Sammy Shelor Wins Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass

As reported in the The New York Times this week, Steve Martin announced Sammy Shelor is the second winner of The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Sammy and the Lonesome River Band will perform with Steve Martin on the “Late Show With David Letterman” Nov. 3, 2011 airing NOVEMBER 11, 2011.

The Steve Martin Prize is chosen by a who’s who list of talents including Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick, Tony Trishchka, Bela Fleck and more.  Shelor was overjoyed when learning of the news today and said, “It is truly an honor to be considered for an award like this and especially an honor to be recognized by people that I respect highly as contributors to bluegrass music.”

Sammy Shelor, who is a four-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Banjo Performer of the Year award winner, was again nominated this year in that category.  Lonesome River Band also received nominations for Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year for their song “Pretty Little Girl” from their current album, “Still Learning” and also for Album of the Year for their participation on “The All-Star Jam – Live at Graves Mountain” album.   Both albums appear on the Nashville based Rural Rhythm Records label.

Lonesome River Band members were also part of two other nominations for the live album including Sammy Shelor, Brandon Rickman and Mike Hartgrove for Instrumental Recorded Event of the Year (“Groundspeed”) and Sammy Shelor and Mike Hartgrove as part of the Recorded Event of the Year nomination (“Graves Mountain Memories.”)  Winners will be announced at the IBMA Awards Show September 29, 2011 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.  The Lonesome River Band will also be performing during this awards show.

Sammy Shelor joined Lonesome River Band in 1990 and has led the band since 2000.  He has his own signature Sammy Shelor banjo fingerpicks and a signature model banjo produced by Huber Banjos.  Banjo pickers all over the world have studied Sammy’s tab books and instructional DVD from AcuTab.The Lonesome River Band includes the talents of Sammy Shelor, Brandon Rickman, Mike Hartgrove, Barry Reid, and Randy Jones.  For more information, please visit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s