2022 Americana Awards Winners: Allison Russell, Brandi Carlile, Billy Strings & More

by Jim Casey

The Americana Music Association revealed the winners of the 21st annual Americana Honors & Awards during a star-studded ceremony at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 14.

Awardees included Billy Strings (Artist of the Year), Allison Russell (Album of the Year), Brandi Carlile (Song of the Year), The War and Treaty (Duo/Group of the Year), Sierra Ferrell (Emerging Act of the Year), and Larissa Maestro (Instrumentalist of the Year).

In addition, the Americana Music Association presented a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards. Honorees include the Fairfield Four (Legacy Award), Al Bell (Executive), Chris Isaak (Performance), Indigo Girls (Spirit of Americana Award), and Don Williams (President’s Award, posthumous).

McCrary Sisters Honor Late Sister

One of the highlights of the evening featured the McCrary Sisters honoring their late sister Deborah (who passed away in June) with a stirring performance of “Amazing Grace.” Additional performers included Lyle Lovett, Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell, the Fairfield Four, Indigo Girls, Lucinda Williams, Adia Victoria, James McCurtry, Lukas Nelson, Morgan Wade, Neal Francis, The War and Treaty, Sierra Ferrell, and more.

The Americana Honors & Awards show is the centerpiece of Nashville’s five-day AMERICANAFEST, which annually draws more than 175 artists/acts to Music City.

“Every year, the musicians from this community come together to create this wonderful show. I say it time and again, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to top this,’ yet these artists find a way,” said Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association. “It was an emotional show where love and loss were buoyed by friendship and community. It is humbling to have a small part in it.”

2022 Americana Awards: Nominees & Winners

Album of the Year

  • In These Silent Days, Brandi Carlile; Produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings
  • Outside Child, Allison Russell; Produced by Dan Knobler WINNER
  • Raise The Roof, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss; Produced by T Bone Burnett
  • A Southern Gothic, Adia Victoria; Produced by Mason Hickman and Adia Victoria, Executive Produced by T Bone Burnett
  • Stand For Myself, Yola; Produced by Dan Auerbach

Artist of the Year

  • Brandi Carlile
  • Jason Isbell
  • Allison Russell
  • Billy Strings WINNER
  • Yola

Emerging Act of the Year

  • Sierra Ferrell WINNER
  • Neal Francis
  • Brittney Spencer
  • Adia Victoria
  • Morgan Wade

Song of the Year

  • “Canola Fields,” James McMurtry; Written by James McMurtry
  • “Diamond Studded Shoes,” Yola; Written by Dan Auerbach, Natalie Hemby, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Yola
  • “Juanita,” Sturgill Simpson feat. Willie Nelson; Written by Sturgill Simpson
  • “Persephone,” Allison Russell; Written by Jeremy Lindsay and Allison Russell
  • “Right On Time,” Brandi Carlile; Written by Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth WINNER

Duo/Group of the Year

  • Big Thief
  • Los Lobos
  • The Mavericks
  • Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
  • The War and Treaty WINNER

Instrumentalist of the Year

  • Ethan Ballinger
  • Brian Farrow
  • Larissa Maestro WINNER
  • Shelby Means
  • Justin Moses