Well, I got the stream going just a couple minutes late- looks like Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver had the honour of starting things off. Hosts Bela Fleck and spouse Abigail Washburn are now attempting humour. Sigh. Funny that the screen has a big black box on the right side. Maybe just me.
Namechecking every banjo player of the last 100 years.
I will be dropping in my commentary as the awards are announced. We will eventually get there. You would never know that bluegrass had a history of incorporating comedy listening to this painful opening segment.
Show is dedicated to Pete Kuykendall. As has happened before I believe, Dale Ann Bradley opens the awards with Joe Mullins-
DOBRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR Jerry Douglas; Andy Hall; Rob Ickes; Phil Leadbetter; Josh Swift.
I predicted that Josh Swift would win, and was also hoping he might. It will not happen again tonight, but I was right on both counts. Kudos to me. First mention of Jesus.
BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR Barry Bales; Alan Bartram; Mike Bub; Missy Raines; Tim Surrett
I am hoping for Del & ‘Em’s Alan Bartram, but predicting Surrett. The winner is…Alan Bartram, his first win I believe…and he is nowhere to be found. Kenny Smith accepts.
First appearance of a baby. Sigh. And first mention of Glen Campbell who did so much for bluegrass. Yes, that is sarcasm. Here we go with live performance of John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” from Flatt Lonesome, who I predict will have a fairly significant evening. And, the first appearance of buffering in the Bluegrass Bunker.
Interestingly, that doesn’t much sound like “Gentle on My Mind.” I must have misunderstood something in the introduction- could have sworn they were said to be playing “Gentle On My Mind.” But… first commercial.
Becky Buller and Larry Stephenson present:
GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR “Give Me Jesus”
Larry Cordle (artist), Traditional/Larry Cordle (writer), “Give Me Jesus” (album), Larry Cordle (producer), Mighty Cord Records (label); “Hallelujah”
Blue Highway (artist), Public Domain arranged by Blue Highway (writer), “Original Traditional” (album), Blue Highway (producer), Rounder Records (label); <b>”I Found a Church Today” The Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson/Leigh Gibson (writers), “In the Ground” (album), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, and Mike Barber (producers), Rounder Records (label) “S
Sacred Memories”Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers with Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Skaggs (artist), Dolly Parton (writer), “Sacred Memories” (album), Joe Mullins (producer), Rebel Records (label);
“Wish You Were Here” Balsam Range (artist), James Stover/Michael Williams (writers), “Mountain Voodoo” (album), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label)
Honestly, before they played the clips I could only hear one of these songs in my head, The Gibson Brothers tune. a real good one, so that is my hope, but my prediction was for “Sacred Memories. And, there is a tie between those two songs! How does that happen? Well, I know how- let’s see- three of my Hopes have won so far, and two of my predictions. Won’t last.
NSTRUMENTAL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR “Fiddler’s Dream”
Michael Cleveland (artist), Arthur Smith (writer), “Fiddler’s Dream” (album), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label); “Great Waterton” Kristin Scott Benson (artist), Kristin Scott Benson (writer), “Stringworks” (album), Kristin Scott Benson (producer), Mountain Home Records (label); “Greenbrier” Sam Bush (artist), Sam Bush/Scott Vestal (writers), “Storyman” (album), Sugar Hill Records (label); “Little Liza Jane” Adam Steffey (artist), Tommy Duncan/James Robert Wills (writers), “Here to Stay” (album), Adam Steffey (producer), Mountain Home Records (label); “Flint Hill Special” The Earls of Leicester (artist), Earl Scruggs (writer), “Rattle & Roar” (album), Jerry Douglas (producer), Rounder Records (label)
My prediction was for Michael Cleveland, always a safe bet, but I am hoping for Kristin Scott Benson, one of the most exciting players going. And they give the award to…Michael Cleveland. Many, 3 predictions out of 4. I’m doing pretty good.
Balsam Range performs “Girl of the Highland.” Some mic problems are now fixed. Great band. Would like to see them come north some day.
