Dave Rawlings grabbed four nominations to lead the rootsy field as Emmylou Harris and Todd Snider announced the nominees for the Americana Awards & Honors Wednesday at the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville.
Dave’s nominations came for music he recorded at the historic RCA Studio B with a band shaped out of members from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, Bright Eyes and Old Crow Medicine Show. The Machine’s A Friend Of A Friend is a finalist for Album of the Year, and “Ruby” — co-written with Dave’s frequent collaborator Gillian Welch — is in the running for Song of the Year. Dave is up for Instrumentalist and the Machine is a finalist for Duo Group.
Ray Wylie Hubbard rode his cleverly titled album A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) to a trio of nominations. Ryan Bingham, whose “The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart” has already won a Golden Globe and an Oscar award, picked up three as well.
Americana is an umbrella term for music that embraces the rock, blues, folk and country roots of American music. It’s a wide-ranging genre, but that’s part of what makes it particularly attractive for its believers.
“That’s the great thing about Americana,” Ray Wylie says. “There’s freedom. You have the freedom to write and do what you feel like.”
Emmylou, who’s evinced an admirable elasticity in her own music, has become something of a symbol for Americana. She’s already anticipating the Sept. 9 awards, hosted by Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
“I’m prejudiced, but I think it’s the coolest [awards], I mean as far as all the different variety of artists and music,” she says. “We call it Americana — I don’t know what else you would call it — but it’s great. I look forward to it every year because it’s an interesting musical show. It’s not just a TV show about giving awards. It’s really about celebrating the music.”
Patty Griffin, Hayes Carll and the Avett Brothers appear twice on the nominations list, which includes such stalwarts as Rosanne Cash, Levon Helm and Steve Earle. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, a trio that draws heavily from string-band music, performed during the announcement ceremony and discovered they had been nominated in the Duo Group category.
The complete list of nominees includes:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
• The List, Rosanne Cash
• A Friend Of A Friend, Dave Rawlings Machine
• Downtown Church, Patty Griffin
• A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C), Ray Wylie Hubbard
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
• Ryan Bingham
• Patty Griffin
• Levon Helm
• Steve Earle
• Ray Wylie Hubbard
DUO GROUP OF THE YEAR
• The Avett Brothers
• Carolina Chocolate Drops
• Band of Heathens
• Dave Rawlings Machine
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
• Buddy Miller
• Dave Rawlings
• Will Kimbrough
• Sam Bush
NEW & EMERGING ARTIST
• Sarah Jarosz
• Ryan Bingham
• Hayes Carll
• Corb Lund
• Joe Pug
SONG OF THE YEAR
• “The Weary Kind,” Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett (writers); Ryan Bingham (artist)
• “Drunken Poets Dream,” Hayes Carll and Ray Wylie Hubbard (writers); Ray Wylie Hubbard (artist)
• “Ruby,” Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch (writers); Dave Rawlings Machine (artist)
• “I And Love And You,” Avett Brothers (writers and artist)