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Americana group honors Jim Rooney

Thursday, August 6, 2009 – Producer, musician and Jim Rooney will be honored by the Americana Music Association with the Lifetime Achievement for Producer/Engineer award at the 8th Annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony, scheduled for Thurs., Sept. 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Rooney did albums with John Prine, Iris DeMent, Tom Paxton and Peter Rowan - as well as his work on Nanci Griffith's Grammy-winning "Other Voices Other Rooms." Rooney's contributions as an engineer, musician, producer and songwriter has reached almost 150 albums to date.

"Jim Rooney is the number one reason I have a career," said Griffith, who also worked with Rooney on the Grammy-nominated "Last of the True Believers." "He gave me confidence in my writing, inspiration to write, and handed me the want ads to look for an apartment in Nashville."

Following his key role in the '60s folk revival, Rooney managed Club 47 (now Club Passim) in Cambridge, Mass., and lent his talents to the Newport Folk Festival, serving as both its Director and Talent Coordinator. After handling tour and production management duties for both the Newport Jazz Festival and inaugural New Orleans Jazz Festival, Rooney moved to Woodstock, N.Y. in the early '70s to manage Albert Grossman's Bearsville Sound Studios.

At home in Nashville for the past 35 years, Rooney has released a handful of solo records while producing artists including Townes Van Zandt, Hal Ketchum, Bonnie Raitt and more. Rooney has also authored two books, "Bossmen: Bill Monroe & Muddy Waters" (DaCapo Press) and "Baby Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years" with Eric Von Schmidt (University of Massachusetts Press). He currently splits his time between Tennessee, Vermont and Ireland.

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