A Solid Selection of Americana Music Association Nominees ‎Announced

Through a spotty online streamed event (at least on my side) from Grammy Museum’s Clive Davis Theatre in L.A. the Nashville-based Americana Music Association announced their 2012  announced their nominees for Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Emerging Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year.

On hand was “Mr. Americana,” and the premier host of the Americana Awards program, Jim Lauderdale. Buddy Miller lead the Americana All Star quartet with Don Heffington, Greg Leisz and Don Was. Featuring excellent performances by Lauderdale, Shelby Lynne,  Lucinda Williams and Texas’s own Robert Ellis.

Jed Hilly gave a gracious speech and then introduced the actor John C Reilly, and mighty fine roots musician in his own right, as M.C.  for the event.  Taking the stage and looking rather sheepish Reilly stated  “They call this the Americana Awards but really it should be the All the Great Artists Out Right Now Awards.”

The nominees are some of the most solid since I’ve been keeping score of the AMA awards.  Jason Isbell and  Gillian Welch lrad nominations with 4 and 3 respectively. The Artist of the Year noms Welch, Isbell as well as Hayes Carll and Justin Townes Earle leaves me for the first time with no clear favorite to root for. There is the staple legend that released something unexceptional but still gets a nod (  Steve Earle with an Album of the Year nod for  I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive ) but overall even this category is solid (not least of which because 2 of the nominees , Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit and Gillian Welch, were on my best  of 2011 list)

There appears to be some bandwagon jumping with the Emerging Artist of the Year nominees Alabama Shakes and Dawes. I could give you a list of a  dozen artists I’d replace them with. (one being already on the list, the exceptional Robert Ellis.) Buddy Miller is to the AMAs what Kenny Chesney is to the CMAs, is once again on the list for Instrumentalist of the Year.

The performers and the band then ended the ceremony with a rousing rendition of the traditional spiritual “Let the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Winners will be announced at the Americana Honors and Awards program  at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. –  Sept. 12. The ceremony is part of the Americana Music Festival and Conference, which takes place on Sept. 12-15.

Full list of nominees below:

Album of the Year
Here We Rest – Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive – Steve Earle
The Harrow & The Harvest – Gillian Welch
This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark – Various Artists

Artist of the Year
Gillian Welch
Hayes Carll
Jason Isbell
Justin Townes Earle

Emerging Artist of the Year
Alabama Shakes
Dawes
Deep Dark Woods
Robert Ellis

Song of the Year
“Alabama Pines” – Written by Jason Isbell and performed by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
“Come Around” – Written and performed by Sarah Jarosz
“I Love” – Written by Tom T. Hall and performed by Patty Griffin
“Waiting On The Sky to Fall” – Written and performed by Steve Earle

Instrumentalist of the Year
Buddy Miller
Chris Thile
Darrell Scott
Dave Rawlings

Duo/Group of the Year
Carolina Chocolate Drops
The Civil Wars
Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Punch Brothers

Twang Nation South-By-Southwest Americana Mix

Circumstances conspired to keep me from attending the music (and tech/film) madness that is South-By-Southwest taking place March 13-18  in  my home state of Texas. In lieu of standing toe-to-toe with strangers an having beer spilled on me I will soldier on from my couch here in the Bay Area to shed light on the Americana and Roots artists tha will be sprinkled in with the indie-darling of the week bands that dominate the scene. Here’s a list of bands/musicians that I’ve collected that are playing the event. Have a listen and check them out live. Then help them out and buy a CD or t-shirt. Guitar strings and gas don’t grown on trees bud!

Twang Nation #SXSW Americana Mix on Spotify

SXSW Americana/Roots list:

Alabama Shakes

Justin Townes Earle
Anais Mitchell
Nikki Lane
Carrie Rodriguez
Hellbound Glory
Rachel Brooke
Ana Egge
Sons Of Fathers
The Trishas
Izzy Cox
Lost and Nameless Orchestra
MilkDrive
Shurman
Warren Hood and The Goods
Treetop Flyers
The Brothers Comatose
Brown Bird
Ghosts Along the Brazos
Joe Pug
Alejandro Escovedo and The Sensitive Boys
The Lumineers
Henry Wagons
Jack Wilson
Have Gun Will Travel
The White Horse
Jon Dee Graham
Shannon McNally
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Greensky Bluegrass
Guns of Navarone
Brett Detar
Owen Temple
Star & Micey
Andra Suchy
Sugar & the Hi Lows
Seth Walker
Carrie Elkin
Lydia Loveless
The Pines
East Cameron Folkcore
the Little Willies
Punch Brothers
Jonny Corndawg
the Gourds
HoneyHoney
Chuck Meadand His Grassy Knoll Boys
Fallon & The Bandits
Deadman
Mickey & The Motorcars