some snippets from The Americana Music Honors & Awards show last evening… from AMA
Americana's Honors & Awards reflected the breadth of the genre's musical reach tonight during a sold-out show at the Ryman Auditorium.
While performances by legends including Stephen Stills and Richard Thompson, and upstarts such as John Fullbright and The Milk Carton Kids, were mesmerizing, it was two of the genre's most prolific and vocal forebears that owned the evening, as Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell took home Duo of the Year, Album of the Year for "Old Yellow Moon," and then anchored an all-star finale performance of the Crowell co-penned 1978 Harris hit "Leaving Louisiana in Broad Daylight."
Close behind Harris and Crowell was another duo deeply dedicated to roots music--Charleston, South Carolina's Shovels & Rope--who received the Emerging Artist of the Year honor plus the Song of the Year trophy for "Birmingham" from its 2012 "O' Be Joyful" album. Nicki Bluhm and Sam Bush awarded Song of the Year; John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco and The Autumn Defense announced Emerging Artist.
"We might very well not be here, as a genre and as an association, were it not for Emmy and Rodney," said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. "That we are celebrating them tonight not for the work they did 35 years ago, but for the work they did this year, on the same show that we're awarding another duo that is only on its first album, speaks volumes about where we're headed. What an amazing night."
Americana's commitment to its roots was apparent from the show's downbeat, when an unannounced Delbert McClinton joined the Buddy Miller-led Americana Honors & Awards house band on the Hank Williams' classic "Hey Good Lookin'." The thread carried through when historian and filmmaker Ken Burns, currently at work on a multi-part documentary on country music, began the night by announcing the President's Award to Hank Williams. Presenting the award to Holly Williams, Hank's granddaughter, Burns spoke of Williams' "songs of heartache and loss, abiding humor and deep faith ... that come from deep within America."
From there the night became a crash course in why Americana, as a genre, has had one of its strongest years. Between award presentations, Fullbright performed "Jericho," from 2012's "From the Ground Up"; Hunter, after being awarded a lifetime achievement award from show host and frequent co-writer Jim Lauderdale, performed "Ripple," his first public performance in a decade.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John--a purveyor of American roots music forms that have included the blues, jazz, zydeco, and rock and roll for over 50 years--picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dan Auerbach (the producer of Dr. John's "Locked Down" album and a member of The Black Keys) before taking to the piano to perform a blistering version of "I Walk on Gilded Splinters."
In a nod to the youthful appeal of Americana and the ABC hit show "Nashville," Lennon and Maisy Stella, who play the daughters of Connie Britton's character Rayna James on the show, joined the house band for The Lumineers' ubiquitous hit "Ho Hey." Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne, introduced them.