When Bob Lefsetz, of the online music industry screed the Lefsetz Letter, writes about you positively you’re
probably doing something really cool. This is just what he has done after listening to the Americana Music Awards on XM Radio while driving in his home town of Los Angeles. I was in attendance at the Nashville’s Historic Ryman Auditorium and though his angel was on Robert Plant;s involvement with the Americana movement his point is an importmnat one, it’s about something all but lost in today’s culture, authenticity.
Sitting in the Ryman is to a country music fan as close to a secular sense of the divine there is to be had. Add a live performances by Ryan Bingham and Joe Ely (together with band leader Buddy Miller), an appearance by Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, Levon Helm, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, James McMurtry and John Hiatt and you’ve achieved, in my opinion, musical nirvana.
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant took top honors with Album of the Year with Raising Sand. The Band’s drummer/singer,now solo artist, Levon Helm won Artist of the Year. The award was presented by Billy Bob Thorton, who was on hand to promote his Americana/Country band The Boxmasters and thier new self-titled release. I caught Billy Bob and the Boxmasters at at the Cannery last night and was surpirised at how well done the music was and how fully invested he is in this musical endevor. Billy Bob also eaned my repect when he invited Charlie Louvin on stage for al acapella duet of the old Louvin Brothers murder ballad “KnoxvIlle Girl.”
A quick shout out to some of my fellow bloggers I caught up with – Larry Karnowski at Hickory Wind, Greg Geil at AmericanaRoots.com, Justin Gage at Aquarium Drunkard.com and Dodge at My Old Kentucky Blog.com.
Here’s a list of the winners from the awards show …
Album of the Year: Raising Sand, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
Artist of the Year: Levon Helm
Duo/Group of the Year: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
Instrumentalist of the Year: Buddy Miller
New Emerging Artist of the Year: Mike Farris
Song of the Year: “She Left Me for Jesus,” Hayes Carll and Brian Keane (songwriters)
Awards were also given, including …
Spirit of Americana Free Speech in Music: Joan Baez
Lifetime Achievement (Songwriting): John Hiatt
Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement (Executive): Terry Lickona
Lifetime Achievement (Performance): Jason & The Scorchers
Lifetime Achievement (Instrumentalist): Larry Campbell
Trailblazer Award: Nanci Griffith
Lifetime Achievement (Producer/Engineer): Tony Brown
Billy Bob Thorton and Charlie Louvin – Knoxville Girl