Kim Ruehl: What do you like about the world of bluegrass and the IBMA Awards, you’ve obviously been here before ... I assume.
Tony Trishcka: This used to be in Owensboro, KY, and I was there three or four times but I have not been in 12 years. Finally this year I have a bluegrass album out on Rounder, so that was a really good reason to come here. It's a great conference because everybody gets together for one focal point all year long. There's SPBGMA, but it's not as all-encompassing as this is.
[Here,] you have musicians, record company owners, etc. Every walk of life in the bluegrass world. It's really important to make connections and do things like this interview. It's a major deal and it puts some more business kind of face on bluegrass. It's not like most businesses where you get that sense of it being a business year-round. This is [more like] everyone goes out and plays their gigs and does what they do. Before this, it was nothing. Bill Monroe was doing his thing in the 50s and 60s, he was just on his own. He didn’t have a manager...
You delivered the keynote last night. How did that come to be?
I was invited by actually the bass player in my band this week, John Weissberger, he called about 2-3 months ago and said, "Do you want to do this?" I said, "Let me call you back tomorrow, I've really got to think about this." Because I really didn’t want to do it. I mean, it’s a great honor, of course, but it’s like ... I don’t give speeches. So I thought, I've got to buy some time here, that sort of thing. So I called him back the next day.
I knew immediately I had to say yes. Then I sort of put it out of my head for about a month and a half, I [asked them], "What am I supposed to write about?" [They said,] "Oh anything you want." So once I agreed, they put a blurb about it in the IBMA magazine that said Tony Trischka will give an uplifting, inspiring speech.
[laughs] No pressure.
Yeah, Oh great, I've got to live up to this, wonderful. I started writing down some thoughts. I didn't have a plan, I just wrote down some thoughts. And then over time it congealed and a couple of days before I had to have other people vet it, and I guess it worked out okay.