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New Members to Join IBMA Board in October 2014

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Joe MullinsNashville, TN -- Congratulations to the following IBMA members who will take their seats on the IBMA Board of Directors in October, 2014: Joe Mullins, in the Artists, Composers & Publishers category; David Smith, Broadcasters; and John Goad, serving the Print, Media & Education constituencies. All three board reps have been elected by their constituents to a three-year term.

Many thanks to Carl Jackson, Craig Havighurst and Ned Luberecki, who will be rotating off the board in October.

John Goad is a regular correspondent for Bluegrass Today, and he teaches at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. A multi-instrumentalist, John has played bluegrass music since the age of 13. Goad holds two bachelor degrees in Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies and History from ETSU, along with a Graduate Certificate in Appalachian Studies.

“Although I am young,” Goad says, “I have a strong respect for bluegrass music’s traditions. When I was a child, I was more likely to listen to first generation artists than I was what was currently popular, simply because that was what my father enjoyed. Being exposed to those artists allowed me to see how essential both tradition and innovation are to this style of music. One of the best things about bluegrass is how so many artists have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, making their own style of music while being inspired by artists as varied as Bill Monroe, John Cowan, and Chris Thile. As an educator, I want to show both students and bluegrass professionals that it doesn’t have to be either/or – you don’t have to just stick to traditional bluegrass, but you also don’t have to always be going out on a new limb. There’s room for variety. I think it’s very important to not alienate either traditional bluegrass fans and musicians or those who prefer more progressive styles, and to continue recognizing, showcasing, and supporting artists on both sides of the fence and encouraging collaboration and understanding between them.”

As an educator, John has strong feelings about professional development offered by IBMA. An essential part of his vision for IBMA, he says is “that bluegrass professionals are provided with the resources they both want and need to further their careers.”

Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Fairfax County, Virginia, David Smith says he was surrounded by the sounds of bluegrass. Traveling with his family to craft shows up and down the Shenandoah Valley, attending Smithsonian Folkways festivals on the Mall in D.C. and through events at Wolf Trap, Glen Echo and Lucketts Farmers Markets, his ears were drawn to the vocal harmonies and acoustic sounds of bluegrass music. 

Smith has worked as a bluegrass DJ with community and public radio stations for the past two decades: KDUR in Durango, Colorado and KFJM with Prairie Public. He has also served on the board of directors for the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown festival, which is now in its 20th year. He writes for the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society’s Pow’r Pickin’ publication, as well guesting as a blogger for Bluegrass Today, and he served as a member of IBMA’s Showcase Selection Committee this year. He’s also a musician.

Smith believes that tomorrow’s bluegrass “will not be a new revolution, as bluegrass music is already a revolutionary genre. Bill Monroe teaming up with Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts was more progressive than any modern-day use of the word within bluegrass. Each decade to follow would find bluegrass following in such progressive and yes, revolutionary footsteps.” After attending literally hundreds of concerts and festivals across the country, David notes,” With each new decade, what was progressive in the past has become the tradition of today.  The future of bluegrass will continue in this way because bluegrass is a progressive revolution which has evolved and thrived over many decades.” 

“As a member of the IBMA board of directors, I will strive to proudly proclaim the organization’s vibrancy in the modern-day, as well as to promote and applaud all aspects of the genre that meet the high standards of the mission statement.  Promoting the relevance of the organization in the modern-day will strengthen the membership, in-turn strengthening the music.”

Joe Mullins is a lifelong member of the bluegrass community; his father, the late Paul Mullins, was a fiddler, broadcaster and promoter. With access to live performances and recordings throughout his life, Joe characterizes himself as “a lifelong learner, gaining an education about the music and the musicians firsthand from most members of the first, second and third generations of bluegrass professionals.”

Mullins started his career as a banjo player and vocalist as a founding member of The Traditional Grass in late 1983. By 1989, the band was touring full time and produced several recordings for Rebel Records through 1995 when the group disbanded. Joe stopped full time touring to purchase his first radio station, but was invited to help create the band Longview. With this special event band he helped produce three highly acclaimed recordings and performed on a part time basis from 1995 to 2003.

Mullins went on to add three additional stations to the network he manages in southwest Ohio. He founded Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers in 2006, which began touring nationally in 2010 and was named IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year in 2012. Joe served as IBMA’s Secretary from 1993-95, and says, “I have enjoyed our progress over the many years of change and growth.” Mullins is a veteran of several boards and committees, ranging from local Chambers of Commerce to the International Bluegrass Music Museum.  

“I am so thankful for continuous growth of the bluegrass economy over the past two decades,” Mullins says, “and I firmly believe our association has proved beneficial to all. I think the vision for IBMA has always been to provide its members with resources to help achieve success. As a professional association, IBMA has helped encourage young talent, be it musicians, broadcasters, luthiers or others in the bluegrass community, and also honored the achievements of those who have paved the way. I will be honored to serve our members in continuing the progress we have made together the past 30 years. I think future is very bright for the music we love and our association.” 

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