The ever-popular song and dance phrase, “Now that’s Americana,” from master of ceremonies Jim Lauderdale resonated throughout the Ryman on Thursday, Oct. 16 as the awards show was in full force, exemplifying the importance of the Americana genre and brand.
And when an awards show opens with a performance of “I’ll Fly Away” with a band composed of Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Buddy Miller, Jerry Douglas and Don Was, then you know it can’t get much better musically.
Some of the top awards of the night went to Robert Plant, Buddy Miller, Justin Townes Earle, The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons.
Meanwhile, lifetime achievement honors were given to Lucinda Williams, Gregg Allman, Jerry Douglas, Rick Hall and Bob Harris.
With performances from newcomers The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars and Jessica Lea Mayfiled among others, the night showcased the veterans also as Williams, Plant and Allman also gave awe-inspiring renditions of favorites with an all-star band made up of North Mississippi Allstars Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson, Miller and Was to name a few.
The show was broadcast live throughout Middle Tennessee on Nashville Public Television and an abridged version will air on PBS on Nov. 19 as an episode of "Austin City Limits."
With the awards ceremony acting as the pinnacle to the Americana weekend, showcases across town kicked off the previous night on Oct. 15 through Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom, The Rutledge, The Basement and The Station Inn.
The showcases opened up with a tribute to the Muscle Shoals era with several special guests throughout the night who took their turn at songs like “Mustang Sally,” “Brown Sugar,” “Do Right Woman” and “If Loving You Is Wrong.”
Other sets throughout the weekend included performances from Hayes Carll, James McMurtry, North Mississippi Allstars, Keb Mo, Kenny Vaughan, The Dirt Daubers, John Oates, The Black Lillies and many more.
For more information on the Americana Music Association, visit www.americanamusic.org.
For photos from the showcases, click here.