Archive for the ‘Bluegrass Awards’ Tag

IBMA Awards 2017- Live results & reactions   Leave a comment

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:


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. 



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!


Posted 2017 September 28 by Donald Teplyske in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

2016 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, part 2   Leave a comment

I am really missing the IBMA live stream: all the asides and quips, and especially the various “thanks” that are offered—you can learn a lot about a person by the way they accept an award. The ‘in memory’ segment is something for which I have great respect. Also, I regret not being able to hear the Rounder folks receive their Hall of Fame honours; I am certain Ken Irwin had fine words. Finally, the live performances are almost always memorable.

I can’t imagine why there is no live stream this year beyond a lack of sponsorship, which is too bad. I wonder why the IBMA can’t just ‘do it’ on their own…even if only on Periscope!

Mountain Faith, a band that made their name on a reality series, was just awarded Emerging Artist of the Year. Sigh. The less I say…

Song of the Year just went to a song originally released in 1990. I called it. I wouldn’t have voted for it. “You’re the One,” by Flatt Lonesome, giving them two awards tonight, and I predict they will get the hat trick later on. I believe it is the weakest performance on their (quite enjoyable) album; what the hell do I know?!

Again, the less I say…

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen were awarded Instrumental Group of the Year…my prediction percentage is falling—barely over 50% now. I heard The Earls of Leicester and Dirty Kitchen side-by-side this summer. No offense…to these ears and when it comes to ‘bluegrass,’ it ain’t close.

That is after self-revision/editing.

Penny Parsons, author of Foggy Mountain Troubadour, was named Bluegrass Media Person of the Year. I had placed her bio of Curly Seckler on my ‘to buy’ list, but then forgot about it…need to correct that.

It is hard for the bluegrass industry to receive true, critical coverage when folks are eligible (vying?) for recognition from the professional industry. No? Looking at the list of very fine past winners, perhaps Bluegrass Media Promoter of the Year would be a better name for the award.

Other Special Awards presented earlier went to the IBMA’s new chairperson, Joe Mullins, as Broadcaster of the Year, and his son Daniel for Best Liner notes for a Traditional Grass compilation…a band featuring Joe Mullins. Yes, the industry is a bit incestuous…

Flatt Lonesome won Album of the Year, an album much, much stronger than their previous and one I positively reviewed. Still, Runaway Train wouldn’t have been in my top 25 bluegrass albums of the year, and where I predicted the ‘hat trick’ above, I thought they would get Entertainer of the Year. The SteelDrivers got themselves robbed.

The evening’s final award—Entertainer of the Year—rightfully goes to The Earls of Leicester! As it should be. (I predicted Flatt Lonesome, but hoped for the Earls.) I believe that puts me below 50% for the night on the predications, probably better than I have ever done before…not exactly pleased about that, but glad about many of them.

I wonder what I missed? Hopefully next year the video live stream is back…or at least someone in the audience decides to Periscope the event.


2016 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards   Leave a comment

Most years I live blog about the awards as they occur, but this year I am having to rely on Twitter, and specifically @StacyChandler for information as they are not streaming the awards this year. I am sure there is a reason for this, a good one, but it is disappointing.

Therefore, I will only post a couple times tonight and leave the instantaneous reactions to those present.

I posted my thoughts and predictions over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass earlier this week, if you care.

The first award of the evening goes to The Special Consensus for Instrumental Performance of the Year, “Fireball.” I’m one-for-one…it won’t last.

I am not surprised that Recorded Event of the Year was awarded to “Longneck Blues” from the popular Junior Sisk and Ronnie Bowman despite my belief that it isn’t a terribly strong song. No longer batting 1.000.

Banjo player of the year: Charlie Cushman of The Earls of Leicester. I didn’t call this one because I (for some reason) felt the noodlers would have their way, but I couldn’t be happier. Cushman knows how to play bluegrass. Beautiful.

Dobro player of the year: Jerry Douglas, the true Earl of Leicester, for the tenth time and second year in a row. Called that one. I also believe it will be cold this winter.

Bass player of the year: Barry Bales, making the E of L three-for-three. My mistake in not going with BB: with Rob McCoury ‘finally’ winning as Banjo player of the year last year, I thought maybe this time the organization would get behind the Del McCoury Band/Travellin’ McCoury’s other member that has never been crowned by the IBMA, Alan Bartrum. I was wrong.

Getting all the instrumental awards out of the way, apparently. Next, Mandolin player of the year, and a first time winner- Sierra Hull. I hedged on this one, backing both Adam Steffey and Sierra Hull: not my kind of music—barely in the big tent last time I listened—but not surprised that the powerbrokers of the industry went with her.

