From the Gibson/Baldwin Showroom in New York City local resident and legendary Americana performer Rosanne Cash announced the 2011 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards nominees. The announcement was followed by performances by New/Emerging Artist of the Year nominee and The Civil Wars and an all-star set by Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale and Rosanne Cash (who tweeted that she was brought to tears by the event) which included The Band’s The Weight.
As in years past the nominees are a well-known safe bets with few surprises and tends towards the NPR-side of the Americana fence. No need to look for Whitey Morgan or Rachel Brooke here.
The Nashville -based trade organization moved toward the mainstream with the nominations of Grey’s Anatomy favorites Mumford and Sons and the Civil Wars, the later also aided to stardom by being heralded by no less than Taylor Swift and Boy George. Good for them, despite the mainstream success, these bands are actually great and will find longevity in the Americana community. Both are each nominated for both New/Emerging Artist and Duo/Group of the Year.
The AMA displayed spunk in nominating the extraordinary Elizabeth Cook the Album of the Year field for her latest Welder, Song of the Year nomination for the flash-back country-funk El Camino and Artist of the Year against some limey bloke named Robert Plant.
Recent New/Emerging Artist of the Year honorees Justin Townes Earle and Hayes Carll are each up for Album of the Year for Harlem River Blues (along with Song of the Year for the album’s title track) and Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for Kmag Yoyo respectively.
The Civil Wars and Mumford and Sons each earned nominations in both the New/Emerging Artist and Duo/Group of the Year categories, while Buddy Miller also secured two nods: Artist and Instrumentalist of the Year.
Album of the Year category also includes Lucinda Williams’ Blessed, and the Song of the Year category includes The Decemberists featuring Gillian Welch’s “Down by the Water. And Mumford and Sons GRAMMY-stage mates The Avett Brothers are up for Duo/Group of the Year—which the band won in 2010. Sarah Jarosz, Will Kimbrough, Gurf Morlix and Kenny Vaughan all will compete for Instrumentalist of the Year.
The 10th Annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, October 13 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville as part of the 11th Annual Americana Festival and Conference October 12 through Saturday, October 15.
The complete list for Americana Music Association Honors and Nominees:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Band of Joy, Robert Plant
Welder, Elizabeth Cook
Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle
Blessed, Lucinda Williams
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
NEW/EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Civil Wars
Mumford And Sons
The Secret Sisters
Jessica Lea Mayfield
DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
The Avett Brothers
The Civil Wars
Mumford And Sons
Robert Plant and the Band Of Joy
SONG OF THE YEAR
Decemberists with Gillian Welch- “Down By The Water”
Elizabeth Cook – “El Camino”
Hayes Carll – “Kmag Yoyo”
Justin Townes Earle – “Harlem River Blues”
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR