Exactly one week ago (as this note is being written) we were driving home from North Carolina. We had decided at the last minute to attend the International Bluegrass Music Association Business Conference in Raleigh, so, after playing Saturday night in Ann Arbor at the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room and spening the night with friends in the AA area, we headed east and south toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. We stayed over a night with our friends near Winston-Salem and then headed for Raleigh and the bluegrass convention.
We had missed several years of IBMA and this was the conference's first time in Raleigh, so we were anxious to see how it would be, reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and learn what we could learn, not to mention experience a whole lot of bluegrass music "up close and personal."
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. We felt truly welcomed back by the whole IBMA experience, and the city of Raleigh seemed to have rolled out the red carpet for the IBMA's annual event. We ran into and were welcomed back by more old friends than we even knew we had there. We got to personally thank a bunch of DJs that have been kind enough to play our music over the years, and we met some new ones that were happy to take a CD or two home with them. We attended a number of seminars and panal discussions about the business and the world of bluegrass music, and the opportunites for networking and meeting new friends were practically endless. There were bands showcasing every night including our friends, those rising stars and fellow Michiganders, Detour. We played in several really fun informal jam sessions with friends new and old, and had a particularly grand time in the hospitality suite of the California Bluegrass Association. Unfortunately, we were so busy that we pretty much forgot to take any pictures.
On our way home we stopped again with our friends near Winston-Salem and played a set at the nearby Muddy Creek Cafe in the community of Bethania where we had a very good time and have been invited back to play again sometime after the first of the year. Our friends, Scott and Deb, also took us on a little walking and sight seeing trip to nearby Pilot Mountain, the supposed inspiration for the many references to "Mt. Pilot" in the old Andy Griffith show. We had a blast, and the unwinding was just what we needed after the busy-ness of the previous few days. We did take a few pictures up there and one at the Muddy Creek Cafe.
In November, we have another great opportunity. Our friend Bob Scolnik's Mona Lake Productions is bringing back "A Concert With Friends." It will take place at Muskegon's Frauenthal Center on November 9. We'll be joined, of course, by our good friends Daniel Seabolt and John King along with their band, The Oat Bran Boys, as well as a newer friend, the very talented Tommy Foster. Each act will get to do their own thing, and we'll be playing together in various configurations throught the evening. Don't miss it. It'll be a blast, and the proceeds will benefit the new downtown Muskegon Farmers' Market.
That's the news. Enjoy the Fall colours and get out for some live music. We'll give you another bump next month.
Ruth and Max
"What a show--great musicianship, great songs, and Ruth's voice just melts over the crowd like butter on a biscuit...delicious! Let's do it again!" Terry Grannis, Zellie's Opry House
"Turn Back A Page - Real songs with real emotions, great instrumental work, superb harmonies and one of the best female vocalists in the business (Ruth, of course!). This CD is pure listening pleasure."" Al Kniola, Host, The Back Porch, 88.1 WVPE Public Radio
"This band has a growing devoted following here in the Midwest, but the music I heard and the performance I saw are of a caliber that deserves to be seen on the best national stages!”" Phil Doolittle, Paint Creek Comfy Concerts
9th Annual Taste of Music! At Trillium Events Center