EASY ED’S BROADSIDE: More Country, Less Americana
Throughout its seven years in existence, the association founded by musician Dale Watson flies so far beneath the radar of the Americana and roots music community that you’d barely know it exists. With its primary focus on honky-tonk, Western swing, and rockabilly, the Ameripolitan Music Awards is admittedly pretty small and loose, and one might assume that it lacks the organization, funding, or desire to be something other than what it is.
For the first four years, the annual event was held in Austin, which was Watson’s hometown, but when he moved to Memphis he found an enthusiastic music and arts community that opened its arms to the Ameripolitan folks and offered its support. This year the event was held over several days at the end of February, with a weekend of showcases and concerts throughout the city that concluded with the awards ceremony hosted by Western swing bandleader Big Sandy and Doris Mayday. Here’s a list of the winners, courtesy of The Boot:
Honky-Tonk Male: Charley Crockett
Honky-Tonk Female: Sarah Vista
Honky-Tonk Group: The Country Side of Harmonica Sam
Rockabilly Male: Bloodshot Bill
Rockabilly Female: Laura Palmer
Rockabilly Group: Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings
Western Swing Male: Dave Stuckey
Western Swing Female: Georgia Parker
Western Swing Group: The Farmer and Adele
Venue: Luckenbach, Texas
Musician: Sean Mencher
Festival: Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
DJ: Eddie White
For those of you who have followed the Ameripolitan awards, you probably noticed that the outlaw category has been eliminated — actually, it has been rolled into honky-tonk. In addition to the winners listed above, special awards were given out this year to Duane Eddy, who received the 2020 Master Award, and J.M. Van Eaton for the 2020 Founder of the Sound Award.
I’d bet that many of the nominees and winners aren’t all that well known to No Depression readers who live outside of Texas, or maybe Sweden. The latter is home to The Country Side of Harmonica Sam, one of my current favorite bands who took home the award for best honky-tonk group.
Here are a few more clips from some of the winners. And check out these links to the Ameripolitan Music Awards site and its Facebook page. You might also enjoy reading my article on Dale Watson that was originally published as a Broadside column back in 2018.
Many of my past columns, articles, and essays can be accessed here and at my own site, therealeasyed.com. I also aggregate news and videos on both Flipboard and Facebook as The Real Easy Ed: Americana and Roots Music Daily. My Twitter handle is @therealeasyed and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.