The International Bluegrass Music Association, or IBMA, recently held its annual convention and festival in Nashville, Tennessee. One highlight of "The World of Bluegrass" was the annual Awards show, honoring the year's best singers, songwriters and performers.
The ceremony opened with a song by country hitmaker Dierks Bentley, who earlier this year released "Up On The Ridge," his first bluegrass album. Dierks was joined onstage by Sierra Hull, Mike Bub, Rob McCoury, Jon Randall Stewart and many of the evening's other nominated artists for a spirited version of "Fiddlin' Around."
It was a good evening for the duo of Dailey and Vincent. The pair walked away with five trophies, including top honors with their third consecutive win for Entertainer of the Year. They also performed on the show, singing "Elizabeth," from their album "Dailey And Vincent Sing The Statler Brothers." Joining them was the man who wrote the song, Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune.
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent also received their third straight Vocal Group of the Year award and their second award for Album of the Year for "Dailey And Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers", home to "Elizabeth." That album also took home the graphic design honor. The duo also contributed to Larry Stephenson's CD, "Give This Message To Your Heart", which won the Recorded Event of the Year trophy.
Other multi-award winners included Michael Cleveland And Flamekeeper. They received three awards, including Cleveland's eighth Fiddle Player of the Year award, and Marshall Wilborn's second consecutive award for Bass Player of the Year. The group was also named Instrumental Group of the Year.
Adam Steffey also won two IBMA Awards: Mandolin Player of the Year and Instrumental Performance of the Year for his song "Durang's Hornpipe."
The Gibson Brothers took home two trophies, their first since winning Emerging Artist of the Year in 1998. Their version of "Ring The Bell" won both Song of the Year and Gospel Performance of the Year. In his acceptance speech for the latter award, Eric Gibson told a little about where they found the song.
"We found the Gospel Song of the Year in a barroom in Muncie, Indiana," said Gibson. "We were there with Chet O'Keefe and his band. He wrote this song and he needs a round of applause!"
"It is just so great to be here," O'Keefe said. "One of these fellows, I don't remember which one, said 'Will you send that song to me?' And here we are a year-and-a-half later, and it's just a thrill to be here. Thank you so much."
The Emerging Artist trophy went to The Josh Williams Band, with Josh winning his third straight Guitar Player of the Year award. Other instrumentalist award winners were Rob Ickes with his twelfth award for Dobro Player of the Year, and The Grascals' Kristin Scott Benson for her third consecutive honor for Banjo Player of the Year. Male Vocalist of the Year went to Russell Moore of IIIrd Tyme Out (Third Time Out). He's now won that award three times. Claire Lynch received her second award for Female Vocalist of the Year. Claire also performed during the awards show, singing Bill Monroe's "My Florida Sunshine."
2010 saw Louise Scruggs and John Hartford posthumously inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. The evening ended with all-star tribute to Hartford by The John Hartford String Band, a group made up of one-time Hartford band members who are working to keep his memory alive. They were joined onstage by bluegrass icons Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Jerry Douglas, Alison Brown and Tim O'Brien, performing the classic "Gentle On My Mind."