Balsam Range Named Entertainer of the Year At 29th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards

Balsam Range

Balsam Range was among the big winners at the 29th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, taking home the coveted Entertainer of the Year Award during the festivities at the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sept. 27. This marks the second win for the North Carolina-based group, who won the award previously in 2014.

Other winners taking home trophies throughout the evening included Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Po’ Ramblin Boys, Sierra Hull, and the Travelin’ McCourys. A full list of winners is included below. The Awards were voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA).

“Congratulations to this year’s awards recipients and all of the nominees,” said Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of IBMA. “Being recognized by your professional peers with the highest honors in bluegrass music is quite an achievement, considering the number of incredible artists and recordings in our music today.  This is a moment for everyone in the bluegrass community to feel proud and celebrate the many accomplishments of the past year.  It is no wonder the appreciation of bluegrass is growing every day.”

The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Awards recipients:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR:
Balsam Range

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR:
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (this is the band’s 8th win in this category, with the last win in 2007)

INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR:
The Travelin’ McCourys (the band’s first award, although members of the band have won many awards individually)

SONG OF THE YEAR:
“If I’d Have Wrote That Song”– Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers (artist), Larry Cordle/Larry Shell/James Silvers (writers) (the band’s first award in this category)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Rivers & Roads Special Consensus (artist), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label) (the band’s first win in this category)

GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF A YEAR:
“Speakin’ to That Mountain”– Becky Buller (artist), Becky Buller/Jeff Hyde (writers), Crepe Paper Heart(album), Stephen Mougin (producer), Dark Shadow Recording (label)

INSTRUMENTAL RECORDED PERFORMANCE:
“Squirrel Hunters”– Special Consensus with John Hartford, Rachel Baiman, Christian Sedelmyer, and Alison Brown (artist), Traditional arranged by Alison Brown/Special Consensus (writers), Rivers & Roads(album), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)

EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys

RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR:
“Swept Away”– Missy Raines with Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Sierra Hull, and Molly Tuttle (artists), single release, Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
Brooke Aldridge (her second win in this category, previously in 2017)

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
Buddy Melton (his second win in this category, previously in 2014)

BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Ned Luberecki (his first win in this category)

BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Tim Surrett (his second win in this category, previously in 2015)

DOBRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Justin Moses (his first win in this category)

FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Michael Cleveland (his 11thwin in this category, previously in 2015)

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Molly Tuttle (her second win in this category, previously in 2017)

MANDOLIN PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Sierra Hull (her third win in this category, previously 2016 and 2017)

Previously announced inductees into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame– Ricky Skaggs, Paul Williams, Tom T. and Dixie Hall– were honored at the show.

At the Special Awards Luncheon held earlier in the day, the recipients of the following awards were also announced:

BLUEGRASS BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR:
Steve Martin (Northern Kentucky-based host of “Steve Martin’s Unreal Bluegrass”)

BLUEGRASS EVENT OF THE YEAR:
Bluegrass on the Green– Frankfort, IL

BEST LINER NOTES FOR A RECORDED PROJECT (tie):
Craig Havighurst – The Story We Tell by Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
Peter Wernick Carter Stanley’s Eyes by Peter Rowan

BEST GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR A RECORDED PROJECT:
Lou Everhart – A Heart Never Knows by The Price Sisters

BLUEGRASS PRINT/MEDIA PERSON OF THE YEAR:
Neil Rosenberg

BLUEGRASS SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR:
Jerry Salley

SOUND ENGINEER OF THE YEAR (first year presented):
Ben Surratt

The previously announced 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award recipients – George Gruhn, Christopher Howard-Williams, Curtis McPeake, Walter Saunders and Chris Thile– were also honored during a luncheon.

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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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