Steve Martin Tapped for IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award

Nominees Also Announced for 2015 International Bluegrass Music Awards

Actor, comedian and musician Steve Martin is among this year’s recipients of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award.

The announcement was made Wednesday (Aug. 12) in conjunction with the revelation of nominees for the 2015 IBMA Awards.

Balsam Range, Hot Rize, the Del McCoury Band, the Earls of Leicester and the Gibson Brothers are nominated for entertainer of the year for the awards to be presented Oct. 1 in Raleigh, N.C. The Gibson Brothers will host the ceremony that serves as the highlight of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event taking place Sept. 29-Oct. 3 in Raleigh.

Additionally, banjo pioneer Bill Keith and singer-guitarist Larry Sparks were announced Wednesday as the newest inductees into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

During the ‘70s, Martin regularly played banjo during his standup comedy performances. In 2009, he released his first all-music album, The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo, and has since won five Grammys and three IBMA awards for his projects.

Joining Martin as recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award are banjo player and record executive Alison Brown, banjo player, author and educator Murphy Henry and the late Beecher Ray Kirby, better known as Bashful Brother Oswald, a Dobro pioneer who was a longtime member of Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys band.

Here’s a full list of nominees for the 2015 IBMA Awards:

Entertainer of the Year

Balsam Range

Hot Rize

The Earls of Leicester

The Gibson Brothers

The Del McCoury Band

Vocal Group

Balsam Range

Blue Highway

Flatt Lonesome

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

The Gibson Brothers

Instrumental Group

Blue Highway

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

Punch Brothers

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

The Earls of Leicester

Song of the Year

“Big Black Train,” Earls of Leicester (artists), Stanley Johnson, George Sherry (writers)

“Fiddlin’ Joe,” Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (artists), Mark Brinkman (writer)

“Her Love Won’t Turn on a Dime,” Lonesome River Band (artists), Bart Butler, Timothy Johnson, Shane Minor (writers)

“Moon Over Memphis,” Balsam Range (artists), Mark W. Winchester (writer)

“Southern Flavor,” Becky Buller (artist), Bill Monroe, Guy Stevenson, DeWayne Mize (writers)

Album of the Year

Brotherhood, the Gibson Brothers (artists), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, Mike Barber (producers)

Five, Balsam Range (artists and producers)

The Earls of Leicester, the Earls of Leicester (artists), Jerry Douglas (producer)

Too, Flatt Lonesome (artists), Andrea Roberts, Tim Surrett (producers)

When I’m Free, Hot Rize (artists and producers)

Gospel Recorded Performance

“Holding to the Right Hand,” Lonesome River Band (artists), Turn on a Dime (album), Marvin Clark (writer), Sammy Shelor (producer)

“Insured Beyond the Grave,” J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams (artists), Standing Tall and Tough (album), Ira Louvin, Charlie Louvin (writers), Doyle Lawson (producer)

“Stacking Up the Rocks,” Balsam Range (artists and producers), Five (album), Buddy Melton (writer)

“What a Wonderful Savior Is He,” the Gibson Brothers (artists), Brotherhood (album), William G. Brewster (writer), Eric Gibson, Leigh Gibson, Mike Barber (producers)

“Who Will Sing for Me,” the Earls of Leicester (artists), The Earls of Leicester (album), Carter Stanley, Ralph Stanley (writers), Jerry Douglas (producer)

Instrumental Recorded Performance

“Backdraft (You Light It, You Fight It,” Balsam Range (artists and producers), Five (album), Buddy Metlon, Marc Pruett, Tim Surrett, Darren Nicholson, Caleb B. Smith (writer)

“Come Along Jody,” Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (artists), On Down the Line (album), Benjamin F. "Tex" Logan (writer), Jeff White, Michael Cleveland (producers)

“Cumberland Gap,” Lonesome River Band (artists), Turn on a Dime (album), Sammy Shelor (arrangement and producer)

“The Three Bells,” Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists and producers), The Three Bells (album), Jean Villard, Bert Reisfeld (writers)

“Yeah Man.” Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (artists and producers), Cold Spell (album), Mike Munford (writer)

Recorded Event

“Against the Grain,” Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time featuring Garth Brooks (artists), Larry Cordle (producer)

“Blue Memories,” J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams (artists), Doyle Lawson (producer)

“For Buddy,” Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists and producers)

“Test of Time,” Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell (artists), Carl Jackson (producer)

“The Three Bells,” Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes (artists and producers)

“Southern Flavor,” Becky Buller with Peter Rowan, Michael Feagan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White and Blake Williams (artists), Stephen Mougin (producer)

Emerging Artist

Adkins & Loudermilk

Band of Ruhks

Becky Buller

Mountain Faith

Snyder Family Band

The Earls of Leicester

Volume Five

Male Vocalist

Shawn Camp

Del McCoury

Buddy Melton

Russell Moore

Tim O’Brien

Female Vocalist

Dale Ann Bradley

Becky Buller

Claire Lynch

Amanda Smith

Rhonda Vincent


Kristin Scott Benson

Rob McCoury

Noam Pikelny

Sammy Shelor

Ron Stewart


Barry Bales

Mike Bub

Missy Raines

Mark Schatz

Tim Surrett


Becky Buller

Jason Carter

Michael Cleveland

Stuart Duncan

Ron Stewart


Mike Auldridge

Jerry Douglas

Andy Hall

Rob Ickes

Phil Leadbetter


Jim Hurst

Kenny Smith

Tim Stafford

Bryan Sutton

Josh Williams


Jesse Brock

Sam Bush

Sierra Hull

Ronnie McCoury

Adam Steffey

Bluegrass Broadcaster

Cindy Baucom, Knee-Deep in Bluegrass (syndicated)

Becky Buller, Bluegrass Crossroads, WMSR/Manchester, Tenn.

Kyle Cantrell, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM

Chris Jones, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM

Ronnie Reno, Reno’s Old Time Music, RFD-TV

Bluegrass Event

La Roche Bluegrass Festival 2014 (La Roche sur Foron, France)

A Lester Flatt Celebration 2014 (Sparta, Tennessee)

Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival 2014 (Richmond, Minnesota)

Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Jamboree 2014 (Brooklyn, New York_

42nd RockyGrass Festival (Lyons, Colorado)

Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project

Evan Gaffney (designer), The Phosphorescent Blues, Punch Brothers (artists)

Michael Gerstenberger (designer), Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang (artists)

Jimmy Hole (designer), Della Mae, Della Mae (artists)

Deano Martin (designer), Trouble Follows Me, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice (artists)

Carrie Smith (designer), The Lonesome Trio, the Lonesome Trio (artists)

Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project

Frank Godby, If Only You Knew: The Best of Larry Rice, Larry Rice (artist)

Phil Leadbetter, Next Move, Phil Leadbetter (artist)

Randy Pitts, Laurie & Kathy Sing Songs of Vern & Ray, Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick (artists)

Ted Olson, Old Time Bluegrass from the Great Smoky Mountains (1956 & 1959), Carroll Best & the White Oak String Band (artists)

Eddie Stubbs and Bill Malone, Complete Recordings 1936-55, Chuck Wagon Gang (artists)

Bluegrass Print/Media Person

Fred Bartenstein, The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014

Derek Halsey, writer for the Herald Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine and The Bluegrass Situation

John Lawless, editor for Bluegrass Today

Ted Lehmann, blogger for Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books & Brainstorms

Gary Reid, author, The Music of the Stanley Brothers and The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies 1991-2014

Bluegrass Songwriter

Mark “Brink” Brinkman

Becky Buller

Bill Castle

Shawn Lane

Donna Ulisse

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