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2015 International Bluegrass Music Awards Nominees Announced

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2015 IBMA Award Nominations AnnouncedNashville, TN -- Nominees for the 2015 International Bluegrass Music Awards were announced in Nashville, Tennessee, with Balsam Range, Hot Rize, The Del McCoury Band, The Earls of Leicester, and The Gibson Brothers nominated for the prestigious Entertainer of the Year award. Balsam Range, the reigning Entertainer of the Year, acquired eight nominations during the nominee announcement. They are again up for Entertainer of the Year as well as Vocal Group of the Year, Instrumental Recorded Performance, Song of the Year, Gospel Recorded Performance plus individual nominations for members of the band. Balsam Range has come a long way in a short time due to all the talent in the group. If you're looking for what today's bluegrass music sounds like, listen to this group.

Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. Results of the balloting will be revealed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, October 1, hosted by The Gibson Brothers. The Awards Show is the centerpiece of the World of Bluegrass event, presented by Chiesi USA, to be held September 29-October 3 in Raleigh, NC.

As is common with the IBMA awards, we frequently see the same names over and over. This year is no exception. In many categories, four of the nominees out of the five selected are the same as last year. It is difficult for new names to appear as the bar has been set very high over the years. This year we are seeing some artists who achieve that higher level which, in turn, keeps the quality of the music at a high level as well.

The Momentum Awards, instituted in 2012, bring new names into the fold. These awards are to recognize both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who, while in the early stages of their careers, have contributed to, or had an influence on, bluegrass music. These contributions can be to bluegrass music in general, or done in a specific part of the industry. Starting with recommendations from the IBMA membership, nominees are chosen by committees through a multi-stage process involving respected musicians and industry leaders in the bluegrass world.

The Gibson Brothers – two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year recipients and one of the hottest touring acts in contemporary bluegrass –will host IBMA’s 26th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for October 1 at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Known as bluegrass music’s biggest night of the year, the International Bluegrass Music Awards acknowledges the year’s outstanding talent and achievements, honors new Hall of Fame inductees, and waves the worldwide flag for bluegrass music.

"Eric and I are honored and excited to be hosting the IBMA awards this fall,” said Leigh Gibson, who will host along with his brother Eric. “When we got the call asking for our participation it bowled us over. I was filled with a warm sense of pride and accomplishment quickly followed by fear. What will I wear? Should I grow out my bangs? Will they expect Eric to talk? Brother Eric believes these are not the most pressing things to think about right now and that we should focus on making the evening as fun and energetic as the music it honors. So that's what we're going to do. See you in Raleigh!"

"This year's awards show is all about family, community, and coming home. Who better, then, than one of the genre's premiere families and most celebrated entertainers to emcee the biggest night in bluegrass?" said Amy Reitnouer, Executive Director of The Bluegrass Situation, who returns to the International Bluegrass Music Awards for the second year as co-producer, alongside Rounder Label Group’s Megan McNair Bedford.

The IBMA Awards Show will be broadcast live on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction) and syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to the sponsorship of BMI, Deering Banjos, the International Bluegrass Music Museum and Mountain Home Music Company.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone – The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

A complete list of nominees, this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, and the recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award are:

  • 2015 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
    • Bill Keith
    • Larry Sparks
  • 2015 DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS
    • Alison Brown
    • Murphy Henry
    • International Bluegrass Music Museum
    • “Bashful Brother” Oswald Kirby
    • Steve Martin
  • ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
    • Balsam Range
    • Hot Rize
    • The Earls of Leicester
    • The Gibson Brothers
    • The Del McCoury Band
  • VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
    • Balsam Range
    • Blue Highway
    • Flatt Lonesome
    • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
    • The Gibson Brothers
  • INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
    • Blue Highway
    • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
    • Punch Brothers
    • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
    • The Earls of Leicester
  • SONG OF THE YEAR
    • “Big Black Train” – Earls of Leicester (artist), Stanley Johnson, George Sherry (writers)
    • “Fiddlin’ Joe” – Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (artist), Mark Brinkman (writer)
    • “Her Love Won’t Turn On A Dime” – Lonesome River Band (artist), Bart Butler, Timothy Johnson, Shane Minor (writers)
    • “Moon Over Memphis” – Balsam Range (artist), Mark W. Winchester (writer)
    • “Southern Flavor” – Becky Buller (artist), Bill Monroe, Guy Stevenson, DeWayne Mize (writers)
  • ALBUM OF THE YEAR
    • Brotherhood – The Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, Mike Barber (producers), Rounder
    • Five – Balsam Range (artist), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
    • The Earls of Leicester – The Earls of Leicester (artist) Jerry Douglas (producer), Rounder
    • Too – Flatt Lonesome (artist), Andrea Roberts, Tim Surrett (producers), Mountain Home Music Company
    • When I’m Free – Hot Rize (artist), Hot Rize (producer), Ten In Hand Records
  • GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
    • “Holding To The Right Hand” – Lonesome River Band (artist), Turn On A Dime (album), Marvin Clark (writer), Sammy Shelor (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
    • “Insured Beyond The Grave” - J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson & Paul Williams (artist), Standing Tall and Tough (album), Ira Louvin, Charlie Louvin (writers), Doyle Lawson (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
    • “Stacking Up the Rocks” – Balsam Range (artist), Five (album), Buddy Melton (writer), Balsam Range (producers), Mountain Home Music Company
    • “What a Wonderful Savior Is He” - The Gibson Brothers (artist), Brotherhood (album), William G. Brewster (writer), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, Mike Barber (producer), Rounder Records
    • “Who Will Sing for Me” – The Earls of Leicester (artist), The Earls of Leicester (album), Carter Stanley, Ralph Stanley (writer), Jerry Douglas (producers), Rounder Records
  • INSTRUMENTAL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
    • “Backdraft (You Light It, You Fight It” – Balsam Range (artist), Five (album), Buddy Metlon, Marc Pruett, Tim Surrett, Darren Nicholson, Caleb B. Smith (writer), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
    • “Come Along Jody” – Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper (artist), On Down the Line (album), Benjamin F."Tex" Logan (writer), Jeff White, Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records
    • “Cumberland Gap” – Lonesome River Band (artist), Turn On A Dime (album), Sammy Shelor (arrangement), Sammy Shelor (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
    • “The Three Bells” - Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists), The Three Bells (album), Jean Villard, Bert Reisfeld (writers), Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (producer), Rounder Records
    • “Yeah Man” – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (artist), Cold Spell (album), Mike Munford (writer), Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (producer), Compass Records
  • RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR
    • “Against The Grain”- Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, featuring Garth Brooks (artists), Larry Cordle (producer), MightyCord Records
    • “Blue Memories” – J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson & Paul Williams (artists), Doyle Lawson (producer), Mountain Home Music Company
    • “For Buddy” - Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists), Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (producers), Rounder Records
    • “Test of Time” – Steep Canyon Rangers & Edie Brickell (artists), Carl Jackson (producer)
    • “The Three Bells” – Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists), Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (producers) Rounder Records
    • “Southern Flavor” – Becky Buller, with Peter Rowan, Michael Feagan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White and Blake Williams (artists), Stephen Mougin (producer) Dark Shadow Recording
  • EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
    • Adkins & Loudermilk
    • Band of Ruhks
    • Becky Buller
    • Mountain Faith
    • Snyder Family Band
    • The Earls of Leicester
    • Volume Five
  • MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
    • Shawn Camp
    • Del McCoury
    • Buddy Melton
    • Russell Moore
    • Tim O’Brien
  • FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
    • Dale Ann Bradley
    • Becky Buller
    • Claire Lynch
    • Amanda Smith
    • Rhonda Vincent
  • INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR
    • BANJO
      • Kristin Scott Benson
      • Rob McCoury
      • Noam Pikelny
      • Sammy Shelor
      • Ron Stewart
    • BASS
      • Barry Bales
      • Mike Bub
      • Missy Raines
      • Mark Schatz
      • Tim Surrett
    • FIDDLE
      • Becky Buller
      • Jason Carter
      • Michael Cleveland
      • Stuart Duncan
      • Ron Stewart
    • DOBRO
      • Mike Auldridge
      • Jerry Douglas
      • Andy Hall
      • Rob Ickes
      • Phil Leadbetter
    • GUITAR
      • Jim Hurst
      • Kenny Smith
      • Tim Stafford
      • Bryan Sutton
      • Josh Williams
    • MANDOLIN
      • Jesse Brock
      • Sam Bush
      • Sierra Hull
      • Ronnie McCoury
      • Adam Steffey

