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Plant, Miller take AMA honors

Friday, October 14, 2011 – Robert Plant's "Band of Joy" won album of the year honors, and Buddy Miller earned an Artist of the Year nod during the Americana Music Association's 10th Annual Honors and Awards Thursday in Nashville.

Miller also won Instrumentalist of the Year Award, his 12th AMA honor.

The 2009 New/Emerging Artist Justin Townes Earle cemented his place as one of Americana Music's heirs apparent by picking up Song of the Year for Harlem River Blues.

The Avett Brothers scored another Duo/Group of the Year win, their third after winning in 2007 and 2010 and fourth overall, while Mumford and Sons were crowned New/Emerging Artist of the Year.

Lucinda Williams accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting from record executive Luke Lewis, who last year earned the Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive. She followed it with her reading of Blessed.

Joining Williams in the Lifetime Achievement categories, Gregg Allman received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Performance.

Dobro king Jerry Douglas was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist.

The Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement for Executive went to Rick Hall, whose production work at FAME Studios created the Muscle Shoals sound, a unique style that crossed musical formats.

Bob Harris came from England to accept his Trailblazer Award for his work in promoting music.

The annual Americana Award Show was peppered with performances, from Amos Lee (Cup of Sorrow), Elizabeth Cook (El Camino), Earle (Harlem River Blues), Jessica Lea Mayfield (For Today), Hayes Carll (KMAG YOYO), The Secret Sisters (Why Don't You Love Me?), Miller (Gasoline and Matches), The Civil Wars (Barton Hollow), The Avett Brothers (The Once and Future Carpenter) and Plant (Monkey).

The event opened with a tribute to the late John Hartford, represented by an unaccompanied banjo and bolo hat side stage, followed by Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas and Don Was performing I'll Fly Away in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the "O' Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. The evening ended as sentimentally as it began, with Allman performing Sweet Melissa and then, joined by a majority of the night's guests, a rendition of Glory, Glory Hallelujah to a standing audience.

Jim Lauderdale served again as master of ceremonies, his ninth in-a-row, while Miller led an all-star house band comprised of famed record producer Don Was on bass, Cody and Luther Dickinson on drums, guitars and various other instruments, Greg Leisz on steel guitar and John Deaderick on keys. Adding harmonies were The McCrary Sisters: Ann, Regina and Alfreda.

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