The International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for 2012 were handed out at the Ryman in Nashville September 27. Hosts were Laurie Lewis and Del McCoury. A bit of a changing of the guard in some places with many favorites still holding on for another year.
The evening's biggest award went to The Gibson Brothers as Entertainers of the Year. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice were the evening's other big winners, taking away both Song of the Year for Far Cry from Lester and Earl, a Tim Massey, Rick Purdue, and Sisk song, as well as album of the year for "The Heart of the Song." Blue Highway were finally recognized for their vocal talents as Vocal Group of the Year.
Dale Ann Bradley was awarded her fifth Female Vocalist of the Year award while Russell Moore was Male Vocalist, also for the fifth time. Somewhat ironically, bluegrass veteran Joe Mullins and his Radio Ramblers were named Emerging Artists of the Year.
For me, the evening's most troubling award was the naming of Doc Watson as Guitar Player of the Year. Now, I love and admire Doc like nobody's business. I even hoped he would win. But, in light of his win I started thinking, always a dangerous thing. Giving Doc the award was a nice touch, but as pointless as electing Hazel Dickens to the Hall of Fame after her death (which still hasn't happened, by the way.) I'm glad he won, but wouldn't it have been better to give him the flowers while he was living, something the IBMA never did within this award category?
I think giving Doc Watson the guitar player of the year award was a heartfelt expression of appreciation by the professional members of the IBMA for the man on the occasion of his passing this past spring. I just feel, very strongly, that we should honor those we love, those we respect, and those we admire and appreciate while they are with us. You may recall I got a bit active a few years back trying to get Hazel Dickens admitted to the IBMA Hall of Fame. You may have noticed I haven't done so of late. I'm not sure it really matters now that she has passed. For whom would we be electing her to the Hall? I think we would be doing it to make 'Us' feel better as much as to honor her very significant contributions to the music.
Don't be saying I don't appreciate Doc Watson. Or Hazel Dickens.
Other award winners were:
Instrumental Performers of the Year:Dobro- Rob Ickes, Fiddle- Stuart Duncan, Banjo- Sammy Shelor, Mandolin- Adam Steffey, Bass- Marshall Wilborn
Instrumental Recording of the Year- Angeline the Baker Lonesome River Band
Instrumental Group of the Year- The Boxcars
Recorded Event of the Year- Life Goes On
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year- Sing as We Rise The Gibson Brothers
I blogged about the awards as they were presented over at FervorCoulee.Wordpress.com, if you're interested.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee Bluegrass. Donald