Friday, 18 September 2015

14th Annual Americana Honors & Awards

Shakey Graves, Sturgill Simpson, 
John Leventhal, The Mavericks and Lucinda Williams Claim Top Honors at
14th Annual Americana Honors & Awards

Americana -- "A lively genre embodies both the continuity and evolution of roots music," (Wall Street Journal) -- celebrated its 14th Annual Americana Honors & Awards tonight at the historic Ryman Auditorium.
This year's winners reflected the community's "spirit of eclecticism" (New York Times), with Shakey Graves as Emerging Artist of the Year; John Leventhal, Instrumentalist of the Year; The Mavericks, Group/Duo of the Year; Lucinda Williams, Album of the Year ('Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone'); and Sturgill Simpson claiming both Song of the Year (for "Turtles All The Way Down") and Artist of the Year trophies.
Hosted by Jim Lauderdale, the show kicked off the 16th Annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, presented by Nissan, and featured an all-star house band -- led by Buddy Miller -- including legendary musicians, Dominic Davis, Chad Cromwell, Fats Kaplin, Ian Fitchuk, the McCrary Sisters and Bill Payne, legendary founding member of Little Feat.

Performances by Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Buffy Sainte-Marie, Don Henley, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Ricky Skaggs and Los Lobos brought the sold-out crowd to its feet, and in true Americana style, the evening was loaded with musical moments, 
including ovation-worthy performances by Ry Cooder with Sharon White; Shakey Graves with Esme Patterson and Rhiannon Giddens, John Hiatt, Houndmouth, Jason Isbell, Nikki Lane, Jim Lauderdale, The Lone Bellow, Mavericks, Buddy Miller with Marc Ribot, Keb Mo, Robert Randolph with The Fairfield Four and McCrary Sisters, Doug Seegers, Lucinda Williams and Lee Ann Womack.

This year's presenters included Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids; Rosanne Cash; Marc Ribot; Americana Chart Founding Fathers Rob Bleetstein and John Grimson; Abigail Washburn and Noam Pikelny; Mary Gauthier and Mike Farris; Ry Cooder; Rodney Crowell; Sara and Sean Watkins; John Kay and Ken Paulson; and Robyn Hitchcock.

Americana Music Honors & Awards 2015 Winners:
Album of the Year: Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone, Lucinda Williams
(Produced by Lucinda Williams, Tom Overby and Greg Leisz)
Artist of the Year: Sturgill Simpson
Duo Group of the Year: The Mavericks
Song of the Year: "Turtles All The Way Down" Written by Sturgill Simpson
Emerging Artist of the Year: Shakey Graves
Instrumentalist of the Year: John Leventhal
Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music Association and the First Amendment Center: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Lifetime Achievement Award, Trailblazer: Don Henley
The Lifetime Achievement Award, Songwriting: Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
Lifetime Achievement Award, Instrumentalist: Ricky Skaggs
Lifetime Achievement Award, Performance: Los Lobos
President's Award: BB King

Americana's 14th Annual Honors & Awards, presented by Nissan, was broadcast live on SiriusXM's Outlaw Country; terrestrial radio partner, WSM; and streamed live through a partnership with NPR Music (Live Audio/Video) and Folk Alley (Audio only). PBS will broadcast an edited version of the show as an Austin City Limits special, "ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival" later this year, and Australia's County Music Channel (CMC) will also carry the show.
Don Henley & Lee Ann Womack backstage
4th annual Americana Music Association Honors-Ryman Auditorium (16 Sept2015)

The Americana Honors & Awards executive producers are Jed Hilly, Martin Fischer (High Five Entertainment) and Terry Lickona (Austin City Limits). The show was produced by Michelle Aquilato and Edie Lynn Hoback.
The show kicked off the 16th Annual Americana Festival and Conference that runs through Sunday, Sept. 20 in Nashville. The conference, "the smaller, rootsier version of South by Southwest" according to the New York Times, will deliver a range of panels, networking and seminars, while the "finely-tuned festival" (Travel and Leisure) hosts a record 180 artist showcases across 15 Music City venues, including Loretta Lynne and Steve Earle at Ascend Amphitheater on Saturday, Sept., 19. A full list of venues and performers is available at
Americana Music Association Honors-Executive Director
Jed Hilly with Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell (16Sept2015)

