Congratulations King Wilkie: It’s not often that I get to shout-out some friends for such a big-time accomplishment. But Thursday, the favorite bluegrass band of the rexblog, King Wilkie was named “Emerging Bluegrass Artists of the Year” at the annual International Bluegrass Music Awards (you know, the awards moving to Nashville next year when the CMAs pretend to be citified). I have blogged previously how I got to know the group through a magazine connection. What I haven’t mentioned (but now will as they’re officially famous in an obscure but superior musical genre) is how the group dropped by my house for supper earlier this year and how they were kind enough to jam some with the 14 year old guy who lives here. (The 14-year-old is also an Incubus fan, but they’ve never dropped by the house.) In the photo is Ted Pitney [who despite what he’s playing in the photo, plays guitar in the band] and Nick Reeb, an incredible fiddler who (trivia alert) is accredited as a Suzuki-method violin instructor. Nashvillians (some of whom I was surprised to learn the other day, actually read this blog) may note that another member of the group, Johnny McDonald, has strong family ties to Nashville. King Wilkie is what country music should be about rather than the crap you hear on country-music radio; not that I have an opinion on that topic, or anything.