IBMA Awards Celebrate Silver Anniversary in Raleigh

Del McCoury and Noam Pikelny. Photo by James McKelvey.

Banjo Player of the Year and Album of the Year winner Noam Pikelny (front) Del McCoury (behind). Photo: James McKelvey.

The 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards took place Thursday night (Oct. 2) at Raleigh, N.C.’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Award highlights (full winners list below) include Balsam Range taking home Entertainer of the Year, 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.

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

2014 Hall of Fame inductees, The Original Seldom Scene with current members, and Chris Eldridge. Photo: Dave Brainard.

2014 Hall of Fame inductees, The Seldom Scene with current members, and Chris Eldridge. Photo: Dave Brainard.

Performances included The Boxcars, Claire Lynch, Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Blue Highway, Noam Pikelny, Del McCoury Band, Balsam Range, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. Hosts Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas also performed at the 2014 show, which is the centerpiece of the World of Bluegrass Week’s (Sept. 30–Oct. 4) IBMA Business Conference and Wide Open Bluegrass festival.

Awards found broadcast partners including Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction) and streaming from Music City Roots. Syndication will take the event to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks. The show will also be posted on AirPlay Direct. Awards are voted on by the professional membership of IBMA.

Instrumental Group of the Year, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. Photo: Willa Stein.

Instrumental Group of the Year, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen. Photo: Willa Stein.

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

Special Awards (presented Oct. 2)

Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year: Tim Stafford

Broadcaster of the Year: Kyle Cantrell, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM

Print/Media Person of the Year: Chris Jones, writer at Bluegrass Today

Bluegrass Event of the Year: Bluegrass Underground

Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project: Lou Everhart (designer), Lonely Comes Easy, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Rebel Records

Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project: Neil V Rosenberg, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Noam Pikelny, Compass Records

Distinguished Achievement Award recipients: Bill Keith, Deering Banjos, the European Bluegrass Music Association, Hillbilly at Harvard, and The Delmore Brothers.

Momentum Awards (presented Oct. 1)

Instrumentalists of the Year: Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Jake Stargel (guitar), Cory Walker (banjo)

Vocalist of the Year: Jesse Gregory (Jesse Gregory & Faultline)

Band of the Year: The Barefoot Movement

New Festival or Venue of the Year: Bluegrass Situation showcases at Bonaroo & Americana Music Association

Industry Involvement of the Year: Ashlee-Jean TrottMusic City Roots/Bluegrass Underground

Mentor of the Year: Tim Surrett


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