International Bluegrass Music Awards Announce 2014 Nominees

August 13, 2014 - By Trigger  //  News  //  9 Comments


The International Bluegrass Music Association unveiled their list of nominees for their 25th Annual Awards on Wednesday, August 13th. The IBMA will hold their awards this year in Raleigh, NC at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on October 2nd. Nominees were announced at The Factory in Franklin, TN, facilitated by Music City Roots who broadcast the announcement ceremony live.

The Boxcars lead all nominees with 10 IBMA nods, while Blue Highway comes in with nine nominations. The Del McCoury Band also scored high with six, while newcomers Detour, Flatt Lonesome, Town Mountain, The Spinney Brothers, and Volume Five earned “Emerging Artist of the Year” honors. See the full list of nominees below.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Balsam Range
  • Blue Highway
  • Dailey & Vincent
  • The Gibson Brothers
  • The Del McCoury Band

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Del McCoury
  • Buddy Melton
  • Tim O’Brien
  • Frank Solivan
  • Dan Tyminski

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Dale Ann Bradley
  • Alison Krauss
  • Claire Lynch
  • Amanda Smith
  • Rhonda Vincent

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Balsam Range
  • Blue Highway
  • Dailey & Vincent
  • The Gibson Brothers
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Instrumental Group of the Year

  • Balsam Range
  • Blue Highway
  • The Boxcars
  • The Del McCoury Band
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Emerging Artist of the Year

  • Detour
  • Flatt Lonesome
  • The Spinney Brothers
  • Town Mountain
  • Volume Five

Album of the Year

  • Hall of Fame Bluegrass – Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (artist), Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (producers), Rebel Records
  • It’s Just A RoadThe Boxcars (artist), The Boxcars (producer), Mountain Home
  • Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe – Noam Pikelny (artist) Gabe Witcher (producer), Compass Records
  • Streets of BaltimoreThe Del McCoury Band (artist), Del McCoury (producer), McCoury Music
  • The GameBlue Highway (artist), Blue Highway (producer), Rounder Records

Song of the Year

  • Dear Sister” – Claire Lynch (artist), Claire Lynch and Louisa Branscomb (writers)
  • Grandpa’s Way of Life” – The Spinney Brothers (artist), Mark ‘Brink’ Brinkman (writer)
  • It’s Just a Road” – The Boxcars (artist), William Keith Garrett (writer)
  • The Game” – Blue Highway (artist), Shawn Lane and Barry Bales (writers)
  • You Took All The Ramblin’ Out of Me” – The Boxcars (artist), Jerry Hubbard (writer)

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year

  • Love Does” – Darin and Brooke Aldridge (artist), Flying (album), Jamie Johnson, Suzanne M. Johnson and Jenee Fleenor (writers), Darin and Brooke Aldridge (producers), Organic Records
  • The Day We Learn to Fly” – Volume Five (artist), The Day We Learn To Fly (album), Stacy Richardson and Leroy Drumm (writers), Volume Five (producers), Mountain Fever
  • Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus” – Donna Ulisse (artist), I Am a Child of God (album), Hazel Marie Houser (writer), Bryan Sutton and Donna Ulisse (producers), Hadley Music Group
  • When Sorrows Encompass Me Around” – The Boxcars (artist), It’s Just A Road (album), Paul Edgar Johnson (writer), The Boxcars (producer), Mountain Home
  • Won’t It Be Wonderful There” – Dailey & Vincent (artist), Brothers of the Highway (album), Mildred Styles Johnson (writer), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent (producers), Rounder Records

Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year

  • Five Miles to Milan” - The Grascals (artist), When I Get My Pay (album), Danny Roberts (writer), The Grascals (producer), Mountain Home
  • “Graveyard Fields” – Steep Canyon Rangers (artist), Tell The Ones I Love (album), Mike Guggino (writer), Larry Campbell (producer), Rounder Records
  • Johnny Don’t Get Drunk” – Adam Steffey (artist), New Primitive (album), Public Domain, Adam Steffey (producer), Organic
  • Skillet Head Derailed” – The Boxcars (artist), It’s Just a Road (album), Ron Stewart (writer), The Boxcars (producer), Mountain Home
  • Thank God I’m A Country Boy“- Special Consensus with Buddy Spicher, Michael Cleveland and Alison Brown (artists), Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver (album), John Martin Sommers (writer), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records

Recorded Event of the Year

  • American Pickers“- The Grascals with Dierks Bentley (artists), The Grascals (producer), Mountain Home
  • Keepin’ It Between the Lines (Old School)” – Peter Rowan with Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Ronnie McCoury and Del McCoury (artists), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records
  • Martha White, Lester & Earl” – Terry Baucom with Marty Raybon & Buddy Melton (artists), Terry and Cindy Baucom (producers), John Boy and Billy Records
  • Wild Montana Skies” – Special Consensus with Claire Lynch & Rob Ickes (artists), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records
  • Wild Mountain Honey” – Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (artists), Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins (producers) Rebel Records

Instrumental Performer of the Year – Banjo

  • Jens Kruger
  • Mike Munford
  • Noam Pikelny
  • Sammy Shelor
  • Ron Stewart

Instrumental Performer of the Year – Fiddle

  • Jason Carter
  • Michael Cleveland
  • Stuart Duncan
  • Bobby Hicks
  • Ron Stewart

Instrumental Performer of the Year – Dobro

  • Jerry Douglas
  • Andy Hall
  • Rob Ickes
  • Randy Kohrs
  • Phil Leadbetter

Instrumental Performer of the Year – Guitar

  • Tony Rice
  • James Alan Shelton
  • Kenny Smith
  • Tim Stafford
  • Bryan Sutton

Instrumental Performer of the Year – Mandolin

  • Sam Bush
  • Sierra Hull
  • Frank Solivan
  • Adam Steffey
  • Chris Thile

Instrumental Performer of the Year – Bass

  • Barry Bales
  • Mike Bub
  • Missy Raines
  • Mark Schatz
  • Darin Vincent

9 Comments to “International Bluegrass Music Awards Announce 2014 Nominees”

  • I’m not at all surprised by the names I see. It seems like mainstream bluegrass is a tight collective of groups that rarely seems to change beyond exchanging members, or shuffling members around to create new groups or solo projects. I dunno, I may be wrong because I have only been following modern mainstream bluegrass for a couple of years, but this is what I see.


  • Well Joshua,

    I’m not sure I understand what “modern mainstream bluegrass” is, or what artists you have been listening to, but since I’ve been listening to it from “the git-go”, I’d like to put in my two cents worth.

    Bluegrass is by its nature traditional, even though the genre and its “founding principles” date only to the early 1940’s. To be played really well requires master musicianship, tight and polished vocal and instrumental harmonies, and perhaps more than any other genre, a respectful allegiance to its own past.

    For the listener, it can require serious “ears”. It might be a good idea to go back to the early recordings of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, the Stanley Brothers, and the 1950’s work of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, who formed their own band after leaving

    Bluegrass is infectious. The “collective” you speak of numbers in the tens of thousands. Visit a large festival and you can hear “picking in the parking lot” that is world class. There are very few overnight sensations in the Bluegrass field, but there are a lot of new, young talents constantly working their way up.

    Although “bluegrass” music lovers can be purists, the sound is an influential part of the larger rubric “Americana”, which is growing in opposition to the garbage that dominates
    the “Country” charts.

    These nominees reflect a variety of approaches to the sound. But for my money, Del McCoury should win everything. He exemplifies the excellence that is required to sustain a professional career in any kind of music.



    • Ben,

      I think what he’s getting at is: at the highest levels bluegrass is a relatively insular, static group.

