The 2015 installment of the International Bluegrass Music Awards transpired Thursday night (10-1) at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, NC as part of the organization’s annual conference, and the Jerry Douglas-anchored bluegrass supergroup The Earls of Leicester seized the night, taking six of the 17 major trophies, including Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Album of the Year.
Balsam Range and Becky Buller also received multiple awards on the night, while Rhonda Vincent walked away with Female Vocalist of the Year, and Shawn Camp as Male Vocalist of the Year.
Bill Keith and Larry Sparks were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame during the presentation, and Alison Krauss was in attendance to bestow Larry Sparks with his Hall of Fame honor. The two also conducted a surprise performance of a number of Sparks’ hits, including “John Deere Tractor” and “Tennessee 1949.” Other performers on the night included hosts The Gibson Brothers, Hot Rize, and the Del McCoury Band.
Steve Martin was honored before the awards at the IBMA’s Special Awards Luncheon as a 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award recipient.
See the full list of winners below:
- Entertainer of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
- Female Vocalist of the Year: Rhonda Vincent
- Male Vocalist of the Year: Shawn Camp
- Vocal Group of the Year: Balsam Range
- Instrumental Group of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
- Song of the Year: Moon Over Memphis, Balsam Range
- Album of the Year: The Earls of Leicester, The Earls of Leicester, Jerry Douglas, producer
- Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: Who Will Sing for Me, The Earls of Leicester
- Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: The Three Bells, Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge, Rob Ickes
- Emerging Artist of the Year: Becky Buller
- Recorded Event of the Year: Southern Flavor, Becky Buller, with Peter Rowan, Michael Feagan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White, and Blake Williams
- Banjo Player of the Year: Rob McCoury
- Bass Player of the Year: Tim Surrett
- Dobro Player of the Year: Jerry Douglas
- Fiddle Player of the Year: Michael Cleveland
- Guitar Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
- Mandolin Player of the Year: Jesse Brock