Archive for the Gurf Morlix 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 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