Nominations have been announced for the Folk Alliance International’s Best of 2021 Awards, with such recent Grammy nominees (and winners) as Allison Russell, Rhiannon Giddens, Arooj Aftab, Valerie June, Kalani Pe’a and Sarah Jarosz among the contenders in the association’s three categories.
Also set for non-competitive lifetime honors at the May awards ceremony are accordionist Flaco Jiménez, Jason Mraz, Denver-based folk music center Swallow Hill Music and the late singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith.
Awards will be handed out May 18 in Kansas City on the opening night of the annual FAI conference, in a ceremony that will be webcast online.
Russell is the only artist with a nomination in two of the three categories, being up for album of the year for her Grammy-nommed “Outside Child” as well as for artist of the year.
Giddens and Turrisi just won the best folk album at the Grammys Sunday for “They’re Calling Me Home”; it was Giddens’ second win. Maui-based artist Kalani Pe’a won his third Grammy over the weekend in the regional roots category for his album “Kau Ka Pe’a.” Russell had gone into the Grammys being up for three, and Aftab up for two (including best new artist).
Nominations are based on domestic and international year-end lists and folk DJ airplay. FAI members will vote on the final ballot through April 15.
Among special honorees, Mraz will pick up the People’s Voice Award, going to a performer “who unabashedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers.” Jiménez, Griffith and Shallow Hill Music will all be getting Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards, in the fields of living, legacy and business/academic, respectively.
For more information, visit folk.org.
The nominations in the three annual categories:
Album of the Year
“They’re Calling Me Home” (with Francesco Turrisi) by Rhiannon Giddens
“Wary + Strange” by Amythyst Kiah
“Un Canto por México, Vol. 2” by Natalia Lafourcade
“Outside Child” by Allison Russell
“The Fray” by John Smith
Song of the Year
“On Solid Ground” by Reggie Harris
“Painted Blue” by Sarah Jarosz
“We Believe You” by Diana Jones
“Call Me a Fool” by Valerie June
“Changemakers” by Crys Matthews
Artist of the Year
The Longest Johns
John Francis Flynn