Gala night at 14th Annual America Honors & Awards
Americana celebrated its 14th Annual Americana Honors & Awards September 17 at the Ryman Auditorium. This year's winners reflected the community's spirit of eclecticism 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. 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. The show 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 later this year. For a full list of award recipients, visit americanamusic.org.
Preshias Harris for Country Music News International