Last week the Americana Music Association announced the nominees for their upcoming awards show in September. Looking at the list of nominees, it has been another banner year for the genre as evidenced by the talent being honored.
Leading the way with four nominations, including Artist of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year, is Jason Isbell, along with his band the 400 Unit is just about every category that he can be honored. Look for an upcoming review of their album "Here We Rest" in the coming weeks. I had the great fortune to check out Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit in Toronto at the Horseshoe Tavern several months ago, and they were excellent. A very tight band, who are absolutely deserving of the recognition the Association has provided this year.
Gillian Welch has three nominations for herself, including Album of the Year for "The Harrow and the Harvest", as well as Duo/Group of the Year with Dave Rawlings. Gillian has been a mainstay in the Americana scene for many years and is always deserving of recognition for her work.
The nomination that brought the biggest smile to my face is that of The Deep Dark Woods in the Emerging Artist of the Year category. I have written about this very talented group from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on two other occasions on this site, from my first discovery of the band in Nashville at last year's Americana Festival and a review of their show with Robert Earl Keen in Boston this past January. Win or lose, The Deep Dark Woods will be around for as long as they desire. They are that damn good.
This year's edition of the Americana Music Association Festival and Conference takes place in Nashville, Tennessee September 12 to 16, 2012, with the Awards show taking place on opening night. It was a pleasure to attend last year, and I look forward to attending again this year with music lovers from around the world.