IBMA Awards

Sister Sadie, an all-woman bluegrass super-group that’s been knocking on the door of major success for years, claimed the top prize at 31st annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, presented online Thursday evening. Besides being named Entertainers of the Year, the group took its second consecutive Vocal Group Of The Year award, while its fiddle player Deanie Richardson won her instrument category for the first time.

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Next week, the International Bluegrass Music Association will hold its 31st Awards show. And while the ceremony will be online instead of live in Raleigh, NC, the honor will be no less for the new inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: the fiercely energetic 1980s band the Johnson Mountain Boys, Station Inn owner/promoter J.T. Gray and the game-changing New Grass Revival. In recognition of NGR’s epic influence on American music, WMOT caught up with its entire 1980s lineup, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn.

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When they titled their 2020 album Tribulation, the guys in the bluegrass band Appalachian Road Show had no idea they’d be releasing it into the teeth of a global pandemic and an economic crisis. The veteran musicians did not intend to proclaim that the End Times are upon us, only to shine a light on the people and legacy of their home region, where resilience and fortitude are a way of life.

Joe Mullins is a banjo player and vocalist acclaimed for his old school manner and classic-sounding bluegrass, as well as 2016's IBMA Broadcaster of the Year. Now he and his band the Radio Ramblers are Entertainers of the Year. The group is no stranger to IBMA awards, having won Emerging Artist in 2012 and last year's album prize, but now the traditional-leaning, Ohio-based ensemble has the top prize in the industry.

Del McCoury is a bluegrass Hall of Famer and repeat host of the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards show. Jim Lauderdale is a beloved Nashville songwriter whose wide range of projects and songs includes Grammy Awards in bluegrass and a veteran emcee as well, having hosted the Americana Honors & Awards for more than a decade. Their personalities are as big as their resumes, so they'll make memorable co-hosts of the 30th IBMA Awards, set to take place in Raleigh this Thursday night.

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