Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro won the fiddle-off at the 45th annual Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival this weekend, and was named the Grand Champion Fiddler of 2016. Phillips, the Junior Fiddle champion, took the coveted Berry C. Williams Memorial Award after facing Senior Fiddler Gail Johnson of Lavergne just before 10:30 Saturday night. Phillips also took the Neil Dudney Award in the Contest fiddle division.
Meanwhile, Giri Peters of Nashville took the Best Fiddler award at in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners for the second consecutive year. Peters was presented with the James G. "Bobo" Driver Memorial Award Saturday by members of the Driver family. The young man also took first place in the Dobro Guitar, Mandolin, and Flat Top Guitar categories, and repeated as the Entertainer of the Year.
This 2016 Blue Blaze Award, presented each year to a musician who is actively cultivating a love of bluegrass music, to Danny Roberts of the Grascals. Roberts, a competitor at the Jamboree in past years, performed a set with members of the Grascals and his family.
Roberts first started to play guitar to back up Jimmy Mattingly when they were growing up in Leitchfield, Kentucky. He began to win contests for his guitar playing, and eventually, mandolin.
In 1982, he co-founded the New Tradition, bluegrass/gospel group that toured the country for close to 20 years. The band recorded 10 CDs, made "Seed of Love", the first bluegrass video to feature the banjo, and even reached number one on the TNN channel. The band broke up in 2000, but Danny still had a hand with musicians, playing with Marty Raybon, Larry Cordle, and Melonie Cannon. He also joined Ronnie Reno's band, the Reno Tradition.
He then joined the Grascals, where he was reunited with Jimmy Mattingly. Roberts has won several awards in his own right. He is a four-time winner of the SPBGMA Mandolin Player of the Year Award. Danny is also a regular cast member of ABC’s Nashville, playing a member of the Rayna James band.
With The Grascals, Danny was a member of Dolly Parton’s band. He has recorded with George Jones, Hank Williams Jr., Dolly, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, Aaron Tippin, Steven Segal, and Elizabeth Cook. Some of the biggest names in music have collaborated on Grascals’ projects including The Oak Ridge Boys, Tom T. Hall, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Steve Wariner, Joe Nichols and Daryl Worley and The Jordanaires.
Other winners at the Jamboree on Saturday included:
•Junior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages up to 39): First Place-Hillary Klug of Shelbyville; Second Place- Chris Stewart of Hermitage; and Third Place- Justin Yates of Adams, Tennessee.
•Senior Old-Time Appalachian Flatfoot Dance (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Tommy Scruggs, Jr. of Hartsville; Second Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro.
•Senior Buck Dancing (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Thomas Maupin of Murfreesboro; Second Place- Danny Campbell of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Ruth Alpert of Santa Barbara, California.
•Senior Clogging (Ages 40 & Over): First Place-Tammy Scruggs of Hartsville; Second Place- Darrin Stryker of Crossville; and Third Place- Sherry Guenther of Monterey.
•Bluegrass Banjo: First Place-Joey Gipson of Manchester; Second Place-Kurt Stephenson of Dyersburg; and Third Place- Garry Adams of Joelton.
•Junior Fiddlers (Ages 13-39): First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville.
•Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville; Second Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville; and Third Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.
•Contest Fiddle (Neil Dudney Award): First Place- Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro; Second Place- Maddie Denton of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Hillary Klug of Shelbyville.
•Bluegrass Band: First Place- Tennessee Bluegrass of Dyersburg; Second Place- Pocket Change of Murfreesboro; and Third Place-Blue Hart of Chapmansboro.
•Senior Fiddlers (Ages 40 & Over): First Place- Gail Johnson of Lavergne; Second Place- Marcia Denton of Murfreesboro; and Third Place- Tim Daniels of Lawrenceburg.
•Square Dancing: First Place-Rocky Top Revue of Franklin; Second Place- Harpeth River of Franklin; and Third Place- Main Stage Fusion of Springfield.
The winners in the National Championship for Country Musician Beginners this year were:
•Fiddle: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Mary Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas; and Third Place- Iris Shepherd of Henry, Tennessee.
•Buck Dancing: First Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee; Second Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier, and Third Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasant View.
•Clogging: First Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier, Second Place- Gracie Parrish of Pleasant View, and Third Place- Kaelin Wade of Paris, Tennessee.
