Bluegrass Musicians Earn IBMA Nominations in Nashville

Dailey & Vincent, Claire Lynch, Adam Steffey Among Multiple Nominees

A number of bluegrass musicians such as Dailey & Vincent and Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out earned multiple award nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) on Wednesday morning (Aug. 18) in Nashville.

The names were announced by singer-songwriter Claire Lynch and mandolinist Adam Steffey, who also emerged with multiple nominations. Award show hosts Jerry Douglas and Sharon and Cheryl White attended the press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The trophies will be presented on Sept. 30 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Dailey & Vincent, who have claimed the entertainer of the year award for the past two years, brought in the most nominations, with 10. Again, they’re up for entertainer, as well as the categories for vocal group, album, song, recorded event, gospel recorded event, male vocalist (for Jamie Dailey) and bass player (for Darren Vincent). One of their albums, Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers, is also nominated for best graphic design while another album, Singing From the Heart, is nominated for best liner notes, which were written by Fred Bartenstein.

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, who have been steadily been receiving IBMA nominations and trophies since the mid-1990s, brought in six nominations. They were trailed by Sam Bush, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper and the Grascals, with each act earning five. The Gibson Brothers earned four nods, while the Josh Williams Band, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and the Del McCoury Band received three.

After the nominations were revealed, Bush said he was overwhelmed by his nominations across a variety of categories. The Sam Bush Band landed in the instrumental group category, while Bush’s Circles Around Me earned a nod for album of the year. He’s also a repeat nominee in the mandolin player category, a trophy he’s won four times already. In addition, “The Ballad of Stringbean and Estelle,” written by Bush, Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson, will vie for the song of the year award. The song recounts the murder of Grand Ole Opry comedian David “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife in 1973. Another of Bush’s songs, “Blue Mountain,” will compete for instrumental recorded performance.

“I’ve been in and around professional bluegrass music for 40 years now,” Bush said. “That’s kind of crazy to think about, and I’ve often been nominated for the mandolin, which I’m really proud of. But to walk away today with five nominations, like album of the year … . I’m really proud of the band that I play with being nominated for instrumental group of the year. And I’m really proud for my songwriting partners of Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson for the Stringbean song. We wrote that tune from the heart, and we felt like it was a story that should be told — and really surprised that it hadn’t been before.”

Asked what sets the IBMA Awards apart from other ceremonies, Bush replied, “It’s an awards show that is based not around haircut trends, television or necessarily airplay. It’s based around integrity and an honest music that is handed down and learned. … It’s one of the few awards shows where the audience is made up — and I may be underestimating this — of at least 50 percent musicians. It’s pretty gratifying that your peers are the ones who are nominating you and being in the audience, too.”

One of Lynch’s three nominations was in the female vocalist category, which she won in 1997. Her duet with singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester also landed in the recorded event category, while “My Florida Sunshine” landed in the song of the year category. The song was written by Bill Monroe, the esteemed Father of Bluegrass.

“I think one of the reasons I got nominated is because it is a Bill Monroe song. But a win for me this time is a win for Bill Monroe,” Lynch said with a laugh. “I’m from Huntsville, Ala., and Alabama, Georgia and Florida were my early stomping grounds. I played around in all the bluegrass park shows in Florida, coming up through bluegrass. I have a lot of friends there and a lot of great memories. I think that had something to do with it. And also, it’s pretty obscure. There aren’t a lot of people who even knew about the song. I think that was part of it, too. It’s cool because it’s Bill Monroe and it’s also cool because it hasn’t been heard that much.”

Steffey returns in the mandolin player category — an award he’s won six times — while also finding “Durang’s Hornpipe” in the instrumental recorded performance category. Steffey’s wife, Tina, introduced him to the traditional tune, and he joked that he had to persuade her to play clawhammer banjo on the track. Meanwhile, his new band, the Boxcars, performed at the press conference and were later joined by Cleveland, a nominee in the fiddle player category. Cleveland has won that category in seven of the past nine years. He also returns in the instrumental group category with his band, Flamekeeper, an honor the ensemble has won for the last three years.

Asked what a bluegrass fan can expect at the IBMA Awards, Steffey replied, “If you’ve never been to the awards and you’re a fan of bluegrass music, it will be a memorable evening for you. It’s everything, all at once. It’s traditional, it’s contemporary. It concentrates on vocals, it deals with the history — you hear a lot about the Hall of Fame — and there’s a lot of great playing and singing. … It’s always chaos backstage, but it always seems to come together, and they pull it off.”

Nominees in the crowd included banjo player Terry Baucom, Dailey & Vincent, members of the Grascals, emerging artists Sierra Hull and Josh Williams, fiddle player Andy Leftwich, bandleaders Russell Moore and Larry Stephenson and double nominee (in the banjo and fiddle categories) Ron Stewart.

Earl Scruggs, widely considered one of the founders of bluegrass music, was seated in the front row with sons Randy and Gary to honor Louise Scruggs, who will be posthumously inducted into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame, along with the late songwriter and musician, John Hartford.

