Saving Country Music’s 2017 Ameripolitan Awards LIVE Blog


Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the 2017 Saving AMERIPOLITAN Music LIVE blog from Austin, TX and the historic Paramount theater. Since the awards will not be broadcast or televised, the will be the live portal into the festivities for the folks who can’t be here. We’ll keep you informed of the winners, performers, doings, photos and other observations as the evening transpires.

Artists scheduled to perform include Junior Brown, Johnny Bush, Leona Williams, Bonnie Montgomery, Jake Penrod, Carolyn Martin, Marti Brom, Jessie Dayton, Rosie Flores, James Intveld, Jason Roberts, Charlie Thompson, Lance Lipinksy, Wayne Hancock, Ray Benson, Dale Watson and others. To see the list of awards and nominees, CLICK HERE.

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2017 Ameripolitan Winners:

  • Honky Tonk Female – Leona Williams
  • Honky Tonk Male – Jake Penrod
  • Honky Tonk Group – Gary P. Nunn and the Bunkhouse Band
  • Rockabilly Female – Lara Hope
  • Rockabilly Male – Lance Lipinsky
  • Rockabilly Group – The Silvershakers
  • Outlaw Female – Darci Carlson
  • Outlaw Male – Hank3
  • Outlaw Group – Dallas Moore Band
  • Western Swing Female – Kristyn Harris
  • Western Swing Male – Pokey LaFarge
  • Western Swing Group – The Western Flyers
  • Venue – Lil’ Red’s Longhorn Saloon
  • Festival – Nashville Boogie
  • DJ – James Riley
  • Musician – Chris Casello

11:30 – Thanks everybody for following along with the 2017 Ameripolitan Awards LIVE blog! Overall I thought it was a very slick year, Dale and Ray really killed it and had the chemistry going great. It would have been great to see more of the star power that received awards show up, but that is always hit and miss. They put on a great presentation. I’m going to recap the winners and get out of here.

11:26 – Some Pictures of the 2017 Ameripolitan Finale – Jerry Lee Lewis video, Lance Lipinsky, Chris Casello, Dale Watson, and the presenter girls dancing.


11:19 – Now they’re breaking into “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” as Dale Watson and others saunter on stage.

11:18 – In lieu of Jerry Lee Lewis, Lance Lipinsky takes the stage again to play “Great Balls of Fire” with Chris Casello and the house band.

11:13 – Ameripolitan founders come out to present the Master Award. Unfortunately, Jerry Lee Lewis is not able to be here, so a video of him being presented to award at his piano in Memphis plays.

11:07 – The final piece of business tonight is to award Jerry Lee Lewis with the 2017 Ameripolitan Master Award. Currently a video presentation is playing in tribute to Jerry Lee.

11:05 – The Silvershakers accepting their Rockabilly Group award.


11:01 – Lance Lipinsky says “The higher the hair, the closer to God!” He also gives an impassioned acceptance speech about the importance of independent music, including citing the 1996 Telecommunications Act that basically destroyed American radio. Lance may be the biggest takeaway of the 2017 Ameripolitan Awards.


10:59 – The Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Rockabilly Group is The Silvershakers!

10:55 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Rockabilly Male is Lance Lipinsky!

10:52 – Laura Hope accepting her Rockabilly Female Award, and Jason Roberts on the Ameripolitan stage.


10:48 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Rockabilly Female goes to Lara Hope!

10:47 – Jason Roberts takes the stage to perform, and now we’re heading into the Rockabilly categories.

10:45 – Pokey LaFarge accepting his award via video, and the Western Swing Flyers.


10:41 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Western Swing Group goes to The Western Flyers!

10:38 – Pokey is on the road, so a video accepting the award plays in his stead.

10:37 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Western Swing Male goes to Pokey LaFarge!

10:36 – Western Swing Male coming up, presented by Jason Roberts and Dale Watson.

10:32 – Kristyn Harris says Western Swing is her life as she accepts her Ameripolitan Award.


10:30 The 2017 Ameripolitan for Western Swing Female goes to Kristyn Harris!

10:28 – Now we’re moving into the Western Swing awards. Carolyn Martin comes out to present Western Swing Female.

10:26 – Junior Brown takes the stage, and you can probably guess the song. “Highway Patrol” of course.


10:22 – Junior Brown accepts his award and then takes his guit-steel to perform.

10:20 – “Rarely someone comes by and changes the face of music,” says Steve Wertheimer of the Continental Club, explaining how Junior Brown was able to get people who hated country music—punks and metalhead—to listen up.

10:16 – Ameripolitan DJ winner James Riley, and two guys (sorry, didn’t give their name) accepting the Ameripolitan award for Best Festival for The Nashville Boogie.


10:13 Keeper of the Key award is up next, presented by Steve Wertheimer. Junior Brown is the recipient. Keeper of the Key is like a Lifetime Achievement award.

10:11 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for DJ goes to James Riley WXNA 101.5 FM!

10:09 – Dallas Wayne comes out to present the Ameripolitan DJ of the Year.

10:06 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Festival of the Year is the Nashville Boogie!

10:05 – “It’s about damn time. It’s the best beer joint in the world!” says Lil’ Red’s Longhorn Saloon owner.


10:00 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Venue of the Year is Lil’ Red’s Longhorn Saloon in Ft. Worth, TX!

9:58 – Johnny Knoxville comes out to present the Ameripolitan Venue of the Year.

9:56 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Ralph Mooney Musician of the Year is Chris Castello!

