Buffy Saint-Marie, Don Henley, Ricky Skaggs, Los Lobos, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will all receive lifetime achievement awards at September’s Americana Music Honors and Awards Ceremony at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
“These artists have not only influenced the Americana community, but the musical landscape on the whole,” says Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, in a press release. “They all have been an inspiration to our community and we are humbled they will honor us in song at the Ryman this fall.”
Presented alongside the First Amendment center, Canadian folk-singer and activist Buffy Saint-Marie is this year’s recipient of Spirit of Americana, Free Speech in Music award. As the writer of the iconic anti-war protest anthem “Universal Soldier,” Saint-Marie has spent the last 50 years singing about environmental and Native American rights in her music. She is currently touring behind her politically-charged Power in the Blood, her first studio album since 2008.
Don Henley will be receiving 2015’s Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award. As a founding member of the Eagles, Henley has spent the last four and a half decades touring, recording and making music history as both a solo artist and with the Eagles. Henley will be receiving this award just a week before the release of his country-leaning Cass County, the icon’s first solo album in 15 years.
“I write a little bit every day,” Henley told Rolling Stone last month. “I still hope that my best work is ahead of me.”
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will be receiving the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. Welch and Rawlings have been recording together for nearly two decades, starting with 1996’s Orphan Girl. Two days after they receive their Americana honor, Welch and Rawlings will release Nashville Obsolete, their second album as Dave Rawlings Machine and first since the group’s 2009 debut.
Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs will be receiving the honors for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award as an Instrumentalist. The Kentucky musician has been singing and playing on stage since the mid Seventies, and has performed with everyone from Emmylou Harris to Bill Monroe to Jack White during his illustrious career.
“I’m thankful that I can look back in my history and say, ‘I’ve done my part,'” Skaggs told Rolling Stone last year. “I’ve done my part to keep the music pure.”
Rounding out this year’s class of Lifetime Achievement recipients is Los Lobos, who will be receiving the 2015 Lifetime Achievement in Performance award. For 40 years, Cesar Rojas, David Hidalgo, Steve Berlin Louie Pérez and Conrad Lozano have helped redefine American roots music with their blend of country, cumbia, blues and Tex-Mex. The Los Angeles band will be one of several acts headlining the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, which takes place during the week of the awards ceremony.
Next month, Saint-Marie, Henley, Los Lobos, Welch, Rawlings, and Skaggs will be joining an esteemed group of previous Americana lifetime achievement recipients that includes artists such as Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Townes Van Zandt, Loretta Lynn, Joan Baez and Willie Nelson. The 2015 Americana Honors and Awards Ceremony will take place on September 16th at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.