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article imageBuddy Melton from Balsam Range talks IBMA wins and future plans Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 26, 2014 in Music
Buddy Melton from Balsam Range was named "Male Vocalist of the Year" at the IBMA awards, and his group was honored as "Entertainer of the Year."
Aside from "Entertainer of the Year," Balsam Range was also named "Vocal Group of the Year" at the IBMA awards. "That was very exciting. I didn't expect it and it was great to be a part of it," he said. "We will continue our process of playing music and meeting new folks. We will have some new projects coming up in the future. I am always looking for new songs and continuing the process. We will try to have fun and make the best music we can," Melton added.
Bluegrass group Balsam Range
Bluegrass group Balsam Range
Laughing Penguin Publicity
Their most recent album, Five, is the group's fifth studio album. Their previous alum, Papertown, was named "Album of the Year" at the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards. It is a tribute to their hometown of Canton, North Carolina. "That project was exciting too," he said. "It came about at a difficult time for me, after coming out of a major accident and surgeries, so that recording process was little different, so to see it recognized was very rewarding."
In addition to Buddy, Balsam Range consists of Tim Surrett, Caleb Smith, Marc Pruett (a Grammy-winning banjo player) and Darren Nicholson.
They enjoy giving back and raising money for various regional and national causes. At their annual Winter Concert Series, which takes place at the Colonial Theater in Canton, North Carolina, the group chose a charity to benefit from each concert. "That is something we have been doing for a while now in our home county. We try to bring artists that folks normally wouldn't see, and different folks that we are fans of. Each month is for a different charity and we try to raise money for our local community," he said.
He defined bluegrass as a "real genre" of music. "What you see on stage is what you hear on the CDs. It is full of great musicians and the music is genuine. It is more of a family atmosphere and the fans and artists are all interacting with each other. There is a lot of energy and feeling, and there is something for everybody in it," he said.
Melton listed such acclaimed songstresses as Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent and Amanda Smith as his dream female duet choices in bluegrass music. "I would love to sing with Alison. There are some great females in bluegrass: Rhonda is a great one, and a great person as well. Amanda Smith was the female vocalist this year, and very deserving at that," he said. "There are some great female vocalists that are exciting to listen to."
For more information on bluegrass band Balsam Range, check out their official website.
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