On Saturday, March 31, Lincoln Center in New York hosted the 16th annual Independent Music Awards, where honors were announced in 96 musical categories, with nominees and winners from all over the world. Their focus is on self-produced efforts and artists who tend not to be noticed by the major labels and publicity machines in the music industry.
Songs and albums are put forward by the artists, which are then judged by a panel of industry leaders to receive nominations, and are then voted on by fans worldwide.
Bluegrass is represented, of course, and awards were given for best bluegrass song and album, and likewise for Americana. The Bankesters took the prize for Bluegrass Album with their final effort, Nightbird, and Bluegrass Song went to Sad Daddy for Mountainside. John McEuen won Americana Album for his Made In Brooklyn project, while Big Little Lions took Americana Song with Against The Wall. Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge received the award for Instrumental Album for Mount Royal.
Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike were in attendance, nominated for Bluegrass Song for Something About A Train from their Small Town Heroes project, and shared a number of photos from the experience. Val said that it was a lovely show, and that they enjoyed the hospitality of the IMA staff (pizza and gelato!). John McEuen was also featured as a performer on the awards show so the banjo was well represented.