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Folk Alliance Honors Its Best

In the past few months, we've reported on the Grammys, the Country Music Awards, and the International Bluegrass Music Awards. Now there's another music award to add to the list: The Folk Alliance Music and Business Awards.

Canadian group The Duhks was named both Band of the Year, and Emerging Artist when the International Folk Music and Dance Alliance held its first ever industry awards show during the groups recent convention in Austin, Texas. Twelve trophies were handed out during the music-filled program, and Red House Records Eliza Gilkyson proved to be the evening's big winner, taking home four trophies, including Song of the Year for her politically-charged "Man of God."

When she was starting out in her career, did she write topical songs like this?

"I always had a bent toward consciousness of some sort," said Gilkyson. "Speaking for human rights, or individual rights. Women's rights have long been an issue for me. Of course, I get caught up in my own personal eddys, but I try to find the archetypical threads that run through my personal life that others can relate to."

Created to honor the talent of folk and acoustic artists and the businesses that support them, the Folk Alliance Music Awards are the first honors to focus on folk music. The nominees and winners of the awards were determined by ballot by Folk Alliance members, including artists, labels, agents, promoters, radio presenters, reporters and managers.

"It's a chance to honor and pay respect to the people in our business," said Louis Jay Meyers, the Folk Alliance Executive Director. "And that's something that I don't think we do enough of. The awards are half-industry and half-music awards. We're doing Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, all that type of stuff. And then we also have House Concert of the Year, Venue of the Year, Folk Music Business of the Year, Record Label of the Year, things like that. And it's exciting because those are the people that really never get honored. I'm proud that we're going to be able to show them some respect this year."

In addition to the Song of the Year Honor, Eliza Gilkyson also received the awards for Best Contemporary Artist, and Best Solo Artist. And Eliza's album Paradise Hotel, earned her the organizations first-ever Best Album award.