Awards

FRESHGRASS AWARDS

The FreshGrass foundation 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.

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.

To get more information or submit for consideration (submission window is open March 1 through May 15), please see the Awards page at the Freshgrass Festival website by clicking below.

Or send us an email: awards@freshgrass.org

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
Steven 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)

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)

NO DEPRESSION SINGER-SONGWRITER

2018
Lauren Pratt (1st)
Clint Alphin (2nd)

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

DUOS

2016
Page Turners (1st)
Matthew Hornell & Andrew Sneddon (2nd)

2015
Zoe & Cloyd (1st)
Littlest Birds (2nd)

2014
Quiles & Cloud (1st)
Tatiana Hargreaves & Ethan Jodziewicz (2nd)