Missy Raines and the leader of Bluegrass 45 are presenting:
GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR Jim Hurst; Kenny Smith; Bryan Sutton; Molly Tuttle; Josh Williams
Hoping for Kenny Smith, but feel like Molly Tuttle will get it…on the basis of an EP and live appearances. Feels like time for a female picker to get recognized…and she is: Molly Tuttle. No doubt a great player- I was thinking she might get the Emerging Artist award, and she still may.
MANDOLIN PLAYER OF THE YEAR Jesse Brock; Sam Bush; Sierra Hull; Frank Solivan; Adam Steffey
My computer froze up like a banjo-player’s claw. I always hope for Jesse Brock in this category, but am okay with Sierra Hull winning for the second year in a row.
Earls of Leicester and Bluegrass 45 collaborating on “Salty Dog Blues.” I can listen to Shawn Camp any time, but something got lost in the translation here: maybe a handful too many players on the stage.
I am not sure I have ever before predicted four awards in a row. It can’t last.
Frank Solivan and Kristin Scott Benson presenting:
RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR “East Virginia Blues” Ricky Wasson and Dan Tyminski (artists), “Croweology: The Study of J.D. Crowe’s Musical Legacy” (album), Rickey Wasson (producer), Truegrass Entertainment (label); “Going Back to Bristol” Shawn Camp with Mac Wiseman, Peter Cooper, Thomm Jutz (artists), “I Sang the Song (Life of the Voice with a Heart)” (album), Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz (producers), Mountain Fever Records (label); “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” Bobby Osborne with Sierra Hull, Alison Brown, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Trey Hensley, Todd Phillips, Kenny Malone, Claire Lynch, and Bryan McDowell (artists), “Original” (album), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label) “Steamboat Whistle Blues” Michael Cleveland featuring Sam Bush (artists), “Fiddler’s Dream” (album), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label); “‘Tis Sweet to Be Remembered” Mac Wiseman and Alison Krauss (artists), “I Sang the Song (Life of the Voice with a Heart)” (album), Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz (producers), Mountain Fever Records (label)
I believe the entire “I Sang the Song (Life of the Voice with a Heart” album should walk away with this award, but since that isn’t the way the award works…
I know Bobby Osborne will win, but I believe the entire I Sang the Song (Life of the Voice with a Heart) album should walk away with this award, but that isn’t the way the award works…and I don’t know if enough folks heard the music from it…I was right- Bobby Osborne singing a Bee Gees song with a cast of IBMA favourites wins this award. I guess: I didn’t hear it, but others obviously did. No doubt, Bobby Osborne has not been recognized enough by the IBMA in recent years, as he has released several terrific albums. I just didn’t think Original was one of them. Good to hear him speak, and he is obviously appreciative of his Compass Records team. Compass does get their deserving artists to the fore, just ask Dale Ann Bradley and Special Consensus.
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR Front Country; The Lonely Heartstring Band; Molly Tuttle; Sister Sadie; Volume Five
I predict Molly Tuttle, but have my fingers crossed for the veterans of Sister Sadie. Will only be disappointed in one result. The winner is…Volume Five. Didn’t see that one coming; if memory serves, they have been up for this award before. Two times before, apparently. Good band of few words.
God, Banjo Mingle dot com is not funny. Just move the show along, please. JCMISAP.
This is more like it- a whole passel of folks paying tribute to the Bristol sessions. Jim Lauderdale, Carl Jackson, Becky Buller (man, she is tall!) Sammy Shelor, Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, and is that Larry Cordle? Nice.
This may be the last summer-like evening in Central Alberta this autumn, and I am in the Bluegrass Bunker reporting on these awards. Such is my dedication to my art.
Alison Brown and Jeremy Garrett present:
FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Becky Buller; Jason Carter; Michael Cleveland; Stuart Duncan; Patrick McAvinue; Ron Stewart
Pulling for Buller (and Stewart) but have learned to never bet against Michael Cleveland. Patrick McAvinue comes out of left field to snag this one. He has been around awhile.
BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR Ned Luberecki; Joe Mullins; Noam Pikelny; Kristin Scott Benson; Sammy Shelor
A banjo joke. Not a good one. Predicting Joe Mullins, who has never got his due, but fingers crossed for Benson- three lady pickers in one year? Nope. Noam Pikelny. So, my average has dropped back to earth: not a sniff the last three awards. That feels about right. Five predictions in a row will never be matched…not by me! Still, would be nice if Noam played more bluegrass.
Of course, the feed starts buffering just as Missy Raines and Jim Hurst are about to pay tribute to the ‘grassers that passed away this year. Back, at the Ms. Lots of names I am not familiar with…must have attempted to overcome previous criticisms for not having mentioned ‘so and so’ and went with mentioning everyone. Can’t be knocked for that, especially within a music and industry that is so regionalized: every community has their bluegrass pillars who should be remembered.
Now, paying tribute to Pete Kuykendall- a man whose contribution to bluegrass is pretty dang near impossible to measure. Dubbed the music’s Godfather, in the familial sense. Seems appropriate. Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Molly Tuttle, Missy Raines, and a guitar player I can’t recognize (so sorry) perform “I Am Weary, Let Me Rest,” a most poignant choice. Oh, that’s Danny Paisley! Funny, as soon as he took his lead, I recognized him. Dang, buffering again.
Completely lost the feed now. Intermittent now-
Michael Cleveland is accepting an award, but I don’t know what. Going to guess Instrumental Group of the Year, but will wait to see if I get back the show.
INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR Balsam Range; The Earls of Leicester; Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen; Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper; Punch Brothers
I am going to post this in hopes that I was correct and Flamekeeper got Instrumental Group of the Year. I should have considered the “Compass” factor into my predictions. I didn’t.
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR Brooke Aldridge; Dale Ann Bradley; Sierra Hull; Amanda Smith; Molly Tuttle
I will always hope for DAB, and predicted Sierra Hull, but I was leaning toward predicting Brooke Aldridge, but wasn’t willing to put money on her…should have- well deserved, I think. I have lost the stream again. Restarting doesn’t help. Sigh. Back to the Female Vocalist category- with Brooke Aldridge’s victory, there has now been a different winner each of the last six years: Dale Ann, Claire Lynch, Amanda Smith, Rhonda Vincent, Becky Buller, and now Brooke. Bluegrass has come a long way since the days that RV won 7 years in a row. Always has been a diverse field, but now it is being recognized.
Lost the plot entirely now- not sure what is happening. God, it comes back just in time for more Banjo Mingle ‘humour.’ It isn’t my night. Lost it again.
Would love to be hearing Front Country. Restart your router, the advice is…it isn’t my router!
Apparently facebook streaming is not the way to get bluegrass in front of the masses. Sorry to say, it ain’t working, and I am moving on. I will update with the rest of the winners later tonight when the press releases come out.
Just got it back in time for Hazel Dickens’ and Alice Gerrard’s induction into the Hall of Fame, appropriately by [an increasingly emotional, I think] Laurie Lewis. No more typing for now, just watching. Learn, y’all.
Hazel Dickens did so much in bluegrass, and I am so pleased that Laurie is including quotes from her bluegrass peers in this tribute. So sad that the stream is so poor, at least for me: I’ve tried everything. So disappointed- I’ve been waiting 15 years to see Hazel inducted, and I can’t. I am hoping someone will post this later. Missed much of Laurie’s speech, and almost the entirety of Hazel’s nephew’s. Catching much of Alice’s, if with many drop outs. Now, Laurie joins Alice and musicians in a song, which doesn’t play for me.
Unfortunately, I’m out. I guess I should have invested in Sirius. Frustrated that facebook doesn’t seem to be able to handle 900+ viewers. Later.
I’m back. Facebook remains unwatchable here in the north, but by scrounging the ‘net I am finding additional results. Unfortunately, I missed the inductions into the HofF of Roland White and Bobby Hicks.
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR Balsam Range; Blue Highway; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Flatt Lonesome; The Gibson Brothers
I would advocate for Blue Highway to be the Vocal Group annually, and do, but I really thought this year would be Flatt Lonesome’s and I was right. At least my predictive powers have recuperated in the time away from facebook live.
