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Earls of Leicester, Balsam Range Lead 2017 Bluegrass Award Nominations

Powerhouse bluegrass groups earned eight nominations apiece for upcoming IBMA Awards, celebrating the best of bluegrass music

The Earls of Leicester

The Earls of Leicester earned eight nominations at the IBMAs.

John Shearer/Getty for CMHOF

With eight nominations each, bluegrass groups Earls of Leicester and Balsam Range lead the pack of nominees for the 2017 International Bluegrass Music (IBMA) Awards, announced this morning at a Nashville press conference. Also revealed were the three acts to become the latest inductees into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame: influential duo Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, fiddle master Bobby Hicks, and legendary musician Roland White. The annual International Bluegrass Music Awards show is set for Thursday, September 28th, at the Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. See a list of the nominees below.

North Carolina’s Balsam Range, already recipients of numerous IBMA honors, earned group nods for Entertainer, Vocal Group, Instrumental Group, Song, Album and Gospel Performance of the Year, and individual nominations for members Buddy Melton (Male Vocalist of the Year) and Tim Surrett (Bass Player of the Year). Bluegrass supergroup Earls of Leicester scored five group nominations (Entertainer, Instrumental Group, Song, Album and Instrumental Recorded Performance). Members Shawn Camp, Jerry Douglas and Barry Bales are up for Male Vocalist, Dobro Player and Bass Player of the Year, respectively. Also significant this year, performer Molly Tuttle, who is nominated for Emerging Artist and Female Vocalist, becomes the first woman ever nominated for Guitar Player of the Year.

The IBMA Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the IBMA, the bluegrass music industry’s worldwide trade organization. The star-studded ceremony anchors the annual IBMA World of Bluegrass week in Raleigh. The awards show will be broadcast live on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction channel and streamed via Facebook Live.

Here’s a list of the 2017 IBMA Awards nominees (a complete list of nominees and Distinguished Achievement Award recipients is available at www.ibma.org):

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Balsam Range
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The Earls of Leicester
Flatt Lonesome
The Gibson Brothers

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Balsam Range
Blue Highway
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Flatt Lonesome
The Gibson Brothers

INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Balsam Range
The Earls of Leicester
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
Punch Brothers

SONG OF THE YEAR
“Blue Collar Dreams,” Balsam Range (artist), Aaron Bibelhauser (writer)
“Going Back to Bristol,” Shawn Camp (artist), Mac Wiseman/Thomm Jutz/Peter Cooper (writers)
“I Am a Drifter,” Volume Five (artist), Donna Ulisse/Marc Rossi (writers)
“Someday Soon,” Darin & Brooke Aldridge (artist), Ian Tyson (writer)
“The Train That Carried My Girl from Town,” The Earls of Leicester (artist), Frank Hutchison (writer)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Fiddler’s Dream,Michael Cleveland
In the GroundThe Gibson Brothers
Mountain Voodoo, Balsam Range
Original, Bobby Osborne
Rattle & Roar, The Earls of Leicester

GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
“Give Me Jesus,” Larry Cordle
“Hallelujah,” Blue Highway
“I Found a Church Today,” The Gibson Brothers
“Sacred Memories,” Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers with Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White Skaggs
“Wish You Were Here,” Balsam Range

INSTRUMENTAL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
“Fiddler’s Dream,” Michael Cleveland
“Great Waterton,” Kristin Scott Benson
“Greenbrier,” Sam Bush
“Little Liza Jane,” Adam Steffey
“Flint Hill Special,” The Earls of Leicester

EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Front Country
The Lonely Heartstring Band
Molly Tuttle
Sister Sadie
Volume Five

RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR
“East Virginia Blues,” Ricky Wasson and Dan Tyminski
“Going Back to Bristol,” Shawn Camp with Mac Wiseman, Peter Cooper, Thomm Jutz
“I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” Bobby Osborne with Sierra Hull, Alison Brown, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Trey Hensley, Todd Phillips, Kenny Malone, Claire Lynch and Bryan McDowell
“Steamboat Whistle Blues,” Michael Cleveland featuring Sam Bush
“‘Tis Sweet to Be Remembered,” Mac Wiseman and Alison Krauss

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Shawn Camp
Eric Gibson
Leigh Gibson
Buddy Melton
Russell Moore

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Brooke Aldridge
Dale Ann Bradley
Sierra Hull
Amanda Smith
Molly Tuttle

INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard
Bobby Hicks
Roland White

In This Article: Jerry Douglas

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