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IBMA Lists Eligible Album and Artist Criteria for 2012 Award Voting

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IBMA LogoEach year, the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) prepares for their annual Awards Show. The award voting is by the professional membership of the IBMA and consists of three rounds of votes. The initial phase is listing what artists and albums are eligible for consideration for an award. Once that happens, the flood gates open. The first round is really an open ballot. Any eligible album, song, artist or musician can be written in. The ballots with names already on them comes later.

About this time each year, the emails begin to fly just as the annual migration of the miller moth. However, in this case, many of those emails are a wonderful reminder of the great music that has been released in the last year. While some people may complain about over-flowing mailboxes, it is actually a good time to sit back and reflect on the music that has given us so much to enjoy for an entire year.

All of the record labels proudly announce their projects and artists in the hopes of getting enough initial votes to get their respective names on the first ballot. Artists also send announcements on their own. Press agents, management, producers and others also chime in. This is actually a positive experience for those who receive these announcements.

While Cybergrass generally doesn't print any of these "Please vote for me" announcements, we do break out the early albums and listen to them again. What a wonderful experience that is! It's good to listen to Charlie Sizemore's album Heartache Looking For a Home or Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie's The Touch Of Time again.

It is easy in the rapid pace today to let life get in the way of living and listening. There is a lot of great music constantly being produced that sometimes, we just don't have the time to let it all soak in. Now, however, is a good time to reflect, remember and listen once again to some outstanding music.

Listening is the key here. You need to listen to the individual artists as well as the lyrics and music from the songwriters. This is even more important this year as the IBMA has announced a new award - Songwriter of the Year. This is a long overdue award and will be exciting to watch.

So, let the mailboxes fill up. Listen to the music. After all, the voting membership needs to know what all the choices are and, with a fresh ear, to really cast a meaningful and honest ballot. By reviewing all of the year's eligible albums and artists, they can surely achieve that.

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