Thursday , May 19 2022

Americana Awards

I am very pleased that an institutional alternative has arisen to the mainstream pop-country establishment of Nashville. We went to a cookout yesterday at the nearby horse-and-dining club, and the “contemporary hit country” the DJ played was slick pop-rock, identifiable as “country” only by accent, grammar and subject matter (horses, cowboys, drinking). It isn’t that it’s “bad,” it’s just very formulaic, commercial, homogenized and aimed at the suburbs.

“Americana” has emerged as a blanket genre for traditional country, bluegrass, alt-country, folky singer-songwriter, Western, rockabilly – anything with a twang that isn’t Nashville pop – and that is a lot of great stuff. It’s ironic that Loretta Lynn, once the very epitome of mainstream Nashville, is now an Americana aritist.

The Americana Music Association held its fifth annual conference and awards in Nashville over the weekend. The winners were:

2004 Americana Music Association Award
Album of the Year
Loretta Lynn“Van Lear Rose” (review) (Interscope) (review) (review)

2004 Americana Music Association Award
Artist of the Year
Loretta Lynn

2004 Americana Music Association Award
Song of the Year
“Fate’s Right Hand” – Rodney Crowell

2004 Americana Music Association Award
Instrumentalist of the Year
Will Kimbrough

2004 Americana Music Association Award
New/Emerging Artist of the Year
Mindy Smith

2004 Americana Music Association Award
Lifetime Achievement – Executive
Jack Emerson

2004 Americana Music Association Award
Lifetime Achievement – Performer
Chris Hillman

2004 Americana Music Association Award
Lifetime Achievement – Songwriter
Cowboy Jack Clement

2004 Americana Music Association
President’s Award
The Carter Family (news and bio)

2004 Americana Music Association Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award
Steve Earle (review) (review) (review) (review)

Performing at the conference were Tony Joe White & Shelby Lynne, Steve Earle, Jason Ringenberg, Chris Hillman, Slaid Cleaves & Ray Wylie Hubbard, Mindy Smith, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mavis Staples, Rodney Crowell and more. Sounds pretty great – I’d love to hear from anyone who attended.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected],, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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