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SPBGMA Awards Highlight the Best in Bluegrass Music

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SPBGMA LogoThe 42nd Annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) Bluegrass Music Awards took place during the society's 32nd National Convention February 7, 2016 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. The awards show is always the highlight of the annual event and bluegrass music's biggest stars were there participating in performances as well as collecting their respective trophies. The trophies have been awarded, the celebrations have begun and everybody is getting ready to make more great bluegrass music in 2016.

The Farm Hands captured four awards during the evening taking home the Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year and Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year trophies. This group has become a popular favorite at SPBGMA and deservidly so. Farm Hands' own Daryl Mosley was also awarded Songwriter of the Year honors. Tim Graves received Dobro Player of the Year making this one outstanding evening for this group.

The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) inducted “Bluegrass Music’s Youngest Old Timer,” Ronnie Reno, into the Preservation Hall of Greats. Reno’s name will be added to an incredible list of Bluegrass legends and seminal performers who have been inducted since 1984, beginning with Bill Monroe and including such notables as Hylo Brown, Mac Wiseman, Larry Sparks, Jim & Jesse McReynolds, The Osborne Brothers, Doc Watson, Carl Story, Rhonda Vincent, Flatt & Scruggs and Bill Harrell. Reno’s name will also join his father’s, Don Reno, who was inducted into the Preservation Hall of Greats in 1985 along with Red Smiley.

“I am so incredibly humbled to be listed among artists who have inspired me throughout my entire career. While I’ve known a lot of them personally, I have also studied their licks, admired their music and respected their craftsmanship to the point that I’ve dedicated a great deal of my career getting their performances archived on film and in audio files so that others can benefit from their work,” said Reno. “To find myself listed among them is just mind-blowing! I just don’t even know what to say.”

The awards for Male Vocalist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year were presented to two of bluegrass music's favorites being Russell Moore and Rhonda Vincent respectively. Both of these outstanding vocalists and artists have garnered these trophies before and, like in previous awards, they are well deserved. The fans appreciate these artists over the long term. Rhonda also was awarded the coveted Entertainer of the Year!

Bluegrass Band of the Year and Bluerass Album of the Year honors were awarded to Flatt Lonesome. This group is also a national favorite with their works in the tops of the charts and a draw to festival goers everywhere.

SPBGMA serves to preserve the traditional spirit and art form of Bluegrass music. The organization also offers a management service for any community desiring to hold a Bluegrass festival and/or to organize and conduct Bluegrass Band competitions. In all SPBGMA sponsored events, instruments must be traditional acoustic instruments, no electrified instruments permitted. SPBGMA encourages professionalism in appearance and showmanship by the performers at SPBGMA events as well as encouraging the support of various Bluegrass publications and associations.

This event is always a favorite and includes the Showcase of Bands, Workshops, opportunities for promoters and talent buyers to view new and existing artists to see what's new. There are trade exhibits, record companies and more available for the artists and the fans. Of course, this is also an exciting time in bluegrass music where the fans and their favorite artists get to mingle and socialize as well. It is definitely and friendly, up close and personal experience for all involved.

Listed by Category, Here are the 2016 SPBGMA Award Winners:

  1. Bluegrass Promoter of the Year
    • D.A. Callaway
  2. Bluegrass Radio Station of the Year
    • Sirius XM 61-Bluegrass Junction
  3. Bluegrass DJ of the Year
    • Kyle Cantrell-Sirius XM 61
  4. Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year
    • Daryl Mosley
  5. Bluegrass Album of the Year
    • Runaway Train – Flatt Lonesome on Mountain Home Music Company
  6. Bass Fiddle Performer of the Year
    • Mickey Harris
  7. Dobro Performer of the Year
    • Tim Graves
  8. Guitar Performer of the Year
    • Josh Williams
  9. Mandolin Performer of the Year
    • Danny Roberts
  10. Banjo Performer of the Year
    • Kenny Ingram
  11. Fiddle Performer of the Year
    • Michael Cleveland
  12. Female Vocalist of the Year (Overall)
    • Rhonda Vincent
  13. Male Vocalist of the Year (Overall)
    • Russell Moore
  14. Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year
    • The Farm Hands
  15. Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year
    • The Farm Hands
  16. Bluegrass Instrumental Group of the Year
    • Rhonda Vincent & the Rage
  17. Bluegrass Band of the Year (Overall)
    • Flatt Lonesome
  18. Entertainer(s) of the Year
    • Rhonda Vincent
  19. Song of the Year
    • "The Last Parade" by Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers on Rebel Records

Congratulations to all the nominees and our gratitude for all the fine bluegrass music during the past year.

SPBGMA also hosts the International Band Championships during their National Convention. Bands compete for their share of $10,000 in prizes for placing in the top ten. This year's winners are:

  1. Bluegrass Outlaws
  2. The Turkey Creek Band
  3. Clay Bank
  4. The New Balance
  5. Bluff City
  6. Spring Fever Bluegrass Band
  7. Iron Mountain Boys
  8. The Baker Family
  9. Tennessee Tradition
  10. Amanda Cook & Kennesaw Ridge

Again, Cybergrass congragulates all of those who took home awards and trophies from this year's event.

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