Thursday, October 9, 2014

IBMA World of Bluegrass 2014: The Awards Shows - Review

For many people the IBMA Awards Show ia the culminating event of IBMA's World of Bluegrass, representing a high profile presentation of what our organization is all about. Musicians, producers, publicists, song writers, and all the heavy-weights of the bluegrass industry put on their best duds and show up to appear being interviewed by Bluegrasss Country.orgs Katy Daley, to socialize at the pre-show reception, and finally to watch and wait as the roll of winners is called to the stage. For some, a major highlight is the somber and thoughtful reading, this year by Katy Daley, of the names of those who have passed away during the year, a somber reminder of those who were the early and now not so early, the famous and not so well-known bluegrass people who never more will grace our stages, but whose influence and memory lives on. For others, a high point is the Special Awards Luncheon, where lesser known and important awards are presented to those who operate quietly behind the scenes. Regardless, the Awards shows represent a showcasing of the hard work and dedication going into building and maintaining a career in music as well as a transition day between the Business Conference and the Wide Open Bluegrass festival. It's eagerly awaited and talked about for weeks before and after the event.

In the Exhibit Hall
I Demo My New Blue Chip Pick

Travis Perry Invented the Chord Buddy
and Appeared on "Shark Tank"

The Chord Buddy

Arnie Fleischer Tries Out a Classic Banjo
at Elderly Instruments

The IBMA Special Awards Luncheon

The IBMA Special Awards luncheon takes time to recognize award winners in important industry categories that might prove of little interest to those attending the larger and fancier IBMA Awards ceremony in the evening coming up. Nevertheless, such awards are eagerly sought after by industry professionals and serve as valued recognition.

Taylor Coughlin, IBMA Staffer, Introduces
Leadership Bluegrass Class of 2014

Distinguished Achievement Award
European Bluegrass Music Association
Reink Jannssen, Chris Keenan, Christoper Howard-Williams & Angelika Torrie

Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Projec
Neil V Rosenberg presented by Fred Bartenstein

Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project
Lou Everheart

Distinguished Achievement Award
The Delmore Brothers

Joe Mullins presenting to Debby Delmore

Debby Delmore Accepting for Father & Uncle

Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year
Chris Jones

Distinguished Achievement Award
Hillbilly's at Harvard
Lynn Joiner Receives Award from Ken Irwin

Hillbilly's at Harvard
Lynn Joiner & Brian Sinclair

Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year
Kyle Cantrell

Songwriter of the Year
Tim Stafford

Tim Stafford with Presenter Tony Trischka

Distinguished Achievement Award
The Deering Banjo Company
Jamie Deering, Greg Deering, Janet Deeting
Presenter: Ned Luberecki

Greg Deering

Bluegrass Event of the Year
Bluegrass Underground
Todd Mayo, Ashlee Jean Trott, Presenter Mary Doub

Distinguished Achievement Award
Bill Keith

Bill Keith with Presenter Alan Munde

Meanwhile, back in real life at the Business Conference:

The Youth Zone was a very active place throughout the entire World of Bluegrass and Wide Open Bluegrass period. Kids chosen to perform on the Plaza Stage on Saturday afternoon as well as more inexperienced young people congregated there for practice and jamming. Later in the week, bluegrass stars dropped in to jam with the kids. More of this on the next entry.

A Banjo Workshop on the Workshop Stage

The Exhibit Hall Was Always Busy

Jeanette & Johnny Williams

The Red Carpet & Pre-Awards Reception
John Lawless (Bluegrass Today) & Irene Lehmann

The Red Carpet, outside the Duke Energy Center, sponsored by Bluegrass Today and Music City Roots offered a live stream broadcast hosted by Bluegrass's Katy Daley as award nominees arrived for the BMI's pre-show reception. The show was set along a red carpet outside the Duke Energy Center, shaded by large black sun screens but still difficult to navigate and so dominated by television cameras I decided to take just a few representative photos before heading inside to take candids and posed pics of the guests at the reception. There were plenty of bluegrass luminaries to take picture of. If you know I took your picture and it's not here, message me, and I'll try to send it to you. Please be patient!

