NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 20, 2023) — The Americana Music Association celebrated distinguished members of its community tonight, revealing the winners of the 22nd Annual Americana Honors & Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium. A world-class group of musical innovators garnered coveted awards, including Billy Strings (Artist of the Year), Tyler Childers (Album of the Year), Bonnie Raitt (Song of the Year), The War and Treaty (Duo/Group of the Year), S.G. Goodman (Emerging Act of the Year) and SistaStrings (Instrumentalist of the Year).
Guitar picking phenom—and 2022 Americana Artist of the Year—Billy Strings, earned Artist of the Year for the second consecutive year. Tyler Childers was awarded Album of the Year for his critically acclaimed self-produced record, Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?
Bonnie Raitt was crowned with Song of the Year honors for her self-penned “Just Like That.” The War and Treaty (Michael and Tanya Trotter) also won Duo/Group of the Year for the second consecutive year. S.G. Goodman won Emerging Act of the Year, while SistaStrings (sisters Chauntee and Monique Ross) took home the Instrumentalist of the Year Award.
The Avett Brothers and Nickel Creek were presented with Trailblazer Awards by two-time Artist of the Year Brandi Carlile and surprise presenter Kacey Musgraves, respectively.
Highlights from the evening include Patty Griffin receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from first-time presenter Sarah Silverman and a stirring moment as First Amendment Center’s John Seignthaler and the Tennessee Three (Democratic lawmakers Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson) presented 2022 Album of the Year winner (Outside Child) Allison Russell with the Spirit of Americana / Free Speech in Music Award.
Buddy Miller — Americana stalwart, songwriter, musician, producer and 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient — returned as musical director for the Americana All-Star Band, featuring Brady Blade, Catherine Popper, Fred Eltringham, Jen Gunderman, Jim Hoke, Larry Campbell and The McCrary Sisters. In addition to leading the All-Star Band, Miller presented George Fontaine Sr. with the Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement for Executive.
The evening also included tributes to two albums celebrating their 50th anniversary: Rufus Wainwright tribute to Tom Waits’ Closing Time, and Milk Carton Kids and Noah Kahan tribute to Paul Simon’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.
Logan Ledger opened the evening with a posthumous tribute to Jimmy Buffett’s “Come Monday,” and a multi-artist grand finale tribute to Robbie Robertson with The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” closed the show.
Bettye LaVette accepted the Legacy of Americana Award (in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music [NMAAM]), presented by Noelle Taylor and Steve Jordan.
Throughout the night, attendees were treated to performances by 49 Winchester, Adeem the Artist, Allison Russell, Angel Olsen, The Avett Brothers, Bettye LaVette, Bonnie Raitt, Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark, Hermanos Gutiérrez, Logan Ledger, Margo Price, The Milk Carton Kids, Nickel Creek, Noah Kahan, Patty Griffin, Rufus Wainwright, S.G. Goodman, Sunny War, The War and Treaty and William Prince.
“I marvel at the talented musicians of our community who consistently surpass expectations and come together to highlight the importance of authenticity, friendship, and unity,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. “It is a privilege for me to be a part of this exceptional evening where we celebrate the well-deserved accomplishments of this incredible genre.”
2023 Honors & Awards Winners:
Album of the Year: Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?, Tyler Childers; Produced by Tyler Childers
Artist of the Year: Billy Strings
Duo/Group of the Year: The War and Treaty
Emerging Act of the Year: S.G. Goodman
Song of the Year: “Just Like That,” Bonnie Raitt; Written by Bonnie Raitt
Instrumentalist of the Year: SistaStrings
The 22nd Annual Americana Honors & Awards is the hallmark event of AMERICANAFEST week, which continues through this Saturday, September 23.
For more information on the Honors & Awards and AMERICANAFEST, please visit www.americanamusic.org.