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR Shawn Camp; Eric Gibson; Leigh Gibson; Buddy Melton; Russell Moore
I so wanted the Gibsons to walk up together and receive this award, but despite Eric’s campaign to have Leigh named (or was it the other way around) neither was- I thought Moore, not the most interesting vocalist in this group in my opinion, would win, but was more than pleased to read that Shawn Camp received his second nod as Male Vocalist.
The stream still isn’t working here, and other streams are: I don’t think it is me. Too bad the IBMA can’t find a stable, sustainable platform for video of their awards show.
SONG OF THE YEAR “Blue Collar Dreams” Balsam Range (artist), Aaron Bibelhauser (writer); “Going Back to Bristol” Shawn Camp (artist), Mac Wiseman/Thomm Jutz/Peter Cooper (writers; “I Am a Drifter” Volume Five (artist), Donna Ulisse/Marc Rossi (writers); “Someday Soon” Darin & Brooke Aldridge (artist), Ian Tyson (writer); “The Train That Carried My Girl from Town” The Earls of Leicester (artist), Frank Hutchison (writer)
I don’t believe songs forty, fifty, and more years old should be eligible for this award, although I had no problem with “Man of Common Sorrow” capturing the award years ago. Inconsistency is part of bluegrass, Saturday night drunkenness and murder, Sunday morning gospel. “Going Back to Bristol” is a brilliantly crafted song, but I thought BR would win this one. Again, didn’t see Volume Five rising to this level. I guess I will have to start reconsidering them, eh? I still don’t think “I Am A Drifter” is as significant a song as “Going Back to Bristol,” but since when does that matter?
ALBUM OF THE YEAR “Fiddler’s Dream” Michael Cleveland (artist), Jeff White and Michael Cleveland (producers), Compass Records (label); “In the Ground” The Gibson Brothers (artist), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, and Mike Barber (producers), Rounder Records (label); “Mountain Voodoo Balsam Range (artist), Balsam Range (producer), Mountain Home Records (label); Original Bobby Osborne (artist), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label); Rattle & Roar The Earls of Leicester (artist), Jerry Douglas (producer), Rounder Records (label)
As assured as I am that In The Ground is the finest bluegrass album- by a lot- in this category (all original material, expertly executed instrumentally and vocally) I was equally sure that Bobby Osborne would receive this award. Balsam Range released a very good album, without a doubt- I just thought the voters would go in a different direction. Any of four albums would have deserved this award.
Sam Bush and Sierra Hull are frozen on my screen, and in a brief second of movement the Earls of Leicester appeared to walk toward the podium. Putting all that together tells me that I won’t see the finale featuring the Osborne Brothers and that the Entertainer of the Year award has been given out:
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR Balsam Range; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; The Earls of Leicester; Flatt Lonesome; The Gibson Brothers
Any other year I would have been thrilled to have The Earls named Entertainers of the Year, and they are great, but I thought The Gibsons deserved the nod. Better that the alternative, definitely.
Sorry for the funky fonts.
Missed perhaps by some was the youthful emergence witnessed in the individual instrument awards. Hull, now a two-time winner, is 26, and Pikelny (also a two-time winner) is 36. Bartram, the old-man of the six and a first-time winner is 40, while first timers Tuttle (24), McAvinue (28), and Swift (31) bring the average age of the group to under 31. Without doing any additional math, I am going to predict that is a record: prove me wrong. Add in Brooke Aldridge, whose age I can’t easily locate, and we may have an irreversible changing-of-the-guard.
I guess that is the IBMA Awards for another year. Best I can tell, only three of my chosen won (the first three awards of the night) and seven of my predictions came true, not quite as good as I did last year. That result tells me that while what I most like in bluegrass isn’t what the industry is supporting, I am still connected enough to the bluegrass happenings that I can guess almost as often as not who they will support. And in some cases- Brooke Aldridge, Instrumental Group- I should have predicted with my gut. See you in a year!