Archive for the Americana Music Awards 09 Category

Americana Award Winners & Other Notes

Posted in Americana Music Awards 09, BettySoo, Buddy and Julie Miller, Buddy Miller, Gurf Morlix, Justin Townes Earle, Patty Griffin, Porterdavis on September 18, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

***Well… The results are in from last night’s Americana Honors and Awards Show, and the winners are Buddy Miller, Buddy Miller, Buddy Miller, Buddy Miller, Gurf Morlix, and Justin Townes Earle.

Obviously, Buddy was the big winner on the night. He walked away with wins for “Artist of the Year,” “Duo/Group of the Year” with his wife Julie Miller, “Album of the Year” for Written in Chalk (also with Julie), and “Song of the Year” for his duet with Patty Griffin called “Chalk.”
With his four wins last night, Buddy now has nine Americana Music Awards to his credit. He has two previous wins in the album category for Buddy & Julie Miller in 2002 and Universal United House of Prayer in 2005. He’s also a two-time winner of the instrumentalist award and was honored in the song category for “Worry too Much” in 2005. It’s quite the impressive resume.
The other two award winners, Morlix and Earle, both were presented with their first Americana trophies. Producer and multi-instrumentalist Morlix took home the “Instrumentalist of the Year” award while Earle was honored with the “Best New/Emerging Aritst” trophy.
***Speaking of Gurf Morlix… Thanks to A Truer Sound for introducing me to Asian-American Americana songwriter BettySoo. BettySoo hails from Texas, and her latest album Heat Sin Water Skin features Morlix as a player and producer. You can read about BettySoo… and watch some videos… over at A Truer Sound, or stream and purchase the album here. You can also stream most of her entire catalogue on her website. She’s worth checking out.
***One more Morlix related note… Be on the lookout for my first ever CD giveaway contest sometime next week. I have an autographed copy of the debut studio album from Porterdavis to send somebody’s way. Morlix produced the album, and it sounds great. Look for info on the giveaway (and interview/performance audio from the band) on Monday.
***Finally, a couple of loyal readers of this site were featured recently on CNN, and I think that’s pretty cool.
I was first introduced to Steve and Jill Kaufmann when I was the host of Americana Crossroads at Morehead State Public Radio. They started listening to the show from their home in Lexington, KY and would send in the occasional e-mail when they heard something they really liked. We lost touch when I moved to Knoxville, but reconnected a while back through the blogosphere when I noticed I was receiving some traffic to this site from a blog called Off the Grid and On the Map.
As it turns out… the Kaufmanns had quit their jobs, sold their house, bought a van, and embarked on a long term driving tour of North America… and they were blogging about it. They would listen to WDVX over the internet on their travels and had tracked me down through that. Pretty soon, I was getting e-mails from them in the studio at work… only now the messages were coming from Mexico and California instead of Lexington. I started following their travels on their website, and I guess I wasn’t the only one as Steve and Jill were recently featured on CNN.com.
In honor of Jill & Steve’s Excellent Adventure, here’s a song dedicated to them from the one and only Johnny Cash.
Johnny Cash: I’ve Been Everywhere (Buy Album)

Americana Music Awards ’09: Lifetime Achievement Awards

Posted in Americana Music Awards 09, Asleep at the Wheel, Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, Sam Bush on September 17, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Tonight is the night… The Americana Music Association Honors & Awards Show takes place tonight at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It is a night designed to celebrate the best Americana music has to offer, and I can almost promise that Kanye West will not charge the stage at any time during the ceremonies.

I’ve already run through all of the nominees for this year’s awards. Today, I’d like to briefly spotlight three artists who will honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards tonight.

First is virtuoso mandolin/fiddle player Sam Bush. Bush is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist.

Sam was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1952 and was exposed to bluegrass and country music through the Flatt & Scruggs TV show and his father’s record collection. He picked up his first mandolin at age eleven, and by the time he reached 17 Sam had already recorded his first album, won three national fiddle championships, and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. From there, Sam went on to found the wildly influential New Grass Revival, and band that brought a rock & roll flair to bluegrass music.

