Many of the top stars in bluegrass music were in attendance Wednesday at Nashville's Loveless Barn as the nominations were announced for the 23rd Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards.
Figuring prominently in the mix were Russell Moore & Third Tyme Out, who tallied nine nominations either as a group or for individual musicianship. Not far behind were Alison Krauss and Union Station, who figured in eight categories. Both acts were nominated for Entertainer of the Year, alongside Dailey & Vincent, The Gibson Brothers, and Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, last year's winner. Perennial Blue Highway came away with seven nominations, as did 2011's Emerging Artist of the Year, the Boxcars.
Moore and Krauss were included in the Male and Female Vocalist nominees. Moore was nominated alongside industry favorite Audie Blaylock, Jamie Dailey, Vince Gill, and Union Station's Dan Tyminski. Krauss's competition includes Dale Ann Bradley (last year's winner), Claire Lynch, Rhonda Vincent, and Sonya Issacs, who helped to announce the nominees alongside of fellow performer Bradley Walker.
Late folklorist Ralph Rinzler and Doyle Lawson were announced as the 2012 inductees into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Rinzler helped to spread the word about bluegrass and folk music in the 1960s, and also helped to preserve the history of the music through his field recordings made for Folkways Records. Lawson started his career with Jimmy Martin in 1962, also enjoying stints with J.D. Crowe as well as the Country Gentlemen. He went solo in 1979, and has become one of the most revered male vocalists in the format.
Also announced were the winners of the 2012 Distinguished Achievement Awards. Respected fiddler Byron Berline, Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival organizers Joe and Lil Cornett, radio personality Orin Friesen, Stanley Brothers fiddler Darrell "Pee Wee" Lambert, and IBMA founding member Kitty Kuykendall were all named as winners of this category. Those awards will be presented on Thursday, November 27 at a luncheon during the World of Bluegrass Business Conference in Nashville.
Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. Results of the balloting will be revealed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards at Nashville's legendary Ryman Auditorium on Thursday, September 27, 2012, with Del McCoury and Laurie Lewis hosting the festivities. The Awards Show is the centerpiece of World of Bluegrass Week, to be held September 24 - 30 in Nashville, which also includes the IBMA Business Conference and Bluegrass Fan Fest.
For a complete list of nominees, go to IBMA.org.