IBMA

Photo by John Davisson/Invision/AP

The International Bluegrass Music Association is underway in Raleigh with the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Awards. The group The Earls of Leicester won Entertainer of the Year for the second year in a row. The group led the field in nominations. Host Frank Stasio talks with John Lawless, editor of Bluegrass Today, about notable awards and emerging bands in bluegrass.

Claire Lynch Band

Bluegrass music traditionally draws inspiration from the back porches, front porches, swamps, mountains and hollers of the South. But for her new album, celebrated bluegrass artist Claire Lynch looked north. The album is called “North By South,” and it is a celebration of the often underappreciated catalog of bluegrass songs written by Canadians. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Claire Lynch about her Canadian muses and listens to some live music from the band.

Courtesy of Laughing Penguin Publicity

Kenny and Amanda Smith have been professional musicians as a duo for 15 years but have been playing music together as husband and wife for decades. The pair's new album is called "Unbound." Amanda Smith was a nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year, and Kenny Smith was nominated for Instrumental Performer of the Year on the guitar in the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Awards.
 

North Carolina-based Balsam Range raked in the second-most nominations for IBMA Awards Wednesday night.
Balsam Range

This week we're welcoming the IBMA's World of Bluegrass back to Raleigh with music highlights heard between our news stories.

IBMA Logo
IBMA

You're invited to join WUNC in Raleigh when the banjos and fiddles return to downtown.

WUNC will host one of the seven stages at this year's World of Bluegrass free StreetFest. Over 100 bands are scheduled to perform on the downtown Raleigh stages along Fayetteville Street.

Image of producer Andrew Tie
Charlie Shelton

As the year draws to a close, “The State of Things” is taking a moment to reflect on the highlights of 2015 with the program’s producers.

Producer Andrew Tie’s favorite segments include conversations about mass incarceration and another about confederate monuments on state grounds.

NC Museum Natural Sciences
Wikipedia

The State of Things is broadcasting live Friday at 12 p.m. from the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. You can stream the show live below:  

Becky Buller won three IBMA awards this year for emerging artist, songwriter of the year and recorded event of the year.
Becky Buller

Becky Buller has tried her hand at almost every part of the bluegrass music industry.

She is a prolific songwriter whose compositions have been recorded by musicians like Ricky Skaggs; she produced for and toured with Valerie Smith; she co-hosts a bluegrass music show; and she has released two solo records.

Balsam Range won 'Song of the Year' and 'Vocal Group of the Year' at this year's IBMA awards.
Courtest of Laughing Penguin Publicity

Balsam Range is a bluegrass band with the accolades to show for it.

The Haywood County quintet won two awards at this year’s IBMA awards: "Song of the Year" and "Vocal Group of the Year." The group was nominated for six IBMA Awards this year. The band’s fifth studio album, Five, combines traditional bluegrass and gospel with songs about home and hard times.

IBMA World of Bluegrass Raleigh
IBMA / IBMA

The story weather didn't stop the party at the International Bluegrass Music Association festivities in Raleigh last night.  The IBMA Awards show went on inside the Raleigh Convention Center. 

The Gibson Brothers hosted the show. Banjo player Eric Gibson was big enough to let his brother Leigh sleep in and to tell us about last night.

Tara Linhardt plays with Nepali musicians
Tara Linhardt

Nepal and Appalachia are on opposite ends of the Earth, but their musical traditions show striking parallels. Bluegrass musician Tara Linhardt traveled with friends, her mandolin and camera around the Nepali countryside to find and play alongside musicians preserving the country's folk traditions. The result is a musical fusion of two worlds usually separated by cultural and geographic barriers.

The Steel Wheels are an Americana roots band from Virginia featuring (L-R) Brian Dickel on bass, Trent Wagler on guitar and banjo, Eric Brubaker on fiddle and Jay Lapp on mandolin.
RubySky Photography

The Steel Wheels are an Americana roots band from Virginia taking influences from old-time and traditional string band music. Though they might look and sound like a bluegrass band to the average listener, The Steel Wheels do not consider themselves to be a bluegrass group.  Nonetheless they are bringing their music to the International Bluegrass Music Association’s festival in Raleigh for the second time.

