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Bingham tops AMA kudos

Country singer-songwriter wins artist of the year

Oscar and Golden Globe-winning country singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham took home artist of the year honors at the Americana Music Assn. Awards, held Thursday at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Bingham’s “Crazy Heart” song “The Weary Kind,” written with T Bone Burnett, was named song of the year.

Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash, continued a family tradition and walked away with album of the year for her 2009 Manhattan Records set “The List.”

Hayes Carll, Bingham’s Lost Highway label mate, was tabbed as new/emerging artist; the Avett Brothers were selected duo/group of the year; and perennial AMA favorite Buddy Miller, who led the house band at the Ryman ceremony, repeated as instrumentalist of the year.

Lifetime achievement awards were handed out to Nashville exec Luke Lewis, rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson, guitarist Greg Leisz, producer Brian Ahern and performer John Mellencamp.

Ryman show, hosted by vocalist Jim Lauderdale, featured a half-hour performance by Robert Plant, whose “Raising Sand,” his Grammy-winning 2007 collaboration with Alison Krauss, raised the profile of contemporary Americana. Plant’s new Rounder album “Band of Joy” arrives Tuesday.

Awards show is the highlight of the annual confab of Music City-based AMA, pro Americana trade org.

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