Reigning IBMA Entertainers Of The Year Balsam Range will show why they've twice earned that honor - alongside two Vocal Group of the Year trophies - when they bring The Beatles to this year's IBMA awards and festival when they perform "If I Needed Someone," the closing track of their 2019 release Aeonic, with the North Carolina State University Symphony.
With lead vocal by IBMA Bass Player of the Year Tim Surrett, the song features Beatles-styled stacked harmonies, impeccable timing and instrumental wizardry combined in an arrangement unlike any the band - or arguably anyone in Bluegrass - has attempted. The result is a look at how adept Balsam Range is at merging genres, which they will continue to do with this special collaboration.
Balsam Range will first perform the song at the IBMA Awards Show at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26 at the Duke Energy Center For The Performing Arts in Raleigh. They will perform again on Friday, September 27 at 6 p.m. at the Red Hat Amphitheater.
The collaboration with NC State University has been in the works for some time, and both groups felt that the IBMA festival in the state's capital would be an ideal time to perform.
"We've been eager to explore this connection with NC State further and this has become a wonderful opportunity to do it," says Surrett. "It's gonna be a blast. It's gonna be a wall of sound."
Balsam Range is nominated for several awards again this year, including:
- Entertainer Of The Year
- Vocal Group Of The Year
- Song Of The Year for "The Girl Who Invented The Wheel"
- Gospel Recording Of The Year for "Let My Life Be A Light"
- Collaborative Recording Of The Year for "Burning Georgia Down" with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble
About Balsam Range
The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre's most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of 8 critically-acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. The band collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble to record 2 albums, the second of which, Mountain Overture, debuted on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart at #5 and the Classical Crossover Chart at #6.
Their previous outing, Mountain Voodoo, debuted at #4 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart and remained on that chart for 45 weeks. Three singles from that album reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today Chart, including "Blue Collar Dreams," which spent three consecutive months at the top. The band most recently claimed the #1 radio chart spot with their single "The Girl Who Invented The Wheel." In addition to winning Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range vocalist Buddy Melton won IBMA's Male Vocalist of the Year and bass player Tim Surrett won IBMA's Bass Player of the Year in 2018.