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Plant, Cook top AMA nominations

Monday, May 23, 2011 – Robert Plant and Elizabeth Cook led the Americana Music Association award nominations with three apiece in an announcement made Monday.

Both were nominated for album and artist of the year.

Playing at the announcement were The Civil Wars, Levon Helm and His Dirt Farmer Quartet featuring Jim Lauderdale and then Rosanne Cash, with Benmont Tench on keys. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean also joined the New York celebration, offering praise of the AMA. T Bone Burnett, also on hand, gave a poignant statement saluting the artists for "telling the truth" through their music.

Two recent New/Emerging Artist of the Year honorees are fulfilling that award's prophecy: 2009 recipient Justin Townes Earle garnered 2 nods, including Album of the Year, while last year's winner Hayes Carll received taps for Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. The Civil Wars and Mumford and Sons each earned nominations in both the New/Emerging Artist and Duo/Group of the Year categories, while Buddy Miller also secured two nods: Artist and Instrumentalist of the Year.

Nominees were:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Band of Joy, Robert Plant
Welder, Elizabeth Cook
Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle
Blessed, Lucinda Williams

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Buddy Miller
Elizabeth Cook
Hayes Carll
Robert Plant

NEW/EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Civil Wars
Mumford And Sons
The Secret Sisters
Jessica Lea Mayfield

DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
The Avett Brothers
The Civil Wars
Mumford And Sons
Robert Plant and the Band Of Joy

SONG OF THE YEAR
Decemberists with Gillian Welch- "Down By The Water"
Elizabeth Cook - "El Camino"
Hayes Carll - "Kmag Yoyo"
Justin Townes Earle - "Harlem River Blues"

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
Buddy Miller
Gurf Morlix
Kenny Vaughan
Sarah Jarosz
Will Kimbrough The festival will be Oct. 12-15 in Nashville.

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Band of Joy CD review - Band of Joy
Robert Plant proves he was no dilettante when it came to delving into roots music. Of course, he grew up on the blues, but reached a very different crowd last time out with the highly successful "Raising Sand" with Alison Krauss. The bluegrass diva is not around this time, but a bunch of other key players are, and the result is a bit denser set more rootsy than country. That doesn't mean the dozen songs here are any worse for wear. In fact, Plant has another stellar disc on his hands. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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