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IBMA Special Awards and Momentum Awards Nominees Announced

Aug 9, 2018

IBMA Special Awards and Momentum Awards Nominees Announced

The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced the nominees for this year’s Special Awards and Momentum Awards.

The Special Awards nominees are selected by specially appointed committees made up of bluegrass music professionals who possess significant knowledge of that field. The recipient of each award is decided on by the Panel of Electors, an anonymous group of over 200 veteran bluegrass music professionals selected by the IBMA Board of Directors.

The 2018 Special Awards nominees are:

Graphic Design

Drew Bolen & Whitney Beard: Old Salt Union by Old Salt Union
Lou Everhart: A Heart Never Knows by The Price Sisters
Richard Hakalski: Portraits and Fiddles by Mike Barnett
Corey Johnson: Sounds of Kentucky by Carolina Blue
Karen Key: Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition by Various Artists

Liner Notes

Craig Havighurst: The Story We Tell by Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
Steve Martin: The Long Awaited Album by Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
Joe Mullins: Sounds of Kentucky Grass by Carolina Blue
Ted Olson: Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition by Various Artists
Peter Wernick: Carter Stanley’s Eyes by Peter Rowan

Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year

Larry Carter
Michelle Lee
Steve Martin
Alan Tompkins
Kris Truelsen

Print Media Person of the Year

Derek Halsey
Chris Jones
Ted Lehmann
David Morris
Neil Rosenberg

Songwriter of the Year

Becky Buller
Thomm Jutz
Jerry Salley
Donna Ulisse
Jon Weisberger

Event of the Year

Bluegrass on the Green – Frankfort, Illinois
County Bluegrass – Fort Fairfield, Maine
Emelin Theatre – Mamaroneck, New York
Flagler Museum’s Bluegrass in the Pavilion – Palm Beach, Florida
FreshGrass Festival – North Adams, Massachusetts

Sound Engineer of the Year

Dave Sinko
Stephen Mougin
Gary Paczosa
Tim Reitnouer
Ben Surratt

The Momentum Awards recognize both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who, in the early stages of their careers, are making significant contributions to or are having a significant influence upon bluegrass music. These contributions can be to bluegrass music in general, or to a specific sector of the industry. The Mentor Award, in contrast to the other Momentum Awards, recognizes a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry.

Starting with recommendations from the IBMA membership, nominees are chosen through a multi-stage process by committees made up of respected musicians and industry leaders in the bluegrass world.

The 2018 Momentum Award nominees are:


Anderson Bluegrass Festival – South Carolina
Farm & Fun Time – Virginia
Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival – Washington
Red Wing Roots Music Festival – Virginia
SamJam Bluegrass Festival – Ohio

Industry Involvement

Megan Lynch Chowning and Adam Chowning
Justin Hiltner
Kris Truelsen


Daniel Boner
Cathy Fink
Scott Napier
Jon Weisberger
Pete Wernick


Cane Mill Road – Nort Carolina
Man About a Horse – Pennsylvania
Midnight Skyracer – United Kingdom
The Trailblazers – North Carolina
Wood Belly – Colorado


Ellie Hakanson (Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Greg Blake Band)
Will Jones (Terry Baucom & the Dukes of Drive)
AJ Lee (AJ Lee & Blue Summit)
Evan Murphy (Mile Twelve)
Daniel Thrailkill (The Trailblazers)

Instrumentalist [three are chosen in this category]

Tabitha Agnew (Midnight Skyracer)
David Benedict (Mile Twelve)
Catherine (“BB”) Bowness (Mile Twelve)
Thomas Cassell (Circus No. 9)
Hasee Ciaccio (Molly Tuttle Band)
Matthew Davis (Circus No. 9)
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (Mile Twelve)
Aynsley Porchak (Carolina Blue)
Trajan Wellington (Cane Mill Road)

The 2018 Special Awards are sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association and Homespun Music Instruction, while the 2018 Momentum Awards are sponsored by the Bluegrass Situation.

The recipients of the 2018 Momentum Awards will be presented with their awards at a luncheon on Wednesday, September 26, and the recipients of the 2018 Special Awards will be presented with their awards at a luncheon on Thursday, September 27 in Raleigh, North Carolina, as part of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event.

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IBMA Special Awards and Momentum Awards Nominees Announced