Jan 112018


The nominees for the 2018  Bluegrass Music Awards from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America have been announced. They will be presented in February at the 44th Annual SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Awards and 35th National Convention & Band Championship in Nashville.

In contrast to the IBMA, which takes a wide view in the question of just what bluegrass music is, SPBGMA hews much more closely to the traditions that informed the style in its earliest days. Nominees and final award winners are chosen by balloting among the membership, and attendees at the annual convention at the Sheraton Music City Hotel each winter.

And the nominees for the 2018 awards are…

Bluegrass Promoter of the Year

  • Norman Adams
  • Bob Auth
  • Ryan Frankhouser
  • DA Callaway
  • Melanie Wilson
  • Sammy Karr

Bluegrass Radio Station of the Year

  • WBRF-FM Galax, VA
  • WCHQ-FM Louisville, KY
  • WPAQ-AM, Mt. Airy, NC
  • Sirius XM 062-Bluegrass Junction
  • WBZI-AM, Xenia, OH
  • WSM-AM, Nashville, TN

Bluegrass DJ of the Year

  • Judith Burnette WBRF FM Galax, VA
  • Bob Mitchell WCHQ FM Louisville, KY
  • Tim Frye WPAQ AM Mt. Airy NC
  • Kyle Cantrell Sirius XM 062
  • Chris Jones Sirius XM 062
  • Cindy Baucom Knee Deep In Bluegrass

Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year

  • Larry Cordle
  • Donna Ulisse
  • Milan Miller
  • Eric Gibson
  • Daryl Mosley
  • Wayne Taylor

Bluegrass Album of the Year

  • Colors – The Farm Hands on Pinecastle Records
  • Let Them Know I’m From Virginia – Big Country Bluegrass on Rebel Records
  • In The Ground – The Gibson Brothers on Rounder Records
  • Life Is A Story – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on Mountain Home Music Company
  • Before Breakfast – The Grascals on Mountain Home Music Company
  • Silence In These Walls – Flatt Lonesome on Mountain Home Music Company

Bluegrass Bass Fiddle Performer of the Year

  • Tyler Wiseman
  • Michael Gregory
  • Gary Trivette
  • Mickey Harris
  • Mike Bub
  • Darrin Vincent

Bluegrass Dobro Performer of the Year

  • Gaven Largent
  • Tim Graves
  • Rob Ickes
  • Jerry Douglas
  • Dylan Armour
  • Josh Swift

Bluegrass Guitar Performer of the Year

  • Tony Wray
  • Rebecca Frazier
  • Keith Tew
  • Josh Williams
  • Kody Norris
  • Jacob Greer

Bluegrass Mandolin Performer of the Year

  • Tristin Norfleet
  • Zack Arnold
  • Alan Bibey
  • Larry Stephenson
  • Wayne Benson
  • Danny Roberts

Bluegrass Banjo Performer of the Year

  • Don Hill
  • Josiah Tyree
  • Tyler Thompson
  • Billy Lee Cox
  • Mitch Walker
  • Kristin Scott-Benson

Bluegrass Fiddle Performer of the Year

  • Gil Benson
  • Adam Haynes
  • Ron Stewart
  • Jamie Harper
  • Hunter Berry
  • Mary Rachel Nalley

Female Vocalist of the Year (Overall)

  • Brooke Aldridge
  • Amanda Smith
  • Dale Ann Bradley
  • Rhonda Vincent
  • Jeanette Williams
  • Sonya Isaacs

Male Vocalist of the Year (Overall)

  • Johnny Williams
  • Kody Noris
  • Jr Sisk
  • Russell Moore
  • Jacob Greer
  • Daryl Mosley

Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year

  • Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
  • The Farm Hands
  • The Churchmen
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • ClayBank
  • The King James Boys

Bluegrass Vocal Group of the Year

  • Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
  • Carolina Blue Band
  • The Farm Hands
  • ClayBank
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • Branded Bluegrass

Bluegrass Instrumental Group of the Year

  • ClayBank
  • The Farm Hands
  • The Kody Norris Show
  • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
  • Branded Bluegrass
  • Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice

Bluegrass Band of the Year (Overall)

  • The Kody Norris Show
  • Branded Bluegrass
  • The Farm Hands
  • Remington Ryde
  • Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
  • ClayBank

Bluegrass Entertainer(s) of the Year

  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • The Farm Hands
  • Flatt Lonesome
  • Remington Ryde
  • Branded Bluegrass
  • ClayBank

Bluegrass Song of the Year

  • Burn The Barn – Big Country Bluegrass on Rebel Records
  • All My Life – Flatt Lonesome on Mountain Home Music Company
  • Rural Route – The Farmhands on Pinecastle Records
  • Life To My Days – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver on Mountain Home Music Company
  • My Quiet Mind – The Gibson Brothers on Rounder Records
  • Sleeping With The Reaper – The Grascals on Mountain Home Music Company

Congratulations one and all. See you in February!


Jan 112018

On Feb 16, 17,18 and 19th at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville North Carolina you will find this stellar lineup of GREAT Bluegrass music to entertain you in fine fashion. So first we shall talk about the lineup of bands before all the rest of the information here. As usual I shall post not only the poster but all of the band links too!

The 23rd annual Bluegrass First Class hosted by Festival Director Mr. Milton Harkey and his organization that is fiercely dedicated to the proliferation and promotion of Bluegrass music in all forms. He is by all means one of the modern day pioneers of his craft in many ways:

  • One of the founding fathers of the IBMA (June, 1985) and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.
  • Originator, founder and producer of The Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Family Style Bluegrass Festival in Denton, NC (for 17 years)
  • Founder and host of the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass showdown, a talent search for bluegrass and acoustic bands throughout the US and Canada. Pizza Hut was the Title Sponsor.
  • Founding member of the South Carolina Bluegrass Society, Inc and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.
  • Producer of several bluegrass festivals: Fox on the Run Bluegrass Festival in Lexington, Little Mountain, SC, founder of the Kinston Winter Bluegrass Festival in Kinston, NC in conjunction with the Eastern North Carolina Bluegrass Association.
  • Disk jockey for 1 year with a 3 hour weekly show at WCOS-FM Radio, a 100,000 watt station located in Columbia, SC.
  • Event producer at the Quarter Moon Listening Parlor in Columbia, SC.
  • Harkey continues to spend his spare time working with young bluegrass artists by providing the opportunity to showcase their talents and achieve the recognition of seasoned bluegrass audiences nationwide.

Flatt Lonesome
Dailey And Vincent
Steve Gulley And New Pinnacle
Russell Moore And IIIrd Tyme Out
Doyle Lawson And Quicksilver
Rhonda Vincent And The Rage
Blue Mafia
Lonesome River Band
Seldom Scene

Some might fine looking accommodations embellish this festival and entice you to want to come and enjoy some music in this area folks, I highly suggest you come check out what they are doing out there. I can tell you previous experience that Asheville North Carolina is a gorgeous area. And the initial hotel that is hosting this event includes the ENTIRE HOTEL, this from their website:

There will be pickin’ around the clock in the halls, rooms, lounge, sunken lobby, and foyer. The entire hotel is reserved for bluegrass fans and performers – It’s all yours, so just have at it! There is one quiet wing in the hotel and in that area we respectfully request that there be no jammin’.

Asheville Rennissance

31 Woodfin St
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-8211


Days Inn

201 Tunnel Rd
Asheville, NC 28805
(828) 252-4000

Free Hot Breakfast Each Morning

*Ask for the special Bluegrass rate: $73.10 + Tax