Justice Served: Jason Isbell Wins 2016 Grammy for Best Americana Album / American Roots Song
NOTE: Make sure to join Saving Country Music Monday night for the Grammy Awards LIVE blog.
Justice has finally been done, and the current King of Americana finally has his Grammy. Actually, he now has two of them. Alabama-born songwriter Jason Isbell walked away with Best Americana Album honors at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards for his latest record Something More Than Free during the pre-telecast awards Monday afternoon (2-14), as well as Best American Roots song for “24 Frames.”
The wins come after not even receiving a nomination two years prior for Isbell’s album Southeastern. Though Jason Isbell has been more decorated in the past two years at the Americana Music Awards than any other artist, and may be the artist most synonymous with the “Americana” subgenre these days, the more widely-recognized and distinguished honor of a Grammy had eluded him. But not any more.
Isbell beat out Brandi Carlie, The Mavericks, the Punch Brothers, and Americana elders Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell’s latest collaborative effort to earn the Best Americana Album distinction. It’s also yet another honor for Dave Cobb, who produced the record.
The Best Americana Album Grammy is one of numerous distinctions Something More Than Free has racked up. Upon its release on July 17th, 2015, it debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Country, Rock, and Folk charts, slightly edging out country powerhouse Alan Jackson for the top spot in country.
“My life turned around a few years ago and I started working harder, and documenting the changes,” Isbell said in his acceptance speech. “All the people that helped me get sober, and taught me how to work again, thank you for that. I’m just happy to be able to work now and have a family, and take care of them when they need me, and be taken care of when I need it. And it’s nice to make records and write songs to keep track of that and explain my own feelings to myself. So it’s really great when that gets recognized.”
Isbell also thanked his wife Amanda Shires, Thirty Tigers, his manager Traci Thomas, and others.
Other pre-telecast winners include Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn for Best Folk Album, The Steeldrivers “The Muscle Shoals Recordings” for Best Bluegrass Album, and Best American Roots Performance went to Mavis Staples for “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.”
Here’s a cell video until better video can be found:
Jason Jason Isbell accepting Americana album of the year!! Congrats!!
Posted by Rodney Hall on Monday, February 15, 2016
February 15, 2016 @ 3:10 pm
Congratulations to the winners. Jason Isbell had a bit part on the Steeldrivers’ winning bluegrass album, too, so I’m curious to see if he will have any involvement in Gary’s solo project.
Sauron the Deceiver
February 15, 2016 @ 3:15 pm
February 15, 2016 @ 4:18 pm
This 1000 times!!
February 15, 2016 @ 3:24 pm
Well, good. Was concerned that they might just give it to Emmylou and Rodney again.
February 15, 2016 @ 3:32 pm
Yes, no offense to Emmylou and Rodney, but let a new dog have his day.
February 15, 2016 @ 3:51 pm
As much as I’ve enjoyed ‘The Traveling Kind,’ they already won for ‘Old Yellow Moon’ — I’m glad the Grammy voters spread the wealth. 🙂
February 15, 2016 @ 4:39 pm
Couldn’t agree more.
February 15, 2016 @ 3:28 pm
Might look into this – your favorite label executive Scott Borchetta just said Glen Campbell had autism when he accepted the award for “Best Compliation Soundtrack for Visual Media”…pretty sure its ALZHEIMERS.
February 15, 2016 @ 3:33 pm
Yes, I did catch that . . .
February 15, 2016 @ 7:08 pm
Awesome, not surprised. He deserves at least 5 for that and southeastern.
Scott cheese head can go to hell, insensitive ignorant, bastard.
February 15, 2016 @ 8:16 pm
Congratulations Jason, so proud for you, and well deserved.
February 16, 2016 @ 6:15 am
Maybe it’s just me but he should have won these awards for Southeastern. Something More Than Free is a good abum but Southeastern was brilliant and easily his best work to date.
February 16, 2016 @ 9:43 am
Yes, he should have, but wasn’t even nominated. I think there was a serious push to resolve that injustice this year.
February 16, 2016 @ 6:33 am
I think I’ve listened to “Something More than Free” at least once a day since its release. So happy to see it receiving the honors it deserves.
February 16, 2016 @ 2:32 pm
February 16, 2016 @ 5:26 pm
February 18, 2016 @ 5:27 am
The only thing worse than Isbell’s medication-fueled snoozer “Southeastern”, which in itself is more Thorazine-like than a visit to a rehab clinic, so boring it makes Mary Chapin Carpenter’s catalog sound like she’s kicking out the jams, is the arrogance and by-the-book elitist snobbishness of anyone who would pretend that garbage is somehow more “country” (or accurately, “more country”) than anything another country listener (wherever they may be, and whoever they are) might like. Do I lose sleep knowing Isbell won a meaningless industry pat-on-the-back for a record I don’t care about? Did I lose sleep years ago when I read derogatory comments on here about artists ranging from mainstream radio country to non-mainstream (Ryan Bingham, the whole Justin Earle thing, and on and on), for fucks sake man let it go, or you may have years ago (many years, actually, but you must be pretty committed!) if not for the fact that the Starbucks-Carousel Country Crowd has to have its watering hole to reinforce said elitism. It gets fucking boring, evidenced by the fact that (what brought me back here, a keyword search) you slam Blake Shelton because some idiot was listening to him air-raging. That’s seriously true, you really did slam a musician because of his fan base. Which is really why you exist, to turn your nose up at “flyover country” and polish Lucinda Williams’ knob. I really, really can’t believe that after all these years this blog still exists. Oh well, keep fighting the good fight, because Fugazi fans created blogs about how Nirvana wasn’t “real punk”, and Sheavy fans started a website called “Saving Real Metal” which lasted for YEARS and called out hair bands, right? You need some serious help.
February 18, 2016 @ 10:46 am
Huh Kevin, well I can tell you’ve been away for years because your opinions are aggressively uninformed. But they’re not just dated, they’re wrong.
“is the arrogance and by-the-book elitist snobbishness of anyone who would pretend that garbage is somehow more “country” (or accurately, “more country”) than anything another country listener (wherever they may be, and whoever they are) might like.”
I don;t know anyone who is saying Jason Isbell is “more country” than anyone. Why not go back and actually read my review of his records. I go out of my way to say he’s not really country. I’ve devoted time and words to that very subject, and to insinuate my opinion is otherwise is ill-informed and irresponsible.
“The whole Justin Townes Earle thing.”
Man, you’re REALLY dating yourself.
“turn your nose up at “flyover country” and polish Lucinda Williams”™ knob.”
Ha! Awesome. You’re fighting with a straw man. I haven’t even reviewed Lucinda’s last three albums.
February 25, 2016 @ 10:40 pm
Kevin Hayward you really sound like a douche bag that needs to get a life