Cherryholmes Make History With IBMA Award Nominations

Benny Martin and Red Allen Named for Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor

Alison Krauss & Union Station and Rhonda Vincent & the Rage earned the most nominations for the 16th annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, but a family band made history Tuesday (Aug. 30) as the first act to grab simultaneous nominations for emerging artist and entertainer of the year.

“I have to thank God for the talent that he gave my family that we were actually able to do something like this,” Cherryholmes band patriarch Jere Cherryholmes said after the announcements. “We’ve only been out here in the East playing in bluegrass country for about two and a-half years, and we’ve only been playing period for six years. Nobody here’s ever had a lesson on an instrument. So to be able to get up where we are, as fast as we got there, is obviously a miracle.”

The six-piece group originally from California achieved the milestone after releasing three albums and impressing crowds at bluegrass festivals across the nation. They’ll release a new album Sept. 27 on Skaggs Family Records. Cia Cherryholmes is also nominated for female vocalist in a category that also includes Krauss, Vincent, Dale Ann Bradley and Sonya Isaacs.

The IBMA nominations were revealed by Vincent and Ricky Skaggs during a press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

“Bluegrass is so youthful now, so much more so than it was 10 years ago,” Skaggs said. “I’m really glad to see it. Back when Keith Whitley and I were working with Ralph Stanley, and Marty Stuart was with Lester Flatt, we were all youthful. But we’ve all had careers and done these other things. Now that I’m back in bluegrass, kind of taking my place at the table, I look and see so many great things that are happening for the music. It’s enjoying another golden age right now.”

Krauss and Union Station lead the field this year by nabbing 14 nominations, including entertainer of the year, instrumental group and vocal group. Union Station member Dan Tyminski is nominated for male vocalist, and individual instrumental performers nominations went to three band members — Dobro player Jerry Douglas, bassist Barry Bales and banjoist Ron Block.

Vincent and her band members received eight nominations, including entertainer of the year and vocal group. The Rage’s fiddler, Hunter Berry, is nominated in the instrumental performers division. Vincent’s banjo player, Kenny Ingram, is also nominated for his work on Tribute to Jimmy Martin: “The King of Bluegrass,” which is up for recorded event of the year.

Vincent said she’s not competitive with her fellow nominees. “I’m a fan of the music first,” she said. “Announcing them today was so exciting for me, to look at these people who are my friends. … If you weren’t friends, it might be more of a competition, but these are people that we work with and we get to see them at festivals. It’s like a bluegrass family.”

Seven nominations each, including vocal group and album of the year, went to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Blue Highway. Lawson and his band are also mentioned twice in the song of the year category for recording “Heartbreak Number Nine” (written by band members Barry Scott and Jamie Dailey) and “You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper” (written by Carl H. Caldwell).

“Who knows what will happen?” Lawson said. “But to make the final five in seven categories, that’s quite an honor and a pretty good feat to accomplish. As soon as I leave here, after the photo shoot we’re doing, I’m going to go on the bus to pinch myself, to make sure it’s really me all this is happening to.”

Blue Highway are also nominated for recorded event for their participation on Larry Sparks’ album, 40. Blue Highway Dobro player Rob Ickes and guitarist Tim Stafford are each nominated in their respective instrumental award categories.

The Del McCoury Band, the reigning entertainers of the year, received six nominations, including another entertainer nod and individual nominations for banjoist Rob McCoury, fiddler Jason Carter and mandolinist Ronnie McCoury. Additionally, bassist Mike Bub, who recently left the band, received an individual nomination in the instrumental category.

“Those guys surprise me all the time,” McCoury said of his sons. “Back when they were little kids, I never thought about them playing music. I thought, ’They’ll never do this crazy thing that I’m doing.’ But they did. They picked up these instruments. I found out they really had a desire to play music, so I thought, ’Well, I’ll direct them a little bit.’ So I did for a little while. Then I heard things coming out that I had never heard before, and I thought, ’Now is the time I need to leave them alone and let them do their thing.’ Of course, they incorporated what they were doing into our band.”

Five nominations each went to Sparks, Mountain Heart, Paul Williams and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. In addition to Cherryholmes, the nominees for emerging artist included Audie Blaylock & Redline, the Grascals, Alecia Nugent and the Williams & Clark Expedition.

During Tuesday’s press conference, it was also announced that the late Benny Martin and Red Allen will be this year’s inductees into the IBMA’s Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor.

Martin, who died in 2001, was a master fiddler who worked for years on the Grand Ole Opry and with several notable artists, including Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff and Johnnie & Jack. He also played fiddle in Flatt & Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys from mid-1952 until early 1954, recording 16 songs that stand among the finest bluegrass records ever made.

Allen, a singer and guitarist who died in 1993, was first recognized for his work with the Osborne Brothers in the mid-1950s when the trio perfected the “high lead” vocal harmony technique that has influenced bluegrass musicians ever since. Allen, the father of Nashville singer-songwriter Harley Allen, began a solo career in 1958 and recorded more than a dozen albums. In later years, Allen collaborated with a wide variety of musicians, including J.D. Crowe, David Grisman, Bill Emerson, Frank Wakefield and others.

Martin and Allen will be honored during an induction ceremony at the IBMA’s Oct. 27 awards show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Krauss and Skaggs will host the program that serves as the highlight of the IBMA’s weeklong business conference and Bluegrass Fan Fest, slated for October 24-30. It marks the first year the IBMA event is taking place in Nashville after moving from Louisville, Ky.

