Bluegrass Convention, Awards Set for Jan. 31-Feb. 3

More than 30 bands are scheduled to perform during the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s annual convention and awards show Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville.

Bands will showcase each day of the event. The awards show is set for Sunday, Feb. 3, beginning at 7 p.m., with Ronnie Reno as host. Performing on the show will be Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, the Lewis Family, IIIrd Tyme Out , Mountain Heart, Rarely Herd and the James King Band.

Other acts to be spotlighted during the four-day gathering are Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time , Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition, the Country Gentlemen , David Parmley & Continental Divide and the Larkin Family.

Also in the lineup are the Larry Stephenson Band , the Lonesome River Band , Eddie & Martha Adcock, Tina Adair & The Adairs, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Rigsby/Duncan & Rock County, Wildfire, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain, Jeanette Williams & Clearwater, the Marksmen, The Chapmans, Kentucky Blue, Bluegrass Brigade, the Mark Newton Band, Open Highway, Tim Graves & Cherokee, the Josh Crowe Band, Appalachian Trail, First Impression, Special Consensus, Gerald Evans & Paradise and Arlington (formerly Second Exit).

The top award categories and their nominees are:

Entertainer of the year
Rhonda Vincent, Del McCoury, Little Roy Lewis, Larry Sparks, Karl Shifflett, Ron Thomason

Entertaining group
Del McCoury Band , Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, Rarely Herd, Goldwing Express, Nashville Bluegrass Band .

Bluegrass band (overall)
IIIrd Tyme Out, Del McCoury Band, Mountain Heart, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Lonesome River Band.

Instrumental group
Blue Ridge, Blue Highway, Del McCoury Band, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out.

Vocal group
Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, Larry Stephenson Band, Mountain Heart, David Parmley & Continental Divide, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

Empty Old Mailbox, Don Rigsby (Sugar Hill Records); In Full Color, Karl Shifflett & Big Country Show (Rebel); The Storm Still Rages, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (Rounder); Follow Me, The Chapmans (Pinecastle); Del and the Boys, Del McCoury Band (Ceili); Love Hurts, Sally Jones (Pinecastle).

“Man on the Side of the Road” (recorded by Chris Jones); “Empty Old Mailbox” (Don Rigsby); “Is the Grass Any Bluer” (Rhonda Vincent); “Losing Again” (The Chapmans); “Virginia Man” (Pam Gadd ); “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (Del McCoury Band).

Larry Cordle and Larry Shell; Ronnie McCoury; Randall Hylton; Tom T. Hall and Dixie Hall; Pam Gadd; Carl Jackson.

Gospel group (overall)
Village Singers; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; the Lewis Family; Jerry & Tammy Sullivan; Paul Williams & The Victory Trio; the Isaacs.

Gospel group (traditional)
The Lewis Family; the Sullivan Family; Paul Williams & The Victory Trio; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; Village Singers; Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers.

Gospel group (contemporary)
IIIrd Tyme Out; the Sitze Family; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; the Marksmen; the Isaacs; Mountain Heart.

Male vocalist (traditional)
Don Rigsby; James King; Ralph Stanley ; Del McCoury; Dan Tyminski; Vern Young.

Male vocalist (contemporary)
Steve Gulley; Larry Stephenson; Russell Moore; Charlie Waller; Ronnie Bowman; Jim Stack.

Female vocalist (traditional)
Lynn Morris ; Dale Ann Bradley; Claire Lynch ; Hazel Dickens ; Valerie Smith ; Sally Jones.

Female vocalist (contemporary)
Rhonda Vincent; Alison Krauss ; Sonya Isaacs ; Kim Fox; Tina Adair; Laurie Lewis .

Banjo performer
Sammy Shelor; Rob McCoury; Greg Corbett; J. D. Crowe; Terry Baucom; Greg Cahill.

Mandolin performer
Ronnie McCoury; Darin Aldridge; Sam Bush; Don Rigsby; Wayne Benson; Alan Bibey .

Fiddle performer
Glen Duncan; Michael Cleveland; Jason Carter; Stuart Duncan; Aubrey Haynie ; Mike Hartgrove.

Guitar performer
Jim Hurst; Tim Stafford; Kenny Smith; Tony Rice; Bryan Sutton; John Chapman.

Dobro performer
Mike Auldridge; Gene Wooten; Jerry Douglas ; Phil Leadbetter; Tim Graves; Rob Ickes.

Bass fiddle performer
Wayne Taylor; Mike Bub; Missy Raines; Barry Bales; Ronnie Davis; Ray Deaton.

Eddie Stubbs, WSM-AM, Nashville, Tenn.; Ron Vigue, WOUB-FM, Athens, Ohio; Paul “Moon” Mullens, WBZI-AM, Xenia, Ohio; Traci Todd, WRVU-FM, Nashville, Tenn.; Buddy Michaels, WPCM-FM, Burlington, N.C.; Sherry Boyd, WPAQ-FM, Mount Airy, N.C.

Radio station
WOUB-FM; WPAQ-AM; WBZI-AM; WQDR-FM (Raleigh, NC); WPCM-FM; WVCP-FM (Gallatin, Tenn.).

WSM-AM, which has won the station of the year award for five years, will be given SPBGMA’s Masters Gold award.

Chuck Stearman, who heads SPBGMA, says last year’s convention drew an average of 2,000 paid registrants each day. He reports that registration for the upcoming event is running ahead of that for last year. A spokeswoman for Sheraton Music City confirmed that all its rooms are sold out for this period.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to