Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Valerie June, Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah are among the multiple nominees for the 2021 Americana Honors & Awards. The slate of nominations was announced during a ceremony held Wednesday afternoon at Nashville’s new National Museum of African American Music.
Longtime Americana Awards honoree Isbell earned three nods, for artist of the year, album of the year, for “Reunions,” and song of the year, for that album’s “Dreamsicle.”
Besides Isbell, Valerie June is the only other artist to receive multiple nominations as a solo artist, for album of the year (“The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers”) and song of the year (“Call Me A Fool,” featuring Carla Thomas).
Amythyst Kiah is thrice-nominated, though, once as a member of Our Native Daughters — vying for duo/group of the year — and also individually for song of the year (“Black Myself”) and emerging act of the year.
Another member of Our Native Daughters has twin nominations: Allison Russell (pictured above at Wednesday’s ceremony) is up for emerging act of the year as a solo artist, as well as contending with her collective in the duo/group category. Russell’s solo debut just came out Friday and, based on early reception, is a likely contender for album of the year next time around.
Carlile, similarly, is nominated as a solo artist and group member. Although she didn’t release a new album in this cycle, her frequent collaborations and her presence as a livestream and TV favorite helped earn her a nod for artist of the year, a trophy she picked up in 2019. She also shared in the Highwomen’s nomination for duo/group of the year, an award the quartet won in 2020.
The artist of the year category sees Carlile and Isbell (another prior winner in the division) joined by Billy Strings, Margo Price and Kathleen Edwards. Joining the Highwomen and Our Native Daughters in the duo/group category are Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, the husband/wife duo the War and Treaty, and the recently Grammy-nominated Black Pumas.
The nomination ceremony, streamed live on Facebook, including live acoustic performances by Russell and June. The event was co-hosted by Keb’ Mo’ and Ketch Secor, who also performed together, and included introductory remarks by Nashville’s mayor, John Cooper.
Winners will be announced Sept. 22 at the Ryman Auditorium, where festivities will resume live after the Americana Honors & Awards took a pandemic break in 2020. The show’s lifetime achievement honorees have yet to be announced. The awards will again serve as the opening event for AmericanaFest, taking place Sept. 22-25.
The full list of 2021 nominees:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
“Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions),” Sturgill Simpson, Produced by David Ferguson & Sturgill Simpson
“J.T.,” Steve Earle & The Dukes, Produced by Steve Earle
“The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers,” Valerie June, Produced by Valerie June, Ben Rice & Jack Splash
“Reunions,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Produced by Dave Cobb
“World On The Ground,” Sarah Jarosz, Produced by John Leventhal
ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR:
Our Native Daughters
The War and Treaty
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
EMERGING ACT OF THE YEAR:
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR:
SONG OF THE YEAR:
“Black Myself,” Amythyst Kiah, Written by Amythyst Kiah
“Call Me A Fool,” Valerie June ft. Carla Thomas, Written by Valerie June
“Dreamsicle,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Written by Jason Isbell
“I Remember Everything,” John Prine, Written by Pat McLaughlin & John Prine
“Long Violent History,” Tyler Childers, Written by Tyler Childers