2013 Americana Music Awards Winners & Recap

September 18, 2013 - By Trigger  //  News  //  14 Comments


(Full list of winners below)

The 2013 Americana Music Awards once again transpired in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium as part of the week-long Americana Music Conference. Top winners were Shovels & Rope with two awards for Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year, and Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell with two awards for Album of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year.

Delbert McClinton lead off presentation with Hank Williams’ “Hey, Good Lookin,'” leading into MC Jim Lauderdale giving a poignant introduction that included the line, “The past matters, traditions matter, even when we explore ways to have those traditions extended and expanded.” 

Hank Williams was named the recipient of the President’s Award, presented to his granddaughter Holly Williams by filmmaker Ken Burns who is currently working on a documentary about country music.  In the acceptance speech, Holly said, “Hank would be Americana if he was alive today.” She then played “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” on the same stage that her grandfather graced so many times.

This was followed by a performances by John Fullbright and Shovels & Rope, and then Jim Lauderdale presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting to Robert Hunter. The famous songwriting counterpart to Jerry Garcia then played an acoustic performance of “Ripple.” It was his first public performance in nearly a decade.

Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison played their duet “Border Radio,” followed by Richard Thompson performing “Good Things Happen To Bad People,”eventually leading into prominent Nashville resident Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance to Louisiana’s Dr. John. JD McPherson followed this up with a performance of his song “Northside Gal.”

Billy Bragg and Tift Merritt awarded Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell with the Duo / Group of the Year. “We were Americana before it had a name,” Emmylou said in her acceptance speech. This was chased by The Stellas (the two young girls from ABC’s “Nashville” show) singing The Lumineers “Ho, Hey!”

Guitar player Ry Cooder presented Jack Emerson with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive. Then Jim Lauderdale introduced the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry, Old Crow Medicine Show, who proceeded to play the song that has since become a #1 for Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel.” This led to actor/comedian Ed Helms presenting Old Crow with the Trailblazer Award—a WW2 Harmony guitar with the lyrics of “Wagon Wheel” written on it.

Nicki Bluhm and Sam Bush presented the 2013 Artist of the Year award to Dwight Yoakam, who was not in attendance, but Sam Bush said he accepted it on Dwight’s behalf and wore the “tightest pants I have.” This was followed by a performance from the Milk Carton Kids, and the Americana house band led by Buddy Miller, with Jim Lauderdale joining in with a song from the duo’s recent album.

BBC Radio’s Bob Harris presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist to Duane Eddy. “Hank Williams was my mentor, though he didn’t know it,” Eddy said in his acceptance speech, and then played his most famous song, “Rebel Rouser.”

Shovels & Rope and “Birmingham” won the Song of the Year award, followed by a performance by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell. Emerging Artist of the Year was presented next to Shovels & Rope by members of Wilco, making Shovels & Rope the first multi-award winner of the night. The Spirit of Americana Freedom of Speech award went to Stephen Stills, who played the signature Buffalo Springfield hit “For What It’s Worth” with Kenny Wayne Shepherd joining in.

And handing out the final award, Rosanne Cash and Alejandro Escovedo presented the Album of the Year to Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell for their album Old Yellow Moon. Dr. John led the final song, “Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight,” with Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, and many more joining the band.


Emerging Artist of the Year

Shovels & Rope

Album of the Year

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell’s Old Yellow Moon.

Artist of the Year

Dwight Yoakam

Song of the Year

“Birmingham” by Shovels & Rope

Duo/ Group of the Year

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell

Presidents Award

Hank Williams

Instrumentalist of the Year

Larry Campbell

Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting 

Robert Hunter

Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance

Dr. John

Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist

Duane Eddy

Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive

Jack Emerson

Trailblazer Award

Old Crow Medicine Show

Spirit of Americana Freedom of Speech Award

Stephen Stills

14 Comments to “2013 Americana Music Awards Winners & Recap”

  • Sounds like it was a pretty good show. :)

    I like that Emmylou & Rodney album, though to me it’s the aural equivalent of comfort food… Too bad Kelly & Bruce couldn’t have won something; I love their take on “Border Radio,” and I think their whole ‘Cheater’s Game’ album was really fun.


  • I probably listened to the Dwight Yoakam,OCMS,and Shovels & Rope albums more than anyone else this past year,so kinda neat to see people I acutally listen to win awards.Kinda disappointed Shovels didn’t win Album of the year too,but ah well.


