The Americana Music Association recently announced the nominees for the organization’s 2008 Honors and Awards ceremony, slated for September 18 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Esteemed roots music innovators Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn read the list of awards candidates to a crowd of industry executives, artists and tastemakers gathered in BMI’s Music Row lobby.

“The artists housed under the Americana umbrella truly create today’s most critically acclaimed, socially relevant and culturally profound music,” said AMA Executive Director Jed Hilly. “The nominees represent the elite of the elite, and we could not be more proud to work with and for such provocative creators.”

The winners will be announced September 18 at the historic Ryman Auditorium during the 7th Annual Americana Music Association’s Honors and Awards Show. Hosted by Jim Lauderdale and featuring a band led by Buddy Miller, the Honors & Awards ceremony will also recognize iconic troubadour John Hiatt with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting and Jason and the Scorchers with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Performance. Additional honorees and performers will be announced in the coming months.


Selected by members of the Americana Music Association, the 2008 nominees reflect the genre’s penchant for harboring exciting roots artists capable of career longevity and enthralling reinvention. The nominees’ eligibility is based on work released between June 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008.

Slated for Wednesday, September 17, through Saturday, September 20, the 9th Annual Americana Festival and Conference will offer daily seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Nashville Convention Center. Each evening brings more than 80 stacked Americana showcases to key venues throughout Nashville. Approximately 2,000 industry executives, artists and fans are expected this year.

A limited number of Americana Honors and Awards pre-sale tickets are now available through the AMA office for $45; call 615.386.6936 to purchase tickets and obtain more information. Showcase wristbands granting admission to all three evenings of invigorating live music showcases are also now available for only $35 via www.americanamusic.org and will be attainable at Nashville music retailers and other locations in early August. Conference registration includes access to all panels and presentations, the trade show, select meals, invitations to all sanctioned parties, a conference program guide, goody bag, a ticket to the Honors & Awards ceremony, showcase wristband and more. Registration through is only $350 for AMA members and $450 for non-members.

The two-hour Americana Music Association Honors and Awards event will be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio, and rebroadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio and BBC2 Radio.

The 2008 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Nominees include:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant - Raising Sand

Hayes Carll - Trouble in Mind

James McMurtry - Just Us Kids

Levon Helm - Dirt Farmer

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Steve Earle

Levon Helm

Jim Lauderdale

James McMurtry

INSTUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR

Buddy Miller

Chris Thile

Gurf Morlix

Sam Bush

NEW EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Justin Townes Earle

Mike Farris

Ryan Bingham

The Steeldrivers

SONG OF THE YEAR

“Broken” by Tift Merritt

“Cheney’s Toy” by James McMurtry

“Gone Gone Gone” by Alison Krauss & Robert Plant

“Poor Old Dirt Farmer” by Levon Helm

“She Left Me for Jesus” by Hayes Carll

DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant

Drive By Truckers

Kane Welch Kaplin

The Avett Brothers

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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