Americana and Elmore stars turned out to play their heart and souls out in the time-honored Ryman Auditorium. Current Elmore cover star Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris took home the Album of the Year prize for Old Yellow Moon while previous cover star Stephen Stills received a Freedom of Speech Award. Upon receiving the guitar-shaped award, Stills asked, “How do I play this thing?” Dr. John another cover subject received the AMA Lifetime Achievement Award from his latest collaborator Dan Auerbach. Emcee Jim Lauderdale and bandleader Buddy Miller, regular guests on Elmore pages, lead the impressive collection of musical guests, including Duane Eddy ( recipient of the Lifetime Instrumentalist award) through three hours of incredible music. We took notice of Shovels & Rope’s excellent debut album, so it’s not surprising that the AMA loved them too, handing them honors for Emerging Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and a standing ovation for their performance of “Birmingham.” No one clapped louder than I.
– Suzanne Cadgene