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“We’re nervous,” says Jamie Dailey, one-half of bluegrass’s hottest duo, Dailey & Vincent. That statement may sound odd for a duo that are nominated for 10 trophies at tonight’s 21st annual International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, but Jamie and Darrin Vincent say they are nervous not for themselves, but for all of the bluegrass performers who will take the stage at the Ryman Auditorium tonight.
The duo is more concerned about the night’s overall appeal to listeners than about their own individual wins or losses. “We are in such a niche style of music, that we wish the best for everybody,” says Jamie. “We have some amazing musicians in this music that never even get nominated [for awards]. We look at this as a time for everyone to play their best and put their best foot forward to help spread bluegrass music. The International Bluegrass Music Awards are just that—it’s international. So yeah, we look forward to that.”
Dailey & Vincent are nominated for 10 awards, including Entertainer of the Year (a title they have taken home for the past two years).
The IBMA has recognized Dailey & Vincent for tracks from two very different albums—Dailey & Vincent Sing the Statler Brothers is a tribute album to one of country music’s most revered groups, while Singing From the Heart is an a cappella gospel album. “We haven’t really thought about it in quite that way before,” says Jamie, pondering the acceptance of both albums by the bluegrass audience. “We really are blessed. We didn’t know that this thing [being a duo] was going to work out. To walk out onstage and see places filled with 500 people, then 1500 people, then 3000 people and so on. It’s amazing,” says Jamie.
Singing From the Heart is an album nearly a decade in the making. Jamie and Darrin began work on the album in 2001, long before they began as a duo, as a way of helping to raise money for Tennessee Bible College in Cookeville, Tenn. “They never turn away any worthy student there, and I had a friend who was from there. I mentioned that I had a friend who might be interested in helping with the project,” says Jamie. That friend was Darrin Vincent. Scheduling was one of the main reasons it took a while to put the project together. At the time, Jamie Dailey was working with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, while Darrin Vincent was working with Ricky Skaggs. Recording sessions had to be worked out between touring gigs. “We took a long time on that project, and it was just as a gift to the college,” agrees Darrin.
While the duo will be honored along with other bluegrass luminaries on the Ryman Auditorium stage tonight, both Jamie and Darrin are excited about the homecoming that was held earlier in the week for another famous home of country music, The Grand Ole Opry House. “Another thing we have to mention is how important the Grand Ole Opry is to us,” says Jamie. “We love being on that stage and it means so much to us.” Darrin added, “We are so glad that the famous circle of wood [that was taken from the Ryman stage] was able to be restored. Every time we are on that stage, we give everything we’ve got. We always pick some of our most well-known songs and songs that the audience will enjoy—things that will make them laugh and cry and have a good time."
Dailey & Vincent are currently on the road for their Front Porch Tour sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.