Mike Auldridge has been named one of nine 2012 recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowships – the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.
The Washington Post called Auldridge “one of maybe a handful of truly innovative Dobro players in the history of country and bluegrass music.” Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that Mike Auldridge forever changed the sound of the Dobro. There is the Dobro before Mike, and there is the Dobro after Mike, and the dividing line is unmistakable. His influence is evident in the playing of every Dobro player who has followed him, and his role as the key inspiration for the generation of Dobro masters who followed him is an important element of his musical legacy.
This is a special week for someone who is my mentor, and an icon not only in the Dobro community, but in the world of music. The first time I heard Mike play, it literally changed my life. I started playing the Dobro the next day and have kept at it ever since. I know he has inspired thousands of others as well – Rob Ickes.
Rob Ickes is hoping we will join him in offering our congratulations to Mike. He has set up a special-website celebrating this honor, with information about Mike and the NEA National Heritage Fellowship, and a Guest Book you can use to send a tribute or message of congratulations to Mike. Please post your message ASAP, since Mike will be seeing the Guest Book very soon.
The website also has the text of the presentation of IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Award to Mike in 2007, which Rob Ickes presented to Mike Auldridge.
Be sure to visit the website, sign the Guestbook and drop by the IBMA Award Presentation page.