The Americana Music Association announced this week that they will honor Jackson Browne, Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jiménez and Taj Mahal as Lifetime Achievement Award winners at its 13th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The show will be taped for broadcast on PBS later this year and titled ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014.
In case you missed our recent post about the upcoming Americana Music Festival, click here to read the partial lineup they released a few weeks ago. Read on below for more information on the artists and the Americana Music Association.
Jackson Browne will receive the “Spirit of Americana Award, Free Speech in Music” co-presented with the First Amendment Center. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded songs such as “These Days”, “The Pretender”, “Running on Empty”, “Lawyers In Love”, “Doctor My Eyes”, “Take It Easy”, “For a Rocker”, and “Somebody’s Baby”. Browne has long campaigned for environmental conservation and pushed for the use of clean energy on tour. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007, Browne’s music immortalized post-Vietnam America in the seventies, disputed foreign policy in the eighties and became a pivotal voice in musical history.
The Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting goes to Loretta Lynn. At the height of her popularity, Lynn was subject to much controversy. Her songwriting was unprecedented for its candor among women in country music, and a string of hits such as “The Pill,” “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” and “Rated “X”” forced country music and its fans to confront sexism and double standards. Her song “Dear Uncle Sam”, released in 1966 during the Vietnam War, describes a wife’s anguish at the loss of a husband to war. She’s received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor.
Flaco Jiménez will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award as an Instrumentalist. Jiménez began performing at the age of seven with his father, who was a pioneer of conjunto music. Flaco’s first instrument was the bajo sexto, a Mexican variation on the 12-string guitar, but his interest soon turned to the accordion. In the 1960’s, Flaco found a crossover path working with country rocker Doug Sahm and then Ry Cooder, Dr. John, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. He’s won several GRAMMY Awards and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from Billboard Latin Magazine for “Streets of Bakersfield” with Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens. Jiménez helped foster a more inclusive and diverse path for Americana music.
In the category of Lifetime Achievement in Performance, the honor goes to Grammy Award-winning blues musician, Taj Mahal. A self-taught singer-songwriter, multi-instrument musician and film composer, Mahal has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his almost 50-year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific. He followed his musical interests to Los Angeles in the early 60s where he formed the Rising Sons with Ry Cooder. He went on to work with The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Ali Farka Toure and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, among many others.
“These artists have not only influenced the Americana community, but the musical landscape as a whole,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, “they all have been an inspiration to our community and we are humbled they will honor us in song at the Ryman this fall.”
Tickets for the Honors & Awards are only available with the purchase of a conference registration.