The band Flatt Lonesome dominated the 27th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Thursday night (Sept. 29), harvesting laurels for album, song and vocal group of the year.
Held at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, the event also dealt multiple honors to the Earls of Leicester and Becky Buller. The Earls won the entertainer of the year trophy for the second consecutive year, while members Jerry Douglas, Barry Bales and Charlie Cushman won individual trophies as dobro, bass and banjo player of the year, respectively.
Buller twice triumphed as top female vocalist and top fiddle player.
Inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame were Clarence White and the three founders of Rounder Records, Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin. White, along with his brothers, Roland and Eric, founded the Kentucky Colonels. He later became a member of the Byrds and a pioneer in creating the country-rock sound. An innovative guitarist, he died in a traffic accident in 1973 at the age of 29.
Sierra Hull and Dan Tyminski hosted the ceremony, which featured performances by Flatt Lonesome, the Earls of Leicester, Balsam Range, the Del McCoury Band, the Gibson Brothers, the Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, Hull and the Becky Buller Band.
In addition there were nods to movies and TV shows in which bluegrass music figured prominently, notably Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, Deliverance, Bonnie and Clyde and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Distinguished achievement awards were presented Thursday afternoon to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine (now celebrating its 50th anniversary), Boston Bluegrass Union, SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction, Bill Emerson and Jim Rooney.
Here is the complete list of the evening’s winners:
Entertainer of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
Female Vocalist of the Year: Becky Buller
Male Vocalist of the Year: Danny Paisley
Vocal Group of the Year: Flatt Lonesome
Instrumental Group of the Year: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Song of the Year: “You’re The One,” Flatt Lonesome
Album of the Year: Runaway Train, Flatt Lonesome
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: “All Dressed Up,” Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers
Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: “Fireball,” Special Consensus, featuring Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley and Alison Brown
Emerging Artist of the Year: Mountain Faith
Recorded Event of the Year: “Longneck Blues,” Junior Sisk and Ronnie Bowman
Banjo Player of the Year: Charlie Cushman
Bass Player of the Year: Barry Bales
Dobro Player of the Year: Jerry Douglas
Fiddle Player of the Year: Becky Buller
Guitar Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
Mandolin Player of the Year: Sierra Hull
Inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: Clarence White and the Rounder Records founders, Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin