Wayne Benson- My choice for IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year 2011
Our kids cut their teeth on III Tyme Out and songs like “Erase the Miles” and “Raining in L.A.” as sure as Idid with the Beatles tunes “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.” Of course Wayne Benson was and is a huge part of that III Tyme Out sound. So a few years ago when the kids learned Wayne was gonna give me some mandolin lessons, they couldn’t have been happier if Paul McCartney was to try to teach me to sing (I kinda wonder if Sir Paul could be that patient).
Wayne is still touring as strong as ever and his signature sound is the backbone of the second generation bluegrass mandolin; one that not only influenced my children but young people like Darin Aldridge. And the beat goes on. He not only teaches old docs, but also nimble-fingered young’uns like Jacob and Issac Moore. Wayne deserves this award for his continued dedication to the mandolin and bluegrass in general. The cat starts most every day with a cup of coffee and his mandolin to work not only on his own skills, but to think of even better ways to pass it on.
One time a fan came up to a performer and said, “I’d give anything to play like that.”
Same here,” the artist replied. “I gave it my life.”
Wayne did too, he’s just too modest to brag on himself. He’s won a shelf full of awards but through an error in the bluegrass history book he has been inexplicably overlooked for the annual IBMA award. We need to acknowledge his contribution by making him IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year 2011. After all he has done for the music and us it is the least we can do.