Tonight's the night the spotlight shines on the best and the brightest from the world of bluegrass music.
Even while the stormy forecast has driven the Wide Open Bluegrass concerts indoors and may have dampened some of the festival quality of the World of Bluegrass event, it's the evening that the International Bluegrass Music Association honors bluegrass musicians, scholars, pioneers and impressive new artists in their annual event that's like the Grammys or Oscars for the bluegrass music business and musicians.
Now in its third year in its Raleigh home, the IBMA winners will be announced again this year at a star-studded event held in the Duke Energy Center For the Performing Arts, Memorial Hall.
Nominated collectivity as a group five times and once for individual accomplishment is Haywood County's Balsam Range. Balsam Range's nominations include Entertainer of the Year, Song and Album of the Year, Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year, Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year, and Vocal Group of the Year. Balsam Range's fiddler and vocalist Buddy Melton is also nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year. (Balsam Range have appeared a few times on The State of Things and are scheduled to appear on Friday's show.)
Among its dozens of awards, the IBMA is also set to honor contributions from pioneers Bill Keith, Larry Sparks, while also providing Distinguished Achievement Awards to banjo player , comedian and actor Steve Martin and to historian Murphy Henry for a scholarly examination of the role of women in bluegrass (her book, Pretty Good for a Girl).
You can review the full list of nominees at the IBMA website.
Note: The ticketed portion of this weekend's Wide Open Bluegrass festival will be moved from the Red Hat Amphitheater into the Raleigh Convention Center in Exhibit Halls A & B. All current Red Hat Amphitheater tickets will be honored, according to a press release issued by the IBMA.
Updated Thursday 10:10 a.m.: The full Wide Open Bluegrass festival and StreetFest, featuring 100 bands from around the world playing a variety of styles of bluegrass over the course of the two-day event, will also move inside in the Raleigh Convention Center.