Since disbanding New Grass Revival in the late 1980’s, Sam has continued to perform and release solo records while also being one of the most in demand session players around. His credits include stints touring and playing with Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, and his former New Grass band mate Bela Fleck. He has also appeared on recordings by everyone from Garth Brooks and Allison Krauss to Little Feat and Hootie & the Blowfish.

Sam Bush is one of the most innovative and influential players of his generation, and is well deserving of this award. He is also nominated for Instrumentalist of the Year tonight, and may just come away with that one as well. He has a new album called Circles Around Me due October 20th from Sugar Hill Records. Here’s one from that record along with an old favorite that really showcases Sam’s picking talents.

Sam Bush: Gold Heart Locket (Buy Album)
Sam Bush: Funk 42 (Buy Album)

This year’s honorees for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance are Western Swing revivalists Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel.

Although their music is most closely associated with the state of Texas, Asleep at the Wheel originally formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia in 1970. By 1974, the group had settled in Austin, and started their long tenure as one of the most respected outfits in the state of Texas. The band’s line up has changed several times over the years, but the spirit of the music remains the same. Nearly forty years and twenty albums into their career, Asleep at the Wheel have placed more than twenty singles on the country music charts, won nine Grammy Awards, and leader Ray Benson has been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame.
I had the good fortune of seeing Asleep at the Wheel perform at the 2004 Americana Conference, and I will say that they are worthy of this award. The band flooded the stage at the Mercy Lounge with musicians to create a huge sound that came straight from the days of Country music’s past. The set was powered by a pair of dueling fiddles that kept the crowd dancing, and I’m pretty sure Benson was juggling at one point during the show. It was (to put it mildly) a lot of fun.
Here are two tracks from Asleep at the Wheel. The first is a collaboration with the Dixie Chicks from the 1999 Bob Wills tribute album Ride with Bob. The second is their most recent effort, a collaborative effort with Willie Nelson called Willie & The Wheel.
Asleep at the Wheel with The Dixie Chicks: Roly Poly (Buy Album)
Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel: Hesitation Blues (Buy Album)

The final honoree tonight is legendary swamp rocker John Fogerty who will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.

Fogerty first came to prominence with the band Creedence Clearwater Revival in the late 1960’s. The band achieved great success with their slightly psychedelic, rootsy Bayou sound and all-time classic songs such as “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary,” “Fortunate Son,” and others. Fogerty was the primary songwriter for the group and the singular voice behind their songs. With Fogerty at the helm, CCR became one of rock’s biggest acts by the end of the decade.
By 1973, however, CCR had parted ways and Fogerty struck out on his own as a solo artist. His biggest success in that realm came in 1985 with Centerfield, the album that produced the ubiquitous song of the same name. Now in his sixties, Fogerty continues to release vital roots-rock albums like 2004’s Deja Vu All Over Again and 2007’s Revival. Both albums were timely and topical while also possessing Fogerty’s timeless sound.
It’s easy to overlook Fogerty as a songwriter or to overlook his output in favor of contemporaries such as Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen. When you look back at his career, however, it becomes more and more clear that he deserves to stand alongside any of the songwriters from that era. John Fogerty is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and tonight will honored for his career by the Americana Music Association.
Here’s one from his days with CCR and one more from Revival.
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Lodi (Buy Album)
John Fogerty: Gunslinger (Buy Album)

Americana Music Awards Nominees ’09: All the Rest

Posted in Americana Music Awards 09, Gurf Morlix, Jerry Douglas, Raul Maol, Reckless Kelly on September 11, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Time to take one final look at the nominees for this year’s Americana Music Awards. We’ve tackled Best New & Emerging Artist, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year (as I type this, it looks like Alejandro Escovedo is your pick for best album)… now it’s time to take a look at everything else.

We’ll start with the nominees for Instrumentalist of the Year… Sam Bush, Buddy Miller, Gurf Morlix, and Jerry Douglas. We’ve already discussed Buddy a couple of times due to his nominations for Album and Song of the Year, and I’ll discuss Sam sometime before the awards next week as he will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event. Today we focus on Morlix and Douglas.
Gurf Morlix is a perennial nominee for this award. He is a respected producer and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with many of the biggest names in the Americana genre. He’s recorded with Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy & Julie Miller, Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Tom Russell just to name a few. In just this past year, he produced the fabulous debut album from The Band of Heathens, produced and played on another stellar release from Slaid Cleaves, and released an album on his own. Here’s one from Gurf’s 2009 release Last Exit to Happyland.

