Monday, February 27, 2006

2006 Stephen Foster Awards

Anytime a folksinger wins anything at all that is called the "Stephen Foster Award" it's a good thing.

When he can accept the award on behalf of his friends it's even better.

That's what I did last Thursday. A bunch of broadcasters and media folks considered WoodSongs and all it has accomplished and decided to award us the
Stephen Foster Award for Broadcast Excellence. Sam Bush was there, as was Naomi Judd, the great bassist Byron House, Eddie and John Michael Montgomery from the country music world. John "Rose Colored Glasses" Conlee sang his big hit song. KET/PBS and WKYT-CBS taped the event for later broadcast.

We even had a free prime-rib dinner.

I liked that my long time friend Jim Piston and Corday, Judge Ray Corns, Dr. Bob DeMattina (who took this pic), Eric Anderson and Lisa Szejkorsky, all from the WoodSongs crew, were there to enjoy the evening. It felt less "me" and more like "us."

During the day I got to visit with my good friend Ron Penn, an artistan and fiddler who runs the John Jacob Niles Center at the University of Kentucky. Thankfully, his long and passionate efforts to keep this great folksinger's work alive was also recognized this night.

And musically I got to reach into my grab bag and sing
Vincent-Starry, Starry Night a song I've sung to crowds like this for a long time. What made it especially nice was that, when I walked into the presentation hall, a very good friend of mine was in the house band. That's Paul Martin behind my right shoulder. He and I performed HUNDREDS of Earth Concerts in many states together early in my folksinging career. He is an amazing musician and was at my musical side as my Tree Hugger years took shape.

All in all and good night for WoodSongs and most importantly, a good night that recognized the hard work of my friends that make WoodSongs possible.


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