Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell were named Duo/Group of the Year, while their 2013 release, Old Yellow Moon, was named Album of the Year , during the annual Americana Music Honors & Awards on Sept. 18 at the Historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Old Yellow Moon was an album almost 40 years in the making, according to Harris. Prior to embarking on his own solo recording career, Crowell had been part of Harris’ Hot Band in the 1970s.
Another duo, South Carolina’s Shovels & Rope (husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst) was named Emerging Artist of the Year and won Song of the Year honors for “Birmingham.”
Although not present to personally accept the award, Dwight Yoakam was named Artist of the Year. Larry Campbell was feted as Instrumentalist of the Year. Old Crow Medicine Show took home the association’s Trailblazer Award just a day after the string band was inducted into the Grand Old Opry. The President’s Award, which is given posthumously, went to Hank Williams, while the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award was presented to Stephen Stills, who later was joined on stage by guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and former Buffalo Springfield bandmate Richie Furay for a rendition of “For What It’s Worth.”
Lifetime achievement award recipients included pioneering New Orleans pianist Dr. John, Grammy-winning rockabilly guitarist Duane Eddy, Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter (who performed “Ripple” after accepting his award) and Chris Strachwitz, founder of Arhoolie Records, a roots music label.
Hosted by Jim Lauderdale and featuring an all-star house band led by Buddy Miller, the honors & awards show is the centerpiece of the Americana Music Association’s 14th annual Americana Music Festival and Conference. The event runs through Sept. 22 and features an array of panel discussions, seminars, workshops and other educational forums; a trade show; and evenings filled with artist showcases. A performance of Crowell’s “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” capped off the evening and featured Crowell’s ex-wife, Rosanne Cash, as well as Harris. Lauderdale, Shovels & Rope, and Joy Williams of The Civil Wars.
Established in 1999, the Americana Music Association (www.americanamusic.org)is a professional trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world. It is dedicated to building and promoting the Americana genre and the individuals who participate in the industry.