2011 IBMA Awards press conference

This report comes from Amanda Webb, who will be one of our regular correspondents when the site relaunches in September.

Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out delivered two mood-setting numbers that matched to electricity racing through the crowd in the Loveless Barn on Wednesday evening. The press conference, as we all know, announced the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Award nominees or in the words of Steve Dilling, was “bluegrass music’s second biggest night.”

Dan Hays, IBMA Executive Director took to the stage and announced the nominees for the non-performance categories. Then with surprisingly little lag time Sam Bush, the host of this year’s award show, was introduced and announced George Shuffler and Del McCoury as the 36th and 37th inductees into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, respectively. After giving what Bush describes as a “brief glimpse” into the careers of these two men the program moves right into the performance nomination announcements.

Russell Moore, Doyle Lawson, Josh Williams and Sierra Hull co-hosted the gathering. The foursome took the stage and opted to use the microphones set up for the upcoming performances rather than the one behind the podium. It was nothing short of comical seeing this unique grouping of artists which are normally so commanding of the stage shuffling around each other with scripts in their hands instead of instruments. However, they managed to crack jokes with each other and stick to their lines quite well.

Some of the highlights include first time nominees to the Entertainer of the Year category The Boxcars, The Gibson Brothers and Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers. This year also marks Josh William’s first year nominated in the Male Vocalist realm. “I was surprised by [being nominated for] male vocalist. Anytime I am nominated it’s a surprise. I still see myself as a fan just up here watching these guys,” Williams said.

Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out racked up nominations in eight categories including Album of the Year for The All-Star Jam: Live at Graves Mountain on Rural Rhythm Records. RRR President, Sam Passamano who recently made the move from California to Tennessee said about being able to attend, “It’s a wonderful experience to be able to share this with our artist to see their faces and hear their names called and be a part of a celebration conversation with them.”

Afterwards all the nominees present gathered on the stage for a large group photo. The large crowd in attendance was then treated to performances by the evening’s hosts, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Josh Williams Band and Sierra Hull &Highway 111.

You can see a full list of nominees here on The Bluegrass Blog.