Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Grammy Awards Go Americana

Americana, the genre that's variously home to altcountry, old country, bluegrass, newgrass, roots rock, country rock, twang rock, folk, old-time music and a whole lot of other strains that fall into the category of American roots music, has long had its own Bible - No Depression. The publication, one of the best-written and most smartly conceived music magazines ever, last year ceased existing in print and was reborn online.

Now, probably due in no small part to the audience-building effected by No Depression, Americana is getting its own category at the Grammy Awards. About time.

Meanwhile, No Depression is organizing its own festival, July 11 in Redmond, Washington, near Seattle. Gillian Welch and Iron & Wine headline. More info.

Below is the official press release from the Americana Music Association, detailing the arrival of the new category -- Best Americana Album -- and promoting the AMA's upcoming 10th annual festival and conference.

Sounds like a great gathering. Maybe I'll make it this year.


NASHVILLE, June 9, 2009 – The Recording Academy will officially recognize the Americana genre next year when it awards the inaugural Grammy for Best Americana Album. NARAS recently announced the restructuring of several Grammy Award categories, establishing a Best Americana Album award and a corresponding American Roots Music field. Both the new award and category will debut at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

The move further underscores the increasing significance of the Americana music format and brand, accelerating the Americana Music Association’s already substantial momentum as it approaches its 10th Annual Americana Festival and Conference.

“Americana music resonates with a growing legion of listeners,” said Jessie Scott, President of the Americana Music Association Board of Directors. “These are the country’s preeminent artists, who not only pay homage to roots, but truly shape modern music. The Americana community couldn’t be prouder of NARAS’s decision.”

Slated for Wednesday, September 16 through Saturday, September 19, the 10th Annual Americana Festival and Conference will offer daily seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Nashville Convention Center. The event’s climax will be the 8th Annual Americana Honors and Awards ceremony, slated for Thursday, September 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Each evening brings more than 80 stacked Americana showcases to key venues throughout Nashville. Last year, approximately 1,000 industry professionals attended the conference, while more than 12,000 fans enjoyed the festival's musical events.

A limited number of Americana Honors and Awards pre-sale tickets costing $55 are now available through the Americana online store or by calling the office 615.386.6936. Wristbands granting admission to all four evenings of invigorating live music showcases are also now available for only $45 via http://www.americanamusic.org/. Full conference registrations include access to all panels and presentations, the trade show, select meals, invitations to all sanctioned parties, a ticket to the Honors & Awards ceremony and priority admission to the evening performances. Registration is currently $300 for AMA members and $400 for non-members—a savings of $150 off the walk up price.

Note: our interest is the Americana Music Association.

About the Americana Music Association
The Americana Music Association is a professional trade organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the advocacy of Americana music and to promote public awareness of the genre to support the creative and economic viability of professionals in this field. Dedicated to building and promoting the Americana genre and the individuals who participate in that industry, the Americana Music Association works closely with artists, labels, radio stations, retailers, print media, festivals, agents, publishers and more to help organize and build the infrastructure necessary for the Americana genre to achieve success both creatively and financially.


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