Double Hall of Famer Tom Gray

The Gibson Brothers with Their Mom Shannon

Try To Work That Line....

Jamie Daley Giving Time to Fans

Dale Ann Bradley & Katy Daley

Dan Keen (Former Board Member, Belmont University

Trisha Tubbs (Leadership Bluegrass, Wintergrass)

The Gibson Brothers with Mother Shannon and Her Three Sisters

Jon Weisberger (IBMA Board Chairman) & Claire Armbruster (Agent)

Songwriters Louisa Branscomb & Wes Golding

Jackie & Greg Cahill (Nominee) & Stan Zdonik (Former Board Chair, Joe Val)

BMI Executives with Del & Ronnie McCoury

Ronnie Simpkins & Fred Travers (Seldom Scene)

Mark (Brink) Brinkman (Songwriter) with Wife Jan

Dr. Richard Brown (International Bluegrass Museum Board)

Cindy Baucom (Emcee, Broadcaster), Terry Baucom (Musician)
Lou Reid (Seldom Scene & Lou Reid & Carolina) Christie Reid (Lou Reid & Carolina)

Jimmy Ulisse (Donna's Dad) & Donna Ulisse (Performer)

Phil Leadbetter (Award Nominee)

Candi & Seth Sawyer (Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival)

The Awards Show

The Duke Energy Center in Raleigh is a magnificent venue in which to hold the Awards Show, perhaps IBMA's most signature event and surely the one receiving the greatest publicity with the greatest return for award winners. The event gives IBMA an opportunity to celebrate in a public way the excellence of bluegrass music, its appeal, and the quality of musicians it produces both now and in the past. Winners of awards are chosen in a three step nomination and election process by the votes of professional members. Produced and written by volunteers, the show always varies in quality, usually runs a little long, and is sometimes filled with surprises, always with nostalgia and appreciation. Now is not the time to quibble about the process, criticize the members, or wishfully analyze the winners. It's an awards show, and people like them. And the winners are....

IBMA Board Chair Jon Weisberger
Introducing the Show

Opening Dance Performance
Tim O'Brien, Eileen Carson Schatz, Mark Schatz

Della Mae

 Awards Show Hosts: Lee Ann Womack & Jerry Douglas

Dobro Player of the Year
Phil Leadbetter Presented by Junior Sisk

The Claire Lynch Band sings
Song of the Year: Dear Sister

Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year - Thank God I'm a Country Boy
Recorded Event of the Year - Wild Montana Skies
Special Consensus 

Bass Player of the Year
Barry Bales

The Gibson Brothers - Performance

Male Vocalist of the Year
Buddy Melton - Balsam Range

Bela Fleck & Tony Trischka Present 
Banjo Player of the Year

Banjo Player of the Year
Noam Pikelny

Lee Ann Womack - Performance

Female Vocalist of the Year
Amanda Smith

Guitar Player of the Year
Bryan Sutton

Emerging Artist of the Year
Flatt Lonesome

Mandolin Player of the Year

Hall of Fame Induction
Neil V Rosenberg

The Spinney Brothers - Performance
with Jason Carter, Ron Stewart, Michael Cleveland

Fiddle Player of the Year
Jason Carter

Katy Daley & Chris Eldridge
Hall of Fame Induction

Original Seldom Scene - Hall of Fame Induction
Tom Gray, John Starling, Ben Eldridge

Seldom Scene - Performance
John Starling sings "Wait a Minute"

 Sierra Hull & Doyle Lawson 
Presenters - Gospel Recorded Event

This Award went to Dailey & Vincent for "Won't It Be Wonderful There." Out of respect for the illness of Darren Vincent's father, Jamie Dailey, who accepted the award, was on and off the stage so fast I missed the picture. Sadly, Johnny Vincent died a day or two later.

Balsam Range - Performance

Balsam Range
Entertainer of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year

That's All Folks - Wide Open Bluegrass Coming