Lucinda Williams, Sturgill Simpson Earn Major Honors at 2015 Americana Music Awards
Williams earned one of the evening's major awards, Album of the Year, for her Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone disc, while Simpson took home Artist of the Year and Song of the Year, the latter for his track "Turtles All the Way Down."
"I am up against such incredible talent," Williams said when receiving her award (quote via the Associated Press). "This is such an honor, and it's really, really moving."
Dave Cobb, who produced Simpson's album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, accepted the Song of the Year Award for the artist, recalling the moment when Simpson crafted the song's lyric about "reptile aliens made of light."
"I couldn't hold it in," said Cobb. "It was really hard."
The Mavericks and Shakey Graves each received the awards for Duo / Group of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year, respectively. The latter described being onstage at the Ryman Auditorium (where the awards ceremony was held) as a "continual, massive, semi-religious experience" (quote via the Tennessean).
Williams, Simpson and Shakey Graves led the pack of nominees with three nods each; all three were up for Album of the Year and Song of the Year, with nominations for Artist of the Year or Emerging Artist of the Year rounding things out.
"The Lord has put so many great people in my life," Skaggs said during his acceptance speech. "Getting to play with Bill Monroe, playing with Flatt & Scruggs and with Ralph and Carter Stanley … I’m so blessed."
A complete list of winners is below. An edited version of the 2015 Americana Music Awards will air on PBS later this year.
Americana Music Honors & Awards 2015 Winners
Album of the Year: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, Lucinda Williams (Produced by Lucinda Williams, Tom Overby and Greg Leisz)
Artist of the Year: Sturgill Simpson
Duo / Group of the Year: The Mavericks
Song of the Year: Sturgill Simpson, "Turtles All the Way Down" (Written by Sturgill Simpson)
Emerging Artist of the Year: Shakey Graves
Instrumentalist of the Year: John Leventhal
Spirit of Americana / Free Speech in Music Award: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Lifetime Achievement Award, Trailblazer: Don Henley
Lifetime Achievement Award, Songwriting: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
Lifetime Achievement Award, Instrumentalist: Ricky Skaggs
Lifetime Achievement Award, Performance: Los Lobos
President's Award: B.B. King