9:54  – Jason Roberts and Redd Volkaert comes out to present the Ralph Mooney Musicians Award.

9:53– Things have resumed at the 2017 Ameripolitan Awards with hosts Dale Watson and Ray Benson taking the stage.

9:44 – Folks, the 2017 Ameripolitan is in a very brief intermission at the moment. Things should resume very shortly.

This is a good time to apologize to any performers, winners, red carpet walkers, or anyone else that we miss covering. With no commercial breaks, the awards go by super fast, and I do the best I can to keep up with as much as I can. Please don’t be offended if we miss your favorite performer.

9:41– Shout out to all of the folks following along at home. Quite a few of you out there this year.

9:37 – Rita Ballou of KOKE-FM, and Johnny Knoxville come out to present the Outlaw Group Award. Dallas Moore Band on stage accepting.


9:32– Wayne “The Train” Hancock on the Ameripolitan stage with one of the best steel guitarist in the business.


9:29 –  The 2017 Ameripolitan winner for Outlaw Group is the Dallas Moore Band!

9:28 – Rita Ballou and Johnny Knoxville come out to present the Outlaw Group award.

9:24 – Wayne “The Train” Hancock has taken the stage, singing his recent title track, “Slingin’ Rhythm”

9:23 – Hank3 accepting his award via video at the 2017 Ameripolitan Awards.


9:20 – Hank3 is not here, but he did send a video in to accept the award. “Thank y’all, and I’ll be seeing y’all on the road real soon.”

9:18 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Best Outlaw Male goes to Hank Williams III!

9:17 – Jesse Dayton comes out to present Outlaw Male Award with Tito from Tito’s Vodka.

9:14 – Bonnie Montgomery laughs as Darci Carlson gives her impassioned acceptance speech for Outlaw Female. Then Bonnie Montgoery takes the stage to perform.


9:08 – Darci Carlson is crying, and thanks for recognizing a little girl from the Northwest. She gives and impassioned speech, and thanks her other nominees.

9:07 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Outlaw Female goes to Darci Carlson!

9:06 – Bonnie Montgomery comes out to present the Outlaw Female award. Notice in Ameripolitan, ladies come first.

9:05 – Jesse Dayton on the Ameripolitan Stage:


9:03 – Jesse Dayton takes the stage to play his George Jones tribute “Possum Ran Over My Grave”

9:01 – Dale introduces the lovely ladies to handle the awards, and Gary P. Nunn accepts his Honky Ton Group award for his Bunkhouse Band.


8:59 – Ray Benson just said “David Alvin Crow.” You had to be here, but it was hilarious. Here comes the Outlaw portion of the show.

8:57 – Gary P. Nunn is thanking all of the great musicians he’s played with over the years.

8:54 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Honky Tonk Group goes to Gary P. Nunn!

8:53 – Between everything, Dale Watson and Ray Benson are cracking jokes. Wish I had time to transcribe them all, but they’re doing a great job.

8:52 – Jake Penrod accepts his Honky Tonk Male award, and Marti Brom singing on the Ameripolitan stage.


8:47 – Lisa Pankratz has slid behind the drums for the next performance. One of the best honky tonk drummers out there.

8:46 – Seriously folks, check out Lance Lipinsky. The 2nd coming of Jerry Lee Lewis.


8:44 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Award for Honky Tonk male goes to Jake Penrod!

8:43 – James Hand and Charlie Thompson come out to hand out the Honky Tonk Male award.

8:37 – Lance Lipinsky has taken the stage, is doing head stands on his keyboard, and the crowd is going crazy. Then Paramount comes to its feet. This dude’s a live wire!

8:36 – Leona Williams accepts her award, and Jake Penrod:


8:31 – The closest thing to a living Hank Williams – Jake Penrod takes the stage.

8:30 – Dale & Ray, and Charlie Thompson:


8:29 – The Ameripolitan Award for Honky Tonk Female goes to Leona Williams!

8:27 – Rosie Flores and James Infeld come out to present the Honky Tonk Female award.

8:24 – Now Leona Williams has taken then stage!

8:22 – Hosts Dale Watson and Ray Benson come out cracking jokes. “We were attached at birth but I got most of it,” says Benson. Charlie Thompson takes the stage.

8:20 – Rosie Flores and James Infeld:


8:16 – Rosie Flores and James Inveld have taken the stage as the first performers.

8:10 – Vintage footage of Rosie Flores, Dwight Yoakam, The Stray Cats, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys and others is playing in montage form on the big screen. The crowd goes crazy each time another vintage great is shown.

8:06 – A video introduction of the Ameripolitan Awards is playing on a big screen center stage, including a video of Charlie Rich famously burning the John Denver Entertainer of the Year envelope in 1975. The crowd goes crazy.

8:05 – The 2017 Ameripolitan Music Awards have started!

8:02 – Folks have been told to find their seats, and we should be starting momentarily.

7:58: The 2017 Ameripolitan House Band is Chris Crepps on Bass, Mike Bernal on Drums, Don Pawlak on Pedal Steel, Jason Roberts on Fiddle, Redd Volkaert on Guitar, Joey Colarusso on Saxophone, Rick White on Trumpet, Ken Mills on Trombone, and Danny Levin on Piano.

7:45: Some scenes from the red carpet. Vintage cars are delivering tonight’s dignitaries to the Paramount theater. The vintage duds are definitely out. I will try to update with names when I get a free moment.



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