Americana Music Association UK announce award nominees

What a night, and what a list.  In the upstairs music room at the surprisingly hard to find  Old Queens Head (“It’s just down from the Angel Tube, man, what do you mean you’re lost?“) and one day shy of bonfire night, the Americana Music Association UK (AMAUK) launched the glorious rockets that are the AmericanaFest Award nominations.  Always of interest, but particularly so this year… read on precious reader, read on.

After the important  bar and circulating activities had been concluded, and Stevie Freeman had given a summary of the many achievements of AMAUK in 2019, Mary Gauthier, this year’s AmericanFest International Artist Award Winner opened nomination proceedings with an unplugged rendition of the ever relevant ‘Mercy Now‘ before joining forces with Baylen Leonard to make the actual nomination announcements.

And these are :

UK Instrumentalist of The Year

    • Ben Smith
    • Jim Maving
    • Siân Monaghan
    • Will Page

 UK Song of The Year

    • Little Piece of Heaven by Elles Bailey (written by Elles Bailey, Bobby Wood and Dan Auerbach
    • The Fire by Jamie Freeman (written by Jamie Freeman and Ben Glover)
    • Hear Your Voice by Danni Nicholls  (written by Danni Nicholls and Kyshona Armstrong)
    • Amy by Roseanne Reid  (written by Roseanne Reid)

UK Album of The Year

    • Here There’s No Sirens By Pete Gow  (produced by Joe Bennett )
    • Chasing Lights By Ida Mae  (produced by Ethan Johns)
    • Bleeding on the Soundtrack By William the Conqueror  (produced by Ethan Johns)
    • Walk Through Fire By Yola  (produced by Dan Auerbach)

UK Artist of The Year

    • Jade Bird
    • Bear’s Den
    • Frank Turner
    • Yola

International Song of The Year

    • Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) By Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real  (written by Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real)
    • Letter to Madeline By Ian Noe (written by Ian Noe)
    • Saying Goodbye By J.S. Ondara  (written by J.S. Ondara)
    • Me and The Ghost of Charlemagne By Amy Speace  (written by Amy Speace)

International Album of The Year

    • Undress By Felice Brothers (produced by Jeremy Backofen)
    • Highwomen By Highwomen (produced by Dave Cobb)
    • Songs Of Our Native Daughters  By Our Native Daughters (produced by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell)
    • Mint Condition By Caroline Spence (produced by Dan Knobler)

International Artist of The Year

    • Brandi Carlile 
    • The Dead South 
    • Larkin Poe
    • Mavis Staples

Special Awards 

Lifetime Achievement Award 

The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to a UK artist, duo or group in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Americana genre over the span of their career and life in music.The 2020 recipient will be Joan Armatrading

Trailblazer Award

This special award celebrates a UK artist, duo or group that has taken an exceptional path, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps in developing the Americana genre.The 2020 recipient will be Nick Lowe

Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award 

Selected by Bob Harris OBE, this special award celebrates the breakthrough artist, duo or group that has particularly impressed the legendary music broadcaster throughout the year.The 2020 recipient will be Ferris & Sylvester

Legend Award

This special posthumous award celebrates a UK artist, duo or group that played an essential role in the inception of Americana music in the UK.  The 2020 recipient is Lonnie Donegan.

Grass Roots Award

Selected by the board members, this special award celebrates the sometimes un-sung heroes of the UK Americana scene. It is presented to individuals working in the industry (in a capacity other than as artists) who have made outstanding efforts to support Americana music from the grass roots up. The 2020 recipient is Mark Whitfield from

We here at Americana UK may be considered to be just a trifle biased in our opinion, but what the heck – how often does someone hand you your metaphorical trumpet and invite you to blow it?  Not often.  So, in our humble opinion we feel it’s quite fair to say that Mark’s creation of Americana UK has done more than a little to increase interest in Alt-Country, Country-Rock, Cosmic American Music and whatever else this Americana thing is anyway.  And not just in the UK, we do have a worldwide readership, and Mark – that’s down to you too.

As we don’t have a YouTube video of Mark Whitfield (we took them down after he paid the small fee) we’ll have to settle for this.  Concentrate here on the title and the band membership rather than the actual lyrics…although they are very Americana.


About Jonathan Aird 2756 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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