Author: Varner, Mark


Dear Friends,

Firstly, rest in peace, beautiful soul that is Ingrid Horgan. Most of you know Rob from his banjo playing for Sidesaddle and Bean Creek. He lost his wonderful life partner last night. Two better people cannot be found on this Earth. There will be services to be announced.

As you read this, please do not confuse me with Varner the Younger, who usually inhabits this spot of turf each month. He is taking his SATs today, so please wish him well. It will take everything he’s got to get into some kind of higher education after this, his senior year. His first year at Grass Valley he was an embryo, so there ya go. He’ll appear with some textual teen expression, probably angst ridden, in my usual Monday spot.

I’m pleased to take his spot to rail against all those who had such a great time in Raleigh. I thought I was missing the IBMA hoopla cause I was too broke, but as it turned out I would have been skinned alive by my day job employer, them what makes scuba dive equipment, should I have taken a week off. I’ve got a number of projects that are going to be our crowning achievements at the up coming trade show in Australia. So… whatever. I’m still jealous of those who made the trip.

I shall don the mantle of the CBA braggart, as regards the events and awards resulting from a week of bluegrass heaven in its new home of Raleigh, North Carolina.

If the IBMA was a football game, the CBA would be the ones that pull up for the tailgate party in a flatbed truck, loaded with talented musicians and all the libations and comestibles one could want. Our suite is a rockin’ celebration of bluegrass music for the entire length of the event. Part of this action is the line up of performers playing showcases in our suite. This year we had some CA talent to show off: Front Country with Luke Abbott, The Earl Brothers, Bill Evans and more. Our big stage showcase was Kathy Kallick’s band, which will perform at the Father’s Day Festival 2014.

The CBA helped send some of our KOB youngsters who were invited to participate in the big IBMA version of the Kids On Bluegrass. Helen Foley and the Goodings showed the East what the West is made of. Well done!

Some more items on which to brag include the CBA’s 2013 Emerging Artist, Della Mae, being this year’s IBMA Emerging Artist. So hah! We scooped them on that selection. Well deserved, too. Della Mae was a big favorite at Grass Valley and they have a bright future.

A previous year’s CBA Emerging Artist, Northern Departure, formerly featured Chris Luquette, now guitarist for Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. He won the Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year! What an honor for this fine young man!

Coming for the 2014 FDF is Junior Sisk and his band, Ramblers Choice. Junior is the IBMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year! We can congratulate him on this honor at the upcoming Grass Valley festival. And if you like big guys doing the realest of real-deal bluegrass you will love the new Rebel Release from Junior Sisk and Joe Mullins: ‘Hall of Fame Bluegrass’. This album project features those two along with Dudley Connell on guitar and harmony vocals, Marshall Wilborn on bass, Jesse Brock on mandolin, Rob Ickes on reso-guitar, and Jason Carter on fiddle. The material is classic bluegrass songs from the masters of the genre. Amazing stuff!!

Anyhoo, enough of my braggadocio. Here’s what the IBMA has to say about themselves. I’m happy that the transition to Raleigh went well and it’s clear that bluegrass music in America is going strong!

From the IBMA:
The Gibson Brothers took home the Entertainer of the Year award at the soldout 24th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Thursday night, September 26 at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

It was an exciting night for New York State-based band The Gibson Brothers, who also took home awards for Vocal Group of the Year, Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year (Eric Gibson), and Song of the Year (“They Called It Music”).

Della Mae was named Emerging Artist of the Year, and The Boxcars took Instrumental Group of the Year. Junior Sisk and Claire Lynch took home awards for Male Vocalist and Female Vocalist of the Year respectively, and Rob Ickes was awarded his 15th Dobro Player of the Year award, continuing his reign as the musician who has won the most trophies of any individual instrumentalist in the history of the IBMA Awards.

Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductees, the late Paul Warren and Tony Rice were honored in special presentations by Ron Stewart, and Peter Rowan and Sam Bush. Paul Warren’s induction was celebrated with a performance from The Earls of Leicester, and his plaque was accepted by his family. Tony Rice gave an unforgettable acceptance speech, and played with members of the original Manzanita album band – including Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, and Todd Phillips with Wyatt Rice.

Hosted by Steep Canyon Rangers, the 2013 IBMA Awards Show featured a number of virtuoso-level, high energy live performances from Balsam Range, the Bluegrass Youth All-Stars, Blue Highway, Dailey &Vincent, The Del McCoury Band, Gibson Brothers, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Steep Canyon Rangers, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and Rhonda Vincent & The Rage.

The International Bluegrass Music Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), which serves as the trade association for the bluegrass music industry.

The IBMA Awards Show is the centerpiece of the World of Bluegrass Week, Sept 24-28 in Raleigh, NC, which
also includes the IBMA Business Conference and Wide Open Bluegrass Festival.

Hall of Fame Inductees: Tony Rice, Paul Warren
Entertainer of the Year: The Gibson Brothers
Vocal Group of the Year: The Gibson Brothers
Instrumental Group of the Year: The Boxcars
Male Vocalist of the Year: Junior Sisk
Female Vocalist of the Year: Claire Lynch
Emerging Artist of the Year: Della Mae
Album of the Year: Papertown, Balsam Range,
produced by Balsam Range, Mountain Home.
Song of the Year: “They Called It Music,” The Gibson
Brothers, written by Eric Gibson & Joe Newberry.
Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year:
“Foggy Mountain Rock;” by Tom Adams, Dan
Tyminski, Ron Stewart, Dennis Crouch, Clay Hess
and Randy Kohrs; written by Louise Certain, Burkett
Graves & Gladys Stacey; Rounder Records.
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: “Beulah
Land,” Marty Raybon, written by Squire Parsons,
produced by Marty Raybon, Rural Rhythm.
Recorded Event of the Year: “What’ll I Do;” by Terry
Baucom with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Wyatt Rice,
Steve Bryant & Buddy Melton; produced by Terry
Baucom, Cindy Baucom and Ed Lowe; John Boy &
Billy label.
Mandolin Player of the Year: Adam Steffey
Dobro Player of the Year: Rob Ickes
Bass Player of the Year: Barry Bales
Fiddle Player of the Year: Jason Carter
Guitar Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
Banjo Player of the Year: Mike Munford
Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year: Eric Gibson
Broadcaster of the Year: Ronnie Reno
Print/Media Person of the Year: Fred Bartenstein
2013 award winners
Bluegrass Event of the Year: Bill Monroe Bean
Blossom Bluegrass Festival in Bean Blossom,
Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project:
Carl Jackson, Dak Alley & Jimmy Mets; for Grace
Notes; by Carl Jackson
Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project: Fred
Bartenstein, for Joe Mullins and the Radio
Ramblers’s They’re Playing My Song
Distinguished Achievement Awards
Keith Case
McLain Family Band
The East Mountain Boys
Vic Jordan
Charley Pennell
Momentum Awards (presented Wed., Sept 25):
Instrumentalist of the Year: Chris Luquette, Frank
Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Vocalist of the Year: Robert Greer, Town Mountain
Band of the Year: Town Mountain
New Festival or Venue of the Year: Bluegrass on the
Plains; Auburn, AL
Industry Involvement of the Year: Danny Clark
Mentor of the Year: Denise Stiff

Posted:  10/5/2013

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