Friday, October 3, 2014

Balsam Range Leads Way at International Bluegrass Music Association Awards

North Carolina’s own Balsam Range took home the Entertainer of the Year award at the 25th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Thursday night, October 2nd, at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

It was an exciting night for the band, who also received awards for Vocal Group of the Year, and Male Vocalist (Buddy Melton).

Banjo player Noam Pikelny had a breakout night, winning Banjo Player of the Year and Album of the Year for Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe. At an earlier awards ceremony, Hall of Fame inductee Neil Rosenberg won Best Liner Notes for the same album.

Flatt Lonesome was named Emerging Artist of the Year, and in its 39th year as a band, Special Consensus took both Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year, winning IBMA awards for the first time.

Amanda Smith took home the award for Female Vocalist of the Year; both Smith and Melton were first-time winners in these categories.

Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductees, the original Seldom Scene and Dr. Neil Rosenberg, of Canada, were honored in special presentations. Rosenberg’s induction was celebrated with a performance from fellow Canadians The Spinney Brothers, joined by fiddle players Michael Cleveland, Stuart Duncan, and Jason Carter. Original members of the Seldom Scene – Ben Eldridge, John Starling and Tom Gray – accepted their award to a standing ovation, noting the late John Duffey and Mike Auldridge in their acceptance speech. The band – both original members and the current band – then performed their signature hit “Wait A Minute.”

Hosted by Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas, the 2014 IBMA Awards Show featured a number of virtuoso-level, high-energy live performances from The Boxcars, Claire Lynch, Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Blue Highway, Noam Pikelny, Del McCoury Band, Balsam Range, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen and individual performances from each host, Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas.

The International Bluegrass Music Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), which serves as the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. The IBMA Awards Show is the centerpiece of the World of Bluegrass Week, Sept 30 – October 4 in Raleigh, NC, which also includes the IBMA Business Conference and Wide Open Bluegrass festival.

The IBMA Awards Show was broadcast live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction). The show will be syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to the sponsorship of John Pearse Strings, Deering Banjos, Mountain Home Music, Compass Records and the International Bluegrass Music Museum. The sponsors for the live-streamed broadcast were Yep Roc, Deering Banjos, Bluegrass Today and Music City Roots. Program directors and station managers may sign up to be affiliates by calling (615) 256-3222 or emailing The show will also be posted on AirPlay Direct for broadcasters in the coming week.

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

The 2014 International Bluegrass Music Awards Hall of Fame Inductees: The Original Seldom Scene, Neil Rosenberg
Entertainer of the Year: Balsam Range
Vocal Group of the Year: Balsam Range
Instrumental Group of the Year:  Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Male Vocalist of the Year: Buddy Melton
Female Vocalist of the Year: Amanda Smith
Emerging Artist of the Year: Flatt Lonesome
Album of the Year: Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe - Noam Pikelny (artist) Gabe Witcher (producer), Compass Records
Song of the Year: “Dear Sister” - Claire Lynch (artist), Claire Lynch and Louisa Branscomb (writers)
Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”- Special Consensus with Buddy Spicher, Michael Cleveland and Alison Brown (artists), Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver (album), John Martin Sommers (writer), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: “Won’t It Be Wonderful There” - Dailey & Vincent (artist), Brothers of the Highway (album), Mildred Styles Johnson (writer), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent (producers), Rounder Records
Recorded Event of the Year: “Wild Montana Skies” - Special Consensus with Claire Lynch & Rob Ickes (artists), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records
Mandolin Player of the Year: Adam Steffey
Dobro Player of the Year: Phil Leadbetter
Bass Player of the Year: Barry Bales
Fiddle Player of the Year: Jason Carter
Guitar Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
Banjo Player of the Year: Noam Pikelny

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