Last year, Murphy listed the women who made it onto the second IBMA awards ballot in the instrumental performers category. There were eighteen, in contrast to a decade ago, when there were only five. Since I just filled out this year's ballot (and since she's busy working on her book and probably hasn't even looked at her ballot yet), let's take a look at who made the cut this year.
For Banjo Player of the Year
Kristin Scott Benson
For Bass Player of the Year
For Fiddle Player of the Year
(Same four people as last year, interestingly enough)
For Mandolin Player of the Year
Twelve people, which pretty much splits the difference between last year and a decade ago. You'll notice that no guitar players or dobro players made it at all. New entries this year are Brooke Aldridge, who plays with her husband Darin, and Christy Reid, who plays with her husband Lou in his band, Lou Reid and Carolina. Congratulation to these gals, who are getting out, playing in front of people, and really making an impression.
And since we're talking about instrumental performers, here are the bands that include women who made it into the Instrumental Group of the Year category: Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Cherryholmes, the Grascals, Lorraine Johnson and Carolina Road, the Claire Lynch Band, and Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. Not a bad turn out!
The group I play with, The Dixie Bee-Liners, actually made it onto the ballot in a couple of categories: Vocal Group of the Year, and Emerging Artist of the Year. Go us!