The 18th annual International Bluegrass Awards swept into the Grand Ole Opry house Thursday, October 4. The capstone of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass festival and conference October 1 through 7, the IBMA Awards attract and honor bluegrass’ finest. Mandolin virtuoso and BMI affiliate Sam Bush, who won his fourth Mandolin Player of the Year trophy, hosted the ceremony, while BMI presented the traditional pre-party backstage.
Fresh-faced newcomers the Infamous Stringdusters took home three awards including Song and Emerging Artist of the Year; the ‘dusters shared bragging rights with J.D. Crowe & New South, whose project Lefty’s Old Guitar tied the Infamous String Dusters’ Fork in the Road for Album of the Year.
Tony Trischka’s Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular took home two awards for both Recorded Event and Instrumental Album of the Year. The project featured contributions from legend Earl Scruggs, along with BMI affiliates Kenny Ingram, Tom Adams, Bela Fleck, Noam Pikelny, Alison Brown, Scott Vestal, Steve Martin and Bill Emerson. Trischka, who co-produced the album, also scored a win in the Instrumental Players of the Year category for the banjo.
BMI bluegrass luminaries Doyle Lawson & Quick Silver celebrated their seventh Vocal Group win and sixth Gospel Performance of the Year honor. Fellow BMI affiliate Rob Ickes took home his ninth Dobro Player of the Year award, officially making Ickes the most-awarded musician among all IBMA Instrumental Performer categories.
Dale Ann Bradley secured a Female Vocalist of the Year award. A favorite amongst fellow artists and fans, Bradley’s voice prompted Alison Krauss to praise her as “one of the most gifted vocalists bluegrass and country music has ever heard.”
Instrumental Players of the Year also included bassist Missy Raines, fiddler Michael Cleveland and guitarist Tony Rice; Cleveland, along with his band Flamekeeper featuring Audie Blaylock, also earned Instrumental Group of the Year honors.
Sirius Satellite Radio’s beloved DJ Chris Jones snagged the Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year award.
The Bluegrass Hall of Fame inducted the late Carl Story this year. Affectionately dubbed the “Father of Bluegrass Gospel Music,” Story pioneered the genre alongside bluegrass royalty like Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley.
Guitar stylist Mike Auldridge and Homespun Tapes’ Happy Traum will both receive Distinguished Achievement Awards. IBMA's Distinguished Achievement Award, an honor which recognizes individuals in the bluegrass music industry who have fostered the music's image with developments that broaden the genre's recognition and accessibility.
2007 BMI IBMA Award Winners
BLUEGRASS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper featuring Audie Blaylock
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Dale Ann Bradley
SONG OF THE YEAR
"Fork In The Road," The Infamous Stringdusters (artists), Chris Jones & John Pennell (songwriters)
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Lefty's Old Guitar, J.D. Crowe & The New South (artists), Rounder Records, J.D. Crowe & The New South (producers);
and Fork In The Road, The Infamous Stringdusters (artists), Sugar Hill Records, Tim Stafford & The Infamous Stringdusters (producers)
RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR
Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular; Tony Trischka with Earl Scruggs, Kenny Ingram, Tom Adams, Bela Fleck, Noam Pikelny, Alison Brown, Scott Vestal, Steve Martin & Bill Emerson (artists); Rounder Records; Tony Trischka, Bela Fleck (producers)
INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular; Tony Trischka (artist); Rounder Records; Tony Trischka, Bela Fleck & Ronnie Freeland (producers)
GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
"He Lives In Me," Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (artists), Horizon, Doyle Lawson (producer)
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Infamous Stringdusters
INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR
BANJO: Tony Trischka;
BASS: Missy Raines;
FIDDLE: Michael Cleveland;
DOBRO Rob Ickes;
GUITAR: Tony Rice;
MANDOLIN: Sam Bush
DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
BLUEGRASS BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR
Chris Jones, Sirius Satellite Radio