Reigning Entertainers of the Year, The Gibson Brothers, held onto their crown as they captured the coveted top award again. The Gibson Brothers went into the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) annual Awards Show with eight award nominations.
Speaking after the nomination process Eric Gibson said, "We are honored and humbled by the nominations we have received. Thank you to the IBMA voters for this incredible honor and congratulations to all of the nominees.” Individually and as an ensemble, members of the Gibson Brothers received nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group, Album of the Year for their new project They Called It Music, Song of the Year for “They Called It Music,” and Gospel Recorded Event for “Home on the River.” Eric Gibson was also nominated in the Bluegrass Songwriter category along with Louisa Branscomb. Gibson Brothers mandolinist Jesse Brock also earned a nomination for Mandolin Player of the Year.
The band managed to capture the top award, Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Song of the Year for "They Called It Music." Earlier, in the special awards, Eric Gibson was awarded the Songwriter of the Year award during a special luncheon.
Junior Sisk captured the Male Vocalist of the Year and was surprised beyond belief. His nomination was with the finest and his traditional sound won out again. This was a well deserved award and there is no doubt that he spent years getting here. Junior Sisk is one fine vocalist.
Claire Lynch captured another Female Vocalist of the Year award. She has earned this award before and this newest trophy is a testiment to her long time quality as a vocalist and a bluegrass performer.
One of the early highlights of the awards show was the recognition of the IBMA's Youth Council by Andrew Rigney. With an early start by Pete Wernick, the youth emphasis by the IBMA has been an important aspect of the association and the ability to bring the youth into the bluegrass fold is an important one. The youth performance was full of talent centered around the 14 year age group and was a refreshing glimpse into the future of the music.
Every year, the awards hold a handful of surprises and this year was no exception. One of the first in the program was Della Mae as Emerging Artist of the Year! This was a wonderful surprise as it shows that the voting professional membership is starting to embrace a wider domain of "what is bluegrass anyway?" This exciting band came onto the scene in a rush and has stayed hot ever since.
Hall of Honor Inductions
The first induction was for fiddler Paul Warren. Regarding inductee Paul Warren, music historian/musician Eddie Stubbs said, “I think it’s important to recognize that Paul is being honored by the IBMA for his bluegrass contributions as a musician and bass vocalist, but his role with the fiddle went beyond bluegrass. The majority of his career occurred when the lines of country and bluegrass weren't really as rigid. After rock and roll emerged in the middle 1950s, the fiddle went on life-support, and has really been there ever since. There were only a handful of bands that consistently kept a fiddle on board. The instrument became a luxury and not a necessity--even in bluegrass. Because of Paul's visibility with Flatt & Scruggs, and later Lester by himself, the instrument remained present to a wider audience that was not exclusively bluegrass from the late 1950s through Paul's retirement in 1977.”
Later in the program, Guitar Legend Tony Rice's induction took place. Tony took to the podium in an extremely emotional talk about himself, the music and the loss of his voice. Known as much for his gorgeously warm, expressive vocals as for his guitar virtuosity, Rice sadly lost his voice to a condition called muscle tension dysphonia. During the emotional appearance by Tony, he showed the world that his voice will come back and his nearly 20 year longing for the day. He has missed his voice as it took part of his gift of music away. He is determined to see it return.
Alison Krauss is currently also experiencing issues with her voice and was recently diagnosed with a vocal condition called dysphonia. This has forced her to bow out of a scheduled epic performance during the World Wide Bluegrass Festival which which will include a superstar lineup of Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Béla Fleck, Del McCoury, Tony Rice and Mark Schatz.
The awards show was webcast on LiveStream by Music City Roots with a mirror on BluegrassNation.org. For the most part, this innaugural webcast went very well however, there were scattered reception problems. The program was watched by upwards of 3,000 viewers at the peak before problems began.
The final tally for the evenings awards are:
2013 INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS MUSIC AWARDS
Hall of Fame Inductees
Congratulations to all the nominees, award winners and to everybody who makes bluegrass music so popular around the globe.