Dynasties In The Making At The 2019 International Bluegrass Award Nominations

Jul 24, 2019

Balsam Range of North Carolina and Nashville's Earls of Leicester find themselves positioned to possibly extend their dynastic dominance of the International Bluegrass Music Awards with nominations for Entertainer of the Year and then some. The suite of nominees was announced Wednesday morning by radio host Kyle Cantrell. Balsam Range and the Earls have traded top honors at the awards since 2014. Also nominated in the category are nine-time winners The Del McCoury Band, the Sam Bush Band and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers.

Mullins and band enjoyed their biggest year of nominations yet with a first-time Entertainer nomination, as well as nods for Album, Song, Gospel Recording and Collaborative Recording. The Ohio-based quintet also provided live music at the announcement ceremony at the SiriusXM studios in downtown Nashville.

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and New Grass Revival architect Sam Bush emerged with a higher awards profile than he has in some time, securing prospects for Instrumental Group, Instrumental Recording and Mandolin Player of the Year. McCoury's group, a perennial favorite of the bluegrass community, secured six nominations in total.

"This is the 30th annual IBMA Awards show, so it's special," said IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger. He noted that Del McCoury and Jim Lauderdale will co-host the September 26 ceremony. "And we'll have some special collaborations to celebrate our 30th anniversary." He also said that for the first time, general admission tickets to the main public-facing event of the larger World of Bluegrass convention, the Red Hat Amphitheater's Wide Open Bluegrass festival on Sept. 27 and 28, will be free to the public.

Also announced on Wednesday were three new inductees to the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame. The Kentucky Colonels were a powerful presence in bluegrass of the 1960s based on the West Coast and built largely around the guitar of the late Clarence White and brother Roland White. Roland was on hand for the announcement. Bill Emerson played banjo for a variety of groups from the 1950s through today, notably with Jimmy Martin and the era-shaping Country Gentlemen. And Mike Auldridge redefined the role of the dobro in bluegrass with the Seldom Scene. "Mike changed everything. He phrased differently," said Grammy winning dobro player Jerry Douglas "He was the first guy to use the Dobro in a more modern way, to phrase it more like a saxophone or some other instrument.”

A complete list of the nominations announced by the IBMA follows.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR 

Balsam Range 

Sam Bush Band 

The Earls of Leicester 

Del McCoury Band 

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

 

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR 

Balsam Range 

I’m With Her 

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver  

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Sister Sadie 

 

INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR 

Sam Bush Band

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper 

The Earls of Leicester

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

The Travelin’ McCourys

 

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR  

Appalachian Road Show

Carolina Blue

High Fidelity

Mile Twelve 

Billy Strings

 

SONG OF THE YEAR (7 nominees, due to a tie)

“Dance, Dance, Dance” 

Artist: Appalachian Road Show

Writers: Brenda Cooper/Joseph Cooper/Steve Miller 

Producers: Barry Abernathy, Darrell Webb, Ben Isaacs

Executive Producer: Dottie Leonard Miller

Label: Billy Blue Records

 

“The Girl Who Invented the Wheel” 

Artist: Balsam Range 

Writers: Adam Wright/Shannon Wright

Producer: Balsam Range

Executive Producer: Mickey Gamble 

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

 

“The Guitar Song”

Artist: Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers with Del McCoury 

Writers: Bill Anderson/Jamey Johnson/Vicky McGehee

Producer: Joe Mullins

Associate Producer: Jerry Salley

Label: Billy Blue Records

 

“The Light in Carter Stanley’s Eyes”

Artist: Peter Rowan 

Writer: Peter Rowan 

Producer: Peter Rowan 

Associate Producer: Tim O’Brien

Label: Rebel Records 

 

“Next Train South”

Artist: The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys

Writer: Mac Patterson 

Producers: The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Dave Maggard, Ken Irwin

Label: Rounder Records

 

“Take the Journey”

Artist: Molly Tuttle 

Writers: Molly Tuttle/Sarah Siskind

Producer: Ryan Hewitt 

Label: Compass Records

 

“Thunder Dan”

Artist: Sideline 

Writer: Josh Manning 

Producer: Tim Surrett

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR 

City on a Hill 

Artist: Mile Twelve

Producer: Bryan Sutton

Label: Independent

 

Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass

Artist: Del McCoury Band 

Producers: Del and Ronnie McCoury

Label: McCoury Music

 

For the Record 

Artist: Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

Producer: Joe Mullins 

Associate Producer: Jerry Salley 

Label: Billy Blue Records 

 

I Hear Bluegrass Calling Me 

Artist: Carolina Blue 

Producers: Bobby Powell, Tim and Lakin Jones

Executive Producers: Lonnie Lassiter and Ethan Burkhardt

Label: Pinecastle Records

 

Sister Sadie II

Artist: Sister Sadie

Producer: Sister Sadie 

Label: Pinecastle Records

 

GOSPEL RECORDING OF THE YEAR

“Acres of Diamonds”

Artist: Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

Producer: Joe Mullins

Associate Producer: Jerry Salley 

Label: Billy Blue Records 

 

“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout”

Artist: Claire Lynch

Producer: Jerry Salley

Label: Billy Blue Records

 

“I Am a Pilgrim” 

Artist: Roland White and Friends 

Producers: Ty Gilpin, Jon Weisberger

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

 

“I See God”

Artist: Marty Raybon

Producer: Jerry Salley 

Label: Billy Blue Records

 

“Let My Life Be a Light”

Artist: Balsam Range

Producer: Balsam Range

Executive Producer: Mickey Gamble

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

 

INSTRUMENTAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR 

“Cotton Eyed Joe”

Artist: Sideline

Producer: Tim Surrett 

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

 

“Darlin’ Pal(s) of Mine”

Artist: Missy Raines with Alison Brown, Mike Bub, and Todd Phillips

Producer: Alison Brown

Label: Compass Records 

 

“Earl’s Breakdown”

Artist: The Earls of Leicester

Producer: Jerry Douglas 

Label: Rounder Records

 

“Fried Taters and Onions” 

Artist: Carolina Blue

Producers: Bobby Powell, Tim and Lakin Jones 

Executive Producers: Lonnie Lassiter and Ethan Burkhardt 

Label: Pinecastle Records

 

“Sunrise”

Artist: Sam Bush & Bela Fleck 

Producers: Akira Otsuka, Ronnie Freeland

Label: Smithsonian Folkways Records

 

 

COLLABORATIVE RECORDING OF THE YEAR 

“Burning Georgia Down”

Artist: Balsam Range with Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble

Producer: Balsam Range

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

 

“Darlin’ Pal(s) of Mine”

Artist: Missy Raines with Alison Brown, Mike Bub, and Todd Phillips

Producer: Alison Brown 

Label: Compass Records

 

“The Guitar Song”

Artist: Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers with Del McCoury 

Producer: Joe Mullins 

Associate Producer: Jerry Salley

Label: Billy Blue Records

 

“Please”

Artist: Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton

Producers: Dave Cobb, John Leventhal, Frank Liddell 

Label: MCA Nashville

 

“Soldier's Joy/Ragtime Annie”

Artist: Roland White with Justin Hiltner, Jon Weisberger, Patrick McAvinue, and Molly Tuttle 

Producers: Ty Gilpin, Jon Weisberger

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

 

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR 

Shawn Camp

Del McCoury

Russell Moore

Tim O’Brien

Danny Paisley

 

FEMALE VOCALIST 

Brooke Aldridge 

Dale Ann Bradley

Sierra Hull

Molly Tuttle

Rhonda Vincent

 

BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR 

Gina Furtado

Mike Munford

Noam Pikelny 

Kristin Scott Benson 

Scott Vestal

 

BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR 

Barry Bales 

Mike Bub 

Beth Lawrence

Missy Raines 

Mark Schatz

 

FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR 

Hunter Berry

Becky Buller 

Jason Carter 

Michael Cleveland 

Stuart Duncan 

 

RESOPHONIC GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jerry Douglas 

Andy Hall 

Rob Ickes 

Phil Leadbetter

Justin Moses

 

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR 

Kenny Smith 

Billy Strings 

Bryan Sutton 

Molly Tuttle 

Josh Williams 

 

MANDOLIN PLAYER OF THE YEAR 

Alan Bibey

Sam Bush 

Sierra Hull 

Ronnie McCoury 

Frank Solivan