Again this year, for I-don't-know-how-many-years-in-a-row, we set up a booth for the IBMA Fan Fair. The Nashville Convention Center was a busy place, with plenty of bands, dealers, instrument makers, and fans on hand for the weekend. After Lynn Morris won an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award (see Casey's post just below) and her husband Marshall Wilburn was voted Bass Player of the Year, we were especially proud to be offering Lynn's clawhammer-instruction DVDs and Marshall's bass-teaching DVDs as well.
Casey and I and our friend, festival promoter Patty Pullen, were our on-site staff for the weekend. Folks were picking up Murphy Method DVDs all across the board-- banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, and Dobro too. It was a good weekend for us, and it was great to see so many of our DVDs going home with our Murphy Method students, many of whom we met this weekend for the first time.
A special highlight of the trip for me was watching Casey playing banjo for the Dixie Bee-Liners in their showcase set on Friday. The room was full, the band was "on," and the music was Mighty Fine. (They'd played some showcases after midnight earlier in the week, but I didn't manage to stay up that late!)
I ought to send some special thanks to Bob Fehr and the Martin Guitar folks for setting out so many nice new guitars for people to play-- there was a particularly-amazing "sunburst" D-28 that showed how Martin is making them as well as ever-- and also to Stan Werbin of Elderly Instruments, who invited me to play the A-5 mandolin. (More on that later.)
If you've never been to IBMA, you might like to be there sometime. Think about it.