Folk Alliance International is in full swing in Kansas City, Missouri, and the 30th annual incarnation of the beloved conference kicked off Wednesday night with the International Folk Music Awards show. Held at Kansas City’s Folly Theater, the ceremony featured a number of performances from nominated and showcasing conference artists, including Ruthie Foster, Giri and Uma Peters, Guy Davis, the Staley Falcon Chorale, and Anais Mitchell.
Presenters included John Oates and the Kingston Trio, with big honors going to Rhiannon Giddens (Album of the Year for Freedom Highway) and Molly Tuttle (Song of the Year for “You Didn’t Call My Name”). In addition to regular honors, the show also featured a short film documenting FAI’s history, as well as a special land acknowledgement by Osage Nation leader Ed Smith.
*Album of the Year: Freedom Highway, Rhiannon Giddens
Sponsored by: Thirty Tigers
*Song of the Year: “You Didn’t Call My Name,” Molly Tuttle
Sponsored by: American Songwriter
*Artist of the Year: Ordinary Elephant
Sponsored by: Levitt Foundation
Spirit of Folk Awards: Kristian Blak, Richard Gillmann, Martyn Joseph, Anaïs Mitchell, Betse Siggins
The People’s Voice Award: Bonnie Raitt
The Clearwater Award: Winnipeg Folk Festival
Folk DJ Hall of Fame Inductees: Dick Pleasants, Fiona Ritchie, Mary Cliff
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Peter, Paul and Mary (Living), Richie Havens (Legacy), Elektra Records (Business/Academic)