Gurf Morlix: Hard Road (Buy Album)

Jerry Douglas is another annual contender for this award, and a two-time winner (’02 & ’03). Jerry has (rightly so) earned the reputation as being the finest dobro player on the planet through his work with Alison Krauss and Union Station and his various other guest spots and solo projects. He released a new solo project in ’08 called Glide and in the past year has appeared on recordings by Elvis Costello, Sarah Jarosz, Ricky Skaggs, and Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin). Here’s one from Glide.

Jerry Douglas: Bounce (Buy Album)

Now we turn our attentions to the nominees for Duo or Group of the Year… Buddy & Julie Miller, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, The Flatlanders, and Reckless Kelly. We’ve already discussed the first three, so let’s focus on Reckless Kelly here.

The boys from Austin released Bulletproof, their fifth studio album, in 2008. It’s another in a string of hard-luck, hard-rocking country efforts from the band named for a famous Australian outlaw. The track I’m featuring here “Love in Her Eyes” is probably one of the hardest rocking tracks on the album, and certainly one of my favorites.

Reckless Kelly: Love in Her Eyes (Buy Album)

The final category I’ve yet to discuss is Artist of the Year… although I have already featured nominees Buddy Miller, Justin Townes Earle, and Alejandro Escovedo. The fourth nominee, and one I haven’t yet mentioned is Raul Malo.

Malo is best known as the frontman for the two-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Award winners, the Mavericks. In recent years, Malo has forged a successful solo career by blending influences that come from his Cuban roots as well as his Country past. He released another solo album in 2009 called Lucky One, and contributed a stunning cover of Charlie Rich’s “Life Has its Little Ups and Downs” to the benefit album The Imus Ranch Record. Raul has always had one of the purest voices in any genre of music, and it still shines through.

Raul Malo: Life Has its Little Ups and Downs (Buy Album)
So there you have it. Now you know all of the nominees for this year’s Americana Music Awards. We’ll find out who actually wins those awards September 17th when the award ceremony is held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
As for who I think might come away with the awards discussed today… Buddy Miller will always be tough to beat in any category he’s nominated for. He’s won more awards than anyone in the history of the event, is the reigning two-time winner of the instrumentalist award, and may just take it again. If he doesn’t, look for Sam Bush to walk away with a 2009 award to go along with his Lifetime Achievement Award.
Buddy looms large in the Artist of the Year category as well. He’s never won this one, but his battle back from a heart attack combined with his first studio album in five years may just give him the edge. Ditto that logic for the Duo/Group category. Julie Miller has been absent from the scene for quite some time as she battled her own health issues. It’s just great to have them both back.
My votes (If I had any):
Artist: Alejandro Escovedo
Duo/Group: Buddy & Julie Miller
Instrumentalist: Sam Bush
My Predictions:
Artist: Buddy Miller
Duo/Group: Buddy & Julie Miller
Instrumentalist: Buddy Miller

Americana Music Awards Nominees ’09: Album of the Year

Posted in Alejandro Escovedo, Americana Music Awards 09, Buddy and Julie Miller, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Justin Townes Earle on September 4, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

So far we’ve covered the nominees for “Best New and Emerging Artist” and “Song of the Year” at this year’s Americana Music Awards & Honors. I gave you my picks and asked you to vote for yours. You’ve voted for all Texas artists so far with The Band of Heathens and The Flatlanders each taking their respective categories. We’ll find out who really wins when the awards get passed out September 17th in Nashville.

