AmericanaFest has been officially cancelled for 2020. But the crown jewel of the event—the Americana Music Awards—will move forward at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, September 16th as scheduled. Nominees in the six respective categories have been announced, with the emphasis on diversity the Americana Music Association has been touting for some time clearly evident in the nominees, as well as the quality of the artists, songs, and albums selected.
Those wondering where Jason Isbell is since he normally cleans up at these awards, the eligibility period cuts off at March 31st, making his most recent record Reunions released on May 8th not eligible until next year. Though it’s a bit of a shame to not see some of the critically-acclaimed risers from 2019 such as Emily Scott Robinson and Mike and the Moonpies get a nod, the AMA did expand all categories to five nominees this year so more artists get an opportunity for attention. Song of the Year even expanded to six nominees due to a tie.
Artists receiving multiple nominations include Brittany Howard, The Highwomen, Aubrie Sellers, Nathaniel Rateliff, and the Drive-By Truckers. One interesting storyline is that the album Country Squire by Tyler Childers is nominated for Album of the Year, even with the strong criticism Childers has given to the term Americana. Don’t be surprised if Tyler doesn’t show up in 2020.
Winners will be announced on September 19th, and the event will likely be streamed online. The Americana Music Association is still waiting to see if the health situation warrants having no crowd, and limited crowd, or a full crowd for the event. Any ticketing information will be made available in the future.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
“And It’s Still Alright,” Nathaniel Rateliff, Produced by James Barone, Patrick Meese and Nathaniel Rateliff
“Country Squire,” Tyler Childers, Produced by David Ferguson and Sturgill Simpson
“The Highwomen,” The Highwomen, Produced by Dave Cobb
“Jaime,” Brittany Howard, Produced by Brittany Howard
“While I’m Livin’,” Tanya Tucker, Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings
ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR:
Buddy & Julie Miller
Our Native Daughters
EMERGING ACT OF THE YEAR:
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR:
SONG OF THE YEAR:
“And It’s Still Alright,” Nathaniel Rateliff, Written by Nathaniel Rateliff
“Bring My Flowers Now,” Tanya Tucker, Written by Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth and Tanya Tucker
“Crowded Table,” The Highwomen, Written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna
“My Love Will Not Change,” Aubrie Sellers featuring Steve Earle, Written by Billy Burnette and Shawn Camp
“Stay High,” Brittany Howard, Written by Brittany Howard
“Thoughts and Prayers,” Drive-By Truckers, Written by Patterson Hood