O Brother Producer Cancels IBMA Keynote Speech

T Bone Burnett, producer of the double-platinum O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack album, has canceled his keynote appearance next Monday (Oct. 1) at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s convention in Louisville due to flight scheduling uncertainties. Nancy Cardwell, IBMA’s special projects coordinator, says that no replacement for Burnett has been chosen.

Cardwell also reports that Patty Loveless and the Nashville Bluegrass Band will not perform at the convention. Loveless, whose recently released Mountain Soul album parades her bluegrass influences, was scheduled for a showcase next Monday. The Nashville Bluegrass Band was slotted to close the evening performance on Oct. 3. Cardwell says other acts will fill in.

Although there have been many inquiries from convention registrants about whether the event will be altered by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Cardwell says there have been no more late cancellations this year than in years past.

The IBMA World of Bluegrass Week runs Oct. 1-7 and includes showcases, trade show exhibits, seminars, mentoring sessions, music workshops and the annual IBMA Awards Show, Oct. 4. Most convention activities will take place at the Galt House hotel, but the award show will be held at Louisville’s Kentucky Center for the Arts.

Bluegrass Fan Fest occupies the three days following the award show and will also be held at the Galt House. The separately ticketed event will feature performances by nearly 50 acts, including Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, the Del McCoury Band , Blue Highway , Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

Country star Steve Wariner will host the IBMA Awards Show, which will be carried by delayed broadcast on “several hundred radio stations,” the IBMA says.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.