Nominations for the 34th Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards Announced

Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Del McCoury Band, and Michael Cleveland capture the most nominations for the 2023 IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards.

IBMA Announces 2023 Annual Inductees to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame 

Five Bluegrass Industry Innovators Announced as Recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award

Nashville, TN, July 19, 2023 – – Nominees for the 34th annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards were announced today in a live event at the SiriusXM studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The five nominees for “Entertainer of the Year” are Appalachian Road Show (first nomination), Billy Strings (reigning recipient), Del McCoury Band (Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame member, and nine-time Entertainer of the Year), Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway (second nomination), and The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (third nomination).

Nominated songs this year cover a vast array of genres, including those from an array of songwriters such as Huey Lewis, Joe Ely, Marty Stuart; and, even revive legendary bluegrass standards by Bill Monroe, Vassar Clements, and John Hartford.

Also announced today were three inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: “The King of Newgrass”, Sam Bush, one of bluegrass music’s most important early women musicians, Wilma Lee Cooper; and one of the most influential mandolin players of all time, David Grisman. Additionally, the following were named as recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award: The Bluegrass Situation, Tom Ewing, Red Wine, Terry Baucom, and Carl Goldstein.

Results of the balloting will be revealed at the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, September 28, at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the professional nonprofit association for the bluegrass music industry.

The complete list of nominations:



Appalachian Road Show

Billy Strings

Del McCoury Band

Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys



Authentic Unlimited

Balsam Range

Blue Highway

Del McCoury Band

Sister Sadie



Billy Strings

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

The Infamous Stringdusters

Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

The Travelin’ McCourys



“Blue Ridge Mountain Baby”

Artist: Appalachian Road Show

Songwriters: Barry Abernathy/Jim VanCleve

Label: Billy Blue Records

Producer: Appalachian Road Show


“Crooked Tree”

Artist: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

Songwriters: Molly Tuttle/Melody Walker

Label: Nonesuch Records

Producers: Jerry Douglas and Molly Tuttle



Artist: Sister Sadie

Songwriters: Jeffrey Nath Bhasker/Samuel Tyler Johnson/Cameron Marvel Ochs

Label: Mountain Home

Producer: Sister Sadie



Artist: Lonesome River Band

Songwriters: Barry Hutchens/Will Hutchens

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

Producer: Lonesome River Band


“Power of Love”

Artist: Rick Faris

Songwriters: Johnny Colla/Huey Lewis/Christopher Hayes

Label: Dark Shadow Recording

Producer: Stephen Mougin



Crooked Tree

Artist: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

Label: Nonesuch Records

Producer: Jerry Douglas and Molly Tuttle


Lovin’ of the Game

Artist: Michael Cleveland

Label: Compass Records

Producers: Jeff White, Michael Cleveland, and Sean Sullivan

Lowdown Hoedown

Artist: Jason Carter

Label: Fiddle Man Records

Producers: Jason Carter and Brent Truitt



Artist: Billy Strings and Terry Barber

Label: Rounder Records

Producers: Billy Strings and Gary Paczosa


Radio John: The Songs of John Hartford

Artist: Sam Bush

Label: Smithsonian Folkways

Producer: Sam Bush



“The Glory Road”

Artist: Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers

Songwriters: Paul Martin/Harry Stinson/Marty Stuart

Label: Billy Blue Records

Producers: Joe Mullins and Adam McIntosh



Artist: Darin & Brooke Aldridge with Ricky Skaggs, Mo Pitney and Mark Fain

Songwriter: Fred Rich

Label: Billy Blue Records

Producer: Darin Aldridge and Mark Fain


“The Scarlet Red Lines”

Artist: Larry Sparks

Songwriter: Daniel Crabtree

Label: Rebel Records

Producer: Larry Sparks


“Take a Little Time for Jesus”

Artist: Junior Sisk

Songwriter: David Marshall

Label: Mountain Fever Records

Producers: Junior Sisk and Aaron Ramsey


“Tell Me the Story of Jesus”

Artist: Becky Buller with Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs

Songwriter: Fanny Crosby, arrangement by Becky Buller

Label: Dark Shadow Recording

Producer: Stephen Mougin




Artist: Michael Cleveland with Cody Kilby, Barry Bales, and Béla Fleck

Songwriter: Michael Cleveland

Label: Compass Records

Producer: Jeff White, Michael Cleveland, and Sean Sullivan


“Foggy Morning Breaking”

Artist: Alison Brown with Steve Martin

Songwriters: Alison Brown/Steve Martin

Label: Compass Records

Producers: Alison Brown and Garry West


“Gold Rush”

Artist: Scott Vestal’s Bluegrass 2022

Songwriter: Bill Monroe

Label: Pinecastle Records

Producer: Scott Vestal


“Kissimmee Kid”

