As members of Doyle Lawson’s Quicksilver and Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent were fixtures at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards.
Now that the two men have struck out on their own as Dailey & Vincent, they’re still fixtures at the IBMA awards.
The new duo lead all nominees for Thursday’s awards show with 10, including entertainer of the year.
“It almost brings me to tears to think about all the wonderful things that have happened,” Vincent said recently.
Other leading nominees include Blue Highway, Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, and the Dan Tyminski Band – all of whom received six nominations apiece.
Bluegrass star Del McCoury, who’s nominated for entertainer of the year, will host the show at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
For Dailey & Vincent, this year’s event is one for the books. Although they just formed last year, their string of nominations include vocal group, emerging artist, album of the year and song of the year.
Dailey, former lead singer and guitarist with Quicksilver, also received a nod for male vocalist, and Vincent, who played guitar and mandolin with Kentucky Thunder, for bass player.
“To leave Ricky and Doyle, two huge artists at the height of their careers, it was not a knee-jerk thing,” Vincent said.
Actually, it was a four-year thing. It began when they recorded a Christmas song, “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” for a bluegrass collection in 2004.
The tune took off, hitting No. 1 on Prime Cuts of Bluegrass, a compilation CD serviced to bluegrass radio.
“I told Darrin we might be on to something here,” Dailey said.
From their experience, they both knew it would take more than talent to be successful. So they started saving something every week, even if it was only $20.
“We planned and strategized for about four years before we turned in our notices and left,” Dailey said. “We watched Doyle and Ricky and all the other acts – what they did right, what they did wrong.”
Their debut album on Rounder Records came out in January and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s bluegrass albums chart. It also produced a pair of No. 1 songs on Sirius XM Radio’s bluegrass countdown – “By the Mark” and their rendition of the Statler Brothers’ “More Than a Name on a Wall.”
The duo’s traditional sound is augmented by three other musicians.
“We do a wide variety of stuff – quartets, a cappella. We try to touch on every aspect,” Vincent said.
But the core is Dailey and Vincent’s vocal blend. It harkens back to old-time outfits like the Louvin Brothers.
“I do think it’s the same with me and Jamie. It’s nothing we’ve done, it’s just the way it is,” Vincent said.