2015 International Bluegrass Music Special Award Nominations Announced August 12, 2015:

  • BLUEGRASS BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR
    • Cindy Baucom, Knee-Deep In Bluegrass (syndicated)
    • Becky Buller, Bluegrass Crossroads, WMSR
    • Kyle Cantrell, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM
    • Chris Jones, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM
    • Ronnie Reno, Reno’s Old Time Music, RFD-TV
  • BLUEGRASS EVENT OF THE YEAR
    • La Roche Bluegrass Festival 2014, La Roche sur Foron, France
    • A Lester Flatt Celebration 2014, Sparta, Tennessee
    • Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival 2014, Richmond, Minnesota
    • Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Jamboree 2014, Brooklyn, New York
    • 42nd RockyGrass Festival, Lyons, Colorado
  • BEST GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR A RECORDED PROJECT
    • Evan Gaffney (designer), The Phosphorescent Blues, Punch Brothers, Nonesuch
    • Michael Gerstenberger (designer), Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang, Bear Family Productions
    • Jimmy Hole (designer), Della Mae, Della Mae, Rounder
    • Deano Martin (designer), Trouble Follows Me, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Rebel Records
    • Carrie Smith (designer), The Lonesome Trio, The Lonesome Trio, Sugar Hill
  • BEST LINER NOTES FOR A RECORDED PROJECT
    • Frank Godby, If Only You Knew: The Best of Larry Rice, Larry Rice, Rebel Records
    • Phil Leadbetter, Next Move, Phil Leadbetter, Pinecastle Records
    • Randy Pitts, Laurie & Kathy Sing Songs of Vern & Ray, Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick, Spruce and Maple Music
    • Ted Olson, Old Time Bluegrass from the Great Smoky Mountains (1956 & 1959), Carroll Best & the White Oak String Band, Great Smokey Mountains Association
    • Eddie Stubbs and Bill Malone, Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang, Bear Family Productions
  • BLUEGRASS PRINT/MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR
    • Fred Bartenstein, The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014
    • Derek Halsey, writer for the Herald Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, and The Bluegrass Situation.
    • John Lawless, editor for Bluegrass Today
    • Ted Lehmann, blogger for Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books & Brainstorms
    • Gary Reid, author, The Music of the Stanley Brothers and The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014
  • BLUEGRASS SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
    • Mark ‘Brink’ Brinkman
    • Becky Buller
    • Bill Castle
    • Shawn Lane
    • Donna Ulisse

This year’s Momentum Award nominees are:

  • PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES, Instrumentalists (final committee will select 3)
    • Annie Staninec (fiddle)
    • Casey Campbell (mandolin, fiddle)
    • Molly Tuttle (guitar, banjo)
    • Nate Lee (fiddle, mandolin)
    • Paul Kowert (bass)
    • Patrick McAvinue (fiddle)
    • John Mailander (fiddle, mandolin)
    • Bryan McDowell (fiddle, guitar)
  • PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES, Vocalist (final committee to select 1)
    • Savannah Church (The Church Sisters)
    • Alysha Bankester (The Bankesters)
    • Kim Robins (Kim Robins and 40 Years Late)
    • Louise Holden (I Draw Slow)
    • Summer McMahan (Mountain Faith)
  • PERFORMANCE AWARD NOMINEES, Band (final committee to select 1)
    • I Draw Slow
    • Lonely Heartstring Band
    • Twisted Pine
    • Haas Kowert Tice
  • INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT AWARD NOMINEES, Media/Artisan/Business/General
    • Alan Tompkins (promoter, radio broadcaster, association leader)
    • Casey Freeland (association executive director)
    • Daniel Mullins (journalist, radio broadcaster)
    • Erin Scholze (publicist)
  • FESTIVAL/EVENT/VENUE NOMINEES
    • HoustonFest – Galax, VA
    • Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival – Manteo, NC
    • ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall – Asheville, NC
    • PineCone Youth Camp – Cary, NC
    • Christmas in the Smokies - Pidgeon Forge, TN
  • MENTOR AWARD (given to a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry)
    • Alan Tompkins (promoter, radio broadcaster, association leader)
    • Andrea Roberts (Andrea Roberts Agency)
    • Daniel Boner (director, Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies at ETSU)
    • Ken Irwin (Rounder Records)
    • Woody Platt (Steep Canyon Rangers)

Special Awards, including the Distinguished Achievement Awards, will be presented at a luncheon on Thursday, October 1 at the World of Bluegrass Business Conference in Raleigh, NC. The Momentum Awards – as detailed in a separate press release – will be presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 30 in Raleigh, NC as well.

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 29 – October 1; the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 1; Wide Open Bluegrass, presented by PNC, October 2-3 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 29 – October 1.

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