Bob Weir, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton & Others Honored At Americana Awards

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Last night the 15th Annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards show took place at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton were among the top winners, while Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir was among those receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Isbell was given the award for Song Of The Year for “24 Frames,” which appeared on his 2015 album Something More Than Free that took home the award for Album Of The Year. Stapleton earned the prestigious Artist Of The Year award behind his acclaimed album Traveller.

“If you can, keep people around you who will tell you when you’ve done something awful,” Isbell said. “Whether it’s in a song or in your personal life, and listen to them if at all possible.”

Introduced by Bruce Hornsby, Weir was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Performance category. Others given Lifetime Achievement honors were the show’s host Jim Lauderdale in the WagonMaster category, William Bell in the Songwriting category, Shawn Colvin in the Trailblazer category, Billy Bragg in the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech In Music category and the President’s Award was bestowed upon the late Woody Guthrie.

“You take musical traditions from England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain a little bit, a little bit from France, and blend them together with a rich variety of African musical traditions, and stir it up,” said Weir. “You let it simmer for 200 or 300 years and see what happens. This could only happen in a new land. Physically, culturally, and spiritually. That place was and is America. It could only have happened here.”

Weir performed the Merle Haggard classic “Mama Tried” at the beginning of the show as part of the tribute late legends of American music Allen Toussaint, Ralph Stanley, Guy Clark and Haggard. Other performers included Bonnie Raitt, Isbell and his wife Amanda Shires, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, George Strait, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Lumineers and others. Buddy Miller led a house band made up of Something More Than Free and Traveller producer Dave Cobb, Chris Wood, Stuart Duncan, Fred Eltringham, Steve Fishell, Matt Rollings and The McCrary Sisters.

For the second time Harris and Crowell earned Group/Duo Of The Year and fiddle player Sara Watkins became the first female to be awarded Instrumentalist Of The Year. Price was honored with the award for Emerging Artist Of The Year.

2016 Americana Music Honors & Awards Winners

  • Album Of The Year: Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell, Produced by Dave Cobb
  • Artist Of The Year: Chris Stapleton
  • Group/Duo Of The Year: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
  • Song Of The Year: “24 Frames” Jason Isbell; Written by Jason Isbell
  • Emerging Artist Of The Year: Margo Price
  • Instrumentalist Of The Year: Sara Watkins
  • Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music Association and the First Amendment Center: Billy Bragg
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Trailblazer: Shawn Colvin
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Songwriting: William Bell
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Performance: Bob Weir
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, WagonMaster: Jim Lauderdale
  • President’s Award: Woody Guthrie
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