Every fall roots musicians of all stripes descend upon Nashville for the Americana Honors and Awards ceremony, which is consistently packed with killer performances. This weekend, Austin City Limits will air “ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2015,” featuring all the highlights from the most recent gathering.
Among those is Lee Ann Womack’s stormy rendition of Buddy Miller’s “Don’t Listen to the Wind,” which she recorded for the 2014 album The Way I’m Livin’. In a nice bit of Americana synchronicity, guitarist Miller gets to play on his own song as the leader of an all-star house band that includes the talents of Fats Kaplin, Chad Cromwell and others. Womack isn’t overly demonstrative with her performance, wisely keeping the focus squarely on her endlessly malleable vocals and the song’s bitter core. (Check out exclusive video of the performance above.)
At the 2015 edition of the show — its 14th year overall — multiple generations of talent were recognized with performances and awards. Sturgill Simpson took home two of the night’s top prizes, including Artist of the Year, while veteran singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams won album of the year for Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone. Lifetime achievement honors were presented to Don Henley, Ricky Skaggs, Los Lobos and songwriting partners David Rawlings and Gillian Welch.
Along with Womack’s song, “ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2015” will include appearances and music from Henley, Jason Isbell, Shakey Graves and many others. The special one-hour episode airs Saturday, November 21st, at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS.