Festivals: AmericanaFest UK Returns in January – Awards Nominations Announced

Announced by Mary Gauthier and Baylen Leonard, the 5th annual AmericanaFest UK will return to Hackney, London for 3 days at the end of January 2020. The theme of the event is “Collaborate and Cross Pollinate” reflecting on how Americana artists work together across different genres and art forms.

The event culminates on 30th January in the prestigious UK Americana Awards 2020 which after 4 sold-out years moves to a bigger venue for 2020 – the gorgeous art deco Troxy in Limehouse, East London.

Last year’s Awards show saw phenomenal performances from established Americana stars such as Rhiannon Giddens, Seth Lakeman and Graham Nash alongside fresh, bold, rising UK talents Jade Bird and Yola, with top awards going to Frank Turner, Brandi Carlile, Mary Gauthier and Bennett Wilson Poole.

This year’s UK Americana Awards will recognise the huge breadth of talent across the genre with some incredible artists nominated this year including such diverse names as Yola, Frank Turner, Jade Bird, Mavis Staples, Larkin Poe, Highwomen, Ida Mae and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.

Our Special Awards carry on the tradition of honouring the great and good of Americana, and the AMA-UK are proud to announce the following, known for their incredible work within the genre of Americana, country, folk and beyond:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Joan Armatrading
  • Trailblazer Award – Nick Lowe
  • Grassroots Award – Mark Whitfield – Americana-UK.com
  • Emerging Artist Award – Ferris and Sylvester
  • Legend Award – Lonnie Donegan

Following the “Collaborate and Cross Pollinate” theme we are delighted to announce that our special guest Musical Director for the Awards will be musician and producer Jonathan Wilson.

The Conference starts on 28th January at Hackney Picturehouse and we are incredibly honoured to announce that our Keynote Speaker will be female powerhouse and living legend Joan Armatrading. Further conference speakers and panels will be announced in the run-up to the festival.

The evenings of 28th and 29th January will see 75 artists from UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Europe showcasing across 8 venues in Hackney, including venues hosted by:

  • Influential North Carolina label Yep Roc
  • Canada House – featuring 2 nights of artists from across Canada including Prince Edward Island
  • House of Songs – celebrating 10 years of songwriting camps in Austin Texas and Bentonville Arkansas, hosting many UK artists for week-long stays collaborating with other writers from around the world

The fabulous mix of emerging and established artists performing includes The Secret Sisters, Jonathan Wilson and Ilse DeLang – the full list is below.

On 27 January Hackney’s OSLO will be host to an extra special Charity Kick-off event – Americana Clash – celebrating the 1978 meeting of Texan roots rocker Joe Ely with London punks the Clash – West Texas Hellraisers Meet East London Hellraisers – and the friendship between the two Joes.

Americana Clash will really highlight our collaborate/cross-pollinate ethos, whilst also celebrating 40 years of The Clash’s classic album ‘London Calling’. This event is presented in partnership with our friends from Austin Texas & ACL Music Festival and will be raising money for Hackney Night Shelter as well as The Joe Strummer Foundation. Frank Turner, Grace Petrie and Danny Champ are already confirmed to appear with many more artists to be announced.

Delegate passes include 3 Day Conference, 2 nights of showcases and the awards show – early bird tickets are a saving of about £100, members log in for extra 15% discount. The 2020 conference will be held at Hackney Picture House and Hackney Empire buildings, the showcases will be at Oslo, Moth Club, Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney Church Brewery Bar and Empire Bar. All these venues are within 5 minutes walking of each other. The awards will be held at The Troxy, a short train or cab ride away. Separate showcase festival wristbands and awards tickets are on sale NOW via DICE and ALT tickets (links on our website)

For more information, go to: theamauk.org

Full list of Nominees

UK Instrumentalist of The Year:

  • Ben Smith
  • Jim Maving
  • Siân Monaghan
  • Will Page

UK Song of The Year:

  • Little Piece of Heaven by Elles Bailey (Written by Elles Bailey, Bobby Wood and Dan Auerbach)
  • The Fire by Jamie Freeman (Written by Jamie Freeman and Ben Glover)
  • Hear Your Voice by Danni Nicholls (Written by Danni Nicholls and Kyshona Armstrong)
  • Amy by Roseanne Reid (Written by Roseanne Reid)

UK Album of The Year:

  • Here There’s No Sirens by Pete Gow (produced by Joe Bennett )
  • Chasing Lights by Ida Mae (produced by Ethan Johns)
  • Bleeding on the Soundtrack by William the Conqueror (produced by Ethan Johns)
  • Walk Through Fire by Yola (produced by Dan Auerbach)

UK Artist of The Year:

  • Jade Bird
  • Bear’s Den
  • Frank Turner
  • Yola

International Song of The Year:

  • Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) by Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real (written by Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real)
  • Letter to Madeline by Ian Noe (written by Ian Noe)
  • Saying Goodbye by J.S. Ondara (written by J.S. Ondara)
  • Me and The Ghost of Charlemagne by Amy Speace (written by Amy Speace)

International Album of The Year:

  • Undress by Felice Brothers (produced by Jeremy Backofen)
  • Highwomen by Highwomen (produced by Dave Cobb)
  • Songs Of Our Native Daughters by Our Native Daughters (produced by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell)
  • Mint Condition by Caroline Spence (produced by Dan Knobler)

International Artist of The Year:

  • Brandi Carlile
  • The Dead South
  • Larkin Poe
  • Mavis Staples