Dailey & Vincent, a duo formed just last year, topped the nominations for the 2008 International Bluegrass Music Association awards. The announcements were made Thursday (Aug. 14) at the Country Music Hall of Fame's Ford Theater by multiple IBMA award-winner Del McCoury, two-time Country Music Association female vocalist of the year Kathy Mattea, disc jockey and historian Eddie Stubbs and IBMA executive director Dan Hays.
Together and separately, veteran performers Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were picked to vie in 10 categories, including the all-important entertainer and album of the year slots. Cornering six nominations each were Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Blue Highway and the Dan Tyminski Band, another new musical configuration.
Dailey & Vincent were on hand to open and close the program with their music. One of the songs they performed, "By the Mark," turned out to be one of their two song of the year nominations (the other being "More Than a Name on the Wall). "By The Mark" was also cited in the best gospel performance category.
Stubbs announced that Bill Clifton and the late Dr. Charles K. Wolfe will be inducted into International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. Clifton is a longtime performer, recording artist, folk music scholar and organizer of folk clubs and bluegrass events in the U.S. and Europe.
Wolfe, who would have been 65 on the day his nomination was announced, wrote voluminously and expertly on country and bluegrass music and performers in addition to his holding down his day job as professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University. Of his many books and countless articles, his magnum opus was A Good Natured-Riot: The Birth of the Grand Ole Opry, a study that recounted the Opry's first 15 years of operation, from 1925 to 1940.
CMT.com's in-house bluegrass aficionado, Craig Shelburne, was nominated for print media person of the year in a category that also includes freelance writers Stephanie P. Ledgin and Chris Stuart.
Among the bluegrass artists attending the announcements were Tyminski, Eddie Adcock, Ronnie Reno, Carl Jackson, Larry Stephenson, Rob Ickes and David Crow.
Noting that McCoury, a nine-time IBMA entertainer of the year, will host the organization's awards show, Hays joked, "Maybe he'll bring some of his trophies back and we can hand them out again. I think he has more than we do."
When Hays introduced McCoury and Mattea to read the performing and recording nominations, he pointed out that each has a new album that has topped Billboard's bluegrass chart and that each album -- Mattea's Coal and McCoury's Moneyland -- speaks to current social issues.
"They both reshaped how we think of music," Hays asserted.
Mattea and McCoury were in high spirits and good humor, however, as they slogged through category after category of nominees. Mattea quipped that the exquisitely coiffed McCoury had "commandeered all the hairspray in Nashville" and added, "It's pretty bad to be the only woman in the room and have the lowest voice."
McCoury marveled that he was able to read the nominations without donning his glasses. When he read the album title Everett Lilly & Everybody and Their Brother, a candidate in the recorded event division, he struck an incredulous tone, saying, "Everett's got everybody and their brother [on the album] except me and my brother."
Set for Oct. 2 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, The IBMA Awards show is the high point of the World of Bluegrass convention that takes place Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, primarily at the Nashville Convention Center. The Bluegrass Fan Fest, which features the genre's top performers, runs Oct. 3-5.
