With the UK Americana Music Week in Hackney falling to the on-going health issues caused by the Omicron Covid variant, it was heartening to hear that the AMA-UK team had managed to organise an online/hybrid Awards Show. Usually the closing highlight of the annual event – and held at Hackney Empire and the Troxy in recent years – tonight saw an intimate gathering at The Sound Lounge on the High Street in Sutton and filmed by the excellent Northern Cowboys for broadcast tomorrow tonight at 7pm on YouTube.
The enjoyable show combined presentations, live performances from UK and international nominees plus special guest videos, all co-hosted by the evergreen Bob Harris and country radio leading light, Baylen Leonard.
Wonderful to see and hear the delicious harmonies of the Wandering Hearts, plus memorable performances by Sid Griffin (The Long Ryders), Elles Bailey, Lauren Housley and Simeon Hammond Dallas, supported by a marvellous house band featuring award winner Michele Stodart on bass and rising star Holly Carter.
The special awards on the night included:
International Lifetime Achievement Award: Lucinda Williams
Trailblazer Award: Beth Orton
International Trailblazer Award: The Long Ryders
Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award: Lauren Housley
Grass Roots Award: Tom Bridgewater (Loose Music).