Nashville, Tenn. July 8, 2014 — The Americana Music Association announces the selection of Jackson Browne, Loretta Lynn, Flaco Jiménez and Taj Mahal as Lifetime Achievement Award winners to be presented at its 13th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony, presented by Nissan, on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The show will be taped for air on PBS later this year.
Jackson Browne will receive the “Spirit of Americana Award, Free Speech in Music” co presented with the First Amendment Center. Whether galvanizing supporters of clean energy in the 70s or challenging U.S. foreign policy in the 80s, Jackson Browne’s social voice has been almost as widely heard and appreciated as his era-shaping songs and performances. He’s sung on behalf of Farm Aid, Amnesty International, MoveOn.org’s Vote For Change campaigns and was a co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy and nukefree.org. Browne’s music helped stamp the template for the fully-formed songwriter/artist during a golden age, and he’s in the Rock and Roll and Songwriter’s Halls of Fame because of it.
He’s never hesitated to use his free speech to support what he believes in, especially protecting the environment. “On a night when I was singing my most personal reflections on life, Browne wrote in an Op-Ed piece for the UK Daily Mail, “I wanted to bring up the life of the planet.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting goes to Loretta Lynn. Her story is an American classic that happens to be true. As her famous song says, she was coal miner’s daughter from Johnson County, Kentucky. Yet she became one of the most pivotal and admired women in the history of American music because of the way she challenged convention, sang her mind and achieved stunning success doing so. Her songwriting was unprecedented for its candor among women in country music, and a string of hits such as “The Pill,” “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” and “Rated “X”” forced country music and its fans to confront sexism and double standards. She’s received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor.
Flaco Jiménez will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award as an Instrumentalist. The most accomplished and in-demand conjunto tejano accordion player of all time, San Antonio, TX-born musician Flaco Jiménez has collaborated with dozens of legends, spreading one of the world’s great musical genres into unexpected places. His father was a major conjunto pioneer, but Flaco quickly found a crossover path working with country rocker Doug Sahm and then Ry Cooder, Dr. John, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. He’s won several GRAMMY Awards, including one with super-group Los Super Seven. And it’s his joyful accordion lines you hear lending vigor to “Streets of Bakersfield” by Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens. Jiménez helped foster a more inclusive and diverse path for Americana music.
In the category of Lifetime Achievement in Performance, the honor goes to Taj Mahal who says he plays “for the goddess of music.” Raised in a musical family and steeped in jazz and R&B, his unique take on traditional music has always had a spiritual element. He took his stage name about 1960 and pursued folk and blues, eventually embracing its Caribbean and African roots. His first career path was as a dairy farmer in Massachusetts, but he followed his musical interests to Los Angeles in the early 60s where he formed the Rising Sons with Ry Cooder. He’d go on to work with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Ali Farka Toure and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band among many others. Through a forty-year career, Taj Mahal has been a shining light of integrity and interpretive brilliance.
“These artists have not only influenced the Americana community, but the musical landscape on the whole,” said Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, “they all have been an inspiration to our community and we are humbled they will honor us in song at the Ryman this fall.”
The 15th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan will take place September 17-21, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn. kicked off by the 13th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Show on Sept. 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Tickets for the Honors & Awards are only available with the purchase of a conference registration.
The Americana Music Association is a professional non-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American Roots Music around the world.
The Association curates events throughout the year including the annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, and the critically acclaimed Americana Honors & Awards program that will take place in Nashville Sept. 17-21. In addition, the organization has partnered with Lincoln Center on “Americanafest NYC” – seven days of music and events, Aug. 4-10, as part of Lincoln Center’s “Out of Doors” programming – for the first time.
For more information, please visit www.americanamusic.org.