Finalists will be announced June 13

The FreshGrass and No Depression Awards celebrate and reward emerging artists who offer innovative interpretations of bluegrass and roots music traditions. With five categories and prizes totaling more than $25,000 cash — plus brand new instruments and studio time at Compass Records — we’re proud that our awards are among the most ambitious of their kind.

FreshGrass awards

If you are an unsigned band, banjoist, fiddler or mandolinist (new in 2019!), have wicked skills, and are performing music that’s deeply informed by bluegrass even as it tests boundaries, we want to hear you. Once you’ve submitted and been pre-screened, a panel of judges will invite three finalists in each category to participate in a head-to-head performance at the Freshgrass Festival. Each finalist will need to perform one standard or traditional tune and one original composition.

The grand prize winner in each category — selected on the basis of compositional originality, instrumental and vocal skills, stage presence and performance, and proficiency in the tradition — will take home an array of additional prizes, including a large grant, the opportunity to perform at the following year’s festival, recording sessions at Compass Records, and hand-crafted instruments.

fresh grass
Emily Keener
Emily Keener, 2017 No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award winner

NO DEPRESSION SINGER-SONGWRITER AWARD

The No Depression Singer-Songwriter Award recognizes and rewards up-and-coming roots music singer-songwriters from the U.S. and beyond. A preliminary committee will narrow the field of submissions to three finalists, who will travel to the FreshGrass Festival to perform in front of a live audience. A panel comprised of No Depression editors and artist judges will select a winner on the merits of their lyrics, music, instrumentation, and overall performance. All music is original in this competition, and all performances are solo.

Contest rules and more details:

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Submissions are open from March 1-May 15

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at: awards@freshgrass.com

Past Winners:

BANDS:
2018
Man about a horse (1st)
Ghost of Paul Revere (2nd)

2017
The Lonesome Days (1st)
The Buck Stops Here (2nd)

2016
Last Revel (1st)
Cabin Creek (2nd)

2015
Old Salt Union (1st)
Mile Twelve (2nd)

2014
Twisted Pine (1st)
Many Night Ahead (2nd)

2013
Cricket Tell the Weather (1st)
Lonely Heartstring Band (2nd)

BANJO:
2018
Ryan McCauley (1st)
Sam Z (2nd)

2017
Stephen Moore (1st)
Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose (2nd)

2016
Victor Furtado (1st)
Takumi Kodera (2nd)

2015
Catherine Bowness (1st)
Victor Furtado (2nd)

2014
Ricky Mier (1st)
Gabe Hirshfeld (2nd)

NO DEPRESSION SINGER-SONGWRITER:
2018
Lauren Pratt (1st)
Clint Alphin (2nd)

2017
Emily Keener (1st)
Rachel Laven (2nd)

FIDDLE:
2018
Gabe Terraciano (1st)
Natalie Padilla (2nd)

2017
Andrew Vogts (1st)
Shona Carr (2nd)

2016
Julian Pinelli (1st)
Jordan Rast (2nd)

2015
Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (1st)
Kathleen Parks (2nd)