April showers…bring lots of new opportunities

Spring has finally sprung here in Nashville, and it seems like opportunities are springing up as well. We found out that we will be playing at the Bluegrass Ramble in Raleigh, NC at the annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) gathering, September 30 through October 4, 2014.  
The Irene Kelley trio had a great gig at the Carter Vintage Guitar Store in downtown Nashville. Long time friend, co-producer of two records and musician extraordinaire, Scott Neubert, played guitar and Jon Weisberger joined me on bass. This was my first time to have Jon play with me for an entire set, and I’m looking forward to more shows with him when he’s not out with Chris Jones and The Night Drivers. We had a great crowd, and they even sold a guitar! Not to me, but I was sure tempted.

The Country Music Hall of Fame expanded their spaces this month, and I was invited to the big party. There was so much great music as Buddy Miller lead an all-star band. Guest singers included some friends and personal favorites: Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Lee Ann Womack

“Bluegrass Unlimited” magazine has been in print since 1966. I started subscribing to and reading it in 1978. This month, my name is on the front cover, followed by a feature article inside. Casey Penn did a great job capturing the story of my musical life and how “Pennsylvania Coal" came to be. I hope you will get a chance to pick up a copy of this month's edition. It is an honor for me, and I have to say, a true and well-told story.
Last winter, friend and portrait photographer Deone Janhke shot the front cover of my “Pennsylvania Coal” CD. Deone's works have been on exhibit at The Bluebird Cafe for the past 3 years, and the ABC Network TV show – “Nashville" – included many of them in their recreation of The Bluebird Cafe sound stage. For the past 9 months, a copy of my portrait (and cover of “Pennsylvania Coal”) has been on display at The Bluebird. I’ve really enjoyed that high honor. Next week starts another exhibit, so we had a celebration show with myself and three other artists who are also featured in Deone’s photo series. Peter Cooper, Jon Byrd, Mark Huff and I played a fun ‘round and cheered to Deone and her (and our) long run on the iconic walls. Peter and I wrote a new song earlier in the day, and he was even brave enough to perform it that night. It went over really well, and I plan to record it on the next album.
Mother's Day is a'comin' and I can't wait to see what my girls have in store for me. Perhaps you'd like to treat your family to a live concert and the new CD? In May, we have a Mother’s Day weekend show in Pegram, TN at the Musical Heritage Center.  Sat., May 17 we play the 1st annual Rappahanock Americana Music Festival in Washington, VA. Additional artists performing include: David Olney with Sergio Webb, Robin and Linda Williams, Craver-Hicks-Watson-Newberry and others.  We make a return to Parkersburg, WV on Sun., May 18 to play  “Americana On The Levee” at the Ohio Valley Rowing Club. Hope you can join us. 
We have lots of new tour dates posted and even more in the works. Check them out on the web site, and come out and see me!

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