Young And McMurtry Go Americana

Neil Young and James McMurtry won big at the Americana Honors and Awards held at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium September 22nd.

McMurtry won for album of the year Childish Things, and song of the year “We Can’t Make It Here Anymore,” which comments on the American economy and war in Iraq.

McMurtry told The Tennessean he was thankful Americana stations would play the song. “It’s very brave of them to play that,” he said. “Also, it’s a 7.5-minute record. So they’re breaking their own mold here.”

Neil Young was named artist of the year after releasing the albums Prairie Wind and, most recently, Living with War, including the protest song “Let’s Impeach the President.”

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, Charlie Daniels was the recipient of the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award for songs that include lyrics such as, “You know what’s gone wrong with the world today? People done gone put their Bibles away.”

Daniels said he was “deeply honored to be recognized for freedom of speech,” the Tennessean said.

“Patriotism is not blind allegiance to any ideology or political party,” he said. “Nobody is right all the time. Reasonable people will sit down and work together.”

Drive-By Truckers won duo/group of the year and Kenny Vaughan won instrumentalist of the year and a lifetime achievement award for instrumentalist. Other lifetime achievement recipients included Rodney Crowell for songwriting and Alejandro Escovedo for performing.

The show featured performances by Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Crowell, Daniels and many others.