Each year the festival chooses one of the acts booked for the show to receive this honor, conveyed to performers who have dedicated their musical career to the preservation of traditional styles. Past recipients have included Rhonda Vincent, Jesse McReynolds, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White, Lily Isaac, Russell Moore, and Dailey & Vincent.
The voting membership of the International Bluegrass Music Associated selected Balsam Range as their Entertainer of the Year in 2018, a prestigious peer award that denotes the winner as the best example of the genre over the preceding 12 months. Members include Buddy Melton on fiddle, Darrin Nicholson on mandolin, Marc Pruett on banjo, Caleb Smith on guitar, and Tim Surrett on bass. This same lineup has endured since the band formed in 2007, a rarity in the professional music world, owing largely to the fact that they were all friends prior to establishing Balsam Range.
They will appear along with a number of other top bluegrass artists at Uncle Dave Macon Days, July 12-13 in Murfreesboro. The festival is a celebration of the city as much as the music, and ticket prices are quite modest. All events are held in Cannonsburgh, which is set up as an early 20th century historic village. Arts and crafts vendors are always on site, along with food and drink.
Instrument, dance, and bluegrass band competitions are also held on the Saturday of the festival.
Full details can be found online.