2014 IBMA Awards Winners Announced
The winners of the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards were revealed in a ceremony at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday night (Oct. 2).
Balsam Range took top honors as Entertainer of the Year and also won Vocal Group of the Year. Singer and guitarist Caleb Smith came close to missing their acceptance speech; having won Vocal Group of the Year and performed already with the band, he was backstage talking guitars with Del McCoury when the band's name was called for the biggest award of the evening. "Son, I think they just said your name," McCoury interrupted, sending him back to the stage to accept the award alongside band mates Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Marc Pruett and Darren Nicholson.
Surrett also won the Mentor Award -- one of a series of special honors called the Momentum Awards -- for his inspiration and work with young and developing artists.
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen took home Instrumental Group of the Year, while Claire Lynch won Song of the Year for 'Dear Sister.' Buddy Melton was crowned Male Vocalist of the Year, and Amanda Smith won Female Vocalist. Tim Stafford took home a Special Award for Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year.
The late John Denver scored twice on Thursday night. His hit 'Thank God I'm a Country Boy,' as recorded by Special Consensus with Buddy Spicher, Michael Cleveland and Alison Brown for 'Country Boy: a Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver,' won Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year, and Special Consensus with Claire Lynch and Rob Ickes won Recorded Event of the Year for their rendition of 'Wild Montana Skies,' his 1983 collaboration with Emmylou Harris.
The Barefoot Movement issued a statement after winning a very special Momentum Award.
“We are humbled and honored that IBMA chose to recognize us as Band of the Year in their Momentum Awards category," the group said. "Someone told us recently that the only way to survive in the music industry is to get used to disappointment. We think that’s something anyone trying to make it can relate to. Being included, even just as a nominee, among these talented performers helps us know that we’re doing something right. It’s a great triumph over many trials. Sincere thanks to all of our supporters out there."
Entertainer of the Year – Balsam Range
Vocal Group of the Year – Balsam Range
Instrumental Group of the Year – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Song of the Year – 'Dear Sister,' Claire Lynch, written by Claire Lynch and Louisa Branscomb
Album of the Year – 'Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe,' Noam Pikelny, produced by Gabe Witcher, Compass Records
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year – 'Won’t It Be Wonderful There,' Dailey & Vincent, from 'Brothers of the Highway,' written by Mildred Styles Johnson, produced by Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, Rounder Records
Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year – 'Thank God I’m a Country Boy,' Special Consensus with Buddy Spicher, Michael Cleveland and Alison Brown, from 'Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver,' written by John Martin Sommers, Compass Records
Recorded Event of the Year – 'Wild Montana Skies,' Special Consensus with Claire Lynch and Rob Ickes, produced by Alison Brown, Compass Records
Emerging Artist of the Year – Flatt Lonesome
Male Vocalist of the Year – Buddy Melton
Female Vocalist of the Year – Amanda Smith
Instrumental Performers of the Year
Banjo – Noam Pikelny
Bass – Barry Bales
Fiddle – Jason Carter
Dobro – Phil Leadbetter
Guitar – Bryan Sutton
Mandolin – Adam Steffey