Bluegrass Music Awards Go to the Earls of Leicester, Bill Keith, Jesse Brock

The Earls of Leicester
The Earls of Leicester

Fresh from their knock-out performance at FreshGrass at MASS MoCA in North Adams last month, Jerry Douglas & the Earls for Leicester were the big winners at the 26th annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Earls of Leicester swept with four wins: Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year. Add to that Earls of Leicester member Jerry Douglas’ win for Dobro Player of the Year and Earls member Shawn Camp’s Male Vocalist of the Year win. It was a good night indeed for the five-piece traditional bluegrass band.

Hosted by the Local 518’s own premiere bluegrass band the Gibson Brothers, the big bluegrass bash also inducted Woodstock banjo master Bill Keith into the the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

The Gibson Brothers – themselves two-time Entertainer of the Year award winners – were nearly shut out at this year’s ceremony, their lone trophy going to Jesse Brock as Mandolin Player of the Year. He had also won the award in 2009.

Here’s the complete list of winners of the 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards:

Entertainer of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
Female Vocalist of the Year: Rhonda Vincent
Male Vocalist of the Year: Shawn Camp
Vocal Group of the Year: Balsam Range
Instrumental Group of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
Song of the Year: “Moon Over Memphis” by Balsam Range
Album of the Year: The Earls of Leicester by the Earls of Leicester; Jerry Douglas, producer
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: “Who Will Sing for Me” by the Earls of Leicester
Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: “The Three Bells” by Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge & Rob Ickes
Emerging Artist of the Year: Becky Buller
Recorded Event of the Year: “Southern Flavor” by Becky Buller with Peter Rowan, Michael Feagan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White & Blake Williams
Banjo Player of the Year: Rob McCoury
Bass Player of the Year: Tim Surrett
Dobro Player of the Year: Jerry Douglas
Fiddle Player of the Year: Michael Cleveland
Guitar Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
Mandolin Player of the Year: Jesse Brock
Inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: Bill Keith and Larry Sparks
Distinguished Achievement Award: Alison Brown, Murphy Henry, International Bluegrass Music Museum, “Bashful Brother” Oswald Kirby, Steve Martin

PS: Tickets for next year’s FreshGrass festival (on September 16-18, 2016) are on sale now, priced at $89 for the full three-day fest; $79 students; and $43 kids ages 6-16.

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