Jason Isbell reinforced his status as the king of the Americana genre at the 2018 Americana Honors & Awards. The Alabama singer-songwriter won in three categories on the strength of his latest album The Nashville Sound, which was named Album of the Year. Isbell also triumphed in the Song of the Year race for his dissertation on the temporal nature of love, “If We Were Vampires,” and in the Duo/Group of the Year category, an award he shares with his hard-touring band the 400 Unit.
John Prine, who received BMI’s Troubadour award earlier in the week, was named Artist of the Year. The folksinger-songwriter released his self-titled debut album in 1971 and went on to influence a generation of artists with straightforward but often challenging songs like “Sam Stone,” “Illegal Smile” and “Angel From Montgomery.” Prine released the new album The Tree of Forgiveness in April.
Heralded young songwriter Tyler Childers was named Emerging Artist of the Year. Bluegrass player Molly Tuttle won Instrumentalist of the Year.
Here’s the full list of winners at the Americana Honors & Awards, including special awards for Rosanne Cash, k.d. lang and Buddy Guy.
Album of the Year: The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, produced by Dave Cobb
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Artist of the Year: John Prine
Song of the Year: “If We Were Vampires,” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, written by Jason Isbell
Duo/Group of the Year: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Emerging Artist of the Year: Tyler Childers
Instrumentalist of the Year: Molly Tuttle
“Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award, presented in partnership with the First Amendment Center: Rosanne Cash
Americana Trailblazer Award: k.d. lang
Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist: Buddy Guy
Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance: Irma Thomas
Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive: Cris Williamson and Judy Dlugacz of Olivia Records