Billy Strings and Allison Russell were two of the top winners at the 2022 Americana Honors & Awards, held Wednesday at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Strings won Artist of the Year for the first time, while Russell was awarded Album of the Year for her acclaimed solo debut Outside Child.
Strings was previously nominated for Emerging Act of the Year at the Americana Awards in 2020, but ultimately lost out to Black Pumas. In the last two years, his rise has been rapid and he’s found a cross section of fans from the bluegrass and jam-band worlds. His live shows have also become a huge draw, nimbly veering between hot bluegrass picking and psychedelic instrumental explorations.
Russell, meanwhile, drew on her traumatic upbringing and abuse for Outside Child, fearlessly chronicling her suffering along with her unflagging resilience and hope. The Dan Knobler-produced project ended up on numerous 2021 favorite-albums lists.
Past Artist of the Year winner Brandi Carlile was awarded Song of the Year for “Right on Time” from her album In These Silent Days. 2019 Emerging Act of the Year the War and Treaty added to their accolades, winning Duo/Group of the Year. Rising bluegrass star Sierra Ferrell was named Emerging Act of the Year, and musician Larissa Maestro was named Instrumentalist of the Year.
Here is the full list of winners from the 2022 Americana Honors & Awards, including special honorees the Fairfield Four, Don Williams, Chris Isaak, Al Bell, and Indigo Girls.
Album of the Year: Outside Child, Allison Russell; Produced by Dan Knobler
Artist of the Year: Billy Strings
Song of the Year: “Right on Time,” Brandi Carlile; Written by Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth
Duo/Group of the Year: The War and Treaty
Emerging Act of the Year: Sierra Ferrell
Instrumentalist of the Year: Larissa Maestro
Legacy of Americana Award, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music: Fairfield Four
President’s Award: Don Williams (posthumous)
Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance: Chris Isaak
Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive: Al Bell
Spirit of Americana Award: Indigo Girls