      If you look at the 2013 nominees for the IBMA Awards, you’ll have a hard time convincing yourself they aren’t the 2014 nominees. The Entertainer of the Year list is exactly the same. The Vocal Group of the Year list is exactly the same. Hell, even two of five acts are renominated for Emerging Artist of the Year.

      As you point out, with tens of thousands of talented pickers and singers, it’s surprising that the same people keep getting the same awards over and over.


      • The same can be said for the Americana Music Awards almost since their inception, though I think this year they did a great job of finally shaking up some of the names. When you have these type of trade organizations whose members are very select, you’re going to have this type of insular perspective, and we see that time and time again with these independent subgenre entities. Same can be said for Ameripolitan, the underground “Outlaw” country scene, and many more. They’re all based on a standardized perspective of which you’re never going to get the attention of unless you’re a paying, certified member of their organization, or part of their scene. This type of trade organization approach, as opposed to an approach of truly trying to find the best of a discipline and promote them to the masses is what holds these organizations back.

        With Saving Country Music, I try to do my best to always broaden perspectives, and go beyond established scene or organizational perspectives to attempt highlight the best of them all. And that’s why a lot of people hate me, because in the end they don’t want to discover anything, they want their already-established opinions and perspective reinforced.

        There is a lot of great bluegrass music out there that will never be given attention by the IBMA. But they’re still trying to do what they can to champion bluegrass internationally, broaden the appeal of the genre, and they do a lot of great work in those directions.


      • Pretty much this. You always hear about the same groups and pickers through stuff like this, festival lineups and such. Dailey & Vincent, Gibson Brothers, Blue Highway…these groups are everywhere. Nothing wrong with them, they’re great, but they’re the groups getting all the promotion and all the festival appearances. It’s hard enough to find out about new bluegrass as it is while these groups supported by the IBMA are getting all the attention and promotion. As a fan that wants to dig deeper into a genre it can be a bit difficult to cut through the surface.


  • I love Bluegrass music, but more than that I love the down-to-earth personalities of most of the artists including many of the big names mentioned hear. Many of them, such as Del McCoury and Rhonda Vincent, host annual bluegrass festivals in or near their hometowns where you can not only hear the big name groups play for a typically low ticket price, but also take part in jam sessions and instrumental seminars with them.


  • Hey Big A,

    Yep, I’ll buy that. Whenever the vested interests of the music industry (as opposed to
    “the music”) become involved it becomes a matter of control, of commerce, and of insider politics. Bluegrass isn’t a sub-genre of “Country”, but something of a breed of its own, with a smaller, maybe more fiercely dedicated fan base than pop-Country. It really is more about the “music” than the celebrity and the big bucks that Music Row is always chasing.

    And although the IBMA has done some good things, it has become more of a music business vehicle than a support system for the fans and most importantly, the performers. They are not the only Bluegrass trade organization, but they seem to have the deepest pockets at this point.

    If you are looking for freshness and variety, you might give a listen to XM Channel 61.
    They play the old stuff but they will mix in new artists, and their D.J.’s are extremely knowledgeable.

    But even if there were 27 great new bands and artists smokin’ the Bluegrass charts,
    I’d still vote for folks like Del McCoury and Ralph Stanley. That kind of loyalty is also maybe more of an element in Bluegrass. As with Classic Country music, “If they like you, they are always gonna like you.”



  • I saw in the Engine 145 post about this that the original lineup of the DC area’s Seldom Scene are to be inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. That’s nice. They were one of the first bluegrass bands that I got into and I saw something close to the original lineup a couple of times in the early ’90s with John Starling on vocals. Even once with Tony Rice guesting on lead guitar. I remember John Duffy calling him Pony Tony because of his pony tail. Their Scene 20 twentieth anniversay concert album is one of my favorites.


  • Missy Raines!!! Yay!!!!

    Of course this selection does seem quite short on women. I don’t know how many of these bands have female members but with women putting out such good music of late I am surprised there are not more females.


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