Justin Townes Earle capped off his year with the Americana Music Association’s Best New & Emerging Artist of the Year honor at the organization’s 8th Annual Honors and Awards show, held Thursday, September 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. His win comes as no surprise: Earle’s sophomore release, Midnight at the Movies, has garnered sweeping praise for its Dust Bowl philosophizing soused with twang.
BMI legend John Fogerty received the AMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting recognizing his invaluable contributions to the American musical tapestry. As potent now as he was four decades ago, Fogerty is a precious rarity. While his 60s contemporaries stretched into lavish musical experimentation, he wrote songs with defiant concision. Rarely has one songwriter been able to write about fun times and ominous times with equal power and clarity. Such self-confidence and panoramic awareness resulted in music that is timeless: “Proud Mary,” “Fortunate Son,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Green River,” “Travelin’ Band,” “Lodi,” “Run Through the Jungle,” “Centerfield,” “Looking Out My Back Door” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” shift between head-banging escapism, subtly poetic self-reflection, and trenchant political analysis, all while remaining essentially and unrepentantly American.
Fogerty is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In the midst of the music-packed festival, BMI hosted its annual Modern Sounds in Country & Americana showcase, also on Thursday. With a lineup featuring winsome British folk-slinger Pete Molinari, Swedish alt-country/punk trio Baskery, and Nashville’s dapper beacon of thoughtful twang Justin Townes Earle, the show offered an invigorating listen to the newest and strongest Americana voices.
BMI also contributed to the impressive schedule of panels with its “Writer/Publisher Relationship” discussion, moderated by BMI’s Clay Bradley. Panelists including Bug Music/Windswept’s John Allen, hit songwriter and performing artist Billy Burnette, Still Working Music/Obrison Music’s Clay Myers, and songwriter Kendall Marvel discussed the vital relationship between songwriters and their publishers.
About the Americana Music Association
The Americana Music Association is a professional trade organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the advocacy of Americana music and to promote public awareness of the genre to support the creative and economic viability of professionals in this field. Dedicated to building and promoting the Americana genre and the individuals who participate in that industry, the Americana Music Association works closely with artists, labels, radio stations, retailers, print media, festivals, agents, publishers and more to help organize and build the infrastructure necessary for the Americana genre to achieve success both creatively and financially. americanamusic.org