The IBMA also revealed the recipients of its Distinguished Achievement Award, an honor which recognizes individuals, groups and businesses for ground-breaking work and increasing bluegrass music’s popularity. This year’s recipients are bluegrass fiddler, songwriter and mentor Benjamin F. “Tex” Logan, longtime radio broadcaster Sherry Boyd, singer, multi-instrumentalist and band leader Lynn Morris and Bear Family Records founder Richard Weize. The award will also go to Pete Wernick, who served 15 years as IBMA’s president along with playing banjo in the band Hot Rize and leading instructional camps and workshops around the world.

The World of Bluegrass event will take place in Sept. 27-Oct. 3 in Nashville.


View photos from the press conference.

Here’s a complete list of the 2010 IBMA nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
Dailey & Vincent
the Grascals
The Del McCoury Band
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Vocal Group
Blue Highway
Dailey & Vincent
The Gibson Brothers
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Instrumental Group
Blue Highway
Sam Bush Band
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
The Infamous Stringdusters
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Male Vocalist
Jamie Dailey
Russell Moore
Tim O’Brien
Junior Sisk
Dan Tyminski

Female Vocalist
Dale Ann Bradley
Sonya Isaacs
Alison Krauss
Patty Loveless
Claire Lynch

Album of the Year
Circles Around Me
Sam Bush

Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers
Dailey & Vincent

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Ring the Bell
The Gibson Brothers

The Famous Lefty Flynn’s
The Grascals

Song of the Year
“Elizabeth”
Artist: Dailey & Vincent
Writer: Lester James Fortune

“Hard Rock Mountain Prison (‘Till I Die)”
Artist: Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
Writers: Ray Edwards, Larry Cox and Terry Foust

“My Florida Sunshine”
Artist: Claire Lynch
Writer: Bill Monroe

“Ring the Bell”
Artist: The Gibson Brothers
Writer: Chet O’Keefe

“The Ballad of Stringbean and Estelle”
Artist: Sam Bush
Writers: Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson and Sam Bush

Recorded Event
“Bleeding for a Little Peace of Mind”
Blue Highway featuring Darrell Scott

“Give This Message to Your Heart”
Larry Stephenson featuring Dailey & Vincent

“I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome”
The Grascals with Hank Williams Jr.

“Talk to Me Lonesome Heart”
Larry Stephenson featuring Connie Smith and Marty Stuart

“That’s What Makes You Strong”
Claire Lynch with Jesse Winchester

Gospel Recorded Performance
“Don’t You Wanna Go to Heaven”
Dailey & Vincent

“I Just Want to Thank You Lord”
Larry Sparks

“Light on My Feet, Ready to Fly”
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

“Ring the Bell”
The Gibson Brothers

“The Eastern Gate”
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Instrumental Recorded Performance
“Blue Mountain”
Sam Bush

“Blue Rock Slide”
The Grascals

“Cherokee Shuffle”
Josh Williams

“Durang’s Hornpipe”
Adam Steffey

“Mourning Dove”
Steep Canyon Rangers

Emerging Artist
Balsam Range
Sierra Hull & Highway 111
Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
Josh Williams Band

Instrumental Performers

Banjo
Terry Baucom
Kristin Scott Benson
J.D. Crowe
Sammy Shelor
Ron Stewart

Bass
Barry Bales
Mike Bub
Missy Raines
Darrin Vincent
Marshall Wilborn

Fiddle
Jason Carter
Michael Cleveland
Stuart Duncan
Andy Leftwich
Ron Stewart

Dobro
Mike Auldridge
Jerry Douglas
Andy Hall
Rob Ickes
Randy Kohrs

Guitar
Cody Kilby
Tony Rice
Kenny Smith
Bryan Sutton
Josh Williams

Mandolin
Jesse Brock
Sam Bush
Sierra Hull
Ronnie McCoury
Adam Steffey

Bluegrass Event
Pass It On: The 30th Anniversary Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Festival (St. Cloud, Minn.)

The 14th Annual Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival (East Hartford, Conn.)

The Red, White & Bluegrass Festival (Morgantown, N.C.)

Bluegrass Broadcaster:
Kyle Cantrell (Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Nashville)
Katy Daley (WAMU’s BluegrassCountry.org, Washington, D.C.)
Chris Jones (Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Nashville)

Bluegrass Print Media Person
Eddie Dean and Dr. Ralph Stanley, authors of Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times

Derek Halsey, freelance writer, The Herald Dispatch, Gritz magazine and Bluegrass Unlimited

Larry Nager, freelance writer, Bluegrass Unlimited

Liner Notes for Recorded Project

Writer: Fred Bartenstein
Singing From the Heart, Dailey & Vincent

Writer: Benji Flaming
Solo Banjo, Benji Flaming

Writer: Dr. Ted Olson
Appalachia Music From Home, Ralph Stanley, Jean Ritchie, Dock Boggs, Darrell Scott, Robin & Linda Williams, Blue Highway and others

Best Graphic Design for Recorded Project
Designer: Julie Craig (Cracker Barrel)
Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers, Dailey & Vincent

Designer: Benji Flaming
Solo Banjo, Benji Flaming

Designer: Bill Womack (Hellos Inc.)
Appalachia Music From Home, Ralph Stanley, Jean Ritchie, Dock Boggs, Darrell Scott, Robin & Linda Williams, Blue Highway and others