Americana Music Association Honors & Awards Nominees Announced

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
Buddy Miller
Elizabeth Cook
Hayes Carll
Robert Plant

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
Buddy Miller
Gurf Morlix
Kenny Vaughan
Sarah Jarosz
Will Kimbrough

 

 

News Round-Up: Robert Earl Keen Is Ready For Confetti

  • On August 30th, Lost Highway will release Ready For Confetti, the new, and 16th overall, studio album from renowned Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen. Ready For Confetti was produced by Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, Flatlanders), who also produced Keen’s critically acclaimed 2009 album The Rose Hotel (Lost Highway).
  • Special thanks to the extraordinarily gracious  Ms. Rosanne Cash (@rosannecash)  helping me with my 10,000th tweet contest! The 25th new follower and winner was @NKottawafor.
  • The amazing Elizabeth Cook continues her never-ending tour supporting Welder and the fine folks over at Sirius XM are cutting her a break and letting her sleep in a little later by moving her popular radio show “Apron Strings” to 10 am – 2 pm eastern time. Cook says, “I feel like I’m abandoning an old lover, leaving my early birds. But it is my sincerest wishes that with the 10-2 show, “Apron Strings” fans will find new ways to sneak and listen, and having more sleep, I will sneeze less on air.” Beginning on Wednesday, May 4, the Sirius XM Outlaw Country channel will move to channel 60 on both Sirius and XM radios, and Elizabeth Cook and her “Apron Strings” show will now be heard from 10 am to 2 pm ET, Monday through Friday. For more information about additional channel changes go to siriusxm.com. Elizabeth has some new items in her store for her Beautiful Outlaw listeners. Check out Moonshine (aka her Dad) telling you about the store.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFkVklYYmy8[/youtube]

News Round-Up: Pre-order Charlie Louvin, Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage

  • Judd Films and Devil’s Cage Productions have launched promotional site for the biography – Charlie Louvin, Still Rattlin’ the Devi’s Cage. The site offers trailers and a chance to pre-order one of the 1000 copies being produced (release targeted for 7/15) All proceeds from this initial release  will go to Mrs. Charlie Louvin and her family. The film features appearances by  Charlie, Sonny Louvin, George Jones, Marty Stuart, John McCrea, and Emmylou  Harris and chronicles Charlie’s resurgence and influence over his 60 + year  career and 50th anniversary of the Louvin Brothers release Satan is Real.
  • The line-up for the Johnny Cash Music Festival will include close family members and friend – Rosanne Cash, John Carter Cash & Laura Cash, Tommy Cash, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Rodney Crowell, Chelsea Crowell and more. The festival is presented annually by Arkansas State University, with participation by the Cash family, to benefit the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Project in Dyess, Arkansas. The project involves establishing a museum to honor the Johnny Cash legacy as well as restoring or re-creating his boyhood home. ASU is lining up sponsors for the event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWp7MGY3II4&feature=related[/youtube]

Gurf Morlix – Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream [Rootball Records]

“He’s only gone crazy once. Decided to stay.” – Townes Van Zandt about Blaze Foley

For Gurf Morlix to create a tribute album for his Austin running buddy and fellow singer-songwriter, the late, great Blaze Foley, was a tricky endevour. Foley wrote songs with such singular originality edging toward cloying sentimentality and corny humor and instead delivering songs of heart-wrenching honesty and dry wit. Once hear Foley do a Foley song you can’t really imagine anyone else doing it.

Not that it hasn’t been tried before. Foley’s songs have been covered by John Prine (Clay Pigeons) and Merle Haggard (If I Could Only Fly.) And Foley has inspired others as as the subject of Austin contemporaries Townes Van Zandt’s “Blaze’s Blues” and Lucinda Williams’ “Drunken Angel.”

Foley’s legacy is ready-made for mythology. He used to jokingly claim to be the illegitimate son of Red Foley and Blaze Starr, to be a news broadcaster from Cincinnati and to have once tried to break into Caspar Weinberger’s house to “see what was on his VCR.” These whoppers are like a seeping breach between a rich source of song-craft inspiration and a need to recreate himself.

In truth Blaze Foley. Born in Marfa Texas (setting for the films Giant and There Will Be Blood and currently a thriving creative community) in l949. He performed in a family gospel act called the Fuller Family with his mother and sisters. He eventually landed in Austin, a city that prides itself on non-conformity, and with his duct-taped boots and clothing, sense of humor and stark, brutally honest songs, stood out.

