Jason Isbell takes home three awards at Americana Music Association honors

by

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at the Americana Music Honors & Awards
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Sadler Vaden, Chad Gamble, Derrick DeBorja, Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell of The 400 Unit attend the 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 12, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards show took place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. The three-and-a-half-hour ceremony featured stunning music performances punctuated by occasional technical difficulties. Hosts Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids provided constant patter and levity throughout an evening that saw Jason Isbell take home awards in three categories.

Standout musical highlights of the evening included Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Irma Thomas's performance of "Time Is On My Side," and Brandi Carlile's performance of her song, "The Joke," a nominee for Song of the Year, an award that would go to Isbell for "If We Were Vampires" (which The Current's listeners voted the No. 1 song of 2017 in the year-end Top 89 poll).

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit also won the award for Duo/Group of the Year and for Album of the Year, taking home that prize for their Dave Cobb-produced The Nashville Sound.

John Prine, meanwhile, took home the prize for Artist of the Year. Bluegrass guitarist Molly Tuttle won Instrumentalist of the Year, while blues guitarist Buddy Guy won a Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist.

Rosanne Cash was the recipient of the "Spirit of Americana" Free Speech Award, presented in partnership with the First Amendment Center at Middle Tennessee State University. In her acceptance speech, Cash brought the Ryman audience to their feet several times, including when she acknowledged that Sept. 12, 2018, is the 15th anniversary of the passing of her father, Johnny Cash, and when she called for stricter gun control laws and for equal pay for women.

The program was streamed live on video via NPR Music and VuHaus, as well as broadcast live on three radio stations in Nashville, including public radio station WMOT. Encore presentations are planned for CMT, which is set to broadcast a special featuring performance highlights on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. Central, followed by a special broadcast on the PBS television series Austin City Limits in February 2019.

Here is a complete summary of the 2018 awards:

Album of the Year:
The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, produced by Dave Cobb

Artist of the Year:
John Prine

Song of the Year:
"If We Were Vampires," Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, written by Jason Isbell

Duo/Group of the Year:
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Emerging Artist of the Year:
Tyler Childers

Instrumentalist of the Year:
Molly Tuttle

"Spirit of Americana" Free Speech Award, presented in partnership with the First Amendment Center:
Rosanne Cash

Americana Trailblazer Award:
k.d. lang

Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist:
Buddy Guy

Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance:
Irma Thomas

Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive:
Cris Williamson and Judy Dlugacz of Olivia Records

External Link

Americana Music Association

Related Stories

  • What's up in Nashville? The Current's guide to Americana Fest The Americana Music Association's festival and conference takes place in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 11 to 16, with the Americana Fest Honors and Awards presentations on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Stream the live program, and look at other coverage of Americana Fest, including social media updates from The Current's Bill DeVille and David Safar.

2 Photos

  • The 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards
    NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Brandi Carlile, Irma Thomas, Courtney Marie Andrews, Tanya Blount and Michael Trotter Jr. of The War and Treaty and Ann McCrary of The McCrary Sisters perform onstage during the 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 12, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)
  • The 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards
    NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Brandi Carlile, Irma Thomas, Courtney Marie Andrews, Tanya Blount and Michael Trotter Jr. of The War and Treaty perform onstage during the 2018 Americana Music Honors and Awards at Ryman Auditorium on September 12, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

comments powered by Disqus