Artist: Jason Carter

Songwriter: Vassar Clements

Label: Fiddle Man Records

Producers: Jason Carter and Brent Truitt


“Scorchin’ the Gravy”

Artist: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Songwriter: Frank Solivan

Label: Compass Records

Producer: Frank Solivan



Authentic Unlimited

East Nash Grass

Henhouse Prowlers

The Tennessee Bluegrass Band

Tray Wellington



“Alberta Bound”

Artist: Special Consensus with Ray Legere, John Reischman, Tisha Gagnon, Claire Lynch, Pharis & Jason Romero

Songwriter: Gordon Lightfoot

Label: Compass Records

Producer: Alison Brown



“Big Mon”

Artist: Andy Leftwich with Sierra Hull

Songwriter: Bill Monroe

Label: Mountain Home Music Company

Producer: Andy Leftwich


“Foggy Morning Breaking”

Artist: Alison Brown with Steve Martin

Songwriter: Alison Brown/Steve Martin

Label: Compass Records

Producer: Alison Brown and Garry West


“For Your Love”

Artist: Michael Cleveland with Billy Strings and Jeff White

Songwriter: Joe Ely

Label: Compass Records

Producer: Jeff White, Michael Cleveland, and Sean Sullivan


“From My Mountain (Calling You)”

Artist: Peter Rowan with Molly Tuttle and Lindsay Lou

Songwriter: Peter Rowan

Label: Rebel Records

Producer: Peter Rowan



Greg Blake

Del McCoury

Danny Paisley

Larry Sparks

Dan Tyminski



Brooke Aldridge

Dale Ann Bradley

Jaelee Roberts

Molly Tuttle

Rhonda Vincent



Kristin Scott Benson

Alison Brown

Béla Fleck

Ned Luberecki

Scott Vestal



Mike Bub

Todd Phillips

Missy Raines

Mark Schatz

Vickie Vaughn



Jason Carter

Michael Cleveland

Stuart Duncan

Bronwyn Keith-Hynes

Deanie Richardson



Jerry Douglas

Andy Hall

Rob Ickes

Matt Leadbetter

Justin Moses



Chris Eldridge

Trey Hensley

Billy Strings

Bryan Sutton

Molly Tuttle



Alan Bibey

Jesse Brock

Sam Bush

Sierra Hull

Ronnie McCoury


2023 Inductees to International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame:

Sam Bush, Wilma Lee Cooper, David Grisman.



Considered by many “The King of Newgrass,” Sam Bush grew up in southern Kentucky, hearing and seeing the Grand Ole Opry and other country music shows. Proficient on both mandolin and fiddle from his teen years, he competed in contests before making his first album, Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1969. After a two-year stint with the Bluegrass Alliance, Bush and other members organized New Grass Revival, blending the influences of the Osborne Brothers and John Hartford with more broadly ranging rock and popular music songs and approaches.

Known for extended instrumental jams, wide-ranging material, and powerful vocals, New Grass Revival toured extensively, recorded frequently, and influenced new generations of bluegrass musicians and fans before disbanding at the end of the 1980s. Bush spent the first part of the 1990s in Emmylou Harris’s Nash Ramblers, then worked on other projects including touring and recording with his own Sam Bush Band. His distinctive rhythmic drive on mandolin has impacted countless other musicians, while his singing and songwriting have also earned acclaim. Once seen as a non-conformist due to his influence on the progressive bluegrass music scene, he is known today as a key figure in the broad bluegrass tradition.


Born in West Virginia, Wilma Lee Cooper spanned bluegrass and country music from the 1950s into the 1990s, first with husband Stoney Cooper (1918-1977) and then on her own until retiring in 2001. Wilma Lee began performing with her family at five, and by the late 1930s the group included Stoney. In 1941, the duo began a career with their own group, the Clinch Mountain Clan, moving from radio station to radio station before settling at WWVA in Wheeling, WV in 1947. For the next ten years they recorded for Columbia Records while employing players such as Buck “Uncle Josh” Graves, then moved to Nashville and joined the Grand Ole Opry, recording hits for Hickory Records that included “Come Walk With Me” and “There’s A Big Wheel.”

After Stoney’s death, Wilma Lee continued to perform and record with the Clinch Mountain Clan, whose membership included several generations of up-and-coming musicians, earning an IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award in 1994. Known for her strong right hand on the guitar, enthusiastic and genuine demeanor, and forthright, emotive vocals, Wilma Lee Cooper was one of bluegrass music’s most important early women musicians.


New Jersey native David Grisman emerged from the New York City folk music scene, then turned to bluegrass in the mid-1960s, performing and recording with Red Allen, Hazel & Alice, and the New York Ramblers. By the early 1970s, he had relocated to California’s Bay Area, performing with the short-lived Muleskinner supergroup, then with long-time friend Jerry Garcia in Old & In The Way before launching his own David Grisman Quartet with guitarist Tony Rice. The group explored bluegrass, jazz, swing music, and more in what became known, honoring his nickname, as “Dawg music.”

