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IBMA Announces 2011 Music Awards Nominations

The Boxcars
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Katherine Cole

The International Bluegrass Music Association [IBMA] has announced the nominees for its 22nd annual awards.  A relatively new band, the bluegrass “supergroup” The Boxcars, leads the pack this year with 10 nominations.

“Jumpin’ The Track” earned The Boxcars one of its 10 International Bluegrass Music Award nominations. It’s up for “Recorded Instrumental Performance of The Year.” The year- old group, featuring the talents of Adam Steffey, Ron Stewart, John R. Bowman, Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon, are up for more IBMA awards than any other band this year.  But while The Boxcars are a new group, the  members are by no means new to the scene. Adam Steffey is the reigning and seven-time IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and could take home the trophy again this year. Ron Stewart, the only musician in the history of the IBMA Awards to be a frequent finalist in two instrumental categories, was the Fiddle Player of the Year in 2000.

The Boxcars are nominated for the IBMA's top award, Entertainer of the year, along with three-time reigning winner Dailey & Vincent, two-time winner The Grascals, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers and The Gibson Brothers. The Gibsons are up for seven awards this year, including Album of the Year for “Help My Brother.” The title track for that CD, written by Leigh Gibson, has been nominated for Song of the Year.

The Gibson Brothers’ “Help My Brother” is one of the five songs up for the IBMA’s Song of the Year honor this year - and the odds are in their favor. Why? Because the boys have actually received two nominations in that one category. Their other nominated track is “Walking West to Memphis.” What are the other nominees for “Song of the Year?” They are: “I Am Strong,” by The Grascals featuring Dolly Parton, “I’ll Take Love,” performed by Dale Ann Bradley with Alison Krauss & Steve Gulley, and “Trains I Missed,” as recorded by the band Balsam Range.

The Gibson Brothers’ other nominations include Vocal Group of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. They, along with the Boxcars and Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers are all first-time nominees for that top prize. The other nominees are The Grascals and Dailey & Vincent. For the past five years, either The Grascals or Dailey & Vincent took home that trophy.

And The Gibsons are facing off against Dailey & Vincent in another category as well: Vocal Group of the Year.

Jamie Dailey, who sings lead on most of the Dailey & Vincent songs, is vying for Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2011 IBMA Awards. His competition is Leigh Gibson, Josh Williams, Russell Moore & Dan Tyminski.

Female Vocalist of the Year nominees are:  Sonya Isaacs, four time winner Alison Krauss, seven time champion Ronda Vincent & Dale Ann Bradley, who’s taken home the trophy three times, and Claire Lynch, who won the award in 1997 and then again last year.

The 2011 International Bluegrass Music Awards will be handed out at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on September 29, and the award show will be broadcast the following week on the "Roots and Branches" program, heard on the VOA Music Mix Network.

The IBMA will also be inducting two new members into its Hall of Fame during the Awards show.  They are pioneering bass and guitar player George Shuffler, and Del McCoury, leader of one of the most awarded bands in IBMA history.  His version of Richard Thompson’s classic “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” was the IBMA Song of the Year in 2002.

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