2005 IBMA Nominations

Entertainer of the Year
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The Del McCoury Band
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

Instrumental Group
Blue Highway
Alison Krauss & Union Station
The Del McCoury Band
Mountain Heart
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Vocal Group
Blue Highway
Alison Krauss & Union Station
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Mountain Heart
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

Male Vocalist
Russell Moore
Tim O’Brien
Marty Raybon
Larry Sparks
Dan Tyminski

Female Vocalist
Dale Ann Bradley
Cia Cherryholmes
Sonya Isaacs
Alison Krauss
Rhonda Vincent

Emerging Artists
Audie Blaylock & Redline
The Grascals
Alecia Nugent
Williams & Clark Expedition

Song of the Year
• “Georgia Peaches”
Artist: Larry Sparks with Andy Griggs
Songwriters: Carl Jackson and Alan Laney

• “Heartbreak Number Nine”
Artist: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Songwriters: Barry Scott and Jamie Dailey

• “Me and John and Paul”
Artist: The Grascals
Songwriter: Harley Allen

• “Rain Please Go Away”
Artist: Alison Krauss & Union Station
Songwriter: Del McCoury

• “You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper”
Artist: Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Songwriter: Carl H. Caldwell

Album of the Year
Larry Sparks

The Grascals
The Grascals

Lonely Runs Both Ways
Alison Krauss & Union Station

Tribute to Jimmy Martin: “The King of Bluegrass”
J.D. Crowe, Paul Williams, Audie Blaylock and Kenny Ingram (artists)

You Gotta Dig a Little Deeper
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Gospel Recorded Performance
• “A Living Prayer”
Alison Krauss & Union Station

Gospel In Black & White
Marty Raybon (artist)

I’ll Be No Stranger There
Paul Williams & The Victory Trio

• “I Want to Live Beyond the Grave”
Mountain Heart

• “Praise His Name”
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Instrumental Album
Bending the Rules
Jesse McReynolds with Travis Wetzel

Endless Line
Tim Stafford

Half Moon Bay
James Alan Shelton

Slide Effects
Phil Leadbetter

Wake Up Darlin’ Corey
Art Stamper with Harry Bickel, Doc Hamilton and Tim O’Brien

Recorded Event
Larry Sparks with Ronnie Bowman, Larry Cordle, Kevin Denney, Vince Gill, Andy Griggs, Tom T. Hall, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Jim Hurst, The Isaacs, Carl Jackson, Chris Jones, Alison Krauss, The Marshall Family, Russell Moore, Don Rigsby, Ricky Skaggs, Kenny Smith, Tim Stafford, Ralph Stanley, Dan Tyminski, Rhonda Vincent, Sharon White-Skaggs, Cheryl White and Paul Williams

Daughters of American Bluegrass
Kim Fox, Dale Ann Bradley, Cindy Cashdollar, Lorraine Jordan, Missy Raines, Honi Deaton, Gena Britt, Michelle Birkby-Vance, Chrystal Franklin and Anita Fisher

Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues
Harley Allen, Alison Brown, Sam Bush, Fred Carpenter, Lionel Cartwright, Daniel Carwile, Larry Cordle, John Cowan, Barry Crabtree, Charlie Cushman, Stuart Duncan, Andrew Hall, Aubrey Haynie, David Harvey, Emma Harvey, Jan Harvey, Alison Krauss, Keith Little, Tim May, Patty Mitchell, Bob Mummert, Tim O’Brien, Jon Randall, Calvin Settles, Ira Wayne Settles, Odessa Settles, Tom Shinness, Russell Smith, Jill Snider, Todd Suttle and Andy Todd

Tribute to Jimmy Martin: “The King of Bluegrass”
J.D. Crowe, Paul Williams, Audie Blaylock and Kenny Ingram

You Were There for Me
Peter Rowan and Tony Rice (artists); Rounder; Peter Rowan and Tony Rice (producers)

Instrumental Performers

Ron Block
J.D. Crowe
Rob McCoury
Jim Mills
Sammy Shelor

Mike Auldridge
Jerry Douglas
Rob Ickes
Randy Kohrs
Phil Leadbetter

Barry Bales
Mike Bub
Jason Moore
Missy Raines
Marshall Wilborn

Hunter Berry
Jason Carter
Michael Cleveland
Stuart Duncan
Ron Stewart

Jim Hurst
Tony Rice
Larry Sparks
Bryan Sutton
Tim Stafford


Sam Bush
Mike Compton
Doyle Lawson
Ronnie McCoury
Adam Steffey

Bluegrass Broadcaster
• Cindy Baucom, Knee Deep in Bluegrass syndicated program (Elkin, N.C.)

• Terry Herd, Sirius Satellite Radio/Bluegrass Radio Network (Nashville)

• Joan Kornblith, Voice of America (Washington, D.C.)

Bluegrass Event
• Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival, St. Cloud, Minn.

• WinterGrass, Tacoma, Wash.; Feb. 2005

• 32nd Annual RockyGrass, Lyons, Colo.

Bluegrass Print Media Person
• Tom Ewing, Bluegrass Unlimited columnist

• Charles Haymes, syndicated columnist

• Stephanie P. Ledgin, author of Homegrown Music: Discovering Bluegrass

Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project
• Wayne Brezinka (designer)
Various Artists, The Unbroken Circle: The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family

• Joanne Lauterjung (designer)
John Reischman & the Jaybirds, The Road West

• Sue Meyer (designer), The Duhks, The Duhks

Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project
• Jon Hartley Fox (writer)
Red Allen, Lonesome & Blue: The Complete County Recordings

• Eddie Stubbs (writer)
Don Reno & Red Smiley, Sweethearts in Heaven

• Billy Altman (writer)
Various Artists, Can’t You Hear Me Callin’– Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music