Raleigh, NC (October 2, 2017) – Lonesome River Band is proud to announce Jesse Smathers has been honored with the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Momentum Vocalist of the Year Award.  Smathers accepted the award last week during the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass held in Raleigh, NC.

“I am honored beyond words to receive this award,” said Smathers. “I couldn’t feel more blessed.  Thanks to my family, my brothers in LRB for pushing me musically and being just great friends. Thank you to IBMA, Moonstruck Management, Mountain Home Music Co., and everyone who supports the Lonesome River Band.”

Five-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year and band leader Sammy Shelor was also excited saying, “All the guys in LRB are very proud of our partner Jesse for winning the Momentum Vocalist Award! It has been the greatest pleasure to tour with this young man the past two plus years and watch him grow as a singer, mandolin player and a s a gentleman.  One of the finest in all categories   Well deserved my friend.”

Smathers can be heard on Lonesome Rive Band’s current album Mahayley’s House released this year by Mountain Home Music Company.  Smathers plays mandolin and trades off on lead vocals with guitarist Brandon Rickman who are also a perfect harmony match.  With Sammy Shelor on banjo and vocals, Mike Hartgrove on fiddle and Barry Reed on bass and vocals, the LRB tradition continues with stellar live performances and recordings. 

Lonesome River Band performed this past weekend at the Red Hat Theater as part of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. Their 35th anniversary tour rolls on this weekend with a free concert this Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tenn.  For additional tour dates and information, please visit lonesomeriverband.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.