Austin City Limits congratulates the winners of last night’s Americana Music Awards, presented, of course, by the Americana Music Association. It was a very special ceremony for some very special artists, including many of our friends from our show. We’ll broadcast highlights from the ceremony on Nov. 25 as part of ACL Presents: Americana 22nd Annual Awards.
Billy Strings, who lit up Season 47 with his clever songs and sizzling guitar, won Artist of the Year for the second year in a row. Singer/songwriter and former Emerging Artist of the Year Tyler Childers won Album of the Year for his top 10 triple album Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? Childers appeared on ACL in Season 44 as a special guest of John Prine, and will return to the stage to pay tribute to his mentor at this year’s ACL Hall of Fame Awards. Song of the Year honors went to longtime ACL veteran Bonnie Raitt’s self-penned tune “Just Like That,” from her LP of the same title. The singer, songwriter, and slide guitarist will perform songs from that album at her fourth ACL taping on Oct. 15.
The Duo/Group of the Year nod went to Nashville soul powerhouses The War and Treaty, who were one of the few performers to tape during our pandemic-afflicted Season 46. Violinist Chauntee Ross and cellist Monique Ross, AKA SistaStrings, took home the Instrumentalist of the Year honors, as well they should have – we can testify to their talents after seeing them perform with both Brandi Carlile’s and Allison Russell’s tapings last year. The Emerging Artist of the Year for 2023 was singer/songwriter S.G. Goodman.
The AMA also presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to singer, songwriter, and ACL frequent flyer Patty Griffin. Fellow ACL pals and folk rockers the Avett Brothers and progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek both received Trailblazer Awards. Season 48 standout Allison Russell received the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award, while the great Bettye LaVette, who visited ACL in Season 34, accepted the Legacy of Americana Award. The evening also included tributes to Seasons 2 and 9 guest Jimmy Buffet, Season 4 performer Tom Waits’ debut album Closing Time, and Season 42 premiere artist Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. George Fontaine, Sr., owner and co-founder of New West Records, who have released many ACL episodes on CD and DVD as the Live From Austin TX series, received this year’s Jack Emerson Award.
Congratulations to all the winners! You can catch performances by AMA honorees in this year’s ACL Presents: Americana 22nd Annual Awards on Nov. 25 on your local public television station.