Award-winning band Blue Highway has announced a guitar raffle to benefit the IBMA Foundation. Ticket sales and the drawing will take place on-site at the Blue Highway Fest, scheduled for October 11-14, in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. 

“I know first-hand what great work the IBMA Foundation does because I was a board member for a number of years,” Stafford said. “There’s not an organization anywhere that makes a bigger investment in the future of bluegrass music by supporting educational programs. That’s why I wanted to take the opportunity to offer this guitar for raffle to benefit the IBMA Foundation. This beautiful hand-crafted guitar built by Rufus Thames of Bristol, Tennessee, is modeled after my 1934 Martin D-18. Rufus’s guitars are among the best modern guitars available.” 

Blue Highway Fest is one of the final nominees for IBMA’s Bluegrass Event of the Year in 2023. 

In addition to the host band, the line-up will feature Sam Bush, the Steeldrivers, Scythian, Darrell Scott, the Dan Tyminski Band, the Seldom Scene, the Tim O’Brien Band, Ralph Stanley II & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Carson Peters & Iron Mountain, Missy Raines & Allegheny, Terry Baucom & the Dukes of Drive, Authentic Unlimited, Volume Five, the ETSU Bluegrass Band, Tim Stafford with Thomm Jutz & Dave Eggar, Shawn Lane & Richard Bennett, Wayne Taylor & Friends, Jason Burleson with Gary Hultman & Friends, Beth Snapp, Tony Arata, the Craig Street Ramblers, Sycamore Hollow, Bobby Starnes, Grayson Lane & Garrett Lane, and Ed Snodderly.

A set to honor Larry Sparks’ 60 years in bluegrass is planned, along with a songwriting workshop featuring Darrell Scott, Tony Arata and Ed Snodderly, plus Jammin’ in the Grass, hosted by Carson Peters & Iron Mountain. A writers round will showcase Darrell Scott, Tony Arata, Ed Snodderly, Tim Stafford, Wayne Taylor, Shawn Lane, Beth Snapp, Bobby Starnes, Grayson Lane and Garrett Lane. 

For more info, go to Come and meet the IBMA Foundation staff in person, at the guitar booth!

Return to the August, 2023 issue of The Cornerstone.

Photo at top right: Tim Stafford’s 1934 D-18 Martin, photo by Dan Boner
Photo at top left: The raffle prize Rufus Thames guitar, under construction