Gurf Morlix is an Americana music pioneer. A New york native in1981 he moved to Los Angeles where he met a kindred spirit Lucinda Williams. He went on to lead her band for 11 years (1985 to 1996) singing, and playing guitar, and eventually producing her albums. His latter role as producer of Williams’ pinnacle Car Wheels On A Gravel Road led to their acrimonious split. Morlix then went on to play either guitar, bass, mandolin, dobro, pedal steel guitar, lap steel, banjo, piano, harmonica, and a variety of other instruments for and/or produce a literal who’s-who in the the Americana/rock field – Warren Zevon, Mary Gauthier, Robert Earl Keen, Slaid Cleaves, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Buddy and Julie Miller, Tom Russell, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Michelle Shocked, Jimmy LaFave, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Mojo Nixon, Jim Lauderdale, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter Case, Bob Neuwirth, Don Walser, Jon Langford, Steve Earle, Harry Dean Stanton, Charlie Sexton, The Plimsouls, Victoria Williams, James McMurtry, Flaco Jimenez, Rosanne Cash, David Byrne, Kevin Welch, John Prine, Dave Alvin and many more. Impressed yet?

Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream is 15 Foley originals that display the dark-to-light shadings of the man’s talent. Displaying a sense of humor and song-craft Roger Miller would envy on the cuts Baby Can I Crawl Back To You, Big Cheeseburgers and Good French Fries and No Goodwill Stores in Waikiki and the unvarnished melancholy and longing of If I Could Only Fly (featuring renowned Texas singer/songwriter Kimmie Rhodes on backing vocals) and Cold, Cold World that would make his buddy Townes Van Zandt weep. Some of the songs – Oh Darlin’ and Rainbows and Ridges combine elements of both.

Morlix ‘s arrangements and delivery are straightforward and top notch playing adds just the right amount of adornment. Aside from the excellent musicianship Morlix, unlike Steve Earle’s 2009 tribute to his mentor Townes Van Zandt, appears to have no urge to put his personal stamp on the songs.

Morlix was there on that cold February day in Austin when they put Blaze Foley in the ground as a result of being on the business end of a 22-caliber rifle. He was not content to let his songs be buried with him.

This CD is released in conjunction with the documentary film, Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah, which has been 12 years in the making.

official site | buy

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFuOh2TXnHM&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KwR7fk1PGQ[/youtube]

Nominations for the 53rd GRAMMY Awards

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) announced the nominees for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards (to be held February 13th, 2011.) Here listed are the nominees in the Americana, Roots categories as well as similar artists in other categories (for a full list of nominees ho the Grammy.com)  Any surprises? Who’s missing?

BEST AMERICANA ALBUM
Rosanne Cash – The List
Los Lobos – Tin Can Trust
Willie Nelson – Country Music
Robert Plant – Band of Joy
Mavis Staples – You Are Not Alone

BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM
Sam Bush – Circles Around Me
Patty Loveless – Mountain Soul II
The Del McCoury Band – Family Circle
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band – Legacy
The Steeldrivers – Reckless

BEST TRADITIONAL FOLK ALBUM
Carolina Chocolate Drops – Genuine Negro Jig
Luther Dickinson & the Sons of Mudboy – Onward and Upward
The John Hartford Stringband – Memories of John
Maria Muldaur – Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy
Ricky Skaggs – Ricky Skaggs Solo: Songs My Dad Loved

BEST CONTEMPORARY FOLK ALBUM
Jackson Browne & David Lindley – Love Is Strange – En Vivo Con Tino
Mary Chapin Carpenter – The Age of Miracles
Guy Clark – Somedays the Song Writes You
Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise
Richard Thompson – Dream Attic

BEST COUNTRY INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE
Cherryholmes – “Tattoo of a Smudge”
The Infamous Stringdusters – “Magic #9”
Punch Brothers – “New Chance Blues”
Darrell Scott – “Willow Creek”
Marty Stuart – “Hummingbyrd”

Other Americana/roots/indie/alt/whatever artists nominated in assorted other categories:

