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Americana Music Association Announces Award Nominees

  • Katherine Cole

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

On September 12, the 2012 Americana Honors and Awards will be handed out at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. This year, Jason Isbell leads the pack with four nominations and familiar names including The Civil Wars and Steve Earle are also in the running for a trophy or two.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s “Here We Rest” earned the onetime member of the Drive-By Truckers an Artist of the Year nomination, along with nods for Album of the Year, Duo/Group of the Year and Song of the Year for “Alabama Pines.”

2012 AMA Honors & Awards Nominees

Album of the Year
"Here We Rest" – Jason Isbell & 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
Gillian Welch
Hayes Carll
Jason Isbell
Justin Townes Earle

Emerging Artist of the Year
Alabama Shakes
Deep Dark Woods
Robert Ellis

Song of the Year
“Alabama Pines” – Written by Jason Isbell and performed by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
“Come Around” – Written and performed by Sarah Jarosz
“I Love” – Written by Tom T. Hall and performed by Patty Griffin
“Waitin’ On The Sky” – Written and performed by Steve Earle

Instrumentalist of the Year
Buddy Miller
Chris Thile
Darrell Scott
Dave Rawlings

Duo/Group of the Year
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Civil Wars
Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Punch Brothers

Jason Isbell is up for four Americana Music Awards this year and Gillian Welch is up for three, with the two facing off in three categories: Artist of the Year, Duo or Group of the Year and Album of the Year.

Gillian Welch's CD “The Harrow and the Harvest,” her long-awaited fifth album, has won her great critical acclaim from reviewers around the world, and it could be the title to beat in the Album of the Year Category. The competition is very tough - the other nominees are Steve Earle’s “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” and “This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark.”

It’s rare for a tribute album to even get nominated for awards as there is usually so much new material released each year, but critics believe the combination of Guy Clark’s songs and artists including Lyle Lovett, Rodney Crowell, Kris Kristofferson and Joe Ely will make it hard to beat.

Interestingly, the Guy Clark collection isn’t the only tribute album to be nominated for an Americana Award this year. “I Love”, performed by Patty Griffin on a Tom T. Hall tribute is up for Song of the Year.

The other nominees in the Song of the Year category are “Come Around” written and performed by Sarah Jarosz and “Waitin’ on the Sky” by Steve Earle.

The awards show is the centerpiece of the annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, which includes daily seminars and panels, and more than 100 music showcases by artists including Richard Thompson, Darrell Scott, the Bodeans and John Hiatt.

The 11th Americana Music Honors and Awards will be broadcast on VOA's Roots and Branches later in the month.