Sturgill Simpson, The Mavericks Top Winners At Americana Music Honors & Awards Show
September 17, 2015 at 12:19 PM (PT)
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 held at NASHVILLE's RYMAN AUDITORIUM. 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.
Live performances included an electrifying opener by ROBERT RANDOLPH, THE FAIRFIELD FOUR and the McCRARY SISTERS of "Rock My Soul." Nearly two dozen artists — who were backed by a sterling house band led by BUDDY MILLER — performed over the course of the evening, including all of this year's LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD recipients: RICKY SKAGGS, DON HENLEY, LOS LOBOS, BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE and GILLIAN WELCH with DAVID RAWLINGS.
"The Lord has put so many great people in my life," SKAGGS said after accepting his award from RY COODER "Getting to play with BILL MONROE, playing with FLATT & SCRUGGS and with RALPH and CARTER STANLEY … I’m so blessed."
This year's EMERGING ARTIST winner was singer-songwriter SHAKEY GRAVES, while genre-blending music veterans THE MAVERICKS won DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR, and 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.
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.
An edited version of the awards show will air on PBS as a special episode of "AUSTIN CITY LIMITS" later this year.