Dailey & Vincent big winners at bluegrass awards

New duo Dailey & Vincent dominated the International Bluegrass Music Association awards Thursday, winning entertainer of the year, album of the year, vocal group, emerging artist and gospel recorded performance.

Jamie Dailey, left, hugs Darrin Vincent after they performed at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- New duo Dailey & Vincent dominated the International Bluegrass Music Association awards Thursday, winning entertainer of the year, album of the year, vocal group, emerging artist and gospel recorded performance.

"To the fans that come out to see the shows - thank you so much. You're exciting to be around," Darrin Vincent said. "I promise you we'll give our 100 percent best to honor bluegrass music this year."

Vincent, a member of Ricky Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder before striking out on his own last year with Jamie Dailey, a former member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, were the leading nominees with 10.

They won gospel recorded performance for "By the Mark." Dailey also won for best male vocalist.

"Doyle Lawson, I love you like a Daddy. Thank you for being a great leader," Dailey said.

The duo went head to head with their old bosses in a number of categories. Vince Gill presented them the entertainer award and quipped, "Pretty good year to be named Vincent, I have to say."

Dale Ann Bradley won for female vocalist in a tough field that included perennial favorites Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent.

"This is very sweet, and I appreciate this so much," said an emotional Bradley.

Barry Bales was awarded bass player of the year.

"Thanks to Alison Krauss and Union Station for the best on-the-job training in the world," remarked Bales, a member of Union Station.

Michael Cleveland won for top fiddle player and thanked his father, saying, "If it wasn't for him, I couldn't possibly do this."

Cleveland and his band Flamekeeper also won for instrumental group of the year.

Kristin Scott Benson won banjo player of the year, Rob Ickes dobro player, Josh Williams guitar and Adam Steffey mandolin.

Song of the year was Blue Highway's "Through the Window of a Train," written by Tim Stafford and Steve Gulley.

"We're just fortunate to be able to do this," Stafford said.

The show featured performances by Bradley, Steep Canyon Rangers, Blue Highway, the Grascals, Lawson & Quicksilver, the SteelDrivers, the Del McCoury Band, Dailey & Vincent, the Dan Tyminski Band, the Infamous Stringdusters and Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.

For Dailey & Vincent, this year's event is one for the books. Dailey is the former lead singer and guitarist for Quicksilver, while Vincent played guitar and mandolin with Kentucky Thunder.

Bluegrass veteran Del McCoury hosted the show at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

"What better place to celebrate bluegrass music," McCoury asked. "I first performed on this stage in 1963 as a Bluegrass Boy with Bill Monroe and I can almost hear his voice now."

The late Charles Wolfe, a country music scholar and English professor at Middle Tennessee State University, and Bill Clifton, a recording artist in the '50s and '60s with songs such as "Mary Dear" and "Going Back to Dixie," were inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame.

Dailey and Vincent began thinking of striking out on their own after they recorded a Christmas song, "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem," for a bluegrass collection in 2004. The tune took off, hitting No. 1 on Prime Cuts of Bluegrass, a compilation CD serviced to bluegrass radio.

"I told Darrin we might be on to something here," Dailey said.

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