Fiddle player of the year: Wow! I got another one—Becky Buller.

Guitar player of the year is Bryan Sutton, for the tenth time—well deserved. He is one heck of a player, and released an excellent album. And, I called it. Let’s see…that makes me four-and-a-half for eight, which is spooky.

Now, onto the vocalists…I’m surprised that Becky Buller has just been named Female Vocalist of the Year. She didn’t release a new album, but I guess her increased presence in the industry has been rewarded. Deserving. Not as deserving as Dale Ann Bradley, but…

Gospel recorded performance of the year, “All Dressed Up” by Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, a song I thought was pretty good initially, but which in retrospect is too ‘by the books’ for my tastes. Still, a fine performance, I just happened to enjoy what Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands did more. My prediction that she wouldn’t win was correct, so I’m counting this one!

Male vocalist of the year, Danny Paisley. Some would say, “About time!” I’m one of them as I predicted this one. Again, I would have voted differently, but—again—deserving.

I called another one, which is frightening…Flatt Lonesome is Vocal group of the year. Again, not to my taste, but I take some satisfaction in at least being able to predict the direction the wind is blowing…even from a distance.

Originally published elsewhere:

With the change to fall colours comes the annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass festivities, seemingly the only major show who hasn’t cancelled on North Carolina. Well, perhaps ‘major’ is too strong a word. I’m sure there were a lot of reasons for not abandoning Raleigh, all of them tied to dollars.
The awards are to be handed out September 29.
I love bluegrass music, and look forward to the IBMA Awards show, an evening where the best of bluegrass is feted, an evening where shirts get tucked, an evening where a few folks don evening gowns, and Doyle Lawson isn’t the only one wearing sequins.
One of the highpoints of the evening is when the Hall of Fame Inductees are presented with the industry’s highest honour. This year, the Rounder founders-Bill Nowlin, Marian Leighton Levy, and Ken Irwin-are given their just recognition as is Clarence White. These are deserving recipients. Worth noting that Hazel Dickens is still a-waitin’.
Also recognized this year are Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, the Boston Bluegrass Union, Bill Emerson, Jim Rooney, and SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction with Distinguished Achievement Awards. Most of those folks deserve recognition at this level, but one feels a little ‘I’ll massage your back, you keep massaging ours.” Still, hard to argue.
Now, onto the awards whose recipients we do not yet know…although, some are predictable; we’ll see if I’m right. (Heads up, don’t wager based on my guesses! I take no responsibility for your loses.)
Entertainer Of The Year:Balsam Range; The Del McCoury Band; The Earls of Leicester; Flatt Lonesome; The Gibson Brothers
For the past four years this award has gone to The Earls, Balsam Range, and the Gibsons. The McCourys haven’t won in a dozen years, and would I love to see them get recognized one more time: no band entertains me more. However, I have a feeling-like I had in 2005, the only year I attended the awards-that the unexpected/inexplicable will happen and Flatt Lonesome will get the nod. They have gained a lot of press, and folks seem to love them. I wouldn’t be voting for them (if I had a ballot, The Earls of Leicester would get my X,) but I can see others doing so.
Vocal Group Of The Year:Balsam Range; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; The Earls of Leicester; Flatt Lonesome; The Gibson Brothers
Based on what I know, Blue Highway should win this award most years. What? They aren’t nominated? Huh. Okay, then. Balsam Range and the Gibsons are the most recent winners. Again, is this Flatt Lonesome’s year? I am thinking so, but I would vote for The Earls.
Instrumental Group Of The Year:The Earls of Leicester; Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen; Punch Brothers; Sam Bush Band; The Travelin’ McCourys
I heard two of these bands this summer, The Earls and Dirty Kitchen. I’m kind of surprised at the inclusion of the other three. I would love to see either Sam Bush Band or the McCourys walk away with the award, but can’t imagine a tighter, more interesting band of bluegrass instrumentalists than The Earls of Leicester. I would vote for them.
Male Vocalist Of The Year:Shawn Camp; Del McCoury; Buddy Melton; Tim O’Brien; Danny Paisley
All great singers, obviously. Shawn Camp surprised most of us last year by winning, and he hasn’t done anything to lose the crown. Still, this award has bounced around a little and, the last time I heard him sing live, I still thought he was the best I ever heard. Del McCoury for the win. It will be Danny Paisley, I’m predicting-I believe he will have select industry support. Not a bad choice.
Female Vocalist Of The Year:Becky Buller; Dale Ann Bradley; Claire Lynch; Amanda Smith; Rhonda Vincent
Rhonda made a comeback last year and grabbed this one after a decade’s absence. The fact that I don’t think she has made a strong bluegrass album in years won’t matter, and I can see her repeating. Still, my vote every year will be for Dale Ann Bradley, and with the strength of the Sister Sadie disc, I am okay continuing in that direction.
Song Of The Year:”Black River” Sierra Hull (artist/writer); “Long Way Down” The SteelDrivers (artist), Elizabeth Mala Hengber, Tammy Rogers King, and Jerry Salley (writers); “Radio” Steep Canyon Rangers (artist), Graham Paul Sharp (writer); “Thunder & Lightning” Lonesome River Band (artist), Adam Wright (writer); “You’re the One” Flatt Lonesome (artist), Dwight Yoakum (writer)
