FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOUISVILLE, Ky.- The Del McCoury Band and the live concert recording Down >From the Mountain, featuring artists from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, were multiple winners at the 13th Annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards, held Oct. 17 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville, Ky.
McCoury and his band members collectively took home three awards, including a first-time win for Song of the Year, for their recording of the Richard Thompson-penned "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." They also walked away with their sixth award for Entertainer of the Year, an award the band had earned five years in a row prior to last year's loss to Rhonda Vincent & The Rage. Dan Tyminski, a member of Alison Krauss + Union Station and O Brother's "man of constant sorrow," earned his second nod for Male Vocalist of the Year. Rhonda Vincent took Female Vocalist of the Year honors for the third consecutive year.
Album of the Year winner Down From the Mountain, recorded live at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, was produced by T Bone Burnett (for Mercury/Lost Highway Records) and features performances by the Fairfield Four, John Hartford, Alison Krauss + Union Station, Tyminski, The Cox Family, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, The Whites, Chris Thomas King with Colin Linden, and Emmylou Harris. The original concert featured as host the unique and charming Hartford, who passed away only months after making the recording. The success of the album spawned a national Down >From the Mountain tour (produced by Immortal Entertainment) which was named Bluegrass Event of the Year.
It was a year that saw a fairly even distribution of awards, as opposed to a handful of artists dominating in multiple categories. As IBMA Executive Director Dan Hays noted, "This year's list of recipients emphasizes the fact that there's a wide spectrum of remarkable talents across the board who deserve the recognition and are making great music. The winners are an outstanding and diverse bunch, reflecting everything from pure mountain and old-time music traditions to more progressive and contemporary styles of bluegrass. No single act or album dominated the evening, and those crystal trophies went home with a lot of different folks."
Ralph Stanley & Friends picked up a win for Recorded Event of the Year for Clinch Mountain Sweethearts, the follow-up to Clinch Mountain Country, winner in the same category in 1999. Produced by Bil VornDick, Stanley's collaborators on the Rebel Records release were: Iris DeMent, Pam Tillis, Patty Mitchell, Gillian Welch, Dolly Parton, Maria Muldaur, Sara Evans, Joan Baez, Kristi Stanley, Gail Davies, Chely Wright, Melba Montgomery, Jeannie Seely, Lucinda Williams and Valerie Smith. It was also the second year in a row that the Recorded Event award has gone to an album focusing on women in bluegrass.
Instrumental Album of the Year went to Flame Keeper by Michael Cleveland, who also won for Fiddle Player of the Year. A member of Dale Ann Bradley's band, Cleveland co-produced his Rounder Records release with Jeff White. Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year went to The Journey, by Mountain Heart, who took home the award for Emerging Artist of the Year in 1999. The album was produced by Tim Austin and Mountain Heart and released by Doobie Shea Records.
The Chapmans were awarded the Emerging Artist of the Year honor. Vocal Group of the Year went to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver for the second year in a row. Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder reclaimed the Instrumental Group of the Year award, making it their fourth win in the category, after losing out last year to popular up-and-comers, Nickel Creek. Adam Steffey, a member of Mountain Heart and former member of Alison Krauss + Union Station, took home his first award for Mandolin Player of the Year. Tom Adams, who also plays with Dale Ann Bradley, received his first award in the Banjo Player of the Year category, beating out Jim Mills, who had won in the category for the previous three years.
Other Instrumental Performer winners were: Mike Bub of the Del McCoury Band (bass), his third individual win in the category; Jerry Douglas (Dobro), who currently plays with Alison Krauss + Union Station, his eighth IBMA award in the category; and Jim Hurst (guitar), duo partner of Missy Raines, his second consecutive win.
The 2002 IBMA's Bluegrass Hall of Honor inductees were groundbreaking artists The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover and respected record company executive David Freeman. In 1952, The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover began an 18-year partnership after relocating to Boston at fiddler Tex Logan's invitation. Through their performances and influence on others they became pioneers in introducing professionally performed southern Appalachian music to the Upper Northeast region of the U.S. David Freeman is highly respected internationally as a historian, collector and businessman. As owner of the prestigious Rebel Records and County Records, Freeman has been involved in recording and developing the careers of artists such as Kenny Baker, Ralph Stanley, Charlie Waller, Lonesome River Band, IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Highway, Rhonda Vincent, The Whites, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, and countless others, many of whom had their first significant recordings on Rebel or County.
Terry Herd of Bluegrass Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio was recognized as Broadcast Personality of the Year for the second time (first win was in 1998). Print Media Personality of the Year went to Dave Royko, a writer for the Chicago Tribune and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. The Best Liner Notes award was won by Bruce Winkworth, for Newport Folk Festival: Best of Bluegrass 1959-66, on Vanguard Records. The Wayfaring Strangers' Shifting Sands of Time (Rounder Records) took home the Best Graphic Design distinction for package designer Shawn Levesque.
A complete list of winners follows.
THE INTERNATIONAL BLUEGRASS MUSIC AWARDS 2002 RECIPIENTS:
- ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
The Del McCoury Band
- MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
- VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
- INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
- SONG OF THE YEAR
"1952 Vincent Black Lightning"
The Del McCoury Band (artists)
Richard Thompson (writer)
- ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Down From the Mountain
Featuring Fairfield Four, John Hartford, Alison Krauss + Union Station, Dan Tyminski, The Cox Family, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, The Whites, Chris Thomas King with Colin Linden, and Emmylou Harris (artists)
T Bone Burnett (producer), on Lost Highway Records
- INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Michael Cleveland (artist), Mike Cleveland and Jeff White (producers), on Rounder Records.
- RECORDED EVENT OF THE YEAR
Clinch Mountain Sweethearts; Ralph Stanley & Friends, Iris DeMent, Pam Tillis, Patty Mitchell, Gillian Welch, Dolly Parton, Maria Muldaur, Sara Evans, Joan Baez, Kristi Stanley, Gail Davies, Chely Wright, Melba Montgomery, Jeannie Seely, Lucinda Williams and Valerie Smith (artists)
Bil VornDick (producer), on Rebel Records.
- GOSPEL RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
The Journey, Mountain Heart (artists), Tim Austin and Mountain Heart (producers), on Doobie Shea Records.
- EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
- INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS OF THE YEAR
- BANJO PLAYER
- BASS PLAYER
- DOBRO PLAYER
- FIDDLE PLAYER
- GUITAR PLAYER
- MANDOLIN PLAYER
- HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES
The Lilly Brothers
- IBMA DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
The Lewis Family
- BROADCAST PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Terry Herd, Bluegrass Radio Network/Sirius Satellite Radio
- BLUEGRASS EVENT OF THE YEAR
The Down From The Mountain Tour, produced by Immortal Entertainment
- PRINT MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
David Royko, Chicago Tribune/Bluegrass Unlimited
- BEST LINER NOTES FOR RECORDED PROJECT
Bruce Winkworth (writer), Newport Folk Festival: Best of Bluegrass 1959-66, Various Artists, Vanguard Records
- BEST GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR RECORDED PROJECT
Shawn Levesque (designer), Shifting Sands of Time, The Wayfaring Strangers (artists), Rounder Records