This afternoon the International Bluegrass Music Association announced the recipients of their 2015 Special Awards. These are the proverbial “presented earlier in the day” trophies that you hear mentioned on all awards shows, including ours scheduled for this evening.
These are focused on the people in non-performing roles in the bluegrass business industry.
Following a stellar performance by Front Country, awards were given to:
- Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year – Chris Jones
- Bluegrass Event of the Year – (tie) A Lester Flatt Celebration 2014, Sparta, TN; 42nd RockyGrass Festival, Lyons, CO
- Best Graphic Design For A Recorded Project – (tie) Mychael Gerstenberger, Complete Recordings 1936-55, The Chuck Wagon Gang; Deano Minton, Trouble Follows Me, Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice
- Best Liner Notes For A Recorded Project – Eddie Stubbs, Bill Malone, Marty Stuart, Jeremy Stephens, Shaye Smith, and Harold Timmons, Complete Recordings 1936-55, The Chuck Wagon Gang
- Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year – Gary Reid, author, The Music of the Stanley Brothers and The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies, 1991-2014
- Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year – Becky Buller
Also presented during today’s Special Awards luncheon were Distinguished Achievement Awards to Alison Brown, Murphy Henry, “Bashful Brother” Oswald Kirby, the International Bluegrass Music Museum, and Steve Martin.
Steve appeared in person to accept his award and delivered some remarks after Pete Wernick’s introduction, cast in the form of a comedy routine. Martin played it mostly straight, and his deep love and excitement for bluegrass and banjo music was palpable.
Afterwards, in a backstage press conference, Steve said that this award ranks very high among the many he has won, including Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Grammies, and American Comedy Awards. He also shared that even in the face of his tremendous success in bluegrass over recent years, he stills gets more out of performing music than the audience does.
Asked how he rated his introduction as a comedy piece, he responded, “A few people know that Pete Wernick is funny… (pause), and he was funny today.”
Martin expressed deep appreciation for the support he receives from the bluegrass community and the IBMA. Following his press conference, he was whisked away by his people, back home to work on the upcoming Broadway opening of his musical, Bright Star.
Congratulations to all of today’s winners and award recipients!