  • Dailey & Vincent – “Elizabeth” (Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals)
  • Dierks Bentley – Up on the Ridge (Best Country Album)
  • Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert & Jamey Johnson – “Bad Angel” (Best Country Collaboration with Vocals)
  • Dierks Bentley, Del McCoury & the Punch Brothers – “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (Best Country Collaboration with Vocals)
  • Ryan Bingham & T. Bone Burnett – “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart (Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media)
  • Johnny Cash – “Ain’t No Grave”/ The Johnny Cash Project (Best Short Form Music Video)
  • Crazy Heart (Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media)
  • Steve Earle – “I See You” from Treme (Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media)
  • Patty Griffin – Downtown Church (Best Traditional Gospel Album)
  • Buddy Holly – Not Fade Away: The Complete Studio Recordings and More (Best Historical Album)
  • Elton John & Leon Russell – “If It Wasn’t for Bad” (Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals)
  • Jamey Johnson – “Macon” (Best Male Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Album for The Guitar Song)
  • Miranda Lambert – “The House That Built Me” (Best Female Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Song, Best Country Album for Revolution)
  • Ray LaMontagne – “Beg, Steal, or Borrow” (Song of the Year)
  • Los Lobos – “Do the Murray” (Best Rock Instrumental Performance)
  • Mumford & Sons – “Little Lion Man” (Best Rock Song, Best New Artist)
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Mojo (Best Rock Album)*The Steeldrivers – “Where Rainbows Never Die” (Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals)
  • Robert Plant – “Silver Rider” (Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance)
  • Pete Seeger with the Rivertown Kids and Friends – Tomorrow’s Children (Best Musical Album for Children)
  • Ricky Skaggs – Mosaic (Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album)
  • George Strait – “The Breath You Take” (Best Country Song)
  • Marty Stuart & Connie Smith – “I Run to You” (Best Country Collaboration with Vocals)
  • Treme (Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media)
  • Hank Williams – The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings…Plus! (Best Historical Album)
  • Lucinda Williams & Elvis Costello – “Kiss Like Your Kiss” from True Blood (Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media)
  • Neil Young – “Angry World” (Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album for Le Noise)

News Round Up: Ryan Bingham Wins For Best Song and Artist of the Year at the Americana Awards

Ryan Bigham has come a long way in a short time. From bull rider, to opening for the Drive By Truckers, to getting the Golden Globe and Academy Award for The Weary Kind, the theme to film Crazy Heart – a song that he and T Bone Burnett wrote together.  He can now add the song of the year won at the  Americana Awards Thursday night during a rousing show at the Ryman Auditorium. “Man, I don’t know if I really deserve this,” Bingham said. “Everyone on the list are all people I’ve looked up to and admired for a long time.” Other nominees were Patty Griffin, Levon Helm, Steve Earle and Ray Wylie Hubbard. Suitably humble and damn fine company to keep. Bingham also won the award for artist of the year that. with the year he’s had, he justifiably deserves.

Other 2010 Americana Honors and Awards recipients

Album of the year: The List Rosanne Cash
Instrumentalist of the year:  Buddy Miller
New /Emerging artists of the year:  Hayes Carll
Duo/Group of the year: The Avett Brothers

Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive:  Highway Records founder Luke Lewis
Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist:  Greg Leisz
Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance:  Wanda Jackson
Lifetime Achievement Award for Producer/Engineer:  Brian Ahern
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriter:  John Mellencamp

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwwkqABItLA[/youtube]

Americana Awards

News Round Up: New Releases by John Prine, Johnny Cash Art Collective

  • In true DIY fashion The Johnny Cash Project is a “global collective art project” that allows fans from all over the world to contribute to a arrogated, user-generated video for the title track from the latest Johnny Cash recording American VI: Ain’t No Grave. The single images are then threaded together into a one-of-a-kind labor of love. I only wish the Man in Black has lived to see this.
  • John Prine fans are about to hit pay-dirt. On May 25th, 2010, Oh Boy Records (founded in 1981 by Prine and manager Al Bunetta) will release the live In Person & On Stage, which will draw from performances spanning the past several years and covering songs from as far back as Prine’s 1971 debut and as recently as 2005’s acclaimed Fair & Square. Then Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine will be released on on June 22nd (Oh Boy) and will feature Prine compositions interpreted by devotees such as My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, The Avett Brothers, Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lambchop, Drive-By Truckers, Deer Tick featuring Liz Isenberg, Justin Townes Earle, Those Darlins, and, reprising their respective tracks from In Person & On Stage, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins and Josh Ritter. Oh Boy will begin a pre-sale for In Person & On Stage on April 20thand for Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows on April 27th at www.musicfansdirect.com.
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has announced it will pay tribute to the legendary Tammy Wynette with an exhibit titled Tammy Wynette: First Lady of Country Music. Presented by Great American Country (GAC) the exhibit will open in the Museum’s East Gallery on August 20, 2010, and run through June 2011.
  • More news from the The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. An upgrade to the Hall’s core collection, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music, are expected to be completed next month. The updates, which focus on country music’s last five decades, will bring the story of country music forward in time and conclude with a glimpse of the future. They will highlight the country-rock, pop-country, southern rock, full-strength classic country and the “Urban Cowboy” craze. The upgrade includes new oversized portraits, video clips and artifacts such as Dolly Parton’s handwritten lyrics to Jolene, Tom T. Hall’s acoustic guitar he purchased from songwriter Merle Kilgore, and items from Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis, and Tanya Tucker. Other updates focus on the mid-1980s arrival of artists like Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Randy Travis and Steve Earle. New exhibits celebrate contemporary bluegrass and Americana artists, ranging from Alison Krauss and Del McCoury to Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.

