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11th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Celebrates A Year of The Best in American Roots Music

11th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Celebrates A Year of The Best in American Roots Music
 
Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell, Guy Clark, The Civil Wars, Gillian Welch and More Win Big
 
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — September 12, 2012 
With arguably the best house band of any awards show backing them, some
of the finest American roots artists in the world took the stage
tonight at the Ryman Auditorium to celebrate the Americana Music
Association’s 11th Americana Honors & Awards presented by Nissan.
Multiple generations of artists were honored ranging from legends such
as Booker T. Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson and Guy Clark,
favorites Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and up-and-comers Alabama
Shakes, Jason Isbell and The Civil Wars. The night opened with a
performance of the Booker T. and the MG’s classic “Green Onions,” led by
Jones with guitarists Thompson, Buddy Miller, Larry Campbell, Darrell
Scott and Kenny Vaughn.
 
In
perhaps the night’s biggest nod to Americana’s tradition of honoring its
roots, Album of the Year honors went to “This One’s for Him: A Tribute
to Guy Clark,” produced by Tamara Saviano and Shawn Camp. The award
was made further poignant coming just moments after Clark performed his
own, “My Favorite Picture of You,” taking the stage to a standing
ovation.

Welch
and Rawlings, though both unable to attend, picked up two of the
night’s biggest awards, with Welch scoring the Artist of the Year honor,
and Rawlings picking up the Instrumentalist of the Year award. Amy Helm
and Sam Bush announced Rawlings’ win; Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis
presented the award for Welch.
 
Two
other major awards of the night went to what some might consider a new
generation of roots artists, though none are strangers to the awards
show or the Ryman stage. With original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens
and former R.E.M. member Mike Mills presenting, Duo/Group of the Year
honors went to The Civil Wars, who just last year were an Emerging
Artist nominee and captivated the audience with a stripped down version
of “Barton Hallow.” Before picking up the award, The Civil Wars’ Joy
Williams and John Paul White also acted as presenters, handing Song of
the Year honors to “Alabama Pines,” written by Isbell and performed by
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Isbell was formerly of roots-rock
workhorse Drive-By Truckers. He also performed the song on the show.

Eliciting
a roar of approval from the sold-out audience at the Ryman, The Alabama
Shakes snagged the Emerging Artist award, an honor awarded the band by
Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers and Sara Watkins. The win capped off a
thrilling night for the band, which earlier owned the Ryman stage with
guest Jones for a raucous performance of its song, “Be Mine.”

 
“Tonight
was a perfect example of why I love Americana,” said Jed Hilly,
executive director of the Americana Music Association. “From the rock
and soul of Alabama Shakes to the perfection of Gill and Dave, all of
our winners honor the traditions of American roots music while pushing
the form forward.”

Hosted
by Jim Lauderdale, the Americana Honors & Awards presented by
Nissan also paid tribute to a number of the genre’s progenitors with
Lifetime Achievement Awards. Hiatt, himself a Lifetime Achievement Award
honoree in 2008 for songwriting, presented the Lifetime Achievement
Award for Performance to Raitt. The two then joined
forces toward the end of the show for the Hiatt-penned, Raitt hit “Thing
Called Love.” Raitt was also joined by Al Anderson on “Not Cause We
Wanted To,” a song from her last album, Slipstream, written by Anderson and Nashville’s Bonnie Bishop.

Patterson
Hood, whose father David Hood is a legendary session instrumentalist,
presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist to Jones,
honoring the musician’s contributions to Booker T. and the M.G’s and the
singular sound of Stax Records and Memphis soul music, among other
storied roles in music production and performance. Raitt presented the
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting to artist Thompson. While
Thompson is often best known as a genre defying guitar player, his
songwriting has made an indelible mark on roots music artists. The Del
McCoury Band, Raitt, Robert Plant, Los Lobos, Elvis Costello, Blind Boys
of Alabama, REM, Linda Ronstadt and Buddy & Julie Miller and many
others have all recorded his songs. His “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”
is a bona fide classic. Thompson later in the night took the stage to
perform his own “Vincent.”

In
a surprise announcement, Allison Moorer presented the Lifetime
Achievement Award for an Executive to Dennis Lord, General Manager of
SESAC and president of the first Americana Music Association board of
directors.

The
Americana Honors & Awards house band, called “amazing” last year in
Paste Magazine and “incredible” by Gregg Allman in his 2011
autobiography My Cross to Bear, consisted of Miller and
Campbell on guitar, Don Was on bass, Brady Blade on drums and Rami Jaffe
on keyboard. They moved effortless from artist to artist, from the
opening Americana twist on “Green Onions,” to the finale on The Band
classic “The Weight.” Played as a tribute to the late Levon Helm, who
died earlier this year, Levon’s daughter Amy Helm started the song with
Levon Helm Band members Campbell and Teresa Williams before being joined
by the full house band and guest vocalists Raitt, Hiatt, Thompson,
Emmylou Harris and Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes trading off on
vocals.

In
between opening and closing numbers, the show also included
performances by Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson; The Mavericks; Lee
Ann Womack, Tom T. Hall and Peter Cooper, who together performed
song-of-the-year nominee “I Love;” The Punch Brothers; Robert Ellis;
Hayes Carll and Cary Ann Hearst; the Carolina Chocolate Drops; Sarah
Jarosz; Deep Dark Woods; Earle; and Miller and Lauderdale.

“Having
Australian artists Kasey and Shane on the show indicates the breadth of
Americana and that the music shines all over the world; that you don’t
have to be from the United States to play the style of music called
Americana,” said Hilly. “And it was a treat to welcome back The
Mavericks. Now reunited, the band is instrumental in expanding the sound
and boundaries of the genre.”

The
Americana Honors & Awards presented by Nissan aired live on AXS TV,
NPR.org, Sirius/XM and WSM (7pm CT/8pm ET). On November 10, Austin City Limits on
PBS will broadcast an abridged version of the show. Voice of America
and Bob Harris of BBC2 will broadcast overseas in the following weeks.

Americana Music Awards and Honors 2012 Award Winners:
Instrumentalist of the Year: Dave Rawlings
Album of the Year: This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark; produced by Tamara Saviano and Shawn Camp
Song Of The Year Award :  “Alabama Pines;” Written by Jason Isbell and performed by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Emerging Artist of the Year:  Alabama Shakes
Artist of the Year: Gillian Welch
Duo/group of the Year: The Civil Wars
Lifetime Achievement for Performance: Bonnie Raitt
Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist: Booker T. Jones
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting:  Richard Thompson
Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive: Dennis Lord
                                   
About the Americana Music AssociationThe
Americana Music Association is a professional non-profit trade
organization whose mission is to promote awareness, provide a forum, and
advocate for the creative and economic vitality of the Americana music
genre. The Association produces events throughout the year including the
annual Americana Music Festival and Conference.

 

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