Archive for the Raul Maol Category

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