IBMA Announces 2017 Special Awards and Momentum Awards Nominees



Nominees for IBMA’s Special Awards and Momentum Awards Announced 


NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 10, 2017 – The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced the nominees for this year’s Special Awards and Momentum Awards. The recipients of the 2017 Momentum Awards will be presented with their awards at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 27, and the recipients of the 2017 Special Awards will be presented with their awards at a luncheon on Thursday, September 28 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, brought to you by Chiesi USA, September 26-September 30Thursday’s Awards Luncheon will include a segment honoring the recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Awards. Conference registration is required to attend. Registration, tickets and information for all World of Bluegrass events can be found at 


“Announcing the Special Awards and Momentum Awards nominees is always exciting.  The Special Awards honor and celebrate the outstanding annual contributions of those who are the backbone of the bluegrass community, while the Momentum Awards shine a bright light on those who, in the early stages in their careers, are already making a significant impact” said IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger. “The artistry and hard work of these nominees is vital to everyone in bluegrass music today and in the future.” 

The Special Awards recognize outstanding work in categories including Broadcaster of the Year, Bluegrass Event of the Year, Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project, Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project, Print/Media Person of the Year and Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year.  
Nominees in each category are selected by a specially appointed committee made up of bluegrass music professionals who possess significant knowledge of that field. The recipient of each award is decided on by the Panel of Electors, an anonymous group of over 200 veteran bluegrass music professionals selected by the IBMA Board of Directors. 
The 2017 IBMA Special Awards nominees are: 

Graphic Design 

Casey Campbell and Gina Leslie 

Casey Campbell – Mandolin Duets: Volume One [recorded project] 

Independent [label] 


Jimmy Hole 

Noam Pikelny - Universal Favorite [recorded project] 

Rounder Records [label] 


Lisa Horstman and Karen Key 

On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music [recorded project] 

Great Smoky Mountains Association [label] 


Scott McCormick 

The Infamous Stringdusters – Laws of Gravity [recorded project] 

Compass Records [label] 


Lynn Weathers 

Kristin Scott Benson – Stringworks [recorded project] 

Record Label: Mountain Home [label] 


Liner Notes  

Peter Cooper  
The New Kentucky Colonels – Live in Sweden 1973 [recorded project] 

Roland White Music [label] 


Thomas Goldsmith 

The Earls of Leicester – Rattle & Roar [recorded project] 

Rounder Records [label] 


Matt Glaser 

Michael Cleveland – Fiddler’s Dream [recorded project] 

Compass Records [label] 


Bill Nowlin 

J.D. Crowe and the New South 40th Anniversary Edition [recorded project] 

Rounder [label] 


Ted Olson 

On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music [recorded project] 

Great Smoky Mountains Association [label] 



Cindy Baucom (Knee-Deep in Bluegrass)  

Michelle Lee (WOBL 1320AM/107.7FM)  

Steve Martin (WSDL 90.7 FM NPR/WOBO 88.7 FM/SSB Radio)  

Alan Tompkins (KHYI FM-95.3)  

Kris Truelsen (Radio Bristol)  


Print Media 

Gordon Castelnero and David Russell (Earl Scruggs: Banjo Icon, pub. Rowman & Littlefield) 

Derek Halsey (Bluegrass Unlimited, the Mountain Times, the Herald Dispatch, the Columbus Dispatch)  

John Lawless (Bluegrass Today)  

Ted Lehmann (No Depression/ Bluegrass Today /Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms) 

David Morris (Bluegrass Today)  



Larry Cordle 

Carl Jackson  

Thomm Jutz  

Milan Miller  

Tim Stafford  



Bloomin Bluegrass Festival & Chili Cook-Off – Farmers Branch, TX 

Bluegrass & Chili Festival – Claremore, OK  

Emelin Theatre Bluegrass Concert Series – Mamaroneck, NY 

Pickin in Parsons – Parsons, WV 

25th Bluegrass Music Festival – Ulster American Folk Park, Northern Ireland 


The 2017 Special Awards are sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association and Homespun Music Instruction. 

