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Americana Music Association Names 2011 Awards' Nominees

In this July 30, 2010 photo, singer Robert Plant poses for a portrait backstage moments before performing with Band Of Joy at Miami's Bayfront Amphitheatre

The nominees for the 2011 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards were announced recently. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robert Plant and singer-songwriter Elizabeth Cook lead the pack with three nominations apiece.

Plant’s “Band of Joy” earned the 62-year-old singer an Artist of the Year nomination, along with nods for Duo or Group of the Year and Album of the Year.

“Band of Joy” is up for three Americana Music Association awards this year, thanks to great songs, great singing, and great playing by musicians including co-producer Buddy Miller, himself a nominee in the Instrumentalist of the Year and Artist of the Year categories. He and Plant will be vying against Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll and Nashville’s Elizabeth Cook in that category.

Elizabeth Cook’s CD “Welder,” her fifth, 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. “El Camino” is one of the four nominees for the AMA Song of the Year. So is “Down By The Water” by the Decemberists with Gillian Welch.

The Civil Wars and Mumford & Sons find themselves both nominated for two AMA awards this year: Duo or Group of the Year and New/Emerging Artist of the Year. Like Robert Plant, Mumford & Sons are musicians from the United Kingdom who fell in love with the sound of old-time American folk and bluegrass music.

The 10th Americana Music Association Honors and Awards will be handed out October 13 in Nashville. The awards show is the centerpiece of the annual Americana Festival and Conference, which includes daily seminars and panels, and more than 100 music showcases. Showcase artists will be announced later this summer, for more information visit

Other nominees this year include Lucinda Williams, Justin Townes Earle, The Avett Brothers & Sarah Jarosz. The 20-year-old is up against Buddy Miller, Gurf Morlix, Kenny Vaughn and Wil Kimbrough in the Instrumentalist of the Year category.