7th November 2018
by Kate Willis
The AMA-UK is a professional trade association representing and advocating for the voice of Americana roots music in the UK. Its membership comprises of musicians from the UK and overseas, plus professionals from all sectors of the music industry. This year they have created two new memberships to the supporters of the music and for Patrons.
The awards are held in January each year. They moved to the Hackney Empire last year for the awards night and were hosted in more venues. For next year they will add an extra day rather than add an additional venue.
The sponsors were Southern Comfort, TN Vacation, Thirty Tigers and Canadian Blast.
The evening was introduced by Stevie Freeman, CEO of the AMA UK. Stevie gave us a potted history of the AMA UK, including their enormous success at Americana Fest in Nashville in September. There were eighteen artists with thirteen showcases across Nashville.
Stevie then introduced Baylen Leonard and the singer Sunny Ozell (Lady Stewart) who announced the AMA UK nominees voted by the members of the AMA UK.
UK Album of the Year
All On Red – Orphan Colours
Bennett Wilson Poole – Bennett Wilson Poole
Shorebound – Ben Glover
Treetop Flyers – Treetop Flyers
International Album of the Year
By The Way I Forgive You – Brandi Carlile (produced by D Cobb & S Jennings)
Let Your Kindness Remain – Courtney Marie Andrews (produced by M Howard & C M Andrews)
Ruins – First Aid Kit (produced by Tucker Martine)
The Tree Of Forgiveness – John Prine (produced by D Cobb
UK Song of the Year
Be More Kind – Frank Tuner (written by Frank Turner)
Chicago – by Josephine Clark & Ben Walker (written by J Clark)
Southern Wind by Dean Owens (written by D Owens & W Kimbrough)
Uh-huh by Jade Bird (written by J Bird)
International Song of the Year
Hold Your Head Up High by Darlingside (written y A Mukharji, C Canty and D Mitchell)
Mockingbird by Ruston Kelly (written by R Kelly)
Rolling On by Israel Nash (written by I Nash)
The Joke by Brandi Carlile (written by D Cobb, P Hanseroth & T Hanseroth)
UK Artist of the Year
Bennett Wilson Poole
The Wandering Hearts
International Artist of the Year
Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real
Nathaniel Ratcliff & The Night Sweats
UK instrumentalist of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award – Graham Nash
Trailblazer Awards – Joe Boyd
Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award– Curse of Lono
Best Selling Americana Album – to be announced in January 2019
Grass Roots Award – Immy Doman and Risa Tabatznik of The Green Note
2018’s recipient of the Bob Harris Emerging Artists award winners, The Wandering Hearts took to the stage to play ‘Til’ The Day I Die’ ahead of announcing the recipient of 2019’s Award the Curse of Lono who then took to the stage playing tracks from the 2016 EP ‘Curse of Lono’ and their latest album ‘As I Fell’. Sunny Ozell joined the band to sing a track from her up coming record.
J P Harris and The Tough Choices took to the stage after a prolonged soundcheck. J P Harris is from South Alabama. Leaving home at fourteen travelling to California, Arizona and Vermont where he lived from age sixteen until he moved to Nashville when he was eighteen. As well as touring as a musician he continues to work as a carpenter within the music community in Nashville.
JP and the band are on an extensive European tour for the whole of November visiting Shetland, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Bristol, Oxford, London & Bedford followed by Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Norway. J P told us that they had left Eindhoven at five o’clock in the morning. Their tracks included: Two for the Road, South Oklahoma, When I Quit Drinking and Sometimes Dogs Bark at Night from his new album Sometimes Dogs Bark at Night) and a track from Texas musician Terry Allen. If you like good old fashioned honky tonk don’t miss them on tour this month.
Photographs by : Colin Jones