News Round Up: Kris Kristofferson Presented With BMI Icon Award

  • Rosanne Cash talks to the Wall Street Journal about her new release, The List, and joins George Jones by stating her views on the homogenization of mainstream country radio.
  • The Who’s Roger Daltrey says Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium is the “That’s the best bloody place for a musician to play in the whole —— world.” You get one guess what goes where the lines are but this is a quite as it appears over at Country Standard Time.
  • Kris Kristofferson was presented with the BMI Icon award Tuesday evening and watched while Vince Gill, Patty Griffin and Willie Nelson performed some of his best-loved compositions.  “Why Me,” “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”
  • Geoff Muldaur recently sat down with the New York Times’ Ben Sisario to discuss the extraordinary group of musicians who came together to form the Texas Sheiks. The Texas Sheiks includes the late Stephen Bruton (Kris
    Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, and T-Bone Burnett) who did not live
    to see the album released, blues singer Johnny Nicholas (Big Walter Horton and Robert Jr. Lockwood, Asleep at the Wheel), Cindy Cashdollar ( Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Paul Butterfield), Suzy Thompson ( Dave Alvin and Alice Gerrard).  Bruce Hughes (Jason Mraz, Bob Schneider)

News Round Up: Re-releases from Waylon Jennings / New Release from Hank Williams

  • Country music legend George Jones seems to be popping up on all the TV shows recently to promote his new Cracker Barrel exclusive album, A Collection of My Best Recollection. This Sunday morning the Possum will make another appearance on CBS Sunday Morning this Sunday October 11, 2009. Host and interviewer Bob Schieffer visits George’s Nashville home and stops by Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium late this summer to talk about life, love and a lot of musical history, as well as all that he  is up to today. Jones has said that the new release might be his last album and has tour dates through the rest of the year and early next.
  • The follow up to last year’s Mother’s Best radio show recordings Hank Williams: Unreleased Recordings will be released November 3rd. Revealed: Unreleased Recordings will feature 50 new tracks including some new songs and dialogue between Hank and the emcee of the show and his band. The release will also include the first public performance of  Cold, Cold Heart.
  • Collectors’ Choice has chosen six of Waylon Jennings’  RCA albums from 1966-’70 and will release them as three double CDs: Folk Country/Waylon Sings Ol’ Harlan, Love of the Common People/Hangin’ On and Waylon/Singer of Sad Songs. The CDs will be available on November 24. Grammy Award-winning annotator/historian Colin Escott wrote the liner notes.
  • Rosanne Cash will premieres her new album, The List, live at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY October 9th and 10th as part of  the St. Ann’s Warehouse 30th Anniversary Season.
  • Ranch Twang now has a LastFM group. Join up and help share great music with other folks.

News Round Up: Willie Nelson Works with T Bone Burnett

  • For a man in his 70s Willie Nelson is showing no signs of slowing down. The Texas Yoda is reportedly working with producer T Bone Burnett (O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Walk the Line soundtracks, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant – Raising Sand, Elvis Costello’ s –  Secret, Profane and Sugarcane and much more) in Nashville on his very first bluegrass album. Some of the songs being considered are Sixteen Tons, Dark as a Dungeon, and the oft covered Joe “Red” Hayes and Jack Rhodes classic Satisfied Mind. (via stillisstillmoving.com)
  • Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut Whip It is about roller derby in Austin, Texas. Sound like boxoffice gold to me! Ms. Barrymore was also instrumental in choosing the music for the soundtrack which includes Dolly Parton’s Jolene and .38 Special’s Caught Up in You as well as less twangy work by the Ramones, Peaches and Go Team! (Billboard.com)
  • The Americana Music festival and conference is next week in Nashville TN (Sept 16-19) and the early bird registration price has been extended to Sept. 14th. Get in on what is sure to be a great conference and excellent showcases all over the city.
  • Congratulation to Patterson Hood from the Drive By Truckers and his wife Rebecca on the birth of their son Emmett Hood!
Willie Nelson