The third annual UK Americana Awards took place at London’s Hackney Empire last night, rounding off two days of activities at this year’s AmericanaFest UK, including an evening of artist showcases in venues around Hackney on Wednesday 31st January and daytime conferences.
In a glorious night celebrating the thriving UK and international Americana music scene, an audience of guests, AMA-UK delegates, members of the music industry and the public were treated to performances from Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, a stripped-down, unamplified performance from the front of the stage by Mumford & Sons, winners of The Trailblazer Award, plus a unique, surprise collaboration between Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters and Mumford & Sons.
Also taking to the stage were International Artist of the Year 2018 Courtney Marie-Andrews and fellow nominees Imelda May and Angaleena Presley and UK Artist of the Year 2018 Emily Barker as well as UK Album of the Year winner Robert Vincent, Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award recipients The Wandering Hearts and Award nominees Aaron Lee Tasjan and Worry Dolls. The evening was capped by an all artist finale of “Wild Flowers” in tribute to Tom Petty.
To mark the second anniversary of the launch of the Official Americana Albums Chart, Martin Talbot, CEO of the Official Charts Company was joined by Wolverhampton Wanderers and England footballing legend Steve Bull to present Robert Plant with the award for Best Selling UK Americana Album of 2017 for his album Carry Fire.
Host Bob Harris OBE presented Robert Plant with the AMA-UK’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the genre and introduced a congratulatory video message from Rich Hall. Billy Bragg and Executive Director of the US Americana Music Association Jed Hilly presented the Trailblazer Award to Mumford & Sons. Danny George Wilson and BBC Radio Ulster’s Ralph McLean presented Come Down & Meet The Folks with the new Grassroots Award and London’s The Wandering Hearts received the prestigious Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award.
The star-studded event saw seven AMA-UK membership-voted Awards presented by Sir Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell, Simon Mayo, Frank Turner, Mary Gauthier, Chris Difford, Sam Baker and Stevie Freeman and Jesse Buckley.
Winners of the seven membership-voted Awards were as follows:
UK Album of The Year presented by Simon Mayo
I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins by Robert Vincent (produced by Robert Vincent, Michael Gay and Etienne Girard)
International Album of the Year presented by Sir Patrick Stewart & Sunny Ozell
The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (produced by Dave Cobb)
UK Artist of the Year presented by Frank Turner
International Artist of the Year presented by Mary Gauthier
Courtney Marie Andrews
UK Song of the Year presented by Chris Difford
Home by Yola Carter (written by Yola Carter)
International Song of the Year presented by Sam Baker & Stevie Freeman
Tenderheart by Sam Outlaw (written by Sam Outlaw)
UK Instrumentalist of the Year presented by Jesse Buckley
Recipients of Awards from the AMA-UK Board:
Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Bob Harris
Selected by the board members, their highest honour is awarded to a UK artist, duo or group in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Americana genre over the span of their career and life in music.
Recipient 2018: Robert Plant
The Trailblazer Award presented by Billy Bragg & Jed Hilly
Selected by the AMA-UK board and celebrating a UK artist, duo or group that has taken an exceptional path, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps in developing the Americana genre.
Recipient 2018 – Mumford & Sons
Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award
Selected by Bob Harris OBE, this special award celebrates the breakthrough artist, duo or group that has particularly impressed the legendary music broadcaster throughout the year.
Recipient 2018: The Wandering Hearts
The Grassroots Award presented by Danny George Wilson & Ralph McLean
A newly-established award selected by the board members, this special award celebrates the sometimes un-sung heroes of the UK Americana scene. It is presented to people working in the industry (in a capacity other than as artists) who have made outstanding efforts to support Americana music from the grassroots up.
Recipient 2018 – Come Down & Meet The Folks
The Best-Selling Americana Album of 2017 presented by Martin Talbot and Steve Bull
The AMA-UK works with the Official Charts Company to create the UK Americana Chart. This Award is given to the best-selling Americana Album of the year, by a UK Artist.
Recipient 2018 – Robert Plant for Carry Fire
The AMA-UK is a professional trade association representing and advocating for the voice of American Roots music in the UK. Its membership comprises musicians, both from the UK and overseas, plus professionals from all sectors of the music industry.