Sign up for newsletter

Banjo player Shelor receives Steve Martin Prize

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 – Banjoist Sammy Shelor of the Lonesome River Band won the second annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.

Shelor will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 plus a bronze sculpture created expressly for the prize by Eric Fischl.

The Scruggs-styled player is has been honored four times by the International Bluegrass Music Association as Banjo Player of the Year.

The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass was created to bring recognition to an individual or group for outstanding accomplishment in the field of five-string banjo or bluegrass music. The prize is awarded to a person or group who has given us a fresh appreciation of this music, either through artistry, composition, innovation or preservation. The winner should be professional or semi-professional, should be currently active in their careers and deserving of a wider audience.

The award is determined through a private process by a board consisting of Scruggs, Pete Wernick, Tony Trischka, Anne Stringfield, Alison Brown, Neil V. Rosenberg, Béla Fleck and Martin. The award is funded personally by the Steve Martin Charitable Foundation.

Shelor and the Lonesome River Band will perform with Steve Martin on "Late Show With David Letterman" on Thursday, Nov. 3.

CD reviews for Sammy Shelor

Leading Roll
Sammy Shelor is one of the best of the current crop of young bluegrass banjo players. He has won a number of awards, both individually and as a member of The Lonesome River Band. He is joined here by an collection of acoustic music's best, Tony Rice, Dan Tyminski, Jerry Douglas, Randy Howard, as well as LRB mates, Kenny Smith and Ronnie Bowman. This album is a winner. Songs like the hard-driving, "Pretty Little Girl," and "North Carolina Breakdown" showcase Shelor's impeccable sense of timing, drive and clarity. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Cantrell continues to satisfy – Laura Cantrell may never be a country star. Not at this stage of her career when she's 50, touring here and there and releasing new music every few years or so. But five albums in, Cantrell continues as a warm, enjoyable and worthy purveyor of her brand of country. That would mean going towards a more traditional side, not rushing the songs... »»»
Concert Review: Not only is Turner traditional, he's popular – Every time Josh Turner reached for some of those wonderful subterranean low notes, which he often pulled out during his enjoyable night show, it was like a superhero applying a superpower. He didn't need this extra advantage to please his audience; he has so many quality songs stockpiled in his catalogue already doing the job.... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»