Stunning Tribute to Guy Clark, Merle Haggard, Dr. Ralph Stanley and Allen Toussaint Opens 
2016 Show, Which Also Featured Special Appearances by Bob Weir, Dwight Yoakam, Margo Price, Timothy B. Schmit, Shawn Colvin, Jason Isbell, George Strait And More 
Two of the most
talked-about roots music artists of the past year — Jason Isbell and
Chris Stapleton — highlighted the eclectic mix of honorees, presenters
and performers at the 15th Annual Americana Music Association Honors
& Awards show Wednesday night at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium.
Isbell took home
two trophies, one for Album of the Year for his 2015 release “Something
More Than Free” and one for Song of the Year for “24 Frames,” while
Stapleton was awarded Artist of the Year honors for the overall impact
made via his 2015 solo debut “Traveller.”
Isbell, now a
six-time Americana Award winner, noted a key to keeping an artist
grounded if success comes one’s way while accepting the Song of the Year
award. “If you can, keep people around you who will tell you when
you’ve done something awful, whether it’s in a song or in your personal
life, and listen to them if at all possible,” Isbell said, thanking wife
and fellow artist Amanda Shires as that key.
“Thank you to all
the Americana radio stations out there, it’s been a big part of what
we’ve been doing,” Chris Stapleton said, genuinely touched by the Artist
of the Year award. “I’m nervous, there’s so many heroes out here in
audience and up here on the stage, this is a remarkable thing.” 
Each year, the
Honors and Awards show celebrates current Americana projects, a slate of
Lifetime Achievement awards, and a set of unique, unforgettable
performances. Musical legends such as Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir and
country music megastar George Strait graced the fabled Ryman stage
alongside buzzed-about newcomers such as Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff
& The Night Sweats and The Lumineers.
Price picked up
this year’s Emerging Artist of the Year, while longtime musical
collaborators Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell earned Group/Duo of
the Year (their second win in this category), and fiddler Sara Watkins
was named Instrumentalist of the Year (the first female to win this
“What an
extraordinary event!” said Jed Hilly, executive director of the
Americana Music Association. “Once again, the Americana community raises
the bar of integrity and excellence. It’s such an honor to be in the
room with talent of that level.”
Achievement Awards went to Shawn Colvin (Trailblazer), William Bell
(Songwriting), Bob Weir (Performance), Jim Lauderdale (WagonMaster),
Woody Guthrie (President’s Award), and Billy Bragg (Spirit of
Americana/Free Speech In Music, co-presented by the First Amendment
Center) with the posthumous President’s Award Presented In Honor of
Woody Guthrie to Lucinda Williams on behalf of the family.
Bob Weir, who
helped open the show playing the Merle Haggard classic “Mama Tried,”
part of the tribute to recently departed musical giants including
Haggard, Allen Toussaint, Ralph Stanley and Guy Clark, took note of the
synthesis of musical traditions that shaped not only his own experience,
but encapsulates modern-day American roots music.
“You take musical
traditions from England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain a little bit, a little
bit from France, and blend them together with a rich variety of African
musical traditions, and stir it up,” Weir said. “You let it simmer for
200 or 300 years and see what happens. This could only happen in a new
land. Physically, culturally, and spiritually. That place was and is
America. It could only have happened here.”
For the 14th
consecutive year, Jim Lauderdale hosted the awards show Emmylou Harris
calls “the shining star of Nashville and music everywhere” while
multi-faceted producer/songwriter/performer Buddy Miller assembled an
all-star band to contribute to the night’s amazing music, this year
featuring Dave Cobb, Stuart Duncan, Fred Eltringham, Steve Fishell, Matt
Rollings, Chris Wood and The McCrary Sisters.
Americana Music Honors & Awards 2016 Winners:
Album of the Year: Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell, Produced by Dave Cobb
Artist of the Year: Chris Stapleton
Group/Duo of the Year: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Song of the Year: “24 Frames” Jason Isbell; Written by Jason Isbell
Emerging Artist of the Year: Margo Price
Instrumentalist of the Year: Sara Watkins
Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music 
Association and the First Amendment Center: Billy Bragg
Lifetime Achievement Award, Trailblazer: Shawn Colvin
Lifetime Achievement Award, Songwriting: William Bell
Lifetime Achievement Award, Performance: Bob Weir
Lifetime Achievement Award, WagonMaster: Jim Lauderdale
President’s Award: Woody Guthrie
The Honors &
Awards show kicked off the 17h Annual Americana Music Festival and
Conference that runs through Sunday, Sept. 25 in Nashville.
For more
information on the Honors & Awards show, AmericanaFest, the
Americana Music Conference and membership to the Americana Music
Association, please visit: www.americanamusic.org. 
About the Americana Music Association:
The Americana Music
Association is a professional not-for-profit trade organization whose
mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music
around the world. The Association produces events throughout the year;
including the Americana Music Festival & Conference and the
critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program. The
Americana Music Association receives enormous support from the Tennessee
Department of Tourism, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp,
Lagunitas Brewing Company, Music City Networks, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC,
SoundExchange, and AT&T. For more information, or to purchase an
Americana Music Festival & Conference registration, please visit
About AmericanaFest:
The 17th annual
Americana Music Festival & Conference will take place September
20-25, 2016. The event brings together fans and music industry
professionals alike, offering six days of celebration through seminars,
panels and networking opportunities by day and raw, battery recharging
showcases each night. The Americana Honors & Awards Show is the
featured performance of the festivities, taking place at the historic
Ryman Auditorium. T Bone Burnett will be delivering the keynote speech.
For information on how to purchase a conference registration, please
visit www.americanamusic.org.
Festival wristabands availabel at mercylounge.com online or at Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music or The Groove in East Nashville
For more information on the Americana Music Association: 
Official Website: americanamusic.org
Facebook: facebook.com/americanamusicassociation
Twitter: twitter.com/americanafest
Instagram: instagram.com/americanafest

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