The International Country Music Conference was this past Thursday through Saturday over at Belmont. The Conference is legendary for its good food and this year was no exception. De-lici-ous. If you claim to have gone to ICMC and you don't rave about the food, everyone will know you're fibbing.
Excellent presentations were given by local notables like Barry Mazor and regular Scene contributor Jewly Hight. And I'm a giant nerd, so I really loved Anthony Lis's discussion of the far-reaching influence of Hawaiian band leader Lani McIntire on country music.
On Friday at lunch, they handed out the awards. The country music book of the year went to Bar Biszick-Lockwood for her book, Restless Giant: The Life and Times of Jean Aberbach & Hill and Range Songs. Ralph Emery, who is almost disconcertingly handsome in real life, his hair so silver it seems to shine with a lilac glow, won the lifetime achievement award. Peter Cooper won The Charlie Lamb Excellence In Country Music Journalism Award in the contemporary category and Colin Escott won in the career category.
It's good that folks come to Nashville and spend time thinking critically about our indigenous artistic industry and talk about and wrestle over the history. For those of you who knew Charles Wolfe (and I know there are a lot of you out there), his presence was, as ever, sorely missed. No one can recognize the piano player on an obscure record — of which only 16 copies survive, only one of which is still in playable condition — like he could. But I also think that this is a special gathering in that they do a good job of keeping the memory of the dead.
Ugh, this was a light-hearted post that took a turn for the depressing. Anyway, good work, good food, good times.