BRAINARDSVILLE — Appropriately enough, the Gibson Brothers got the news via radio.
Somewhere on the road between Green Bay, Wis., and Gettysburg, Pa., the homegrown bluegrass band had Sirius XM tuned in to hear the final nominations for the 2010 International Bluegrass Association Awards.
They're among five nominees each for Album of the Year ("Ring the Bell"), Song of the Year (title track "Ring the Bell), Vocal Group of the Year and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year.
"We had a van full of smiling faces," said Eric Gibson.
He and brother, Leigh, had had high hopes for the Chet O'Keefe gospel song they'd heard first in a barroom in Muncie, Ind.
"I just had to have it," Eric said. "I knew if we got a good recording of it, it would be a song that would really help our career."
He chuckled. "For once, I was right."
The trajectory of the band's most recent album and its title track might have given him a hint. In December 2009, they both hit No. 1 on the December 2009 Albums Chart of Bluegrass Unlimited's National Bluegrass Survey.
"Farm of Yesterday" from that CD, written by Eric and Leigh, made a slower but steady climb to reach No. 1 this month.
"It's been on the charts for 13 months — that's not something you usually see," Eric said.
That song is one that's especially close to the brothers' hearts, as it puts to music cherished memories of growing up on the family farm in Ellenburg.
"I thought that song might be too personal to grab a bunch of people's attention," Eric said.
He was wrong about that.
"Everywhere we go, it's requested. And people come up after and tell us their stories.
"That's a reward in itself."