I recall seeing this list when first released, and thinking, Again? For me it comes down to taste-what I like isn’t usually popular, and what is popular isn’t usually what I like, and each year lately when this list comes out I am out of the loop.
I don’t believe a song written more than twenty years ago should get this award, so that eliminates “You’re the One.” It also means it will win. I can’t believe “Radio” is nominated as it isn’t that strong of a song, in my opinion. Sierra Hull’s song isn’t my type of ‘grass, and the LRB song isn’t even the strongest on the album.
Examine the list of previous winners of this award, and with a couple exceptions those songs have become contemporary classics. Add “Long Way Down” to that list. I can’t understand how “The Bluefield West Virginia Blues” didn’t make the ballot.
Album Of The Year:”Bridging the Tradition” Lonesome River Band; “It’s About Tyme” Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out; “Runaway Train” Flatt Lonesome; “The Muscle Shoals Recordings” The SteelDrivers; “Weighted Mind” Sierra Hull
So as not to repeat myself, see above. “The Muscle Shoals Recordings,” no doubt; it is the only album on the list I would have in my top 5. I’m afraid it won’t win.
(If you care, my Top 5 would have included some combination of The SteelDrivers, Big Country Bluegrass, Dale Ann Bradley, James Reams & the Barnstormers, Jeff White, the Kathy Kallick Band, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, Sister Sadie, Ron Block, and The Hillbenders. I have no idea how I would have winnowed things down.)
Gospel Recorded Performance Of The Year:”All Dressed Up” Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers; “In The Heat of the Fire” Flatt Lonesome; “Rocking of the Cradle” Lonesome River Band; “The Savior Is Born” Becky Buller; “Won’t You Come and Sing For Me” Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands
I don’t believe there is any way Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands can win this award. They are far too ‘outside’ to do so. But, would I love to be proven incorrect. What a performance!
Instrumental Recorded Performance Of The Year:”Cazenovia Casanova” Frank Solivan with Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas; “Fireball” Special Consensus featuring Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley, and Alison Brown; “Hogan’s Goat” The Boxcars; Hogan’s House of Music Ron Block; “Smartville” Ron Block
I wish this award still went to an entire album, but in reading the criteria, it is most definitely for ‘a tune.’ Unless a clarification went out, I have no idea what songs Ron Block is nominated for as “Hogan’s House of Music” is the name of the album, not a song-at least, according to my download. “Smartville” is a good tune. I do like me some Special C.
Recorded Event Of The Year:”Fireball” Special Consensus featuring Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley, and Alison Brown; “Highway 40 Blues” Special Consensus with Della Mae; “In The Pines” Carl Jackson and Brad Paisley; “Longneck Blues” Junior Sisk and Ronnie Bowman; “Pretty Woman” Frank Solivan with Del McCoury I’ll go with “Fireball” on this one. I’m not sure a guitar duet is bluegrass, but it will probably win considering Brad Paisley’s contributions to bluegrass over the years. “Longneck Blues” isn’t that strong of a song, and this version of “Pretty Woman” is sleepy, even with Del along.
Emerging Artist Of The Year:Band of Ruhks; The Lonely Heartstring Band; Mountain Faith; Sister Sadie; Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle; Town Mountain
Okay, let me-for the first time ever-not endorse Dale Ann Bradley for an award. Groups with veterans of the stature of those comprising Sister Sadie and Band of Ruhks can’t be emerging, and Steve Gulley has been around a long, long time…hell, he was a member of Mountain Heart when they won this award in 1999. As for Town Mountain, they have been around for a decade, but have made moves in the last couple years. I believe The Lonely Heartstrings Band should win this one; they don’t make my kind of bluegrass, but there is no arguing their abilities.
Instrumental Performers Of The Year
Banjo: Charlie Cushman; Jens Kruger; Mike Munford; Noam Pikelny; Sammy Shelor
Of the instrumentalist awards, this is maybe the toughest to predict. No one has repeated since 2011, and last year’s winner Rob McCoury isn’t even on the list. I’m going to take a flyer and suggest Jens Kruger gets the award. I have no way of knowing why ’cause I am not a player and this award seems to be one that ‘noodlers’ are most invested in.
Bass: Barry Bales; Alan Bartram; Mike Bub; Missy Raines; Mark Schatz
Again, last year’s winner isn’t nominated-Tim Surrett. I’ll go with Alan Bartram.
Fiddle: Becky Buller; Jason Carter; Michael Cleveland; Stuart Duncan; Ron Stewart
Becky Buller had a big night a year ago, and I haven’t predicted her to take anything so far…so, now I will:Becky Buller.
Dobro: Jerry Douglas; Andy Hall; Rob Ickes; Phil Leadbetter; Josh Swift
Jerry Douglas won last year for the first time in quite a while. I believe he will repeat.
Guitar:Chris Eldridge; Jim Hurst; Kenny Smith; Bryan Sutton; Josh Williams
I don’t see why Bryan Sutton doesn’t win this award for the 10th time. He had a really strong album come out, and everyone seems to like the guy.
Mandolin: Jesse Brock; Sam Bush; Sierra Hull; Frank Solivan; Adam Steffey
Adam Steffey has won this award eleven of the last fourteen years. It’s another guess, but I’ll predict an even dozen by the time the night is over. Still, wouldn’t be surprised to see Sierra Hull get the nod.
There are my thoughts on the upcoming IBMA awards presentations. There is almost always a big surprise (last year, Becky Buller’s dominance) and I’m sure there will be at least one this time out.
Enjoy the awards.

