Thursday, September 19, 2013
– Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and Shovels and Rope took home two awards each at the Americana Honors & Awards during a sold-out show at the Ryman Auditorium on Thursday.
Lifetime achievement honors were handed out to Duane Eddy, Dr. John, Robert Hunter and American roots music label executive Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records, all in attendance.
Harris and Crowell won Duo of the Year, Album of the Year for "Old Yellow Moon," and then anchored an all-star finale performance of the Crowell co-penned 1978 Harris hit Leaving Louisiana in Broad Daylight. The duo also performed Chase the Feeling during the evening.
Charleston, S.C.'s Shovels & Rope took home the Emerging Artist of the Year honor plus the Song of the Year trophy for Birmingham from its 2012 "O' Be Joyful" album.
Though not in attendance, Dwight Yoakam picked up the Artist of the Year award, presented by Langhorne Slim and The Civil Wars' Joy Williams.
Other big award winners included Larry Campbell, named Instrumentalist of the Year, and Old Crow Medicine Show, honored with The Trailblazer Award.
"We might very well not be here, as a genre and as an association, were it not for Emmy and Rodney," said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. "That we are celebrating them tonight not for the work they did 35 years ago, but for the work they did this year, on the same show that we're awarding another duo that is only on its first album, speaks volumes about where we're headed. What an amazing night."
The President's Award went to Hank Williams. Presenting the award to Holly Williams, Hank's granddaughter, film maker Ken Burns spoke of Williams' "songs of heartache and loss, abiding humor and deep faith...that come from deep within America." Holly Williams followed her acceptance of the award by joining the house band on her grandfather's classic I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.
Grateful Dead lyricist Hunter, after being awarded a lifetime achievement award from show host and frequent co-writer Jim Lauderdale, performed Ripple, his first public performance in a decade.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dan Auerbach (the producer of Dr. John's "Locked Down" album and a member of The Black Keys) before taking to the piano to perform I Walk on Gilded Splinters.
Other highlights included JD McPherson offering North Side Gal, from last year's "Signs and Signifiers"; Old Crow Medicine Show performing Wagon Wheel, a song composed by the band's Ketch Secor from an unfinished Bob Dylan lyrical sketch and also a hit for Darius Rucker this year; and the duo The Milk Carton Kids sharing center stage with just two vintage guitars performing Hope of a Lifetime from this year's "Ash & Clay." Band leader Buddy Miller and Lauderdale stepped out of their respective band leading and hosting duties to perform their own Train that Carried My Girl From Town, from this year's "Buddy & Jim" release.
Eddy performed Rebel Rouser following the presentation and bestowing of the Lifetime Achievement Award for performance by the BBC's Bob Harris, himself a previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
Stephen Stills took the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music award. Stills performed his 1966 composition For What It's Worth with Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield fame and guitar slinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd accompanying.
In a nod to the youthful appeal of Americana and the ABC hit show "Nashville," Lennon and Maisy Stella, who play the daughters of Connie Britton's character Rayna James on the show, joined the house band for The Lumineers' ubiquitous hit Ho Hey. Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne, introduced them.
The Americana Honors & Awards house band led by Miller, included Don Was, Larry Campbell, Marco Giovino, John Deaderick, Jim Hoke and the McCrary Sisters.
The Americana Honors & Awards aired live on AXS TV, NPR.org, Sirius/XM's "Outlaw Country" and WSM. "Austin City Limits" will broadcast an edited special Nov. 23. Voice of America and Bob Harris of BBC2 will broadcast overseas in the following weeks.