The Momentum Awards recognize both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who, while in the early stages of their careers, have contributed to, or had an influence on, bluegrass music. These contributions can be to bluegrass music in general, or be made in a specific part of the industry. The Mentor award, in contrast to the others, recognizes a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry.  

Starting with recommendations from the IBMA membership, nominees are chosen by committees through a multi-stage process involving respected musicians and industry leaders in the bluegrass world. 


This year’s Momentum Award nominees are: 


Carolina in the Fall Music & Food Festival – Wilkesboro, NC 

Farm & Fun Time – Radio Bristol – Bristol, VA 

Frankfort Bluegrass Festival on the Green– Frankfort, IL 

Jam in the Trees – Black Mountain, NC 

Red Wing Roots Music Festival – Mt. Solon, VA 


Industry Involvement  

Megan and Adam Chowning (Nashville Acoustic Camps) 

Ernie & Debi Evans (Evans Media Source Promoters) 

Kris Truelsen (Radio Broadcaster/Radio Station Producer/Host of Farm and Fun Time) 



Darin Aldridge (Artist – Darin & Brooke Aldridge) 

Anni Beach (JamPak) 

Robert Fisher (Laser scientist by day, pro bono mandolin teacher by night) 

Lorraine Jordan (Artist) 

Laurie Lewis (Artist) 



Bill and the Belles (Johnson City, TN) 

Fireside Collective (Asheville, NC) 

Mile Twelve (Boston, MA) 

The Po’ Ramblin Boys (Sevierville, TN) 

The Wooks (Lexington, KY) 



Jacob Greer (Claybank - West Jefferson, NC) 

AJ Lee (AJ Lee/ AJ Lee and Blue Summit -Tracy, CA) 

Kim Robins (Kim Robins and 40 Years Late - Clear Creek, IN) 

Jesse Smathers (Lonesome River Band - NC) 

Daniel Thrailkill (The Trailblazers - NC) 


Instrumentalist [three are chosen in this category] 

Carley Arrowood (Fiddle - Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Union Mills, NC) 

David Benedict (Mandolin - Mile Twelve, Boston, MA) 

Brandon Bostic (Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin - Blue Moon Rising, East TN) 

Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (Fiddle - Mile Twelve, Boston, MA) 

Casey Campbell (Mandolin - Bryan Sutton BandNashville, TN) 

Ellie Hakanson (Fiddle - Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Portland, OR) 

Garrett Newton (Banjo - the Garrett Newton Band, Washington, DC) 

Tristan Scroggins (Mandolin, Guitar, Bass, Banjo - Jeff Scroggins & Colorado/Scroggins & Rose) (Greenwood Village, CO) 

Zeb Snyder (Guitar - Snyder Family Band, Lexington, NC) 



IBMA’s World of Bluegrass, brought to you by Chiesi USA, is a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming, encompassing four events: the IBMA Business Conference, September 26-28; the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases taking place September 26-28 in downtown Raleigh; the 28th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 28; and PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, September 29-30, a two-day festival. The ticketed Wide Open Main Stage features the best of the best in bluegrass today, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Bluegrass Trust Fund, a charitable fund that helps bluegrass professionals in dire need. The free Wide Open StreetFest brings bluegrass into the community and introduces the music to thousands of new fans every year. 

As in years past, events during World of Bluegrass will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, the Red Hat Amphitheater and at various venues in town. The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year’s World of Bluegrass event generated $11.5 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week’s activities estimated to be a record-breaking 217,225 people. Over 220 acts performed throughout the entire week of World of Bluegrass. 

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year run in Raleigh is the product of their successful partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee. 

Official hashtags: #WOB, #IBMA, #Raleigh 

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Press Info: Judy McDonough, JEMMedia, (615) 243-5994 

General Info: Kelly Kessler, IBMA, (615) 256-3222