On the Beat

N.C.’s Balsam Range up for 8 IBMA awards

Reigning IBMA entertainers of the year Balsam Range scored big again in nominations for this year’s International Bluegrass Music Awards, announced Wednesday.

The Haywood County quintet, which won three awards in 2014, is nominated in eight group and individual categories, including entertainer, vocal group, song, gospel and instrumental recorded performances of the year. The awards will be presented Oct. 1 during the IBMA convention and World of Bluegrass festival in Raleigh.

Brevard’s Steep Canyon Rangers were nominated for recorded event of the year, with singer Edie Brickell for their 2015 single “Test of Time.” Rangers singer/guitarist Woody Platt is also up for a Momentum Award in the mentor category – given to “a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry.”

Asheville native Bryan Sutton is up for guitarist of the year, and two of the nominees for emerging artist of the year are based in North Carolina – Mountain Faith from Sylva and Snyder Family Band from Lexington. Mountain Faith’s Summer McMahan is also up for an individual Momentum Award in the vocalist category.

Mountain Home Music Company, the Arden-based label, also scored a bushel of nominations with Balsam Range and other acts. Mountain Home artists account for three out of five nominations for gospel recorded performance, and two instrumental-recorded-performance nominations.

Also of note, frequent Steep Canyon Rangers collaborator Steve Martin will receive an IBMA distinguished achievement award. That will be presented at a luncheon on Oct. 1, with the rest of the awards presented in ceremonies that evening. No word yet on whether or not that means Martin will be there to get his award in-person, or appear elsewhere in Raleigh that week.

The complete list of award nominees is at ibma.org.

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