Dale Watson doesn’t much care for the “Americana” appellation, so he went and dubbed himself “Ameripolitan”. That’s a nod to the old “Countrypolitan” style of Chet Atkins’ 1960s’ Nashville Sound. Now I’m not much of a Chet Atkins fan of orchestrated pop country, but it’s still better than anything in 21st Century pop country. Dale Watson takes his influence from the pioneering artists (e.g. Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzel, Ray Price. etc.) and creates music that’s much better than most anything now and then.
“Quit complaining, and do something about it.” -Dale Watson
So the last few year’s Dale’s been throwing a soiree for the Ameripolitan Awards in Memphis, Tennessee, and this year’s show was last weekend. The winners are (as reported by the most excellent Saving Country Music site):
- Charley Crockett – Honky Tonk Male
- Sarah Vista – Honky Tonk Female
- The Country Side of Harmonica Sam – Honky Tonk Group
- Bloodshot Bill – Rockabilly Male
- Laura Palmer – Rockabilly Female
- Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings – Rockabilly Group
- Dave Stuckey – Western Swing Male
- Georgia Parker – Western Swing Female
- The Farmer and Adele – Western Swing Group
Full disclosure–Charley Crockett is the only one of these artists I’ve listened too, but Charley Crockett is AWESOME. Plus the playbill rocked, with Junior Junior Brown, The Reverend Horton Heat, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys (on their way to Albuquerque next week), Wayne “The Train” Hancock, and a surprise appearance from Grammy winner Tanya Tucker.
Speaking of the Grammys, they didn’t suck this year. Well, those artists nominated and awarded mostly didn’t suck. I don’t know about the show, because I didn’t watch it. Highlights would be:
- Tanya Tucker won Best Country Song for “Bring My Flowers Now” and Best Country Album for While I’m Livin’ .
- Willie Nelson won Best Country Solo Performance for “Ride Me Back Home” (name recognition, but yeah, go Willie).
- Less I say about Dan & Shay (Best Country Duo/Group) the better for my “didn’t suck” theme here.
- Rhiannon Giddens and I’m With Her got robbed in Best American Roots Performance, but I’ve streamed winner Sara Bareilles a few time since and she doesn’t suck.
- The ladies of I’m With Her did win Best American Roots Song for “Call My Name” so go Sarah, Aoife & Sara.
- Keb’ Mo’ won Best Americana Album for Oklahoma.
- Michael Cleveland won Best Bluegrass Album for Tall Fiddler.
- Delbert McClinton won Best Traditional Blues Album for Tall, Dark & Handsome, which is a fun album.
- Gary Clark, Jr. won Best Contemporary Blues Album for This Land.
- Patty Griffin brought home Best Folk Album for her self-titled release Patty Griffin, as it should have.
- And Lil’ Nas X (not a Country artist) didn’t win Best New Artist, and it’s OK that he & Billy Ray (no longer a Country artist) got Best POP DUO because they are, exactly that, POP stars not COUNTRY.