AMA-UK announce nominations and honours for 2021 awards

It seems a lifetime ago since the revelries of the 2020 AMAUK awards back in January, but it’s that time of year again – The UK Americana Music Association has revealed the nominations for the seven member-voted categories of the UK Americana Awards 2021, and also the winners of the special awards presented by the AMA-UK board, which this year includes Elvis Costello for the AMA-UK 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, Mavis Staples for the International Lifetime Achievement Award, Christine McVie for the Trailblazer Award, Steve Earle for the International Trailblazer Award and the Songwriter Legacy Award, specially created this year for the late John Prine, in celebration of the legendary US singer-songwriter’s life and work.

Speaking of her award, Christine McVie said: “My humble thanks to the UK Americana Awards for their generous acknowledgement of my music! So thrilled at this stage of my life that I am remembered. It’s been my privilege to make so many people happy, so again, thank you very much, it means a lot to me.”

Mavis Staples commented: “I’m so honored to receive the International Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association UK. I think it’s so important to have an association advocating for Roots Music in the UK, so to receive this award is really special. From Union Chapel to Glastonbury, some of my favorite places to sing are in the UK. I even recorded my last live album, Live in London, at Union Chapel! So, thank you. The UK holds a special place in my heart so to receive this Lifetime Achievement from the Americana Music Association UK really means a lot to me.“

Steve Earle said of his award: “Honors received in Britain have always been special to me, I guess, because I never had to struggle to reach an audience on that Island. They got it. From day one” and Elvis Costello commented: “This is a most surprising award. I left home a long time ago and yet I have been welcomed into many American musical destinations of which I might, once, have only dreamed. As Conway Twitty once sang, “It’s Only Make Believe” but I am thankful for this acknowledgement.”

In addition, the Bob Harris Emerging Artist Awards has been given to Robbie Cavannagh and Demi Marriner, in recognition of their efforts to support fellow artists during the coronavirus pandemic, and the Grassroots Award this year goes to Music Venue Trust’s Mark Davyd and Beverely Whitrick. The award for the Best-Selling Americana Album by a UK artist, presented in conjunction with The Official Charts Company (OCC), will be announced in January.

On news of their award, Robbie Cavannagh said:”Earlier this year I won some free tacos at a local bar, and I thought I had peaked, but to then receive this incredible award and walk in the footsteps of so many fantastic artists and friends before me is truly the ultimate honour. Way better than tacos. To accept this award alongside my partner Demi makes it all the more special. Thank you so much to everyone at the AMA -UK  and of course to the incredible Bob Harris. Your support and friendship makes me truly feel like a valued artist in an industry that isn’t always kind.” Demi Marriner commented: “It is an absolute honour to win this award. I am a huge fan of everything Bob does and continues to do for this genre, and for all of the platforms and opportunities that the AMA-UK give. It is so awesome to be in this category alongside some of my favourite artists and bands that have previously won! It is a magical end to a pretty strange year.”

Stevie Smith CEO AMA-UK said of the awards: “AmericanaFest UK is the ultimate celebration of Americana music in the UK and, in our sixth year, taking our programme online for the first time, we will also welcome a host of international names from Australia, Canada, and the US  Our line-up is one of the best yet, with two nights of showcases , culminating in our ever-popular UK Americana Music Awards on 28 January 2021.  Throughout the shared trauma of the 2020 pandemic, the creative sector has been incredible in the way they helped keep others’ spirits high with their music. The Board of the AMA-UK is determined to create an event to bring us all together again.  Even if we can’t travel and be in the same room, we can still gather in the same space online to celebrate those artists who have been brave enough to release music in recent months or used their platform for good causes.  I am very excited for the event and also very humbled by the support and generosity of the music community during these times.  I, for one, cannot wait to see everyone at AmericanaFest 2021.”

The Awards show itself will be preceded by two evenings of showcases, featuring exciting international partners including Prince Edward Island, Thirty Tigers, Canadian Independent Music Association, North Carolina Music Export, Sounds Australia, Yep Roc and Loose Music from the UK. Wristbands for the whole event, which will be held virtually January 26 – 28 2021, are on sale now from here. And in the meantime, here are the full list of nominations and special awards.

UK Song of the Year

I Should Be On A Train by Ferris and Sylvester (Written by Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester
Ain’t One Thing by Lady Nade (Written by Lady Nade )
Thin (I Used To Be Bullet Proof) by Our Man In The Field (Written by Alexander Ellis)
I Don’t Wanna Lie by Yola (Written by Yola, Dan Auerbach, Bobby Wood)

UK Album of the Year

A Dark Murmuration of Words by Emily Barker (produced by Greg Freeman)
Song For Our Daughter by Laura Marling (Produced by Ethan Johns, Laura Marling)
In This Town You’re Owned by Robert Vincent (Produced by Ethan Johns)
Hannah White and The Nordic Connections by Hannah White (Produced by Hannah White and The Nordic Connections)

UK Artist of the Year

Emily Barker
Laura Marling
Robert Vincent

UK Instrumentalist of the Year

Anna Corcoran
Lukas Drinkwater
Martin Harley
Michele Stodart

International Song of the Year

Welcome to Hard Times by Charley Crockett (Written by Charley Crockett)
Brightest Star by Lilly Hiatt (Written by Lilly Hiatt)
Already Dead by Austin Lucas (Written by Austin Lucas)
Hand Over My Heart by The Secret Sisters (Written by Elizabeth Rogers, Lydia Lane Rogers)

International Album of the Year

Lamentations by American Aquarium (Produced by Shooter Jennings)
Old Flowers by Courtney Marie Andrews (Produced by Andrew Sarlo)
That’s How Rumors Get Started by Margo Price (Produced by Sturgill Simpson with co-production by David R. Ferguson and Margo Price)
Expectations by Katie Pruitt (Produced by Michael Robinson, Katie Pruitt)

International Artist of the Year

Courtney Marie Andrews
Jason Isbell
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
Lucinda Williams

Special Awards presented by the AMA-UK Board:

Best Selling Americana Album in conjunction with The Official Charts Company (OCC): to be announced in January

Lifetime Achievement Award: Elvis Costello

International Life Time Achievement Award: Mavis Staples

Trailblazer Award: Christine McVie

International Trailblazer Award: Steve Earle

Songwriter Legacy Award: John Prine

Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award: Robbie Cavannagh and Demin Marriner

Grassroots Award: Music Venue Trust – Mark Davyd and Beverly Whitrick

About Mark Whitfield 2006 Articles
Editor of Americana UK website, the UK's leading home for americana news and reviews since 2001 (when life was simpler, at least for the first 253 days)
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Martin Johnson

AMA-UK shows CMA how it should be done.