IBMA announces 2017 Special Awards and Momentum Awards nominees

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced the final batch of nominees for their Special Awards, and Momentum Awards, the proverbial awards given “earlier in the day,” awarded during a pair of award luncheons on September 27 and 28.

The Special Awards are industry honors, with both nominees and winners chosen by a number of select committees within the organization. They recognize excellence in artistic achievement in non-performance categories of bluegrass. Momentum Awards are for music professionals at the early stages of their careers, and one for the top mentor for young artists.

IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger read this batch of nominees off this morning on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction.

Graphic Design

  • Casey Campbell & Gina Leslie for Mandolin Duets – Volume One, Casey Campbell
  • Jimmy Hole for Universal Favorite, Noam Pikelny
  • Lisa Hortsman & Karen Key for On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music, Various Artists
  • Scott McCormick for Laws Of Gravity, The Infamous Stringdusters
  • Lynn Weathers for Stringworks, Kristin Scott Benson

Liner Notes

  • Peter Cooper for Live In Sweden, New Kentucky Colonels
  • Thomas Goldsmith for Rattle & Roar, The Earls Of Leicester
  • Matt Glaser for Fiddler’s Dream, Michael Cleveland
  • Bill Nowlin for J.D. Crowe and The New South 40th Anniversary Edition, J.D. Crowe and The New South
  • Ted Olson for On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music, Various Artists

Print Media

  • Gordon Castelnero & David Russell (Earl Scruggs: Banjo Icon, pub. Rowman & Littlefield)
  • Derek Halsey (Bluegrass Unlimited, the Mountain Times, the Herald Dispatch, the Columbus Dispatch)
  • John Lawless (Bluegrass Today)
  • Ted Lehmann (No Depression/ Bluegrass Today /Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms)
  • David Morris (Bluegrass Today)


  • Cindy Baucom (Knee-Deep in Bluegrass)
  • Michelle Lee (WOBL 1320AM/107.7FM)
  • Steve Martin (WSDL 90.7 FM NPR/WOBO 88.7 FM/SSB Radio)
  • Alan Tompkins (KHYI FM-95.3)
  • Kris Truelsen (Radio Bristol)


  • Bloomin’ Bluegrass Festival & Chili Cook-Off – Farmers Branch, TX
  • Bluegrass & Chili Festival – Claremore, OK
  • Emelin Theatre Bluegrass Concert Series – Mamaroneck, NY
  • Pickin’ In Parsons – Parsons, WV
  • 25th Bluegrass Music Festival – Ulster American Folk Park, Northern Ireland


  • Larry Cordle
  • Carl Jackson
  • Thomm Jutz
  • Milan Miller
  • Tim Stafford

And the nominees for the Momentum Awards are…

Industry Involvement

  • Megan & Adam Chowning (Nashville Acoustic Camps)
  • Ernie & Debi Evans (Evans Media Source Promoters)
  • Kris Truelsen (Radio Broadcaster/Radio Station Producer/Host of Farm and Fun Time)


  • Carolina In The Fall Music & Food Festival – Wilkesboro, NC
  • Farm & Fun Time – Radio Bristol – Bristol, VA
  • Frankfort Bluegrass Festival On The Green– Frankfort, IL
  • Jam In The Trees – Black Mountain, NC
  • Red Wing Roots Music Festival – Mt. Solon, VA


  • Darin Aldridge (Artist – Darin & Brooke Aldridge)
  • Anni Beach (JamPak)
  • Robert Fisher (Laser scientist by day, pro bono mandolin teacher by night)
  • Lorraine Jordan (Artist)
  • Laurie Lewis (Artist)


  • Bill and The Belles (Johnson City, TN)
  • Fireside Collective (Asheville, NC)
  • Mile Twelve (Boston, MA)
  • Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (Sevierville, TN)
  • The Wooks (Lexington, KY)


  • Jacob Greer (Claybank – West Jefferson, NC)
  • AJ Lee (AJ Lee/ AJ Lee and Blue Summit -Tracy, CA)
  • Kim Robins (Kim Robins and 40 Years Late – Clear Creek, IN)
  • Jesse Smathers (Lonesome River Band – NC)
  • Dan Thrailkill (The Trailblazers – NC)


  • Carley Arrowood (Fiddle – Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Union Mills, NC)
  • David Benedict (Mandolin – Mile Twelve, Boston, MA)
  • Brandon Bostic (Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin – Blue Moon Rising, East TN)
  • Casey Campbell (Mandolin – Bryan Sutton Band, Nashville, TN)
  • Ellie Hakanson (Fiddle – Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Portland, OR)
  • Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (Fiddle – Mile Twelve, Boston, MA)
  • Garrett Newton (Banjo – the Garrett Newton Band, Washington, DC)
  • Tristan Scroggins (Mandolin, Guitar, Bass, Banjo – Jeff Scroggins & Colorado/Scroggins & Rose) (Greenwood Village, CO)
  • Zeb Snyder (Guitar – Snyder Family Band, Lexington, NC)

Three instrumentalists will be chosen from this list for Momentum Awards.

Congratulations and best of luck to all the nominees!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.