Briscoe Darling, the head of the famous Darling Family of “Andy Griffith Show” fame, used to invite Sheriff Taylor to play some bluegrass with his sons (in real life, “The Dillards”) by hoisting his jug and calling, “Just jump in and hang on!”
But these days, bluegrass music is big business and enjoying huge popularity. The singers are sophisticated and those with regular bands include movie stars such as Steve Martin, who’s collected an IBMA award himself. And now Raleigh has really hit a sweet note: It will host the IBMA convention for three years running, starting next year. The IBMA will bring to town all the major stars, who will perform on an awards show and be part of a fan festival.
Nashville has been the natural host of the event, but the IBMA has been shopping for a city that would help it boost its profile. Raleigh won out, and its own profile will get a little boost now as well.
Just jump in and hang on.