LRR’s picks for the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Awards

The 2013 International Bluegrass Music Award Nominations were announced a few days ago, and we thought we’d make known our choices among those nominated.

LRR Editor Aaron Keith Harris is a voting member of IBMA, and has cast his ballot. Donald Teplyske and Larry Stephens are not IBMA voters, but their opinions are better than most when it comes to bluegrass music. But you knew that already.

I don’t think any of us were tremendously excited by this year’s nominees—I know I haven’t been in a while.

Three big reasons why, especially on the awards for individuals or groups (as opposed to recordings released in a particular year):

First, guys like JD Crowe, Tony Rice, and Bobby Hicks shouldn’t be nominated at all, no matter how many awards they have won. They’re way, way beyond such earthly assessments of their work. They should have awards named after them.

Second, guys like Mike Cleveland and Adam Steffey don’t have room to store any more awards. If you’ve won the award in back-to-back years, you’re off the ballot forever, and your name is engraved on all future awards for that category, like with the Stanley Cup.

Third, and I know this will make some people mad, but some things just have no place in consideration for a bluegrass award. I’m looking at you Punch Brothers. Just because they could play some great bluegrass, they should be required to do something remotely resembling such before being on an IBMA ballot.

Finally, a song like “Gentle on My Mind” does not belong as a Song of the Year nominee. Songs that are already classics in any genre, including bluegrass, don’t need another award. Let’s make room for currently working songwriters to be recognized.

Anyway, here are our selections from the choices provided. Like politics though, some better choices are not on the ballot.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Larry’s pick:

Dailey & Vincent

Donald’s pick:

The Gibson Brothers

Other nominees:

Balsam Range
Blue Highway
The Del McCoury Band

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Larry’s pick:

Dailey & Vincent

Donald’s pick:

The Gibson Brothers

Other nominees:

Balsam Range
Blue Highway
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Donald’s pick:

Blue Highway

Larry’s pick:

The Boxcars

Other nominees:

Sam Bush Band
Punch Brothers
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Aaron’s pick:

Jamie Dailey

Donald’s pick:

Junior Sisk

Larry’s pick:

Russell Moore

Other nominees:

Tim O’Brien
Marty Raybon

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Aaron’s pick:

Sonya Isaacs

Donald’s pick:

Dale Ann Bradley

Larry’s pick:

Claire Lynch

Other nominees:

Amanda Smith
Rhonda Vincent

INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR

BANJO

Aaron, Donald, and Larry’s pick:

Ron Stewart

Other nominees:

J.D. Crowe
Mike Munford
Sammy Shelor
Scott Vestal

BASS

Aaron and Larry’s pick:

Mike Bub

Donald’s pick:

Barry Bales

Other nominees:

Missy Raines
Mark Schatz
Marshall Wilborn

FIDDLE

Aaron’s pick:

Michael Cleveland

Donald and Larry’s pick:

Ron Stewart

Other nominees:

Jason Carter
Stuart Duncan
Bobby Hicks

DOBRO

Aaron and Donald’s pick:

Rob Ickes

Larry’s pick:

Phil Leadbetter

Other nominees:

Mike Auldridge
Jerry Douglas
Randy Kohrs

GUITAR

Aaron, Donald, and Larry’s pick:

Bryan Sutton

Other nominees:

Jim Hurst
Tony Rice
Kenny Smith
Josh Williams

MANDOLIN

Aaron, Donald, and Larry’s pick:

Adam Steffey

Other nominees:

Wayne Benson
Jesse Brock
Sam Bush
Sierra Hull

SONG OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Larry’s pick:

“The Story of the Day that I Died,” Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, written by Ashby Frank

Donald’s pick:

“They Called It Music,” The Gibson Brothers, written by Eric Gibson & Joe Newberry

Other nominees:

“Any Old Road (Will Take You There),” Balsam Range, written by Carl Jackson, Marc Pruett & Jerry Salley
“Gentle on my Mind,” Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, written by John Hartford
“Papertown,” Balsam Range, written by Milan Miller

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Donald’s pick:

The Old School, Peter Rowan, produced by Alison Brown, Compass Records

Larry’s pick:

Papertown, Balsam Range, produced by Balsam Range, Mountain Home

Other nominees:

Dear Sister, Claire Lynch, produced by Garry West, Compass Records
Hammer Down, The SteelDrivers, produced by The SteelDrivers
& Luke Wooten, Rounder Records
They Called It Music, The Gibson Brothers, produced by Eric & Leigh Gibson and Mike Barber, Compass Records.

GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Donald’s pick:

“Row by Row,” Balsam Range, written by Ashleigh Caudill, produced by Balsam Range, Mountain Home

Larry’s pick:

“Beulah Land,” Marty Raybon, written by Squire Parsons, produced by Marty Raybon, Rural Rhythm – LS

Other nominees:

“Home on the River,” The Gibson Brothers, written by Austin Taylor, produced by Eric & Leigh Gibson and Mike Barber, Compass Records
“Say Hello to Heaven,” Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, written by Lewis N. Hyatt, produced by Doyle Lawson, Mountain Home
“When He Beckons Me Home,” Darin & Brooke Aldridge, written by George Shuffler, produced by Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Mountain Home

INSTRUMENTAL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Donald’s pick:

“New Jerusalem,” Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, written by Ricky Skaggs, produced by Ricky Skaggs, Skaggs Family Records

Larry’s pick:

“Foggy Mountain Rock,” Tom Adams, Ron Block, J.D. Crowe, Charlie Cushman, Kenny Ingram, Jim Mills, Joe Mullins, Larry Perkins, Craig Smith, Ron Stewart, David Talbot & Tony Trischka, written by Louise Certain & Gladys Stacey, produced by Tim Austin, Rounder Records

Other nominations:

“By the Waters of the Clinch,” Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, written by Doyle Lawson, produced by Doyle Lawson, Mountain Home
“Newton’s Grove,” Audie Blaylock & Redline, written by Richard Underwood, produced by Audie Blaylock, Rural Rhythm
“NoraBelle,” Darrell Webb Band, written by Darrell Webb, Rural Rhythm
“Pilgrim’s Knob,” Alan Bibey & Wayne Benson, written by Bill Monroe, produced by Alan Bibey & Wayne Benson, Pinecastle

RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR

Aaron’s pick:

“Golden Ring,” Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out with Sonya Isaacs, produced by Barry Bales, Cracker Barrel

Donald’s pick:

“On the Edge of Letting Go,” Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen with Tim O’Brien and Rob Ickes, produced by Frank Solivan & Brent Truitt, Compass Records

Larry’s pick:

“Another Night,” Alan Bibey, Wayne Benson and Russell Moore, produced by Alan Bibey & Wayne Benson, Pinecastle – LS

Other nominations:

“This Old Guitar and Me,” Grasstowne with Ronnie Bowman, produced by Ronnie Bowman & Grasstowne, Mountain Fever Records
“What’ll I Do;” Terry Baucom with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Wyatt Rice, Steve Bryant & Buddy Melton; produced by Terry Baucom, Cindy Baucom and Ed Lowe; John Boy & Billy label

EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Aaron and Larry’s pick:

Flatt Lonesome

Donald’s pick:

The Darrell Webb Band

Other nominations:

Della Mae
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
The Spinney Brothers

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2 thoughts on “LRR’s picks for the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Awards

  1. Pingback: “The Old School” by Peter Rowan | The Lonesome Road Review

  2. Pingback: IBMA Awards 2013, Part 7 | Fervor Coulee- roots music opinion

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