City officials and residents gathered at three viewing parties Wednesday evening to watch as nominees were announced for the International Bluegrass Music Awards next month.
The city will be the center of the bluegrass universe Sept. 24-28, with events including the awards show at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, the IBMA Business Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center and Wide Open Bluegrass concerts at the convention center stage and the Red Hat Amphitheater.
Nominees were announced in numerous categories, live from Nashville. Jim Lauderdale, the North Carolina native and singer-songwriter, hosted the nominations with mandolin master Sam Bush.
Top nominees: The Gibson Brothers received the most nominations with eight, including Entertainer of the Year. They were followed by North Carolina’s Balsam Range with seven, including Entertainer of the Year and both Song of the Year and Album of the Year for “Papertown.” The song is about Canton, N.C. Other Entertainer of the Year nominees are Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent and The Del McCoury Band. Female vocalist nominees are Dale Ann Bradley, Sonya Isaacs, Claire Lynch, Amanda Smith and Rhonda Vincent. Male vocalist nominees are Jamie Dailey, Russell Moore, Tim O’Brien, Marty Raybon and Junior Sisk.
N.C. connections: Other nominees with Tar Heel ties include Raleigh’s Joe Newberry in the Song of the Year category for “They Called It Music,” Marshall’s Bobby Hicks for Fiddler of the Year, the Triangle’s Jim Mills for Instrumental Recorded Performance for “Foggy Mountain Rock,” Terry and Cindy Baucom of Elkin for “What’ll I Do” in the Record Event of the Year category, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival on Roanoke Island in the New Festival or Venue category, and the 2013 Bluegrass First Class in Asheville in the Bluegrass Event of the Year category. Also, Charley Pennell, the bluegrass historian and cataloguer at N.C. State University, will receive a Distinguished Achievement Award.
The show: The awards show will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26. Tickets are still available at ibma.org.
Other events: The Wide Open Bluegrass concerts – including many of the nominated acts, plus Steve Martin, Steep Canyon Rangers, Edie Brickell and Alison Krauss – will be Sept. 27 and 28. Tickets are available at ibma.org.