A powerful and delightfully unusual pairing of bluegrass superstars -- Laurie Lewis and Del McCoury -- will host the 23rd Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.
“I’m thrilled to be invited to co-host the Awards Show with the great Del McCoury!” said singer/songwriter/fiddler Laurie Lewis from her home in northern California. “I predict this will be a very significant and poignant event, as the bluegrass community comes together to recognize and honor its own.”
Lewis has twice been voted IBMA’s Female Vocalist of the Year; and The Oak and the Laurel, her collection of duets with musical co-conspirator Tom Rozum, was nominated for a Grammy® in 1996. Lewis also contributed songs to the Grammy-winning True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe, and to Grammy-nominated Clinch Mountain Country. In 2006 she began working regularly with a band she calls “The Right Hands.” Lewis’ latest recording, Skippin’ and Flyin’, a tribute to Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe, features Linda Ronstadt and Kathy Kallick.
“I was excited to be asked to host the IBMA Awards again,” said IBMA Hall of Fame member Del McCoury from his home near Nashville. “With World of Bluegrass moving to Raleigh next year, this might be the last Awards Show IBMA will hold at the Ryman Auditorium, at least for a few years. It's a tremendous honor for me to be co-hosting with my old friend, Laurie Lewis. I know we are going to have a lot of fun.”
Briefly a member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, McCoury added his sons Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) to his own band in the 1980s. The Del McCoury Band, which also includes fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, became a member of the Grand Old Opry in 2003 and brought huge new audiences to bluegrass at venues and events like Bonnaroo, High Sierra, and its own DelFest. A 2010 recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, McCoury was inducted into IBMA’s Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2011.