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John Prine a Double Winner at Americana Awards

Bonnie Raitt joined John Prine for yet another duet of "Angel from Montgomery"

John Prine cemented his Superstar status by winning both Album and Song of the Year at the 2019 Americana Music Awards. Artist of the Year – an award Prine won a in 2018 – went to Brandi Carlile this year.

Prine’s album The Tree of Forgiveness had been a finalist at the 2019 Grammy Awards and he quipped that his speech was the one he had written for his losing Grammy nomination. The Song of Year “Summer’s End” – co-written by Pat McLaughlin – was off the critically-acclaimed album.

Prine has only just returned to the stage after health issues forced him to postpone several gigs promoting The Tree of Forgiveness. And he provided the show-stopper when he teamed up with Bonnie Raitt to perform “Angel from Montgomery”, which he wrote and Raitt made famous.

Carlile took the Artist of the Year title in an all-female contest, beating out Rhiannon Giddens, Kacey Musgraves, and Mavis Staples. It has been a big 12 months for Carlile during which she won three Grammy’s, released high-profile album By the Way, I Forgive You and formed popular “super-quartet” The Highwomen with Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires and Maren Morris.

It was Carlile’s first Americana Award after four nominations.

The Awards ceremony, which was held at the Ryman Auditorium on September 12 as part of the week-long Americanafest, featured the inaugural Lifetime Legacy of Americana Award. The first award, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music, went to Rhiannon Giddens and posthumously to Frank Johnson, an African-American fiddler from the Antebellum era.

Giddens said she accepted on behalf of the “countless legions of unknown, unnamed black musicians, who are an inextricable part of American music.”

The Lifetime Presidents Award went to legendary songwriters Felice & Boudleaux Bryant. The married couple wrote countless hits in Nashville but are known best for penning all the early blockbusters for the Everly Brothers. Their children were at the Ryman to see The Milk Carton Kids pay what was regarded as “a perfect tribute” to Felice and Boudleaux by performing harmonies as smooth as the Everly Brothers themselves.

Mavis Staples, who received a Lifetime Inspiration Award, ended the four-hour show with her recently released “Change” and then invited fellow artists onstage for a rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” – a fitting finale for another big night for Americana music!

2019 Americana Music Award Winners:

· Album of the Year – The Tree of Forgiveness – John Prine

· Artist of the Year- Brandi Carlile

· Song of the Year – “Summer’s End,” John Prine, (by Pat McLaughlin and John Prine)

· Instrumentalist of the Year – Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers)

· Emerging Act of the Year – The War and Treaty

· Duo/Group of the Year – “I’m With Her”

· Lifetime President’s Award – Felice & Boudleaux Bryant

· Lifetime Achievement for Songwriting – Elvis Costello

· Lifetime Legacy of Americana Award – Rhiannon Giddens & Frank Johnson

· Lifetime Achievement for Performance – Delbert McClinton

· Lifetime Trailblazer Award- Maria Muldaur

· Lifetime Inspiration Award – Mavis Staples


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