Sturgill Simpson picked up awards for both ARTIST OF THE YEAR and SONG OF THE YEAR ("Turtles All The Way Down"), but he was one of the few not on hand for last night's Americana Music Honors And Awards Show. The critically acclaimed roots performer was more than 500 miles away, playing a sold-out show in Charlottesville, VA.
The Kentucky-born, NASHVILLE-based former train worker, who took home the EMERGING ARTIST trophy last year, lost out on ALBUM OF THE YEAR, when his "Metamodern Sounds In Country Music" was bested by Lucinda Williams' "DOWN WHERE THE SPIRIT MEETS THE BONE," a song title taken from "Compassion," a poem written by her late father, Miller Williams, who passed away on New Year's Day.

"The Lord has put so many great people in my life," Ricky Skaggs said after accepting his Home Lifetime Achievement Award from Ry Cooder "Getting to play with Bill Monroe, playing with Flatt & Scruggs and with Ralph and Carter Stanley … I’m so blessed."
"What a thrill to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from one of my musical heroes, Ry Cooder.  I've listened to and loved his music for so many years," noted Skaggs.  "There are so many musicians who are very deserving of this great award.  I'm very thankful to the Americana Music Association for this great honour.  I'm glad to be part of the Americana music community.  They still care about music.  So do I." During the ceremony, Skaggs, Cooder and Sharon White performed "Just Over In The Glory Land" live on-stage.  The trio is currently traveling the nation on the critically-acclaimed "Cooder-White-Skaggs" tour. (Source: Press Release - Image)

John Leventhal who co-wrote, produced and performed on wife Rosanne Cash's GRAMMY-winning record, THE RIVER AND THE THREAD, received Instrumentalist Of The Year honors. "Musicians always have been and always will be my heroes," Leventhal said in his acceptance speech.
Americana Music Association Honors
Rosanne Cash with husband and
Instrumentalist Recipient John Leventhal


BB KING's guitar Lucille was front and center as KEB' MO paid tribute to the late blues legend with a rendition of "How Blue Can I Get." KING, who died in MAY, was posthumously honored with the Americana Music Association President's Award on what would have been his 90th birthday.

About Americana Music Association:
The Americana Music Association is a professional non-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American Roots Music around the world. The Association curates events throughout the year including the annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, the acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program and most recently "Americana NYC" which took place Aug. 4th - 11th in partnership with Lincoln Center.
The Americana Music Festival & Conference is proudly sponsored by Nissan, Tennessee Department of Tourism, Pandora, Lagunitas Brewing Company, BMI, SESAC, ASCAP, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, AT&T, Blackberry Farm, and Music City Networks

For more information on the Americana Music Association and to become a member:
Official Website:

Dynamic entertainers exude vulnerability with “Pardon Me” performance; slated for special edition of live radio show
Music City Roots tonight (9/17)

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  The Mavericks continue to deliver with their one-of-a-kind, bold, sheer, eclectic musical fusion.
On the night of Sept 16, 2015, the dynamic entertainers took home the Americana Music Award for Duo/Group of the Year, presented to them by the Milk Carton Kids. Raul Malo, whose signature tenor fronts the band, and his musical comrades — Paul Deakin (drums, percussion and marimba), Eddie Perez (electric and acoustic guitars) and Jerry Dale McFadden (piano, organ, celeste) — serenaded the audience with the gut-wrenching honesty of “Pardon Me.”

The track is featured on the critically acclaimed Mono (The Valory Music Co.), which sat atop the Americana Airplay Charts for two weeks earlier this year.
From the ceremony, NPR music critic Ann Powers tweeted, “The Mavericks’ Mono is genuinely an album you should listen to tonight BC it is great.” 
We won something?” a stunned Malo uttered. “Every time we take the stage, we hope our music makes you feel something — joy, romance, sorrow, urgency. But tonight was our turn to be flooded with emotion and honored that our industry, fans and friends think we deserve to be Group of the Year.”
He continued, “you can’t imagine what this moment means to us. We are truly in awe …”  

On Jan 18, 2015  Valory Music Co. group The Mavericks revealed the track listing for "MONO" (HI RES Artwork) their forthcoming studio album which streeted on Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015. Just two days later, the GRAMMY Award winning group hit the road on a headlining tour.
Front man Raul Malo penned all of the eleven tracks on the album, and the group teamed with Niko Bolas for production. With founding members Paul Deakin, Eddie Perez, and Jerry Dale McFadden backed by studio musicians with diverse instrumentation including accordion, upright bass, and tuba, the album is sure to be an eclectic mix of sound and inspiration.
12 Tracks/ Time: 42:40 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - - Test Drive on SPOTIFY

On the Billboard Charts (dated March 7, 2015) MONO made a debut at No.57 on the Bilboard 200 Album chart and No.5 on Top Country Albums selling 8,000 copies.
In the UK MONO (BIG MACHINE) made a debut on the Official UK Album chart at No.96 with sales less than 1,000 copies and landed at No.2 on the Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending February 28, 2015)
American Songwriter (Rating: 4 out of 5 stars)
The nearly overdub free mono recording captures the quartet’s taut, tight pocket augmented by The Fantastic Four backing musicians that add horns, accordion and even tuba to the festivities. There is a vibrant exuberance to these performances that, like its old-school audio, feels alive and fresh making the Mavericks one of the few bands better in their second act than in their first. (Rating 8/10) Deceptively simple songs of lust and chivalry get a vigorously swinging, guitar-heavy but horn-heated attack. They veer from big-band salsa ("All Night Long") to frisky, danceable Latin rock ("What You Do to Me"), swaggering, shuffling R&B ("Do You Want Me To") and more mellow pop flavors, closer to Neil Diamond, really, than country....It's big, bold and still stands out next to anything coming from
Country Music People 5 STARS (editor Duncan Warwick) ..The Mavericks are still my favourite band in the world and greatest live act I’ve seen. This album continues the legacy

At the Americana Music Association awards Malo returned to the Ryman Auditorium stage to present Los Lobos with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance, and joined the group for the finale, “One Time One Night.” The live show streamed across NPR with broadcasts on SiriusXM Outlaw Country and WSM while PBS’s Austin City Limits will air the show on November 21.
On Sept 17 the Mavericks were set to entice fans to groove during a special edition of Music City Roots at the Factory in Franklin, airing at 7 p.m. CT on Nashville’s Hippie Radio 94.5FM and webcast at The lineup included Whitehorse, Shemekia Copeland and Joel Rafael, with Jim Lauderdale hosting. “Country’s coolest, most versatile band” (Rolling Stone Country) will perform selections from Mono — “it’s big, bold and still stands out next to anything coming from Nashville” (Billboard); “they’ve caught lightning in a bottle yet again” (Vintage Guitar) — as well as some of their earlier hits.
The Mavericks' festive vibe coupled with their unique blend of country, rock, Latin, soul, jazz, Tex-Mex and other roots styles results in a marvelous “mono mundo” (one world) of music that transcends decades. The Mavericks' festive vibe coupled with their unique blend of country, rock, Latin, soul, jazz, Tex-Mex and other roots styles results in a marvelous “mono mundo” (one world) of music that transcends decades
Making the most relevant music of their career, and according to NPR, “became great by cutting through the din in smoky rooms where studio tricks didn't factor in — only a killer voice, indelible hooks and the ability to draw in even the most distracted listeners,” it appears The Mavericks are once again defying the odds.

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