The Chapmans, Kenny and Amanda Smith, and Thomas Wywrot. Good times. I think I got to sleep that night some time after 6.
Wednesday, more talking and rewiring my bluegrass networking, then 2 showcases with Special C and a Mashville guest spot at the Mountain Heart 10th Anniversary Concert. Sleep time…4AMish.
Thursday, went and shopped for a new tie then headed on down to the Awards Show reception. Gathered my date (who got me an awesome 4th row ticket) and then headed down to the Ryman. The Awards are always fun, and this one was no exception. I was especially pleased that Jesse Brock won Mando player of the year. He totally deserves it.
After the awards, Mashville played at the big McCoury Music Afterparty at BB Kings on 2nd Ave. The sound was kinda rough at first since there was no time for a soundcheck, but after all that got straightened out it was a blast! I greatly appreciate the McCoury Clan having us down there.
So I got out of there around 2:30, and went back down to the hotel for no real reason. Like I said, I’m a glutton for music… and punishment. Listened and jammed, and got to sleep around 6.
FRIDAY, had to get up way too early to go play our FanFest set at 11:50. Now that doesn’t sound way too early, but consider that I got in bed roughly 6 hours before I was supposed to be on stage.
Special C set over, and then it was time to practice for sitting in with Alecia Nugent for her FanFest set at 3:30…but only for a short while, because Special C had to go and give a workshop on teaching bluegrass. After that was over, I ran back to the stage and did the set with Alecia. Shew! Bed time…for three hours! I took a nap, and then it was time to go back to the hotel to do a set with Terry Baucom at the Deering Banjo Showcase at 11:30. I jammed for awhile after that, then I went home around 4.
Saturday I got up and was a fan for awhile… watched some FanFest, then it was time for another workshop. This time for the Mando with Alan Bibey, Andy Ball, and Sierra Hull… three of the best players around. It was a huge honor to sit on the same stage as these “guys”… fun too.
When the workshop it was over, it was time to drive north of town to meet the Turtle Top and ride to Chicago. We made it up there, and played the next day downtown at the Chicago Country Music Festival. Awesome day, good crowd. Yep. Ryan and I wrote a good song after the gig, too. Productive day.
Today we had to wait around for 4-5 hours later than we thought because the bus was once again in the shop, but we left out from Chi-town and made it home for me to type this from my own bed tonight.
I’ve got a case of the confused mental clock/exhausted/allergy body aches, but I’m sure I’ll be ready to pick tomorrow night at Mashville.
WOW. What a long trip. Even though I was in my own bed for a portion of it, that was pretty much 3 1/2 weeks straight of work. I’m going to start making the rounds and calls to some of my favorite festivals to try and get some new gigs for Mashville starting tomorrow, but I’m going to set aside some time for the gym and for sleep. I need both very badly right now! I don’t regret one bit of it, though! IBMA week is so much fun for me.
Until next time…