This week, it’s time to look at the “Album of the Year” nominees. I’ve already covered two of the nominees in great detail here at the site. I’ll start with those first.
I probably don’t have to tell you that my vote (if I had one) would go to Alejandro Escovedo for his 2008 release Real Animal. I reviewed the album back when it first came out. In fact, it was one of the very first albums I ever wrote about. I also chose it as my favorite album of 2008, and the accolades didn’t stop there. Music critics in Austin named it the best of the year, No Depression give it their top album nod, Stephen King called it one of the year’s best, and Alejandro essentially swept the Austin Music Awards. This is a great rock and roll record with a great deal of introspective song writing. It sounds great now, and I have a feeling it will hold up for quite a while as well.
Alejandro Escovedo: Sister Lost Soul (Buy Album)

Next, we move on to Chalk by Buddy and Julie Miller… an album that I wrote about back in February. As I said then… this isn’t exactly a full collaboration for Buddy and Julie. They only sing together on a few tracks, opting for solo vocals and guest appearances on the other tracks. Patty Griffin, Robert Plant, Larry Campbell, Regina and Ann McCrary, and Emmylou Harris all make appearances on the album. In most cases, the guests take the album to some very lofty places… but I still just love to hear Buddy & Julie Miller singing together. Here’s one where they do just that.

Buddy & Julie Miller: Gasoline & Matches (Buy Album)

Next up is former Drive By Truckers guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Jason Isbell with his new backing band The 400 Unit. Jason’s latest album is a self-titled project and once again reminds me why my favorite Drive By Truckers records are the ones on which he appeared. Although the 400 Unit helps him lay down some tight, southern rock inspired grooves, Jason’s strength has always been his songwriting. I’m not sure why Jason is the only nominee that I haven’t written about before. He certainly deserves the mention.

The album opening “Seven Mile Island” has a father reflecting on his own death even as his child is being born. “Cigarettes & Wine” sees a man destroyed because he can’t let himself be tied down. “Soldiers Get Strange” details the trials of a returning soldier struggling to readjust to civilian life. It’s not a happy album by any stretch, but (to steal a lyric from “Cigarettes and Wine”) it does a great job of detailing snapshots of a, “Life that ain’t grindstone to nose, but pedal to floor.”
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit: Seven Mile Island (Buy Album)
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit: Cigarettes & Wine (Buy Album)
The final nominee is Justin Townes Earle’s latest effort Midnight at the Movies. I know I’ve said this before… but with every new project he releases, Justin takes one more giant step out of the imposing shadows cast upon him by his famous father (Steve Earle) and namesake (Townes Van Zandt). He acknowledges those shadows briefly on the autobiographical “Mama’s Eyes,” but stands proudly in the sun himself with the album opening title track and stays bathed in its rays the whole way through. If he keeps releasing albums like this… he’ll stay there for a while.
Justin Townes Earle: Midnight at the Movies (Buy Album)
I’ve already told you who my vote would go to. I am firmly in the Alejandro Escovedo camp. As for who will win the award, I see this one as being pretty wide open as all four are solid choices. Buddy and Julie are always tough to beat (as Buddy’s crowded awards shelf will attest), and they have won this award before. My wife believes the fix is in for Earle to be the night’s big winner, but I don’t think he takes this one. Isbell’s songs are tremendous, but I don’t know if he has the name recognition to take out two members of Americana royalty and the heir apparent to another regal throne. This one should be interesting.
My vote (If I had one): Real Animal by Alejandro Escovedo
My prediction: Written in Chalk by Buddy & Julie Miller

Americana Music Awards Nominees ’09: Song of the Year

Posted in Americana Music Awards 09, Buddy and Julie Miller, Kasey Chambers, Patty Griffin, Rodney Crowell, Shane Nicholson, The Flatlanders, The Gourds on August 28, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Last week, I previewed the nominees for “Best New & Emerging Artist” at this year’s Americana Awards and Honors and asked you to vote for who you thought should win. You chose The Band of Heathens by an almost two-to-one margin over Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles.

This week, we’re going to dip into another category and ask you to vote on the “Americana Song of the Year.”

We’ll start with “Chalk” by Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin from Buddy and Julie Miller’s 2009 release Written in Chalk. Julie wrote the song, but does not appear on the track… opting instead to let Patty Griffin lend her beautiful voice to provide the soaring harmonies to Buddy’s soulful and grounded baritone. It was the right choice. Lyrically, the song is a classic Julie Miller tune full of heartache, heartbreak, burdens carried, and promises written in chalk that are easily erased. The musical accompaniment is mostly subdued… strummed acoustic guitars, resonant drums, and soft piano flourishes… but the vocal performances of Buddy and Patty make the song an absolute powerhouse.

