It was a wonderful night of music, celebration, reflection, and joy last night at the Ryman Auditorium as folks gathered for the 21st Annual Americana Honors & Awards.
Billy Strings was crowned Americana’s Artist of the Year, with Jerry Douglas presenting the award.
Triple nominee Allison Russell earned the Album of the Year Award for her record Outside Child, produced by Dan Knobler. She accepted the award from respected music critic and NPR writer Ann Powers.
Allison Moorer and Hayes Carll awarded two-time Artist of the Year Brandi Carlile for the Song of the Year with “Right On Time,” written by Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth.
The War and Treaty (Michael and Tanya Trotter) won Duo/Group of the Year after winning Americana Emerging Act of the Year in 2019.
On the heels of her new album Long Time Coming, Sierra Ferrell was also honored by the Americana music community and received this year’s Emerging Act of the Year Award.
Multi-instrumentalist Larissa Maestro took home the Instrumentalist of the Year Award, as Molly Tuttle recognized the Berklee College of Music grad. Maestro has performed and recorded with many high caliber artists and musicians, including Allison Russell, Mickey Guyton, Eminem, Ms. Lauryn Hill, H.E.R., Michael Bublé, Margo Price, and Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings.
Highlights from the evening include Brandi Carlile and Allison Russell delivering a soul-stirring rendition of “You’re Not Alone,” as well as the iconic McCrary Sisters honoring their late sister Deborah (who passed away in June) with a chills-inducing performance of “Amazing Grace.”
Americana stalwart and reigning All-Star Band musical director Buddy Miller was surprised by Robert Plant, who presented Miller with The Lifetime Achievement Award, which was previously unannounced. Miller graced the audience with his classic “Wide River To Cross.”
Throughout the night, attendees were treated to additional performances by the Fairfield Four, Indigo Girls, Lucinda Williams, Adia Victoria, James McCurtry, Lukas Nelson, Morgan Wade, Neal Francis, The War and Treaty, Sierra Ferrell, and JP Harris honoring the late Luke Bell.
Previously announced Lifetime Achievement honors were accepted by the Fairfield Four (Legacy of Americana Award, co-presented with the National Museum of African American Music [NMAAM]), presented by NMAAM’s Katie Rainge-Briggs and award-winning producer Shannon Sanders; Chris Isaak (Performance), presented by Lyle Lovett; the late Don Williams (President’s Award), presented and accepted on behalf of the Williams’ family by producer Garth Fundis; Al Bell (Executive), presented by music executive and Chairman of the Black American Music Association Michael Mauldin; and the Indigo Girls (Spirit of Americana Award, co-presented with the First Amendment Center), presented by Brandi Carlile and First Amendment Center’s John Seigenthaler.
Here’s the full list of the 2022 Americana Honors & Awards Winners and Honorees:
Album of the Year: Outside Child, Allison Russell; Produced by Dan Knobler
Artist of the Year: Billy Strings
Song of the Year: “Right On Time,” Brandi Carlile; Written by Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth
Duo/Group of the Year: The War and Treaty
Emerging Act of the Year: Sierra Ferrell
Instrumentalist of the Year: Larissa Maestro
Legacy of Americana Award, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music: Fairfield Four
President’s Award: Don Williams (posthumous)
Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance: Chris Isaak
Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive: Al Bell
Spirit of Americana Award: Indigo Girls