The International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMAs) held court Thursday (9-27) night at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina as the capstone of their yearly conference. Top performers in bluegrass walked away with coveted prizes, including Balsam Range winning the evening’s top prize for Entertainer of the Year, Special Consensus winning Album of the Year for their record Rivers & Roads, and Song of the Year going to “If I’d Have Wrote That Song” by Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers.
The women of bluegrass once again did well in the instrumental awards, with Sierra Hull winning for Mandolin Player of the Year, and Molly Tuttle taking Guitar Player of the Year for the second year straight, and after recently winning Instrumentalist of the Year at the Americana Music Awards. Emerging Artist of the Year went to the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys.
The event was hosted by bluegrass group Hot Rize, and saw the induction of Ricky Skaggs, Tom T Hall, Dixie Hall, and Paul Williams into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. The IBMA’s Special Awards program earlier in the day featured Distinguished Achievement Award winners Chris Thile of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, George Gruhn, Christopher Howard-Williams, Curtis McPeake and Walter Saunders.
Now the focus of the assembled bluegrass masses will go to the Wide Open Bluegrass portion of the week, featuring many performances in Raleigh.
- Entertainer of the Year – Balsam Range
- Album of the Year – Rivers & Roads – Special Consensus (artist), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)
- Song of the Year – If I’d Have Wrote That Song – Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers (artist), Larry Cordle/Larry Shell/James Silvers (writers)
- Female Vocalist of the Year – Brooke Aldridge
- Vocal Group of the Year – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
- Male Vocalist of the Year – Buddy Melton
- Emerging Artist of the Year – Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
- Banjo Player of the Year – Ned Luberecki
- Instrumental Group Of The Year – Travelin’ McCourys
- Guitar Player of the Year – Molly Tuttle
- Mandolin Player of the Year – Sierra Hull
- Fiddle Player of the Year – Michael Cleveland
- Dobro Player of the Year – Justin Moses
- Bass Player of the Year – Tim Surrett
- Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year – Speakin’ to That Mountain – Becky Buller (artist), Becky Buller/Jeff Hyde (writers), Crepe Paper Heart (album), Stephen Mougin (producer), Dark Shadow Recording (label)
- Instrumental Recorded Performance Of The Year – Squirrel Hunters – Special Consensus with John Hartford, Rachel Baiman & Christian Sedelmyer (10 String Symphony), & Alison Brown (artists), Traditional arranged by Alison Brown/Special Consensus (writers), Rivers & Roads (album), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)
- Recorded Event Of The Year – Swept Away – Missy Raines with Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Sierra Hull, and Molly Tuttle (artists), single release, Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)