Earlier tonight, the trophies were doled out in Nashville for the 2012 Americana Music Association Awards and Honors. Winners included the Civil Wars, Gillian Welch and, naturally, Alabama Shakes -- the complete list is below.
What struck us about the artists honored was how thoroughly they have been represented in St. Louis in the past year or so. Not just because they played shows (though almost every winner has), but because they were responsible for some of the most beloved, memorable music experiences in our city recently -- who will soon forget Welch and David Rawlings' power-outage seance at the Pageant?
This year's winners have been featured prominently in this space as well, in the form of a series of interviews and reviews. Some of our favorite excerpts (including Isbell's thoughts on this very Awards ceremony) follow:
Americana Honors & Awards Winners 2012
Album of the Year: "This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark"
Song of the Year: "Alabama Pines," written by Jason Isbell and performed by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Michael Dauphin Alabama is a place that has been deeply ingrained in your songwriting. Is it weird to leave that area?
Jason Isbell: I'll only be a couple hours away. I honestly don't think it's a whole lot different here and there. I try to keep a sense of place when I'm writing, and I'm sure I'll continue that. Nobody wants to live in the same place their entire life. Well, I guess some people do. But I don't.
Congrats on the four Americana Music Awards nominations. Were you surprised by that recognition?
Yeah, it was a surprise. I was really happy about it and I'm glad that folks in that world were paying attention to what we're doing. Because I do feel like that's where most of the best music is coming from these days. It's nice to have a lot of friends from all over in one place for the evening. We're not the kind of community that pats itself on the back compared to popular music or Hollywood. I've been to this awards show in the past and it's a laid back evening. Nobody really takes it too seriously.
Artist of the Year: Gillian Welch
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at the Pageant, 9/3/11: Review and Setlist When the mechanics of a rock & roll concert get thrown out of whack -- when the lights flicker, when the bar service halts, when the A/C sputters off -- you become grateful that the night's performers are not at all beholden to the mechanics of a rock & roll show. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings' masterful performance in front of a packed Pageant crowd was never really in threat of being scuttled by the power surges, which came after the early-evening storm that knocked out power to half of the Loop. Had push come to shove (and the Pageant powers-that-be allowed it), the always-acoustic duo would have soldiered on without mics or stage lights. But as it was, some behind-the-board wizard allocated enough juice for the PA, the spotlights, and the bathrooms -- and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the crowd that minded the slight inconvenience. --Christian Schaeffer