Boxcars Roll to Top Bluegrass Nominations

IBMA Nominees Revealed as Del McCoury and George Shuffler Named to Bluegrass Hall of Fame

The Boxcars, a band that released its debut album less than a year ago, emerged as the top contender when the nominees for the 22nd annual International Bluegrass Music Awards were announced Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 17) in Nashville.

Other top nominees include the Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Gibson Brothers, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, the Lonesome River Band and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

Additionally, the IBMA announced the induction of Del McCoury and bassist-guitarist George Shuffler into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. The organization also announced five recipients of its Distinguished Achievement Award — musician and educator Greg Cahill, radio broadcaster Bill Knowlton, European-based journalist Lilly Pavlak, musical instrument designer and manufacturer Geoff Stelling and musician Roland White.

The Boxcars are a relatively new band, but its members include seven-time IBMA mandolin player of the year Adam Steffey and multi-instrumentalist Ron Stewart, named fiddle player of the year in 2000.¬†Stewart is nominated for banjo player and fiddle player of the year at this year’s awards show. Steffey is again included in the mandolin division.

The band’s nine nominations include entertainer of the year, emerging artist and instrumental group of the year. Their self-titled debut album is nominated for album of the year, and they also received mentions in the gospel recorded performance category for “In God’s Hands” and instrumental recorded performance for “Jumpin’ the Track.”

The awards show takes place Sept. 29 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Here’s a complete list of this year’s nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
The Boxcars
Dailey & Vincent
The Gibson Brothers
The Grascals
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

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

Instrumental Group
Blue Highway
The Boxcars
Sam Bush Band
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
The Infamous Stringdusters

Emerging Artist
Darin and Brooke Aldridge
Balsam Range
The Boxcars
Sierra Hull & Highway 111
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

Male Vocalist
Jamie Dailey
Leigh Gibson
Russell Moore
Dan Tyminski
Josh Williams

Female Vocalist
Dale Ann Bradley
Sonya Isaacs
Alison Krauss
Claire Lynch
Rhonda Vincent

Song of the Year
“Help My Brother”
Artist: The Gibson Brothers
Writer: Leigh Gibson

“I Am Strong”
Artists: The Grascals featuring Dolly Parton
Writers: Jamie Johnson, Susanne Mumpower-Johnson and Janee Fleenor

“I’ll Take Love”
Artist: Dale Ann Bradley with Alison Krauss and Steve Gulley
Writers: Louisa Branscomb and Dale Ann Bradley

“Trains I Missed”
Artist: Balsam Range
Writers: Walt Wilkins, Gilles Godard and Nicole Witt

“Walkin’ West to Memphis”
Artist: The Gibson Brothers
Writer: Chris Henry

Album of the Year
The All-Star Jam: Live at Graves Mountain
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, the Crowe Brothers, Lonesome River Band, Mark Newton, Lou Reid & Carolina, Carl Jackson, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Carrie Hassler with Brand New Strings

Almost Home
Larry Sparks

The Boxcars
The Boxcars

Help My Brother
The Gibson Brothers

Rare Bird Alert
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Trains I Missed
Balsam Range

Gospel Recorded Performance
“God’s Front Porch”
Lou Reid & Carolina
Songwriter: Dennis Duff

“He Can Be Found”
The Gibson Brothers
Songwriters: Ella Barrett and Faye Cunningham

“In God’s Hands”
The Boxcars
Songwriter: John Benjamin Rochester

“Prayer Bells of Heaven”
J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams
Songwriters: J.F. Lowe and H.W. Ward

“Sailing On”
Russell Moore and Dale Ann Bradley
Songwriter: Rick Lang

Instrumental Recorded Performance
“Goin’ Up Dry Branch”
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
Songwriters: Buddy Spicher and Jimmy Martin

“Ground Speed”
Rural Rhythm All-Stars: Sammy Shelor, Carl Jackson, Brandon Rickman, Wayne Benson, Mike Hartgrove and Mike Anglin
Songwriter: Earl Scruggs

“Jumpin’ the Track”
The Boxcars
Songwriter: Ron Stewart

“Pretty Little Girl”
Lonesome River Band
Public domain

“Rare Bird Alert”
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
Songwriter: Steve Martin

Recorded Event
“Graves Mountain Memories”
Rural Rhythm All-Stars featuring Carl Jackson, Mark Newton, Audie Blaylock, Lou Reid, Russell Moore, Carrie Hassler, Sammy Shelor, Mike Hartgrove, Wayne Benson and Mike Anglin

“I Am Strong”
The Grascals featuring Dolly Parton

“I’ll Take Love”
Dale Ann Bradley featuring Alison Krauss and Steve Gulley

“Lonesome River”
Lou Reid & Carolina featuring Russell Moore

“Prayer Bells of Heaven”
J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams

Instrumental Performers

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

Bass
Barry Bales
Mike Bub
Missy Raines
Mark Schatz
Marshall Wilborn

Fiddle
Hunter Berry
Jason Carter
Michael Cleveland
Stuart Duncan
Ron Stewart

Dobro
Mike Auldridge
Jerry Douglas
Rob Ickes
Randy Kohrs
Phil Leadbetter

Guitar
Cody Kilby
Tony Rice
Kenny Smith
Bryan Sutton
Josh Williams

Mandolin
Wayne Benson
Sam Bush
Sierra Hull
Ronnie McCoury
Adam Steffey

Bluegrass Broadcaster
Katy Daley (WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, Washington, D.C.)
Chris Jones (Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Nashville)
Tim White (Song of the Mountains, Marion, Va.)

Bluegrass Event
31st annual Bluegrass and Chili Festival (Claremore, Okla.)
Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and Barbecue Festival (Branson, Mo.)
Wintergrass Youth Orchestra Gala (Bellevue, Wash.)

Bluegrass Print Media Personality
Ralph Berrier Jr. (author of If Trouble Don’t Kill Me)

Tim Stafford and Caroline Wright (authors of Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story)

Juli Thanki (freelance writer for The 9531 and the Washington Post, senior editor of District Noise

Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project
Designer: Ricardo Alessio
City of Refuge, Abigail Washburn

Designers: G. Carr and Salli Ratts
Rare Bird Alert, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Designer: Albert J. Roman
Daybreak, Sierra Hull

Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project
Writer: Colin Escott
A Mother’s Prayer, Ralph Stanley

Writer: Geoffrey Himes
The Rounder Records Story, Various Artists

Writer: Steve Martin
Rare Bird Alert, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame Inductees
Del McCoury
George Shuffler

IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients
Greg Cahill
Bill Knowlton
Lilly Pavlak
Geoff Stelling
Roland White