2009 AMA Honors and Awards Show Nominees Announced

Brady Vercher | May 21st, 2009

The Americana Music Association announced the nominees for its 8th Honors and Awards ceremony yesterday. The ceremony will be held September 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN during the Americana Festival and Conference and will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale, featuring a band led by Buddy Miller and additional, yet-to-be-named performers. The AMA will also recognize additional achievements and hand out the Spirit of Americana Award. The eligibility period is based on work released between June 1, 2008 and May 1, 2009. The nominees are listed below.

What do you think of the selections? Is anyone going to the Americana Conference?

Album of the Year

Real Animal, Alejandro Escovedo
Written in Chalk, Buddy & Julie Miller
Jason Isbell & The 40 Unit, Jason Isbell & The 40 Unit
Midnight At The Movies, Justin Townes Earle

Artist of the Year

Alejandro Escovedo
Buddy Miller
Justin Townes Earle
Raul Malo

Instrumentalist of the Year

Buddy Miller
Gurf Morlix
Jerry Douglas
Sam Bush

New & Emerging Artist

Band of Heathens
The Belleville Outfit
Justin Townes Earle
Sarah Borges

Song of the Year

Written by Julie Miller
Performed by Buddy Miller & Patty Griffin

Country Love
The Gourds

Homeland Refugee
Written by Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock
Performed by The Flatlanders

Rattlin’ Bones
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson

Sex And Gasoline
Rodney Crowell

Duo/Group of the Year

Buddy & Julie Miller
The Flatlanders
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
Reckless Kelly

  1. Sam G
    May 21, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Good picks all around, and it’s nice to see Sarah Borges get a little recognition. The Jason Isbell album is the only one I haven’t heard, but I’d have to give Justin Townes Earle the edge for Album and Artist of the Year.

  2. Andrew
    May 21, 2009 at 10:16 am

    If it were up to me, JTE and Chambers/Nicholson would dominate these awards.

  3. Brady Vercher
    May 21, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I’d pull for Buddy & Julie Miller for Album, JTE for Artist & New Artist, and Chambers/Nicholson for Group.

    Anyone know why there are only 4 nominees for each category and 5 for Song?

  4. nm
    May 21, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I’m guessing it was a tie or really close vote on the nominating committee. That’s how those things usually happen.

  5. Jim C
    May 21, 2009 at 11:04 am


    the whole thing’s weak and clueless.

  6. Brody Vercher
    May 21, 2009 at 11:22 am

    It is predictable, but I don’t think everything is necessarily weak.

  7. Rick
    May 21, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’m just glad to see The Bellville Outfit included in the “New & Emerging Artist” category even though they don’t stand a chance of winning.

    If “Homeland Refugee” wins “Song of the Year”, I will surmise the majority of folks casting ballots also voted for Obama…

  8. nm
    May 21, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Rick, I think you have to figure that the majority of voting members of the AMA voted for Obama no matter who wins any category.

  9. Chris N.
    May 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I’ll refer you to my longstanding definition of Americana: Country music made by and for liberals.

  10. Brady Vercher
    May 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I thought that was alt.country

  11. Chris N.
    May 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Whatever. All I know is, the Americana Music Conference is the one time a year I get to be surrounded by fellow travelers.

  12. Kelly
    May 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    good nominees all around. I will say though (I know he isnt country, so forgive me), that I do not get the crazy, mad love for the Escovedo album. I dig him overall, but this is one of those albums that I am convinced that “critics” love because they see other critics “love” it…

  13. Jim C.
    May 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    The album category is especially weak. Al’s record is the only one I actually liked, the other three, not so much. I had high expectations for each of them and they were all big let downs. alt.country, Americana, whatever you want to call it, stick a fork in it, it’s done.

    and Kelly I don’t think you know who how the critic thing actually works.

  14. nm
    May 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    ” alt.country, Americana, whatever you want to call it, stick a fork in it, it’s done.”

    Jim, you’ve been saying that for 10 years now. If it’s a dead horse, you’re sure wasting a lot of time beating it.

  15. Stormy
    May 21, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Looks pretty strong to me.

  16. Kelly
    May 22, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Jim C. – While I am not a professional critic or journalist, I know how the “critic thing” works quite well, as it doesnt take Stephen Hawking to grasp the concept. I actually value the roll of the critic more than most. That said, you’re even more clueless than I have always thought you were if you can claim that there are certain albums that garner an inordinate amount of positive reviews due to a critic or critics fearing backlash from his/her own community of fellow critics who have already heaped a ton of praise (deserved or otherwise) on a specific album.

  17. Jon
    May 22, 2009 at 9:05 am

    ” alt.country, Americana, whatever you want to call it, stick a fork in it, it’s done.”

    Jim, you’ve been saying that for 10 years now.”

    Hey, that’s what I was going to say!

  18. nm
    May 22, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Yeah, but Kelly, don’t discount the immense amount of cred a critic can gain from persuasively demolishing the consensus of her or his peers. That counts, too.

  19. Kelly
    May 22, 2009 at 9:57 am

    NM, I dont discount that at all, and I am sure various critics relish that opportunity as well, whether their feelings on the album in question are sincere or not. My previous claim wasnt a blanket statement, covering all critics who may have possibly liked that album, and Jim C knows that. It’s just that he gets grumpy when people actually express some form of positivity towards a style of music he considers dead and gone…

  20. nm
    May 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

    And yet he continues to hang around in exactly those places where such positive comments can be expected. Eh … I’ll get off his lawn now.

  21. pY
    October 14, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Nominees are selected based on sales, radio play and music survey’s from consumers, explaining my Michael got nominations (highest seller of the year) and why Britney wasn’t.
    booooooo! cheat!!!!1 haha AMA is a low standard

  22. highwayman3
    October 14, 2009 at 8:55 am

    @ PY, I dont see how your comment applies to this or who you are answering, these are the Americana Music Awards, and all these comments are from May. I don’t know how you could have missed all that, haha, but still good to know about Michael and Britney.

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