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Isbell wins Americana honors, Prine takes Entertainer of the Year

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit cleaned up at the 17th AmericanaFest awards show on Wednesday in Nashville. Isbell and band won Song of the Year, Duo Group of the Year and Album of the Year. John Prine won the biggest honor - Entertainer of the Year.

In winning Album of the Year for "The Nashville Sound," Isbell said, "I'm very very grateful for this."

Producer Dave Cobb, "It's just such an amazing opportunity to continue working with this family...Thank you guys for buying honest music."

"This is an exciting thing for me, and it's also kind of unfair that they'd have Brandi up here singing 'The Joke'," Isbell said after winning Song of the Year for "If We Were Vampires." "Everybody in the category had beautiful songs and beautiful voices and beautiful stories to tell." He thanked his wife Amanda Shires for being the inspiration and motivation for the song. "I was sitting on my ass and watching "Hoarders on Television the Friday before we were going into the studio." He said she told him he needed to write another song.

"I believe I got this year," Prine said. "I'm really proud to get this Artist of the Year award."

Tyler Childers took the honor for Emerging Artist, while Molly Tuttle took Musician of the Year.

Rosanne Cash took the Spirit of America/Free Speech in Music Award. During her acceptance, she said, ""We are the premiere service industry for the heart and soul... Women are not small inferior versions of men."

Chris Williamson and Judy Dlugacz of Olivia Records won the Americana Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive. Dlugacz said her speech that women "were not seen as viable" in the '70s. "We helped change the way women were heard and seen in the music industry."

Williamson, a singer, said, "Women get very used to be invisible." She praised the Americana Music Association for "bravery" in selecting them for the honor. "This is the first time we've been honored by the music industry," she said. "This is a big deal for us."

Bluesman Buddy Guy took the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist. kd lang took the Trailblazer Award. "I'm only just a car in the train," lang said, before thanking Emmylou Harris. lang also sang "Trail of Broken Hearts."

Irma Thomas won the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance.

The annual event features performances and awards. Prine ("Come on Home"), Thomas , Courtney Marie Andrews and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real were among the performers.

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CD reviews

Sirens of the Ditch reissue CD review - Sirens of the Ditch reissue
One of the four new tracks on this rerelease of Jason Isbell's "Sirens of the Ditch" is "The Assassin," and it features the same country/alternative rock hybrid sonic that characterizes Drive-By Truckers songs. Such an association is to be expected, though, as the album was Isbell's first solo release after leaving DBT. Furthermore, Patterson Hood and Shonna Tucker - each of DBT - played on the album. Much like George Harrison, just after leaving The Beatles, Isbell »»»
Purgatory CD review - Purgatory
Over the course of the 10 songs on "Purgatory," Lawrence County, Ky.'s Tyler Childers establishes himself as one of the brightest new songwriting stars - an insightful author blessed with an ability to capture and convey gritty snapshots of rural American life. The scenes depicted in these songs are so vivid and evocative that listeners are left to ponder if these are autobiographical stories or works of fiction. There is no better example here than "Banded Clovis," a »»»
Rise CD review - Rise
EPs are a strange breed. Some are no more than demos for a larger work. Others are a hodgepodge of material recorded here and there and sold to help pay for gas money to the artists' next live gig. And some, like Molly Tuttle's "Rise", are exquisitely constructed messages in a bottle, to sum up the artists' current stage of development. Tuttle could have easily named this EP, "Let's Get on With It" or "Watch What I Do Now," but "Rise" »»»
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: These Eagles keep songs alive and well – The newly reconfigured Eagles lineup, which now includes Vince Gill and Deacon Frey in place of the late Glenn Frey, hasn't changed its set much since this modified grouping's debut at Dodger Stadium in 2017. Don Henley announced from the outset, though, how the group continues to tour primarily so it can keep the Eagles' many great songs alive.... »»»
Concert Review: Lovett could not have scripted it any better – Cerritos is a fair distance from Hollywood, but Lyle Lovett, who has accumulated a long list of acting credits, sometimes seemed like he was giving a company town performance this night. Maybe it was because Paul Reiser, the "Mad About You" star, introduced Lovett with a funny bit about what some of the man's songs mean (or don't mean).... »»»
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