•Dobro Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Maddie McKenney of Cullman, Alabama; and Third Place- Uma Peters of Nashville.
•Mandolin: First Place-Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place-Mary Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas; and Third Place- Braden Chunn of Greenbrier.
•Five String Banjo: First Place- Uma Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Conner Derryberry of Shelbyville; and Third Place- Cooper Brown of Smithville.
•Flat Top Guitar: First Place- Giri Peters of Nashville; Second Place- Robert Wheeler of Smithville; and Third Place- Gordon Parker of Mountain View, Arkansas.
Craft Awards were presented Saturday, with Jason and Lora Coons of Moss, Tennessee receiving the Best of Show award for their custom metal signs.
Jenn Cole of Cookeville took the Best Appalachian Craft award for her Handmade Pottery.
The Best Newcomer Award went to Siera Sins and Sandra Phillips of Sparta for their Pistols & Posies Fashionable Handcrafted designs, accessories, and Bangle Bracelets.
Gary Keeble of Dalton, Georgia took the Best Display award for his photography on canvas.
On Friday, State Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody presented flags flown over the state capitol to the people who traveled the greatest distances from both inside and outside the United States to attned the festival. John Sadler from Seattle, Washington was awarded a Tennessee State flag, and John and Thelma Austin from Ramsey East Anglia, England took home a United States flag.
Preliminaries in sixteen categories were held, followed by the finals, where the top three acts in each division faced off.
The winners in each division on Friday were:
Old Time Appalachian Folk Singing (Solo):
•First Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro, Tennessee.
•Second Place- Amanda McKenney of Cullman, Alabama.
•Third Place-Jennie Coppinger of McMinnville.
Junior Clogging (Ages 13-39):
•First Place-Chris Stewart of Hermitage.
•Second Place Gary Giles of Franklin.
•Third Place-Justin Yates of Adams, Tennessee.
Junior Buck Dancing (Ages 13-39):
•First Place- Justin Yates of Adams.
•Second Place-Amanda Herron of Algood.
•Third Place-Shelby Dunn of Fairview.
Old Time Appalachian Folksinging (Duet, Trio, Quartet).
•First Place- - The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama.
•Second Place- Kelcy and Sierra Tomlin of Springfield.
•Third Place-Harvey Brown of Beechgrove.
•First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna
•Second Place-Joey Gipson of Manchester.
•Third Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro.
•First Place-Rob Pearcy of Smyrna.
•Second Place-Daniel Amick of Centerville.
•Third Place-Lailah Valentine of Guntown, Mississippi.
•First Place-Mack Garner of Walland, Tennessee.
•First Place- Josiah Tyree of Carthage.
•Second Place-Hillary Klug of Shelbyville.
•Third Place-Joey and Daniel of Manchester.
•First Place- Austin Derryberry of Shelbyville.
•Second Place-Bill Rothe of Estill Springs.
•Third Place-Deanna Mathis of Watertown.
Gospel Singing (Solo):
•First Place-Kelcy Tomlin of Springfield.
•Second Place- Addie Cooksey of Cedar Hill.
•Third Place-Cara DiGiovanni of Greenbrier.
•First Place- Tyler Martelli of Chattanooga.
•Second Place- Micah McCreary of Section, Alabama.
•Third Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville.
Old Time Banjo:
•First Place- Josiah Tyree of Carthage.
•Second Place- Tyler Andal of Nashville.
•Third Place- Austin Derryberry of Shelbyville.
Youth Square Dancing:
•First Place-Explosion of Springfield.
•Second Place- Main Stage Revolution of Mt. Juliet.
•Third Place-Little Texas of Franklin.
Gospel Singing (Duet, Trio, & Quartet):
•First Place- The McKenneys of Cullman, Alabama.
•Second Place- Ivy and Cara of Chapmansboro.
•Third Place- Mountain Cove Bluegrass Band of Signal Mountain.
•First Place-Tyler Andal of Nashville.
•Second Place- Daniel Amick of Centerville.
•Third Place-Ivy Phillips of Chapmansboro.
Old Time Fiddle Band:
•First Place-Slim Chance Band of Smyrna.
•Second Place-Notorious Pick-Flickers of Shelbyville.
•Third Place- String Cats of Nashville.