Balsam Range wins big IBMA award

Thursday, September 27, 2018 – Balsam Range won the big award taking home the International Bluegrass Music Association's Entertainer of the Year on Thursday. The band took two other IBMA Awards with Buddy Melton named male vocalist of the year and Tim Surrett in the bassist category. Balsam Range previously won Entertainer of the Year in 2014. The Earls of Leicester have won the award the past three years.

Brooke Aldridge won female vocalist of the year for the second straight year. Molly Tuttle won guitar player for the second straight year, and Sierra Hull was mandolin player for the third straight year.

Other instrumental winners were:

Banjo player of the year: Ned Luberecki (Becky Buller Band, Nedski & Mojo)

Dobro player of the year: Justin Moses

Fiddle player of the year: Michael Cleveland

The winner of Recorded Event of the Year was "Swept Away" with Missy Raines, Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Hull and Tuttle.

Other winners were:

Vocal group of the Year: Doyle Lawson & Quicksliver

Song of the Year: "If I'd Have Wrote That Song" (written by Larry Cordle, Larry Shell and James Silvers)

Album of the Year: "Rivers & Roads," Special Consensus

Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: Becky Buller, "Speakin' to That Mountain"

Instrumental Recorded Performance: "Squirrel Hunters," Special Consensus

Emerging Artist of the Year: Po' Ramblin' Boys

Bluegrass songwriter: Jerry Salley

Best sound engineer: Ben Surratt

Three performers were inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame: Ricky Skaggs; Paul Williams, who was one of the Sunny Mountain Boys with fellow Hall of Famers Jimmy Martin and J.D. Crowe; and songwriters Tom T. & Dixie Hall.

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CD reviews for Balsam Range

Aeonic CD review - Aeonic
Formed in 2007, Balsam Range already earned many international Bluegrass Music Association Awards across six albums. On their seventh, the acoustic quintet features four-part harmonies on most tunes, while the prevailing instruments are fiddle, mandolin, banjo, upright bass and guitar. Balsam Range is Buddy Melton (fiddle, vocals), Darren Nicholson (mandolin, vocals), Dr. Marc Pruett (banjo), Tim Surrett (bass, Dobro, Weissenborn, vocals) and Caleb Smith (guitar, vocals). The curious »»»
Mountain Overture CD review - Mountain Overture
Since forming a little more than a decade ago, North Carolina-based Balsam Range (Buddy Melton, fiddle; Darren Nicholson, mandolin; Tim Surrett, bass; Marc Pruett, banjo; and Caleb Smith, guitar) have established themselves over the course of six critically applauded albums (not counting a Christmas album, though that was well done too) as one of the more dynamic and accomplished bands on the modern bluegrass scene, with a basket full of IBMA awards to back that claim up. »»»
It's Christmas Time CD review - It's Christmas Time
You can have your silver bells for Christmas time in the city, but if you're looking to experience a mountain Christmas, look no further than Balsam Range. "It's Christmas Time" opens with the moody "Christmas Lullaby," and ends on an instrumental note, with a bluegrass-y "Jingle Bells." This six-song EP is heavy on familiar holiday songs, including "The First Noel," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Hark! The Harold Angeles Sing. »»»