Buddy Miller & Patty Griffin: Chalk (Buy Album)

The perfect counterpoint to the restrained heartbreak of “Chalk” is the unbridled joy and energy of “Country Love” by The Gourds from their 2009 effort Haymaker. Vocalist Kevin Russell sets the tone for the song by shouting the opening line, “Wake up! We’re going to the country.” For the next 2:45 the listener is taken on a hayride through the backwoods… a place where sweet potatoes are divine, you can actually see the stars away from the city lights, and a little “country lovin'” can make everything alright. Accordions, twangy guitars, and shouts of joy fill the track. If you can’t dance to this one… you may just not dance at all.

The Gourds: Country Love (Buy Album)

We’re brought back to reality a bit by the third nominee, “Homeland Refugee” by The Flatlanders from their 2009 effort Hills and Valleys. On this track, Flatlanders Joe Ely, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock create a moving narrative by invoking imagery from past eras of American hardships such as The Great Depression and The Dust Bowl to illustrate some of the financial hardships being faced by many Americans today. Ely takes lead vocals on the track and tells of a protagonist forced to leave his home on the coast and return to a simpler life in middle America. He returns along the same path his forefathers used during our country’s time of expansion when people looked to the west to find better fortunes. A lyrical nod to Woody Guthrie only drives home the point that our “Pastures of Plenty” aren’t so plentiful anymore.

The Flatlanders: Homeland Refugee (Buy Album)

That brings us to “Rattlin’ Bones,” the title track of the 2008 release by Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson. The husband and wife team of Kasey and Shane take a few cues from the Carter Family on this track that is a true celebration of the roots of country and folk music. The instrumentation is sparse with just guitar, banjo, and drums. Kasey and Shane share the lead vocal in a back-and-forth style and combine to craft haunting harmonies in the chorus. The concept is simple, but the execution is flawless. I don’t care if it comes from Australia… this IS Americana music.

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson: Rattlin’ Bones (Buy Album)

Our final nominee this year is the title track from Rodney Crowell’s 2008 effort Sex and Gasoline. As you may recall, I was a little underwhelmed by Rodney’s latest effort when it was released… but this track had nothing to do with that. The song is an indictment of a sexist society and a popular culture that bases a woman’s worth solely on her beauty and youth. Or to put it in Rodney’s words, “You ain’t nothin’ but the shape you’re in.” There is something wrong with a society in which a 30-year-old woman is looked upon as an “old hag.” Of course, Rodney Crowell has never been afraid to call a foul when he sees one.

Rodney Crowell: Sex and Gasoline (Buy Album)

As for who should and will win this one I think I’m going to have to go with Buddy and Patty on both counts. Buddy is the most awarded artist in the history of the Americana Music Awards, and he’s leading the house band for the awards show again this year. Patty is also a past winner at the awards and sports what may be the best voice in the industry. The dark horse here may be The Flatlanders. Voters for this award have gone for topical songs in the past, and this one is timely without being transparent.

My vote (if I had one): Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin
My prediction: Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin

Americana Music Awards Nominees ’09: New & Emerging Artist

Posted in Americana Music Awards 09, Band of Heathens, Belleville Outfit, Justin Townes Earle, Sarah Borges on August 21, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Well… It’s that time of year again.

The 2009 Americana Music Association’s Awards and Honors Show will be held September 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The event is part of the Americana Music Festival and Conference taking place September 16tn – 19th in Nashville.

As I did last year… I’ll be taking a look at most of the awards categories and trying to handicap the field. We start today with the nominees for “Best New & Emerging Artist.”

First up is a songwriting collective from Austin, TX called The Band of Heathens. The Heathens got their start a few years back when songwriters Colin Brooks, Gordy Quist, and Ed Jurdi were all holding down regular weekly slots at Momo’s Club in Austin. Eventually, the three solo acts started playing together along with a rhythm section of John Chipman on drums and Seth Whitney on bass. As the story goes… a local music writer referred to the collective as “That Band of Heathens” and a legend was born.

