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The Grascals take top bluegrass honor.

Thursday, September 28, 2006 – The Grascals took home the coveted Entertainer of the Year at the 17th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards held Sept. 28 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Last year, the band won Emerging Artist of the Year.

The event featured many repeat winners and several acts who took home two awards.

Winning in the Male Vocalist category was Tim O'Brien, who also took the honor in 1993. O'Brien was also recognized for Song of the Year with "Look Down That Lonesome Road," a cut from his "Fiddler's Green" disc.

Rhonda Vincent carried home the Female Vocalist award for a record seventh consecutive year.

For a sixth consecutive year, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver took Vocal Group of the Year. Lawson was another multiple winner of the evening, taking the Gospel Recorded Performance trophy for "He Lives In Me."

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder continued wearing the crown of Instrumental Group of the Year for the eighth consecutive year. Skaggs also won as a label chief. Skaggs Family Records released the Album of the Year winner, "Celebration of Life: Musicians Against Childhood Cancers." The disc featured a slew of performers including 3 Fox Drive, Lonesome River Band, Seldom Scene, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Cherryholmes, J.D. Crowe & The New South, BlueRidge, IIIrd Tyme Out, James King Band, Larry Cordle, Wayne Benson, Clay Hess, Greg Luck, Aubrey Haynie, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Tony Rice, Ronnie Bowman & The Committee, Larry Stephenson Band, Blue Highway, Gena Britt, Randy Kohrs & The Lites, Steve Thomas, Scott Vestal, David Parmley & Continental Divide, Karl Shiflett & the Big Country Show, Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, Wildfire, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Lost & Found, The Grascals, Alecia Nugent, Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Don Rigsby & Midnight Call, Bradley Walker, Dan Tyminski, Béla Fleck, Barry Bales, Joe Mullins, Bryan Sutton, Jim Van Cleve, Clay Jones & Keith Garrett. Bob Kelly, Jack Campitelli and Darrel Adkins produced the record.

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper were honored in the Instrumental Album of the Year for "Let ‘Er Go Boys." Cleveland also won the prize in 2004 for "Live At The Raged Edge." Cleveland also won Fiddle Player of the Year, a fourth trophy to add to his collection

The Steep Canyon Rangers took Emerging Artist of the Year, on the strength of their latest release, "One Dime At A Time."

Individual achievements were also recognized in the Instrumental Performer categories. Rob Ickes of Blue Highway was named Dobro Player of the Year for the eighth time. Jim Mills was named Banjo Player of the Year following his 2005 win in the same category, making it six times he has received the honor. Missy Raines, who tours with the Claire Lynch Band, once again, took home the Bass Player of the Year for the sixth time. Bryan Sutton took Guitar Player of the year for the fifth time as did Adam Steffey of Mountain Heart on mandolin.

The 2006 Hall of Honor inductees were the late Sydney Nathan and The Lewis Family. Both considered pioneers in their respective fields in bluegrass, record shop owner Sydney Nathan founded King Records in Cincinnati during November 1943 and would create one of the most significant repositories ad distributors of classic bluegrass recordings. The Lewis Family has played a highly significant role in popularizing the bluegrass gospel genre and bringing it to prominence since the all-family group's formation in 1951.

Marty Stuart hosted and performed at the show, which also featured a performance by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder with 20-piece orchestra, the Nashville String Machine, Vince Gill performing with Del McCoury, The Grascals with Steve Wariner, Cherryholmes, Claire Lynch, Curly Seckler with Larry Sparks, Blue Highway, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, 3 Fox Drive, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, U.S. Navy Band Country Current, and The Lewis Family and The Isaacs with Jeff and Sheri Easter. The 2005 Recipients for all Instrumental Performer categories also performed.

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The Grascals 2005 debut was surprisingly powerful, and Me and John and Paul continues to be their most singularly heartfelt recording. Which isn't to suggest that the sextet has failed to meet commercial and artistic standards with subsequent recordings. The Grascals have delivered high-quality songs and albums, at times appealingly frivolous, as on the joyously lighthearted e.p., "Dance Til Your Stocking are Hot and Ravelin'." As ably as few other bluegrass bands, The »»»