Eric 2010/08/21 12:42pm

I wrote in "Picker's Blues" that music 'can drag you down or make you dance on air.' Well, we weren't dancing in the van when we heard about our four IBMA nominations on Sirius XM, but there was a lot of smiling going on as we made our way from Green Bay to Gettysburg on Wednesday. I have to admit, my heart IS dancing. Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year, Gospel Recorded Performance...I didn't see it coming. Sure, we had folks coming up to us the past few weeks predicting we'd get multiple nominations, but we wouldn't let ourselves believe it. We are so honored to be considered as a contender in each category. We are a band that has been working hard at this for a long time, our only goal to get better, to get as good as we can at this. To get this kind of validation sure feels good, and we're thankful to all who made it possible. I knew when we cut "Ring the Bell" that we had something special. I thought we had a record with songs that fit so well together. When I heard Chet O'Keefe sing the title cut in a barroom in Muncie, Indiana, I just knew we had to have it, that it could be a song that could advance our career and touch hearts. Now it's up for Song and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year. Thank you, Chet! Thank you, heart, for making me follow you.

People tell us stories all the time on the road, and some of them are better than any award. A gentleman spoke to me in Gettysburg about his dad. I get lots of 'dad' stories these days, and I am touched that folks are touched by our tribute to our father and mother, "Farm of Yesterday (which is #1 in Bluegrass Unlimited!)." This particular story really got me. He said, "My dad loved two bands, bands he wouldn't miss for anything -- you boys and the Johnson Mountain Boys. He passed away in 2000. I still have the truck that he drove, and in it is an old tape of you guys. I can't bring myself to take it out of the cassette player, knowing he listened to it so much. I have played it so many times, but I won't take it out because of him. I figure if it breaks, then it's time. But it keeps playing. Spend every moment you can with your parents while you have them." He tore me up. My heart is still heavy thinking about it. His story made that song that much more special to me. Whether we take home any trophies or not, we are definitely being rewarded.