International Bluegrass Music Awards, 2009- How I Did…   Leave a comment

>>>Updated Oct. 1 as the awards were posted on the IBMA site.<<<In less than 24 hours, they’ll start handing out the hardware in Nashville. I gave up my IBMA membership a couple years back for a variety of reasons- some logical and a few completely indefensible to anyone but me- and therefore am no longer a voting member of the organization. But, I do enjoy playing along at home. I realize the IBMA and bluegrass in general is of little interest to most- but feel free to make your picks as I list mine in the major categories. As for the IBMA Hall of Fame, I’m sure the Dillards and the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers are worthy…but not at the expense of Hazel Dickens and Ola Belle Reed. Come on, already- get the ladies in! The full list of nominees is posted at the IBMA site:

Last year’s winners, when mentioned, are in italics. I have placed the recipients in bold.

Entertainer of the Year:

Who I Would Have Voted For: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Who I Think Will Win: Dailey & Vincent

Vocal Group:

Who I Would Have Voted For: Blue Highway

Who I Think Will Win: Dailey & Vincent

Instumental Group:

Who I Would Have Voted For: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Who I Think Will Win: Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Male Vocalist:

Who I Would Have Voted For: Junior Sisk

Who I Think Will Win: Jamie Dailey Dan Tyminski

Female Vocalist:

Who I Would Have Voted For: Dale Ann Bradley

Who I Think Will Win: Dale Ann Bradley

Album of the Year:

Who I Would Have Voted For: Blue Side of the Blue Ridge- Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice

Who I Think Will Win: Dailey & Vincent- Brothers from Different Brothers Wheels- Dan Tyminski Band

Song of the Year: and, if I might say, a bit of a weak crop of nominees

Who I Would Have Voted For: “Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away- Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass (songwriters- Chris Stuart & Ivan Rosenberg)

Who I Think Will Win: “Wheels” Dan Tyminski Band

Instumental Performers-

Banjo- Sammy Shelor- Steve Martin Kristin Scott Benson

Bass- Marshall Wilborn– Mike Bub

Fiddle- Michael Cleveland- Hunter Berry

Dobro- Andy Hall- Andy Hall Rob Ickes

Guitar- I can’t be bothered.- Bryan Sutton Josh Williams

Mandolin- Jesse BrockAdam Steffey

What do you think?

Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee! Hopefully, I’ll update things tomorrow evening. >>>I didn’t do too badly in my predictions and was especially pleased to see so many of my choices actually get awards; quite unusual that. For Marshall and Jesse, this is a long time coming. Congratulations! I had hoped- and nothing against Rob Ickes- that Andy Hall would break through this year, but maybe I’m a bit early on that. I’m pleased to see that no fewer than 7 of the recipients have performed for the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society, the club I do the bookings for in Red Deer, AB- Jesse Brock (three times), Marshall Wilborn (twice), Chris Stuart and Ivan Rosenberg, Michael Cleveland (twice), Josh Williams, and Dale Ann Bradley (soon to be twice as she returns Nov. 8) Not a lot to argue with, and it’s nice to see the latest Daughters of Bluegrass project recognized, albeit for but one song. Donald<<<

Posted 2009 September 30 by Donald Teplyske in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,