Archive for the Corb Lund Category

2010 Americana Music Award Nominees: Best New/Emerging Artist

Posted in Americana Music Awards 2010, Corb Lund, Hayes Carll, Joe Pug, Ryan Bingham, Sarah Jarosz on September 3, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Today, we take a look the nominees for what I consider to be the most confusing category… Best New/Emerging Artist. Last year’s award was won by Justin Townes Earle in his second year of being nominated (New Artist nominee two years in a row?). One of this year’s nominees actually won Best Song last year, a year in which he was NOT nominated for New/Emerging Artist.

Even though the nominating criteria seems to be a bit nebulous, the assembled nominees are all worthy of some sort of recognition.

Sarah Jarosz burst onto the scene last year as an 18-year-old acoustic wunderkind with her debut album Song Up In Her Head. At the time of it’s release, Jarosz had just graduated from high school. Still… artists such as Chris Thile, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Jerry Douglas, and others thought enough of her to appear in guest roles on the album. Most of the songs are Jarosz originals that merge traditional styles with a modern sensibility. Well chosen covers of Tom Waits (“Come On Up to the House”) and The Decemberists (“Shankhill Butchers”) show the diversity of influences that go into making a child prodigy.

Sarah Jarosz: Come On Up to the House (Buy Album)

To say Ryan Bingham emerged in the past year is a bit of an understatement. In 2009, Bingham released his second studio album Roadhouse Sun. It was another fine mix of rustic Texas roots rock from the former rodeo rider and was well received in Americana Circles. Bingham really busted out this year, however, due to his work on the soundtrack for the movie Crazy Heart. His song, “The Weary Kind,” earned him an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. He may now have the highest profile of any Americana artist in recent history. Now, in addition to this nomination, he’s nominated for Song of the Year and Artist of the Year at the AMA’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if he swept all three. This track is from Roadhouse Sun.

Ryan Bingham: Dylan’s Hard Rain (Buy Album)

This one is the real puzzler. Not because Hayes Carll isn’t a great artist. He is. It’s more because Carll is hardly what I would consider a New or Emerging artist. He released his third album in 2008, has had two albums reach #1 on the Americana Airplay Chart, and won Song of the Year at last year’s AMA’s for “She Left Me For Jesus.” Carll is another in a long line of Texas storytellers and is one of my favorite artists working today. I just don’t see how he can be a nominee in this category this year. Hayes Carll emerged a long time ago.

Hayes Carll: Girl Downtown (Buy Album)

I’m not a songwriter. I can’t attest to this myself. But I imagine Joe Pug to be the kind of songwriter that makes other songwriters (even the really good ones) jealous. Pug’s full length debut, Messenger, is one of those albums that really jumped out and grabbed me by the throat this past year. In my concert review of Pug’s performance at the Bijou Theatre in May, I compared him to an early Bob Dylan… an artist whose lyrics are so strong, he doesn’t need to rely on musical wizardry to draw the ear. His understated production and idiosyncratic voice really help Joe Pug stand out.

Joe Pug: Messenger (Buy Album)

Of the five nominees in this category, Corb Lund has probably been at this the longest. Lund was playing in punk bands in his native Alberta, Canada in the late 1980’s before Sarah Jarosz was even born. His 2009 album Losin’ Lately Gambler is his sixth solo recording and his first with U.S. based New West Records. With it, the five-time winner of the Canadian Country Music Association’s Roots Artist of the Year Award (He’s also a Juno Award Winner) is starting to make some noise here in the states. It’s about time we paid attention.

There isn’t much need for analysis here. Bingham is the likely run-away winner. Nobody… new artist or not… has had a higher profile than him in the past year. It’s not even close. If I was just picking a favorite, it would be Joe Pug. He’s probably a long shot at best.
My prediction: Ryan Bingham
My vote (If I had one): Joe Pug