In a ceremony yesterday at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, the Americana Music Association announced the 2012 nominees for the Americana Music Awards. Artists leading the list of nominations include singer/songwriter Gillian Welch (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), who’s up for three awards including Artist of the Year; Jason Isbell (formerly with Southern-rock band Drive-By Truckers), who gets four nomination nods; and longtime country artist Steve Earle, who landed both Album of the Year and Song of the Year nominations.
Other notable nominees include Taylor Swift collaborators (and two-time GRAMMY winners) the Civil Wars; rising Southern roots-rock band Alabama Shakes; haunting country-folk group Deep Dark Woods; guitarist Buddy Miller; and GRAMMY-winning African-American country band the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
The awards ceremony takes place September 12, 2012 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It caps off the Americana Music Festival, a four-day event that includes concerts, conferences, and other activities. The 13th annual festival is scheduled for September 12-15, 2012 at venues throughout Nashville.
The Americana Music Association is a trade organization dedicated to promoting Americana music. As with country music, the genre of Americana (which is in many respects an offshoot of country–or at least a second cousin) isn’t easy to pin down. The association describes Americana as “music that honors and is derived from the traditions of American roots music,” which can include folk, rock, soul, and gospel as well as country. Past winners have included Roseanne Cash, Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Buddy Miller, Ralph Stanley, Jim Lauderdale, Charlie Daniels, and Johnny Cash.
The full list of American Honors and Awards 2012 Nominees:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Here We Rest – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive – Steve Earle
The Harrow & The Harvest – Gillian Welch
This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark – Various Artists
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Justin Townes Earle
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Deep Dark Woods
SONG OF THE YEAR
“Alabama Pines” – Written by Jason Isbell and performed by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
“Come Around” – Written and performed by Sarah Jarosz
“I Love” – Written by Tom T. Hall and performed by Patty Griffin
“Waiting on the Sky to Fall” – Written and performed by Steve Earle
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit