Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers Take Top Prize at 2019 International Bluegrass Music Awards

Courtesy of Joe Mullins & the Radio Flyers
Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers and Billy Strings won big at the 30th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday night (Sept. 26). Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers took home the coveted entertainer of the year and collaborative recording of the year trophies while Strings won new artist of the year and guitar player of the year.

Brooke Aldridge accepted her third consecutive win for female vocalist of the year while Michael Cleveland was honored as fiddle player of the year for the 12th time.

The 2019 International Bluegrass Music Awards were hosted by Del McCoury and Jim Lauderdale and were held at Duke Energy Performing Arts Center in Raleigh, N.C. The awards were voted by those with membership to the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Previously announced inductees into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame were also honored during Thursday’s awards show. Inductees include Mike Auldridge, Bill Emerson, and The Kentucky Colonels. Additionally, 2019 distinguished achievement award recipients Katy Daley, Mickey Gamble, Dan Hays, Allen Mills, and Moonshiner were celebrated at a luncheon earlier in the day.

“Congratulations to this year’s awards recipients and all of the nominees,” said Paul Schiminger, executive director of IBMA, in a statement. “Being recognized by your professional peers with the highest honors in bluegrass music is quite an achievement, considering the number of incredible artists and recordings in our music today. This is a moment for everyone in the bluegrass community to feel proud and celebrate the many accomplishments of the past year. It is no wonder the appreciation of bluegrass is growing every day.”

The following is a complete list of this year’s IBMA winners:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR:
Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers

VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR:
Sister Sadie (this is the band’s first win in this category)

INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR:
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (this is the band’s fifth win in this category)

SONG OF THE YEAR:
“Thunder Dan” – Sideline (artist), Josh Manning (writer) Tim Surrett (producer), Mountain Home Music Company (label)

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass – Del McCoury Band (artist), Del and Ronnie McCoury (producer), McCoury Music (label) (this is the band’s second win in this category, with a previous win in 2004)

GOSPEL RECORDING OF THE YEAR:
“Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” – Claire Lynch (artist), Jerry Salley (producer), Billy Blue Records (label)

INSTRUMENTAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR:
“Darlin' Pal(s) of Mine" – Missy Raines with Alison Brown, Mike Bub, and Todd Phillips (artist), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records (label)

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Billy Strings

COLLABORATIVE RECORDING OF THE YEAR:
“The Guitar Song” – Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers with Del McCoury (artists), Joe Mullins (producer), Jerry Salley (associate producer) Billy Blue (label)

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
Brooke Aldridge (her third win in this category, including 2017 and 2018)

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR:
Russell Moore (his sixth win in this category, the most recent in 2012)

BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Kristin Scott Benson (her fifth win in this category, the most recent in 2011)

BASS PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Missy Raines (her eighth win in this category, the most recent in 2007)

RESOPHONIC GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Phil Leadbetter (his third win in this category, the most recent in 2014)

FIDDLE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Michael Cleveland (his 12th win in this category, previously in 2018)

GUITAR PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Billy Strings (his first nomination – and win – in this category)

MANDOLIN PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Alan Bibey (his first win in this category)

BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR:
Michelle Lee

EVENT OF THE YEAR:
Blueberry Bluegrass Festival – Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada

LINER NOTES OF THE YEAR:
Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey
Akira Otsuka, Dudley Connell, Jeff Place, Katy Daley

GRAPHIC DESIGNER OF THE YEAR:
Michael Armistead

WRITER OF THE YEAR:
David Morris

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR:
Jerry Salley

SOUND ENGINEER OF THE YEAR:
Ben Surratt


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