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NC group Balsam Range named bluegrass Entertainers of the Year

2014 October 3
by Steve Ide

North Carolina’s Balsam Range were named on Thursday night as bluegrass music’s top entertainers of the year and vocal group of the year during the 2014 awards ceremony held Thursday night, Oct. 2, 2014 in Raleigh, N.C.

I first saw Balsam Range a few years ago at the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. They were dynamic then, and have since just grown in musicianship and popularity.

Balsam Range

Balsam Range


Here’s Balsam Range from this past Labor Day weekend at the Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival in Maine:

Here is a complete list of all of this year’s winners:

Hall of Fame Inductees: The Original Seldom Scene, Neil Rosenberg

Entertainer of the Year: Balsam Range

Vocal Group of the Year: Balsam Range

Instrumental Group of the Year: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Male Vocalist of the Year: Buddy Melton

Female Vocalist of the Year: Amanda Smith

Emerging Artist of the Year: Flatt Lonesome

Album of the Year: Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe – Noam Pikelny (artist) Gabe Witcher (producer), Compass Records

Song of the Year: “Dear Sister” – Claire Lynch (artist), Claire Lynch and Louisa Branscomb (writers)

Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”- Special Consensus with Buddy Spicher, Michael Cleveland and Alison Brown (artists), Country Boy: A Bluegrass Tribute to John Denver (album), John Martin Sommers (writer), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: “Won’t It Be Wonderful There” – Dailey & Vincent (artist), Brothers of the Highway (album), Mildred Styles Johnson (writer), Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent (producers), Rounder Records

Recorded Event of the Year: “Wild Montana Skies” – Special Consensus with Claire Lynch & Rob Ickes (artists), Alison Brown (producer), Compass Records

Mandolin Player of the Year: Adam Steffey

Dobro Player of the Year: Phil Leadbetter

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: Noam Pikelny

Special Awards (presented earlier on Thurs. Oct. 2)

Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year: Tim Stafford

Broadcaster of the Year: Kyle Cantrell, Bluegrass Junction, Sirius XM

Print/Media Person of the Year: Chris Jones, writer at Bluegrass Today

Bluegrass Event of the Year: Bluegrass Underground

Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project: Lou Everhart (designer), Lonely Comes Easy, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Rebel Records

Best Liner Notes for a Recorded Project: Neil V Rosenberg, Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Noam Pikelny, Compass Records

Distinguished Achievement Award recipients: Bill Keith, Deering Banjos, the European Bluegrass Music Association, Hillbilly at Harvard, and The Delmore Brothers.

Momentum Awards (presented Wednesday, October 1):

Instrumentalists of the Year: Dominick Leslie (mandolin), Jake Stargel (guitar), Cory Walker (banjo)

Vocalist of the Year: Jesse Gregory (Jesse Gregory & Faultline)

Band of the Year: The Barefoot Movement

New Festival or Venue of the Year: Bluegrass Situation showcases at Bonaroo & Americana Music Association

Industry Involvement of the Year: Ashlee-Jean Trott, Music City Roots/Bluegrass Underground

Mentor of the Year: Tim Surrett

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