Austin singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday night during the 15th annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.
Colvin, who got an early start in Austin in the 1970s before moving back here as an established folk-rock star in the 1990s, plays a hometown show on Sunday at the Paramount with Steve Earle, her duet partner in this year’s new “Colvin/Earle” album. Her award came under the “Trailblazer” designation, with other Lifetime Achievement Awards going to William Bell (Songwriting), Bob Weir (Performance) and longtime Americana Awards host Jim Lauderdale in a special “WagonMaster” category.
Top honors went to Jason Isbell, who picked up Album of the Year for 2015’s “Something More Than Free” and Song of the Year for the single “24 Frames.” Other major awards went to Chris Stapleton for Artist of the Year, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell for Group/Duo of the Year, and Sara Watkins for Instrumentalist of the Year. Special citations included the Spirit of Americana/Free Speech in Music Award for Billy Bragg and the Presidents Award, an annual posthumous honor, to Woody Guthrie.
Emerging Artist of the Year went to Margo Price, who’ll be in Austin in a couple of weeks to appear at both weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival and to tape an episode of the “Austin City Limits” television show at ACL Live. We’ll have more on Price next week as part of our ACL Fest preview package.
And speaking of “Austin City Limits,” its TV crew was on hand to capture the night for an hourlong special episode later this fall. Colvin also performed at the show, which also included an appearance by Texas legend George Strait as well as a tribute to recently departed icons Allen Toussaint, Merle Haggard, Ralph Stanley and Guy Clark.