In what sounds like an oxymoron, the inaugural U.K. Americana Awards were held this week in London, with Jason Isbell taking home the honor of International Artist of the Year. Gretchen Peters' Blackbirds LP was named International Album of the Year.
The event was held in conjunction with the two-day Americana Music Association U.K. conference.
Peters, who performed during the show, which was hosted by U.K. radio and TV presenter Bob Harris, also received the award for International Song of the Year ("Blackbirds"), presented by Downton Abbey actress Elizabeth McGovern. Other performers included Trailblazer Award recipient Billy Bragg (who received the honor from musician Chris Difford of Squeeze), U.K. Artist, Album and Song honorees Danny & the Champions of the World, Lewis & Leigh and Rolling Stone Country Artists You Need to Know alum Cale Tyson.
Swedish duo First Aid Kit received an award for Stay Gold, the highest-selling Americana album of 2015 in the U.K., where the first official Americana albums chart was launched in advance of the annual conference.
The U.S. counterpart, the Americana Honors and Awards ceremony, will be held September 21st at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Here is the full list of winners at the U.K. Americana Awards:
International Artist of the Year: Jason Isbell
International Album of the Year: Blackbirds, Gretchen Peters
International Song of the Year: "Blackbirds," Gretchen Peters
U.K. Artist of the Year: Danny & the Champions of the World
U.K. Album of the Year: What Kind of Love, Danny & the Champions of the World
U.K. Song of the Year: "Clear Water," Danny & the Champions of the World
U.K. Instrumentalist of the Year: BJ Cole