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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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One of the most celebrated acoustic guitarists working within the Americana field, Molly Tuttle is two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitarist of the Year, the first female to be so honored. "When You're Ready" is Tuttle's first full-fledged solo album, having previously recorded an EP ("Rise"), albums with both the Tuttles and The Goodbye Girls, and a long-ago recording with her father, Jack ("The Old Apple Tree"). »»»
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 »»»
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: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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