Entertainer of the Year honors went to The Earls of Leicester, while Flatt Lonesome was named Vocal Group of the Year and received awards for Album and Song of the Year during the 27th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards show, Sept. 29, 2016, at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Arts.
The Earls of Leicester, which also was the top winner in the 2015 International Bluegrass Music Awards, pay homage to the musical legacy of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and their band, the Foggy Mountain Boys. Besides being named Entertainer of the Year again, the bluegrass supergroup’s bandleader, Jerry Douglas, was again named Dobro Player of the Year, while bandmate Barry Bales repeated as Bass Player of the Year and Charlie Cushman was named Banjo Player of the Year.
Last year, The Earls of Leicester also took home trophies for Album of the Year for its self-titled debut release, Instrumental Group of the Year and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year, while member Shawn Camp was named Male Vocalist of the Year. Also in the group is Johnny Warren (fiddle).
Flatt Lonesome has been garnering considerable attention, accolades and radio airplay. Launched in 2011 by siblings Kelsi Robertson Harrigil (mandolin), Buddy Robertson (guitar), and Charli Robetrtson (fiddle), along with neighbor Dominic Illingworth (bass) and longtime friend Michael Stockton (dobro), and joined by Paul Harrigil (banjo) the following year, the band released its eponymous debut album in 2013.In addition to being named Vocal Group of the Year, Flatt Lonesome also won Album of the Year for Runaway Train and Song of the Year for “You’re The One,” written by Dwight Yoakum.
During the awards show, members of Flatt Lonesome expressed thanks to their parents for teaching them how to sing. “We wouldn’t be Vocal Group of the Year without them,” said Charli Robertson, while twin brother Buddy remarked: “I’ve spent a lot of hours picking in the house with dad growing up and if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be who I am today.” Commenting on winning Album of the Year, older sister Kelsi Harrigill said: “This is our first album to have the majority of material to be all original and that is a huge deal to us. We want to pay tribute to those who came before us but we also want to show people what’s in our hearts…”
Earlier this year, Flatt Lonesome was named Best Overall Bluegrass Band and took home Album of the Year honors during the 42nd annual SPBGMA Awards.
A listing of all the award winners appears below.
2016 International Bluegrass Music Awards
Entertainer of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
Female Vocalist of the Year: Becky Buller
Male Vocalist of the Year: Danny Paisley
Vocal Group of the Year: Flatt Lonesome
Instrumental Group of the Year: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Song of the Year: “You’re the One,” Flatt Lonesome
Album of the Year: Runaway Train, Flatt Lonesome
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: “All Dressed Up,” Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers
Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: “Fireball,” Special Consensus featuring Rob Ickes, Trey Hensley and Alison Brown
Emerging Artist of the Year: Mountain Faith
Recorded Event of the Year: Longneck Blues, Junior Sisk and Ronnie Bowman
Banjo Player of the Year: Charlie Cushman
Bass Player of the Year: Barry Bales
Dobro Player of the Year: Jerry Douglas
Fiddle Player of the Year: Becky Buller
Guitar Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
Mandolin Player of the Year: Sierra Hull
Inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: Clarence White; the Rounder Founders: Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin
Distinguished Achievement Awards: Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine, Boston Bluegrass Union, SiriusXM Radio’s Bluegrass Junction, Bill Emerson, Jim Rooney
The International Bluegrass Awards Show was a centerpiece of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s five-day World of Bluegrass, which is considered the genre’s annual industry gathering and family reunion. Held in Raleigh for the fourth consecutive year, World of Bluegrass also featured a wide array of professional development seminars, meetings and forums, artist showcases and late-night hospitality functions, an exhibit hall, plenty of networking and relationship-building opportunities, and the Wide Open Bluegrass Music Festival.