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Lee Bidgood of ETSU ‘Is there a Belgian Bluegrass?’ at ICMC

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Lee BidgoodThe International Country Music Conference (ICMC) always includes a portion of their program dedicated to bluegrass music and ICMC 2105 will be not different. ICMC is pleased to share that long time ICMC friend Lee Bidgood of East Tennessee State University will further extend the ICMC Bluegrass presence. Bidgood will be dealing with “Broken Circle vs the Louvat Brothers: Is there a Belgian Bluegrass?” Most of us probably know nothing about the Bluegrass scene in Belgium. As always, Bidgood will be well prepared, expand our horizons, plus contribute mightily to our enjoyment with his picking prowess!

Another bluegrass topic at ICMC will by by Rick Stern of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana. Stern's topic will be dealing with ‘Home Is Where...” Stern Indicates that Bluegrass “contains two spheres (secular and sacred) each of which employs the concept of ‘home’...with the first sphere described as longing and the second as hopeful.” Stern will deal with ‘several variations’ of home songs and deal with state and region songs as well. Stern is always thoroughly prepared and his banjo adds a great deal to all of the ICMC picking sessions!

ICMC long term friend Dan Simberloff shared a link dealing with the question of preservation on Music Row. Preservation of music row is related to the important questions of ‘critical infrastructure,’ authenticity, public memory, iconography as well as private property issues. ICMC has not taken a formal stand on such issues, but numerous sessions and panels have dealt with authenticity. It may well be that an ICMC panel on historic preservation and all its complexities as it relates to country music would be a great feature for a future ICMC.

Greg Reish ( that FOUR (4) slots remain available if you want to be part of the FREE Wednesday afternoon 5.20.2015 excursion to the MTSU Center for Popular Music (CPM). Its first come, first reserved for these final four slots. After the slots are filled, Greg will put interested folks on a wait list. The CPM is a great research facility! You’ll leave the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt about 1:00pm in an MTSU vehicle and be back in time to enjoy the 5:00-8:00pm social hour, picking, eating, and multiple book launch activities. You can even stay for the ICMC segment of singer songwriter nite.

Each year ICMC solicits papers from the professional community for inclusion into their program. The ICMC web site ( has been updated to reflect ICMC 2014 events with a variety of photos and awards information. ICMC proposals are due by Friday 24 October 2014. Early submission of proposals is preferred. Some decisions on proposals will be made prior to the official deadline in order to facilitate program planning and publicity. Proposals may be emailed to James Akenson. To register for ICMC, you may use the PDF registration form that is due by Friday, 11 May 2015.

Keep in mind that Don Cusic wants to receive your well-crafted manuscripts for the International Country Music Journal (ICMJ). While ICMJ is a formal function of ICMC, manuscripts do not have to be presented at ICMC for consideration. If you have questions please contact Don Cusic ( The first two ICMJs are available from

Pickers don’t forget that there will be the usual informal picking Thursday evening prior to the 7:00pm keynote event and Friday evening at Studio It would also be great if pickers want to start their collaboration prior to the Thursday noon luncheon. Please contact Nate Gibson ( or Greg Reish ( for additional information. This includes the Wednesday 5.20.2015 pre conference picking component at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt. Once again ICMC has been alloted the 9-10pm slot for ICMC pickers to perform at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt’s Wednesday evening singer-songwriter nite. Original material is required. Nate Gibson coordinates the singer songwriter time slot. Please contact Nate and/or James Akenson if you wish to participate.

Please remember that the pre conference event once again includes tasting of the very well received Calfkiller Brewing company products as well as the launch of some fine books by ICMC participants! If you are an author who wants to participate in the multiple book launch please contact James Akenson ( with the name of your book and publisher. Ron Cohen and Rachel Donaldson have committed to discuss “Roots of the Revival: American and British Folk Music in the 1950s.” Barry Mazor will comment on his “Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music.” Michael Jarrett will be commenting on “The Genius of the Nashville System.” Each author will have approximately five minutes to share important features about their book. Copies will be available for purchase.

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