Subsequently, Grisman toured and recorded in a wide variety of styles with various configurations, including partnerships with Garcia, Doc Watson, Del McCoury, Andy Statman, and others, while doing session work with an even wider array of artists. At the same time, he returned regularly to bluegrass, making another supergroup recording with Here Today in 1982, recording with a variety of guests for 1990’s Home Is Where The Heart Is, and both touring and recording with his David Grisman Bluegrass Experience in the 21st century. A unique stylist and musical adventurer, Grisman is one of the most widely heard and influential mandolin players of all time.


Distinguished Achievement Award Recipients 

Each year, the IBMA presents five Distinguished Achievement Awards to individuals and organizations to recognize their significant contributions to bluegrass music with its highest honor outside of induction into the Hall of Fame. This year’s recipients of IBMA’s Distinguished Achievement Awards include:

The Bluegrass Situation – The Bluegrass Situation, or more simply “BGS” or “The Sitch” has arguably been the preeminent online media source for bluegrass and roots music for the last ten years. Founded by Ed Helms and Amy Reitnouer-Jacobs, The Bluegrass Situation has quickly grown into a national and international home for millions of readers to discover new artists and material, both traditional and progressive, read in-depth interviews and feature articles, and learn the history of bluegrass music. BGS has also been an important event promoter and sponsor in L.A. and around the country at major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Bourbon & Beyond, and IBMA World of Bluegrass. Members of the BGS team have also been impactful participants in helping the industry, including numerous IBMA education panels and the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards Show.

Terry Baucom – Terry Baucom, aptly nicknamed “The Duke of Drive,” has had an enormous impact on bluegrass music as a musician and trailblazer. Hired in 1970 as a fiddle player with Charlie Moore & The Dixie Partners, his first gigs were the Grand Ole Opry and the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree. It was a remarkable start to a remarkable career. Terry has since been at the forefront of groundbreaking bands and albums. As a founding member of highly-influential Boone Creek, the original Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Ridge, Lou Reid, Terry Baucom & Carolina, and Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive, he has provided an imprint of powerful banjo drive that is immediately recognizable and one that countless banjo players have tried to emulate. The consummate professional for the past 53 years, Terry’s kindness and wit have also touched many in the bluegrass community.

Tom Ewing – Tom Ewing has been playing bluegrass since 1962 and writing about it since 1976. One of Bill Monroe’s last Blue Grass Boys (1986-96), Tom appeared on Monroe’s final three albums, including the GRAMMY award-winning Southern Flavor, the first album to win in the Best Bluegrass Album category. During his career, he has also played with Earl Taylor, Jim & Jesse, and David Davis & the Warrior River Boys, in addition to releasing two albums featuring his original songs. He wrote the monthly “30 Years Ago” column from 1994 to 2008 for Bluegrass Unlimited, edited The Bill Monroe Reader in 2000, and wrote what is considered by many as THE authoritative biography of the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe: The Life and Music of the Blue Grass Man, published by the University of Illinois Press in 2018.

Carl Goldstein – Carl Goldstein has demonstrated unsurpassed passion, determination, integrity, and longevity in presenting bluegrass music for over five decades. As the Chair of the Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music, he was persuaded by Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe to launch what became the first Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival. He remained its Festival Director until stepping down in 2022 after 50 years at the helm. In addition to this renowned IBMA award-winning festival, Carl has overseen and helped coordinate hundreds of other bluegrass and old time shows, while also maintaining a radio show on WVUD at the University of Delaware for the past 46 years. He is one of the most impactful individuals in the history of bluegrass music in promoting, preserving, and presenting our beloved music for all to enjoy.

Red Wine – Based in Genova, Italy, Red Wine has been one of the true bluegrass music pioneers outside the U.S., melding traditional and contemporary bluegrass, country, gospel, and swing music into their own Italian-influenced style. Active since 1978, when bluegrass was only beginning to gain audiences in Europe, Red Wine has gone on to achieve international acclaim. As of today, they have performed in more than a dozen countries around Europe and in the U.S. Following their 30th anniversary celebration concert in 2008, the band launched their annual Red Wine Bluegrass Party in Genova and have featured artists such as Tim O’Brien, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Peter Rowan, The Kruger Brothers, and many international bands. Founded by Silvio Ferretti and Beppe Gambetta, Silvio remains in the band today along with long-time members Martino Coppo, Lucas Bellotti, and Marco Ferretti.


Tickets are now on sale for the 34th annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards, and for all IBMA World of Bluegrass events; visit for details.

About IBMA 

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the non-profit music association that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.



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