Here's a complete list of this year's IBMA nominees:
Entertainer of the Year Dailey & Vincent The Grascals Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver The Del McCoury Band Rhonda Vincent & the Rage
Vocal Group of the Year Blue Highway Dailey & Vincent The Grascals The Isaacs Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass
Instrumental Group of the Year Blue Highway Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper The Infamous Stringdusters Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder Dan Tyminski Band
Male Vocalist of the Year Jamie Dailey Russell Moore Tim O'Brien Danny Paisley Dan Tyminski
Female Vocalist of the Year Dale Ann Bradley Sonya Isaacs Alison Krauss Claire Lynch Rhonda Vincent
Album of the Year Dailey & Vincent Dailey & Vincent
Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass -- Tribute to 1946 and 1947 Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Lovin' Pretty Women Steep Canyon Rangers
The SteelDrivers The SteelDrivers
Through the Window of a Train Blue Highway
Song of the Year "Alison's Band" Artist: Charlie Sizemore Band Writers: Charlie Sizemore and Buddy Cannon
"By the Mark" Artist: Dailey & Vincent Writers: David Rawlings and Gillian Welch
"Drinkin' Dark Whiskey" Artist: The SteelDrivers Writers: Mike Henderson and Chris Stapleton
"More Than a Name on the Wall" Artist: Dailey & Vincent Writers: Jimmy Fortune and John Rimel
"Through the Window of a Train" Artist: Blue Highway Writers: Tim Stafford and Steve Gulley
Gospel Recorded Performance "Be Still Moses" Steep Canyon Rangers
"By the Mark" Dailey & Vincent
Help Is on the Way Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Salt of the Earth Ricky Skaggs & the Whites
Where No One Stands Alone Paul Williams & the Victory Trio
Instrumental Album Live at the Linda David Grier
Sound of the Slide Guitar Andy Hall
Stepping Out Jason Davis
The Past Is Present Jason Barie
When at Last Russ Barenberg
Recorded Event Christmas Grass, Vol. 3 3 Fox Drive, Sonya Isaacs, John Cowan, Sarah Jarosz, Larry Sparks, Russell Moore and Charlie Daniels
Everett Lilly & Everybody and Their Brother Everett Lilly, Bea Lilly, Charles Lilly, Daniel Lilly, Mark Lilly, Marty Stuart, Rhonda Vincent, Billy Walker, Ronnie McCoury, Rob McCoury, David Ball, Charlie Cushman, Larry Stephenson, Joe Spivey, Eddie Stubbs, Jason Carter, Dickey Lee, Freddy Weller, Mike Bub, Rad Lewis, Andy May, Darrin Vincent, Marcia Campbell, Clay Rigdon, Eric Blankenship and Bill Wolfenbarger
Salt of the Earth Ricky Skaggs & the Whites
Standard Songs for Average People John Prine and Mac Wiseman
We Are Family Jeff & Sheri Easter, the Lewis Family & the Easter Brothers
Emerging Artist Cadillac Sky Dailey & Vincent Grasstowne Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass The SteelDrivers
Banjo Kristen Scott Benson J.D. Crowe Jim Mills Earl Scruggs Ron Stewart
Bass Barry Bales Mike Bub Missy Raines Darrin Vincent Marshall Wilborn
Fiddle Hunter Berry Jason Carter Michael Cleveland Stuart Duncan Ron Stewart
Dobro Mike Auldridge Jerry Douglas Rob Ickes Randy Kohrs Phil Leadbetter
Guitar Cody Kilby Tony Rice Tim Stafford Bryan Sutton Josh Williams
Mandolin Sam Bush Sierra Hull Doyle Lawson Ronnie McCoury Adam Steffey Bluegrass Broadcaster Kyle Cantrell, XM Satellite Radio Katy Daley, WAMU's bluegrasscountry.org Terry Herd, Bluegrass Radio Network
Bluegrass Event Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (Ancramdale, N.Y.) River City Bluegrass Festival (Portland, Ore.) 29th annual Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival (Thomas Point Beach, Maine)
Bluegrass Print Media Person Stephanie P. Ledgin, freelance writer and author Craig Shelburne, CMT.com Chris Stuart, freelance writer, Bluegrass Unlimited
Best Graphic Design for Recorded Project Designer: G. Carr and S. Holman What The, Pete Wernick & Flexigrass
Designer: Smay Vision Graphic Design The Stanley Brothers: The Definitive Collection (1947-1966) , the Stanley Brothers
Designer: Loren Witcher Punch, the Punch Brothers
Best Liner Notes for Recorded Project Writers: Frank and Marty Godbey Bluegrass Holiday, J.D. Crowe
Writer: Gary Reid The Stanley Brothers: The Definitive Collection (1947-1966) , the Stanley Brothers
Writer: Ron Thomason Good News, the Charlie Sizemore Band