Ameripolitan Awards move north, but two Austinites are winners at annual gala

Austin’s Sophia Johnson won the Western Swing Female category at the 2018 Ameripolitan Music Awards in Memphis. Contributed

Austin honky-tonker Dale Watson’s annual Ameripolitan Music Awards show moved to Memphis this year after a four-year run in Austin since its launch in 2014. But two Austinites still took home awards during Tuesday night’s gala at the Guest House at Graceland.

Brennen Leigh, known for her collaborations with Noel McKay and Sunny Sweeney and for writing songs that have been covered by the likes of Lee Ann Womack and Whitney Rose, was the winner in the Honky-Tonk Female category. Sophia Johnson, a guitarist and songwriter who moved to Austin from England a couple of years ago and has played with several local groups as well as leading her own band, won the Western Swing Female category.

The full list of winners was as follows:

Honky-Tonk Female — Brennen Leigh
Honky-Tonk Male — Luke Bell
Honky-Tonk Group — Reeves Brothers
Western Swing Female — Sophia Johnson
Western Swing Male — Billy Mata
Western Swing Group — Carolyn Sills Combo
Outlaw Female — Nikki Lane
Outlaw Male — Cody Jinks
Outlaw Group — Whitey Morgan & the 78’s
Rockabilly Female — Bailey Dee
Rockabilly Male — Al Dual
Rockabilly Group — Go Getters
Musician of the Year — Chris Scruggs
Venue of the Year — Sportsmens Tavern (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Festival of the Year — New England Shake Up (Sturbridge, Mass.)
DJ of the Year — W.B. Walker (Old Soul Radio Show)

READ MORE: Talking with Dale Watson about the Ameripolitan Music Awards

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