The band’s self-titled studio album was released last year and instantly started climbing the Americana Album Airplay charts. In fact, it became just the second self released album to hit the top of that chart (Hayes Carll’s Little Rock). Produced by Austin luminary Ray Wylie Hubbard and featuring appearances by Hubbard, Patty Griffin, Gurf Morlix, and the late Stephen Bruton… their debut effort features country rock grooves to boost their solid songwriting. “Jackson Station” is as good as anything else I heard over the past year.

Band of Heathens: Jackson Station (Buy Album)

The second nominee is another young group based out of the Americana Mecca that is Austin, TX. Though they call Austin their home now, the roots of The Belleville Outfit actually lie in South Carolina where band members Marshall Hood, Rob Teter, and Jeff Brown were in a band called The DesChamps band during their high school years. The three reconnected in Austin a few years later and started recruiting players for a gig they booked at Merlefest. Enter Jonathan Konya and Connor Forsyth from New Orleans and Phoebe Hunt from Austin to complete the sextet.

The Belleville Outfit’s debut album Wanderin’ came out in February of 2008 with a follow up called Time to Stand coming out earlier this year in May. Both albums draw from a wide range of influences to create a sound that is based in Western Swing but also swings out to cover styles as diverse as jazz, traditional folk, cajun zydeco, and just about anything else you’ve ever wrapped your ears around. Here’s the title track from their debut album.

The Belleville Outfit: Wandrin’ (Buy Album)

For our third nominee, we leave Texas and head to Boston for Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles. Sarah is probably my favorite artist among the nominees and someone who I’ve followed for a few years now. She first got on stage as an actress and majored in musical theatre at Emerson College, a small private school in Boston. Eventually, Sarah formed a band and was signed to the Blue Corn Music label after a successful showcase at the SXSW festival.

Sarah has released three albums since then… 2005’s Silver City, 2007’s Diamonds in the Dark, and 2009’s The Stars are Out… the latter two for Sugar Hill. At it’s core, her music houses a strong rock and roll spirit with obvious flourishes of country soul mixed in for good measure. Her latest album was a little less country and a little more rock and roll. It’s a bit of a new direction for a talented performer and songwriter who figures to be around for a while. It’s nice to see her finally get some attention from the Americana voters.

Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles: Me and Your Ghost (Buy Album)

Which brings me to the final nominee this year and the only returning nominee in this category. How someone can be nominated for “Best New Artist” two years in a row… I’ll never know. Here’s part what I wrote about Justin Townes Earle last year.

“Justin Townes Earle is the son of Steve Earle and is named for Townes Van Zandt. That’s not too much to live up to is it? Justin understandably developed a love for music and was playing in a couple of bands in Nashville by the time he was a teenager. He also spent some time playing in his father’s touring band, The Dukes, but was kicked out of the group due a growing dependence on alcohol and drugs… …[Now] clean and sober, Justin self-released the EP Yuma in 2007. His debut album The Good Life followed in 2008.”

Earle returned in March of this year with Midnight at the Movies, another strong effort that, once again, showcases his skills as a songwriter (even if my favorite song on the album is a Replacements cover), and proves that he can stand on his own outside the shadows of his namesake and famous father. His recent inclusion on the Big Surprise Tour with The Old Crow Medicine Show has only broadened his exposure and helped solidify his status as an artist to watch in the future.
Justin Townes Earle: Can’t Hardly Wait (Buy Album)
So those are the nominees for “Best New & Emerging Artist.” I put a poll up yesterday for you to vote on your favorite. We’ll find out the real winner September 17th.
As for how I would handicap this year’s race… I think JTE will be tough to beat. In addition to his nomination here, he’s also up for “Artist of the Year” and “Album of the Year.” My vote (if I had one) would probably go to Sarah Borges because she’s been a favorite of mine for some time, but her latest album is probably the least “Americana” of her catalogue. The Belleville Outfit have the most unique sound and are probably the most innovative of the group. The Band of Heathens had the best “debut” album during the nominating period and would probably be a shoo in if not for the word “Emerging” in the name of the award.
My Vote (If I had one): Sarah Borges
My Prediction: Justin Townes Earle