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Gibson signature artists nominated for International Bluegrass Music Awards; J.D. Crowe to be inducted into Hall of Honor

By Jason Padgitt
August 21, 2003 - 11:40 pm

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Doyle Lawson

Doyle Lawson

Eleven Gibson signature artists from the Original Acoustic Instruments (OAI) and Montana divisions have been nominated across multiple categories for the 14th Annual International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, slated for October 2 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville. Bandleader J.D. Crowe - a longtime Gibson signature banjo artist who was an innovator of the "Newgrass" movement of the early 1970s and mentored many younger artists in his band the New South, including Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice and Keith Whitley - will be inducted into the prestigious Hall of Honor, the IBMA's equivalent of a lifetime achievement award. The nominations were announced Thursday, Aug. 14 in Nashville by Skaggs and Jim Lauderdale at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Bandleader and mandolinist Doyle Lawson and Dobroist Phil Leadbetter, OAI's newest signature artists, are together nominated for a total of six awards.

"It really means a lot to me being nominated as IBMA Dobro Player of the Year," says Leadbetter. "This is my third year being nominated, and I am amazed each time knowing that the fans appreciate what I am doing. I could never in my wildest dreams imagine being on the same ballot as some of the guys I have admired and idolized. It is a true honor for me, and each time means just as much to me as the very first time I made the ballot."

Lawson's band Quicksilver received nods for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year for "Blue Train (Of the Heart Line)" (written by John D. Loudermilk), and Gospel Recorded Performance for "The Hand Made Cross" from the album Hard Game of Love. Leadbetter will enjoy some friendly competition with fellow OAI artists Jerry Douglas and "Uncle" Josh Graves in the Dobro Instrumental Performer category; he's also been nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year for his work with the band Wildfire.

Signature artists Adam Steffey and Wayne Benson each garnered four nominations as individual players and bandmembers (Steffey is in Mountain Heart and Benson is in IIIrd Tyme Out), including Mandolin Instrumental Performer. Versatile Newgrass pioneer Sam Bush will give them a "run for the trophy" in that category.

Banjo legend Earl Scruggs, Bush, Douglas, and Gibson Montana signature artists Emmylou Harris and Dwight Yoakam have been nominated together with a slew of other great performers for their contributions to the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. III with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, produced by Randy Scruggs and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on Capitol Records. The project is up for Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year.

Genre-bending singer/fiddler Alison Krauss and her Union Station bandmember Dan Tyminski will host the awards show, which will be broadcast by radio around the world to more than 300 U.S. markets and 14 foreign networks. The awards are voted on by the professional membership of the IBMA, which serves as the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. The Award Show is the centerpiece of IBMA's week-long Trade Show and Bluegrass Fan Fest, slated for September 29 - October 5, in Louisville.

For a complete list of nominees visit

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