Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 was the time, and the beautiful Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin was the place for the 2nd Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards. Socialites and artists from all over the United States, and a few from foreign lands made their way to the Texas capitol for the festivities.
It’s about that time of year again to start considering who the Country Music Hall of Fame will include in their list of 2015 inductees. That said, this announcement seems to inch later, and later (and later) each year. Nonetheless, if you want your opinion to amount to anything, you better get it out there early in the year as the people who make the picks for the final ballots and eventually inductees are doing their homework.
Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Allan Coe, Don Kelley, Dwight Yoakam, Grady Martin, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Reed, Jesse McReynolds, John Hartford, Johnny Paycheck, Keith Whitley, Kenney Vaughan, Kenny Chesney, Mac McAnally, Mac Wiseman, Pete Drake, Ralph Mooney, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Redd Volkaert, Ricky Skaggs, Ronnie Milsap, Sam Bush, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, The Oak Ridge Boys
One of the last remaining bands that still holds onto that spirit that revitalized Lower Broadway and still plays there on a regular basis is Hillbilly Casino. Nearing their 10-year anniversary, the band that can regularly be seen playing Layla’s Bluegrass Inn has released a live album recorded at the Exit Inn called “Live in the USA.” I spoke to the Hillbilly Casino bass player Geoff Firebaugh about the album and Lower Broadway.
BR549, Brent Mason, Dan Huff, Don Kelley, Greg Garing, Harry Fontana, Hillbilly Casino, Jay McDowell, JD Wilkes, Johnny Hiland, Layla's, lower broadway, Nic Roulette, NIck Curran, Paul Birch, Redd Volkaert, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bluegrass Inn, The Don Kelley Band, The Eskimo Brothers, Yelawolf
Tuesday, February 18th was the inaugural Ameripolitan Music Awards at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Austin, TX. To see a complete list of winners, a play by play account of the night, and more pictures, please check out the 2014 Ameripolitan Awards LIVE Blog. Here are some photographs of the night from photographer C. C. Ekström of the excellent website Almost Out Of Gas.
2014, Ameripolitan, Ameripolitan Music Awards, Big Sandy, Dale Watson, Dawn Sears, Earl Poole Ball, Elizabeth Cook, James Hand, Jason Roberts, Jim Heath, Johnny Bush, Mike Bernal, Mojo Nixon, Pearls Mahone, Redd Volkaert, Reverend Horton Heat, Rosie Flores, Sarah Gayle Meech, Tonya Watts, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan
What do we mean when we say “country” music? Well take a listen to Mississippi native and Texas transplant Jason Eady’s new album AM Country Heaven, and that should give you the strongest of all possible clues. And what do people mean when they say “Texas” country? This album isn’t a bad example of that either. Where I distance from a lot of other music writers is in the project’s originality.
James Hand is like James Hand, wholly unique, yet hauntingly familiar in the way his songs seem like they were written just for you and sound like old memories, and how his presence warms the soul. Or you could just listen to Willie Nelson who says it both succinctly and completely, “James Hand is the real deal!”