At last year’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, Balsam Range scored big in the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, taking home album of the year. And the Heywood County quintet will be a major presence at the 2014 awards, too. In nominations announced Wednesday evening, Balsam Range led the North Carolina contingent with four nominations: for entertainer, vocal group and instrumental group of the year, plus fiddler/singer Buddy Melton in the male-vocalist category.
Other North Carolina-related IBMA nominations include:
Darin and Brooke Aldridge, a husband-and-wife duo from Cherryville, was nominated for gospel recorded performance with “Love Does,” a track from their album “Flying.”
Town Mountain of Asheville scored a nomination for emerging artist of the year – an award that Brevard’s Steep Canyon Rangers won nearly a decade ago. Meanwhile, Steep Canyon Rangers are nominated this year, too, for instrumental recorded performance.
Jens Kruger, winner of the 2013 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music, is up for banjo instrumental performer. His North Wilkesboro-based trio Kruger Brothers will also debut a new concerto titled “Lucid Dreamer” during this year’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh.
Fresh off winning a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award back in May, Marshall’s Bobby Hicks will contend for fiddle instrumental performer of the year.
Overall, Tennessee group The Boxcars led the field with 10 group and individual nominations. The Boxcars record for Mountain Home/Crossroads Music, an Arden-based label group whose acts – including Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Grascals, Flatt Lonesome and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver – picked up a dozen and a half nominations.