The Highwomen Acquire Significant At 2020 Americana Awards : NPR

Melissa M. Munoz

Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires of The Highwomen.

Erika Goldring/Getty Illustrations or photos


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Erika Goldring/Getty Pictures

Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires of The Highwomen.

Erika Goldring/Getty Pictures

The Highwomen’s “Crowded Desk,” an exuberant anthem evoking both equally the progressive political spirit of 2020 and the longing for relationship at the coronary heart of this sophisticated year, gained track of the year Tuesday as portion of the 19th annual Americana Honors & Awards.

The prize was component of a three-group sweep by the style-crossing supergroup, which incorporates Brandi Carlile (2019’s artist of the calendar year), Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires. The four women of all ages also received duo/group of the year and album of the calendar year for The Highwomen.

John Prine, Americana music’s humble beacon, who died this year from issues of COVID-19, was named artist of the yr. Upon his passing, myriad artists whom Prine motivated commenced an outpouring of tributes that carries on to this day, and this award acknowledges the songs he was even now generating up until finally his last illness, as very well as the potent existence he maintained in Americana circles. Prine’s typical tracks drop light-weight on the vulnerability and defiant resilience of normal, typically lonely souls, and this gain is notably poignant coming in the center of a pandemic that has taken the lives of so numerous.

Black Pumas, the Austin psychedelic soul team blending soul, funk, rock and Latin features inside of a seem which is each upcoming-leaning and traditionally knowledgeable, claimed the award for Finest New Artist. Led by polymath producer and guitarist Adrian Quesada and riveting singer and songwriter (and previous road musician) Eric Burton, Black Pumas are ascendant: They’re also nominated for 3 Grammys, including most effective new artist, album of the 12 months and record of the 12 months (for the utopian “Colours”).

But the most significant winners have been The Highwomen, a strategic alliance uniting longtime Americana most loved Shires with country new music paradigm-shifters Morris and Hemby, and multi-genre accomplishment story Carlile. The team succeeded in exerting women’s ability in the country mainstream, hitting No. 1 on Billboard‘s nation albums chart on its September 2019 launch.

“Crowded Desk,” the album’s 2nd one, was cowritten by all four associates and their shut ally, Grammy-successful singer-songwriter Lori McKenna. A celebration of picked spouse and children and a phone for spiritual generosity unveiled at a time when evidence of America’s cultural divisions was mounting, “Crowded Desk” resonates with its chorus, “Everyone’s a small damaged, and absolutely everyone belongs.”

It was an abbreviated calendar year for the Americana Honors & Awards, which typically recognizes at minimum a dozen artist and functions are living performances during a ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium. The previous prize of 2020 went to ground breaking fiddler Brittany Haas for greatest instrumentalist of the calendar year. Haas’ style delivers together classic “aged time” playing with Scandinavian strategies and jazz-educated “freestyle” enjoying.

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