  • I agree with Gena on the Emmylou/Rodney album. It’s a very nice album and probably my favorite with Emmylou’s name on it since Red Dirt Girl. But it’s pretty much covers and some older Rodney songs. I will say that I do love Spanish Dancer, which I had never heard before and was written by Patty Scialfa. I did see them in March (a double billing with my man Richard Thompson). Great show. Still, would have liked to have seen John Fullbright or Shovels and Rope take the prize. Both of those albums were great ones, I thought.

    Cool that Jim Lauderdale got to present that award to Robert Hunter, as they have done quite a bit of collaborating (four albums altogether, including Jim’s last three).


    • They gave the Album of the Year to the names, not the music. This is one of the little evils with Americana and their awards, though it’s still great see aging artists with substance still receiving awards.


  • Very poignant, seeing Hank Sr. presented with that award right there in the Ryman. Makes you wonder about that reinstatement movement. I know the Opry doesn’t HAVE to reinstate a dead man, but it sure would be nice if they did.
    Maybe they will replay the show on AXS–I got distracted and missed OCMS.


  • I saw some of this on TV the other night, but I didn’t know what I was watching.

    Jim Lauderdale is the perfect MC and one of many outstanding emmisaries for roots music.


  • The award for Hank Williams was greatness being that it was at the Ryman and his granddaughter was accpeting it and performing. That was very cool moment. Personally I would have loved to see Bruce and Kelly win something. Lauderdale is indeed the perfect MC for this thing can’t imangine anyone else doing it, really. My only beef with the Americana awards is I wish they would reach out to a wider group of folks like what about the turnpike troubadors, jason Boland and were was RYH, Hayes Carll and Dale Watson at least as performers or presenters. Yes I know fulbright was a troubador at one point.Perhaps a hat tip to Billy Joe Shaver at some point would be nice. What about Chris Knight ? Just seems every year to be a narrow list of folks always seem to be a part of this thing with very little branching out.


    • That’s I think where Americana is making a mistake, and I think that’s the reason we are seeing Ameripolitan and the Outlaw Music Association. If Americana had at least paid homage to these other artists with nominations, they would be able to incorporate these independent fan bases. But instead they nominate the same narrowcaseted group of artists every year. Americana is missing a big opportunity with the resurgence of roots music this year.


      • Agreed. Thnx Trig


    • @ Texas Music Jim-
      I’m not an apologist for the Americana Music Association but FYI, in 2002 Billy Joe Shaver received the AMA’s first ever award for Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting; Hayes Carll received the AMA’s 2008 award for Song of the Year (“She Left Me for Jesus”) and its 2010 Award for Emerging Artist of the Year, and in addition, was nominated for Artist of the Year in 2011 and 2012; and if RYH is Ray Wylie Hubbard, in 2010 he was nominated for Artist, Album, and Song of the Year. (Both HC and RWH have received “some love” from the AMA in the past and both are currently touring, so that may explain their absence this year as presenters; moreover, I don’t believe either released albums this year so that may explain their exclusion as performers.) You can find a complete list of winners and nominees listed by year at


      As for this year, I’d also have given the Album of the Year (and Duo or Group of the Year) award to Kelly and Bruce but I don’t think it’s fair to say that “[t]hey gave the Album of the Year to the names, not the music. This is one of the little evils with Americana and their awards.” Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell are both AMA Lifetime Achievement Award winners (for performing and songwriting, respectively), but in the 12 year history of the awards, neither had ever previously been awarded AMA Album of the Year– Emmylou had never even been previously nominated despite that fact that she’s issued four other albums since 2001 that could have qualified for nominations. Even though Old Yellow Moon wouldn’t be the pick for most of us, it’s a good album and IMHO, its selection shouldn’t be viewed as “evil,” or lacking in merit.


      • Points well taken Arlene. However, I still think the larger point is a valid one, past love shown towards Hayes Carll and RWH and BJS not withstanding, that the Americana awards tends to have a narrow focus. While Old Yellow Moon is a perfectly wonderful record from two all time legends A lot of us would still like to see a wider path taken by the Americana awards at awards time.


  • What was up with the audio???. Who ever ran audio was way over his or her head. Other wise the show was great. We missed half the sound from some of the tunes at times. The audio was a real disapointment!


  • I brought my pom-pom out when they announced Dwight Yoakam as AOTY. I loved ‘3 Pears’, I’m pleased with his win.

    But yeah, the winners are way too obvious. They are not exactly evil, but I wish they’d expand their voting pool a bit, instead of just honouring the big names in Americana and underground/Outlaw scene.


  • Great about Emmy and Dwight. The what about the guy that got them there whose 40th anniversary of his death was *during* the conference? Ten years ago Parsons was the founding father of the AMA; this week you had to be up in Canada or over at Waycross to honor him 40 years gone, or even hear his name spoken. Also agreed on others not mentioned. MOR all over again.


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