International Bluegrass Music Awards nominees announced

Bluegrass is an exciting and durable music that attracts lifelong fans and generates successful careers which often last for decades. This year's IBMA nominations recognize veterans and prior recipients along with a strong list of newcomers.

Included on the list for bluegrass music's Entertainer of the Year award are The Grascals (the reigning recipients), along with Cherryholmes, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Del McCoury Band and Rhonda Vincent & the Rage.

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage garner 11 separate IBMA award nominations, with nods for Entertainer, Vocal Group, Female Vocalist, Song of the Year for "All American Bluegrass Girl" and Album of the Year for the project by the same name on the Rounder label.  Band member Hunter Berry received a nomination for Fiddle Player of the Year; and his debut release, Wow Baby is nominated for both Instrumental Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year.  Mickey Harris was nominated for Bass Player of the Year, and both Vincent and Kenny Ingram are in the running for Recorded Event of the Year for their work on New Songs, Old Friends by Jerry Salley and Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular by Tony Trischka, respectively.  

The six-time recipients of IBMA's Vocal Group of the Year, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, are nominated for this award again, along with Entertainer of the Year, Song of the Year for "Sadie's Got Her New Dress On" written by Connie Leigh, Album of the Year for More Behind the Picture than the Wall on Rounder Records, two nominations for Gospel Recorded Event (for songs "We Shall Inherit" and "He Lives in Me") and Mandolin Player of the Year (Lawson). Guitarist/vocalist Jamie Dailey and Lawson will vie separately for Recorded Event of the Year, for their contributions to Jerry Salley's and Hunter Berry's albums respectively--bringing the band to a total of nine nominations.  

Multiple award winners Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, The Del McCoury Band and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder each received seven nominations each.

In addition to Entertainer, Instrumental Group and Gospel Recorded Event of the Year, individual members of The Del McCoury Band were nominated for Mandolin Player (Ronnie McCoury) and Recorded Event--the latter for Jason Carter's and Del McCoury's work on the Hunter Berry and Jerry Salley projects. The McCoury Music label also racked up a nomination for Album of the Year for Larry Sparks' new CD, The Last Suit You Wear, produced by Sparks and Don Rigsby. 

The world-renowned Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas picked up nominations for Entertainer, Vocal Group, Female Vocalist and Instrumental Group.  Barry Bales is up for Bass Player, and the legendary Jerry Douglas is nominated for Dobro Player of the Year.  Vocalist/guitarist Dan Tyminski was also included in the Recorded Event of the Year category for his contributions to Wow Baby, by Hunter Berry.

One of bluegrass music's favorite ambassadors, Ricky Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder are nominated for Instrumental Group of the Year--an award they have taken home eight times since 1998, and their appropriately named CD, Instrumentals, on the Skaggs Family label, is up for Instrumental Recording of the Year.  Skaggs is included on the list of finalists for Recorded Event for his collaboration with Bruce Hornsby on their chart topping self-titled project on Legacy Records, while band member Darrin Vincent is featured among the guests on Hunter Berry's Wow Baby (Upper Mgt. Music).   Darrin is also recognized in the Album of the Year field, for producing his sister Rhonda's All American Bluegrass Girl for Rounder Records.  Smilin' Jim Mills received a nod for Banjo Player of the Year, an award he has walked away with six times since 1999. 

Notable for their first time in a category or for their re-emergence after a few year's absence are The Infamous Stringdusters (Song, Album, Emerging Artist); Bradley Walker (Male Vocalist and Emerging Artist); Tony Trischka (Recorded Event, Instrumental Album, Banjo Player); J.D. Crowe & The New South (Album, Song); Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper featuring Audie Blaylock (Instrumental Group); The Isaacs (Vocal Group); Vassar Clements (Recorded Event); Jerry Salley (Recorded Event); Bruce Hornsby (Recorded Event); Hunter Berry (Recorded Event, Instrumental Album); Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (Instrumental Album); Jim VanCleve (Instrumental Album, Fiddle); The Grascals (Gospel Recorded Performance); Del McCoury Band (Gospel Recorded Performance); Mark Johnson & Emory Lester (Instrumental Album); Kenny & Amanda Smith (Gospel Recorded Event); Cadillac Sky (Emerging Artist); Cia Cherryholmes (Banjo); Mickey Harris (Bass) and Chris Thile (Mandolin).

The two inductees to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame for 2007 are Howard Watts (also known as "Cedric Rainwater,") the bass player in the classic version of Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys, and Carl Story, often billed as the "Father of Bluegrass Gospel Music." 

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, will go to: resophonic guitar stylist Mike Auldridge; the California Bluegrass Association's publication, The Bluegrass Breakdown; Czech bluegrass pioneer Marko Cermak; California event producer and philanthropist Warren Hellman and Happy & Jane Traum of Homespun Tapes.

Fans can join the nominees to be the first to see who receives the awards at bluegrass music's biggest night of the year, October 4, at the Grand Ole Opry House.  Tickets are available to the public through the Grand Ole Opry House box office (1-800-733-6779) and all Ticketmaster outlets.

The show will be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio ("Bluegrass Junction" Channel 14) and syndicated to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks, thanks to the sponsorship of Martha White, MerleFest, GAC-TV, GHS Strings and Deering Banjos.  Program directors and station managers may contact Jill Crabtree for affiliate information at (615) 256-3222 or  

The awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), which serves as the trade association for the bluegrass music industry.  The IBMA Award Show is the centerpiece of the World of Bluegrass week, which also includes the industry's Business Conference and Bluegrass Fan Fest, slated for October 1 - 7, in Nashville. 

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