IBMA World of Bluegrass Raleigh
IBMA / IBMA

Tonight's the night the spotlight shines on the best and the brightest from the world of bluegrass music.

IBMA World of Bluegrass Raleigh
IBMA / IBMA

You might notice a slightly different sound during Morning Edition, Here and Now and throughout the evenings this week on WUNC.  With all the bluegrass flurry happening in Raleigh this week we thought we'd sprinkle in just a bit of bluegrass with the music interludes we play during announcements and between programs this week.

The IBMA's new Exeutive Director Paul Schiminger.
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced the lineup of artists that will play the World of Bluegrass festival this fall.

Allison Krauss and Union Station Featuring Jerry Douglas will headline the event. It'll be held in Raleigh for the second year in a row. The Sam Bush band will also perform.

Paul Schiminger is the new Executive Director of the IBMA.

Schiminger says says Raleigh was very accommodating to festival goers last year.

Guitarist and vocalist Russell Moore leads IIIrd Tyme Out at a WUNC Raleigh Concert
Carol Jackson

Russell Moore's bluegrass career has included a stretch as a member of Doyle Lawson's Quicksilver band and as the leader of IIIrd Tyme Out since 1991. Born in Texas, he moved to North Carolina and later Georgia to follow his bluegrass dreams. Moore has been named IBMA Vocalist of the Year five times and the band has claimed Vocal Group of the Year seven consecutive times.

WUNC Back Porch Music host Freddy Jenkins introduces Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh
Carol Jackson

Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers' ramblings brought them to Raleigh during the IBMA World of Bluegrass in October. Just as the bluegrass gala was kicking off JMRR joined three other bands at a WUNC event at the Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.

The Spinney Brothers at the Museum of Natural Sciecnes
Carol Jackson

Allan and Rick Spinney were born in Ontario, Canada, in the mid 1960s. Even that far north, the sound of southern bluegrass and country music caught fire, especially with Allan, at an early age.

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper warming up prior to their performance.
Carol Jackson

It was a grand night for banjos and fiddles and song. On Wednesday October 1, 2014, during Raleigh's Wide Open Bluegrass event, WUNC hosted four bands on the Daily Planet stage at the Museum of Natural Sciences.

A photo of the North Carolina band Balsam Range
Courtesy of Balsalm Range

North Carolina bluegrass band Balsam Range took home the Entertainer of the Year award at the International Bluegrass Music Awards in Raleigh last night.  The Haywood County ensemble's lead singer, Buddy Melton, was named Male Vocalist of the Year. The awards have special meaning for Melton who suffered major injuries from a farming accident in 2012. 

 "I was loading cattle and the cow kicked the gate I was closing," he told The State of Things host Frank Stasio in an interview last year.

Host Frank Stasio and Béla Fleck prepare for their conversation.
Hady Mawajdeh (WUNC)

  

 The relentless Béla Fleck is known for taking his banjo on a wide array of sonic journeys. 

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper warming up prior to their performance.
Carol Jackson

Concurrently with the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) week-long World of Bluegrass, WUNC produced a special live broadcast with WAMU's Bluegrass Country in Washington, D.C. The program was hosted by Katy Daley of WAMU's Bluegrass Country and featured exclusive performances from three IBMA Award nominees:

Carol Jackson

The State of Things is broadcasting live from the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh today, 10/2/14 at noon. Watch the show here:

IBMA World of Bluegrass 2014
IBMA

The World of Bluegrass festival is rambling through North Carolina this week.

The rising stars and veterans of bluegrass from around the world are in Raleigh. It’s all part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual convention, which moved to Raleigh last year.

Host Frank Stasio talks with IBMA board member Craig Havighurst, who hosts a radio program called “Music City Roots” from Nashville and has contributed to NPR and the Wall Street Journal.

Image of Marko Čermák is considered the father of Czech Bluegrass.
Lee Bidgood

People in the Czech Republic first heard bluegrass music during World War II when Western music was hard to access in the sphere of Soviet influence. 

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