Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton Big Winners At Americana Music Association’s 15th Annual Honors & Awards
September 22, 2016 at 5:31 AM (PT)
Two of the most talked-about roots music artists of the past year — JASON ISBELL and CHRIS STAPLETON — highlighted the eclectic mix of honorees, presenters, and performers at the "15TH ANNUAL AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION HONORS & AWARDS" show WEDNESDAY night (9/21) at NASHVILLE’s famed RYMAN AUDITORIUM. A complete list of winners will be made available here.
ISBELL took home two trophies, one for Album Of The Year for his 2015 release “Something More Than Free,” and one for Song Of The Year for “24 Frames.” STAPLETON was awarded Artist Of The Year honors for the overall impact made via his 2015 solo debut, “Traveller.”
“Thank you to all the Americana radio stations out there, it’s been a big part of what we’ve been doing,” STAPLETON said. “I’m nervous, there’s so many heroes out here in audience and up here on the stage, this is a remarkable thing.”
ISBELL, now a six-time AMERICANA AWARD winner, noted a key to keeping an artist grounded if success comes one’s way while accepting the Song Of The Year award. “If you can, keep people around you who will tell you when you’ve done something awful, whether it’s in a song or in your personal life, and listen to them if at all possible,” ISBELL said, thanking wife and fellow artist AMANDA SHIRES as that key.
MARGO PRICE picked up this year’s Emerging Artist Of The Year, while longtime musical collaborators EMMYLOU HARRIS & RODNEY CROWELL earned Group/Duo Of The Year, their second win in this category. Fiddler SARA WATKINS was named Instrumentalist Of The Year, becoming the first female to win the award in this category.
“What an extraordinary event!” said AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION Exec. Dir. JED HILLY. “Once again, the Americana community raises the bar of integrity and excellence. It’s such an honor to be in the room with talent of that level.”
Lifetime Achievement Awards went to SHAWN COLVIN (Trailblazer), WILLIAM BELL (Songwriting), BOB WEIR (Performance), JIM LAUDERDALE (WagonMaster), WOODY GUTHRIE (President’s Award), and BILLY BRAGG (Spirit of Americana/Free Speech In Music, co-presented by the FIRST AMENDMENT CENTER) with the posthumous President’s Award Presented In Honor of WOODY GUTHRIE to LUCINDA WILLIAMS on behalf of the family.
BOB WEIR, who helped open the show playing the MERLE HAGGARD classic “Mama Tried” -- part of the tribute to recently departed musical giants including HAGGARD, ALLEN TOUSSAINT, RALPH STANLEY, and GUY CLARK -- took note of the synthesis of musical traditions that shaped not only his own experience, but encapsulates modern-day American roots music.
“You take musical traditions from ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND, SPAIN, a little bit from FRANCE, and blend them together with a rich variety of AFRICAN musical traditions, and stir it up,” WEIR said. “You let it simmer for 200 or 300 years and see what happens. This could only happen in a new land. Physically, culturally, and spiritually. That place was and is AMERICA. It could only have happened here.”