During the official launch at London’s Omeara venue, the Americana Music Association UK (AMA-UK) revealed the nominations for the eight panel and member-voted categories of the UK Americana Awards 2023 and the winners of the coveted special awards presented by the AMA-UK board.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Mike Scott, who has been the frontman for folk-rock group The Waterboys going on forty years. Of this accolade, Scott said, “I’m surprised and very happy to be honoured by the Americana Music Association UK. I’ve played music of American inspiration – roots, rock and roll, folk and blues since I was a kid and country, soul and gospel since expanding my horizons in the 1980s – without ever considering myself or The Waterboys as an Americana act. Yet Americana has fuelled, inspired and informed everything we’ve ever done. It is like a landmass I’ve been standing on the whole time, and I’m proud and honoured to consider our music part of it. Thankyou AMA-UK.“.
The International Lifetime Achievement Award will go to octogenarian Judy Collins, who has produced award-winning music for over sixty years. Collins responded to this announcement: “The Americana Music Association UK does an amazing job bringing new Americana artists to UK audiences while continuing to shine a light on artists who already are established within the genre. It’s an important role in the music community. I am greatly honored to be given the Lifetime Achievement Award and look forward to attending the conference in 2023 and hearing new music. “.
Both Lifetime Achievement Award winners will be performing at the ceremony.
The International Trailblazer Award goes to Nickel Creek, whose work over the last two decades has revitalised a genre and made bluegrass platinum-selling. “We grew up in a rich, welcoming musical culture that encouraged exploration, and we were lucky to have the steadying yet propelling influence of each other’s company as we ventured further and further afield. 33 years in, we’re overjoyed to still be making new music together, and honored beyond expression to be considered trailblazers in this community,” a spokesperson for the band stated.
The Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award goes to London’s five-piece band, The Hanging Stars. You can read our review of their latest album here.
This year’s Grassroots Award goes to Northern Ireland’s Ralph McLean, whose BBC Radio Ulster show has been championing country, roots and Americana music for almost 25 years.
Following her death in October at the age of 90, this year’s special Songwriter Legacy Award goes to the undisputed country legend Loretta Lynn, whose groundbreaking songs, based on her own experiences, gave a voice to America’s working-class women. In a recording career spanning more than 60 years, she released 60 albums, had 16 number-one singles and, in 1972, became the first-ever woman to win the most glittering country prize, the CMA Entertainer of the Year. This achievement helped to change the perception of women in country music. The AMA-UK awards show will include a multi-artist performance of Loretta Lynn’s signature song, ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter‘. You can read our celebration of her life here.
The Awards will take place on the 26th. They will be preceded by two evenings of showcases featuring over 75 artists from the UK, Canada, America and Europe, plus guest host showcases from Canada House (CIMA & PEI), Loose Music, Jansen Records and Die With Your Boots On Records from Norway. You can find complete information about the line-up here.