The 2015 Americana Honors & Awards nominations have been announced and it should come as no real surprise that Lucinda Williams and Sturgill Simpson both lead the way with three nominations each (Album, Artist and Song).
The Americana Honors & Awards, presented by Nissan, returns to the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on September 16th and coincides with AmericanaFest (Sept. 15-20). The coolest awards show around (Paste Magazine calls it the “World’s Best” so let’s just say it’s somewhere in between) will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale, while Buddy Miller will lead an All-Star House Band that will surely blow the roof off the venue.
More than just an awards show, the event is historically a celebration of all that is good in Americana music with unique performances and legendary collaborations (don’t worry, there won’t be any pop stars and rappers joining forces with Jason Isbell…I hope). Performers for this year’s show have yet to be announced, but once they are you can bet that Country Music’s #CMchat will have it for you and other pertinent info such as which channel to tune into (in the past it has aired on both PBS and AXS TV).
Here are this year’s nominees and some very brief thoughts and hopes from someone who traditionally never gets it right for any music awards show.
2015 Americana Honors & Awards Nominees
Album of the Year (Award goes to Artist and Producer)
And The War Came – Shakey Graves; Produced by Alejandro Rose-Garcia and Chris Boosahda
Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone – Lucinda Williams; Produced by Lucinda Williams, Tom Overby and Greg Leisz
Metamodern Sounds In Country Music – Sturgill Simpson; Produced by Dave Cobb
The Way I’m Livin’ – Lee Ann Womack; Produced by Frank Liddell
Tomorrow Is My Turn – Rhiannon Giddens; Produced by T-Bone Burnett
Scott Thinks: You really can’t go wrong with any of these five transcendent albums. This one is going to come down to last year’s Emerging Artist of the Year Sturgill Simpson and the veteran Lucinda Williams. Look for Metamodern Sounds In Country Music to win. There’s a reason why he is the most hyped Americana artist since Jason Isbell.
Scott Hopes: Lee Ann Womack’s The Way I’m Living
Artist of the Year
Lee Ann Womack
Scott Thinks: and Hopes: I would find it hard to believe that Isbell repeats. Last year was his year as he swept Artist, Song and Album. It’s Sturgill’s time now.
Song of the Year (Award goes to Artist and Songwriter)
“Dearly Departed” – Shakey Graves; Written by Alejandro Rose-Garcia and Esme’ Patterson
“East Side Of Town” – Lucinda Williams; Written by Lucinda Williams
“Terms Of My Surrender” – John Hiatt; Written by John Hiatt
“Turtles All The Way Down” – Sturgill Simpson; Written by Sturgill Simpson
“You’re The Best Lover That I Ever Had” – Steve Earle & the Dukes; Written by Steve Earle
Scott Thinks: There’s a reason why Lucinda garnered three nominations. She won’t get shut out and should take home this award.
Scott Hopes: Clearly, I have a Sturgill bias so obviously I would love to see the trippy “Turtles All The Way Down” win, but I’m also digging that Shakey Graves track.
Duo/Group of the Year
Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
The Lone Bellow
Shovels & Rope
Scott Thinks: Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Scott Hopes: Shovels & Rope
Emerging Artist of the Year
First Aid Kit
Scott Thinks: Shakey Graves
Scott Hopes: Nikki Lane
Instrumentalist of the Year
Scott Thinks: John Leventhal (if only because I didn’t have to look him up)
Scott Hopes: The Country Music #CMchat powers that be forgive me for my laziness on researching this category.