2017/18 Austin Music Awards Reveal
Black Angels and Lucinda Williams lead highlights
By Kevin Curtin,
9:00AM, Thu. Jan. 18, 2018
The lineup for the 36th annual Austin Music Awards has begun taking shape. Austin’s psych sovereigns the Black Angels, whose 2017 album Death Song highlighted a triumphant year in Austin music, are set to perform, as is roots songwriter extraordinaire Lucinda Williams.
The local music community prom – or is it Austin’s Grammys? – nestles inside ACL Live at the Moody Theater for the second straight year. That date, Feb. 28, is the first time in three decades the show isn’t during South by Southwest. Finally, the homegrown scene can celebrate its own without navigating March madness.
Also in store is a long overdue hip-hop segment anchored by rising Austin/San Antonio triad Third Root, whose appearance guests collaborators including soul-elevating tandem Riders Against the Storm and Austin’s unfuckwithable hip-hop godfather Bavu Blakes.
If landing the godmother of ATX folk divas wasn’t enough, two of Austin’s breakout singer-songwriters of recent years – both of whom blur the lines between folk and indie genres, but in completely different ways – slot in as well: Adam Torres and David Ramirez.
The typically epic show will again be hosted by the lively KUTX tandem of Laurie Gallardo and Rick “Daddy” McNulty. Winner of Instrumentalist of the Year honors at Nashville’s Americana Music Awards last year, Charlie Sexton returns as AMA musical director. The evening also includes presentations of two special annual awards.
The Townes Van Zandt Award, honoring excellence in songwriting, goes to legendary troubadour Joe Ely. The Margaret Moser Award, celebrating living legends with deep roots in the music community, this year recognizes hotelier Liz Lambert. Special music performances accompany each induction.
Next month’s attendees will be the first to learn the winners of the 2017/18 Austin Music Poll. This year, for the first time ever, the Poll split into two rounds, write-in primaries and a second round of nominations. So far, that’s spurred the highest returns in the history of the awards.
The Black Angels are nominated in the categories of Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year (for “Currency”), and Best Album Art. Riders Against the Storm are among the finalists in the Best Hip-Hop category. Bavu Blakes is up for Hall of Fame honors. David Ramirez counts in the final five for Best Songwriter, and Adam Torres got a nomination for Best Folk.
Polls close Monday, Jan. 22, so if you haven’t voted yet, do so now.
And while you’re at it, pick up tickets for the Austin Music Awards here. As always, proceeds benefit musician mental health and addiction recovery services providers the SIMS Foundation.
Raoul Hernandez, March 1, 2018
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2017/18 Austin Music Awards, Black Angels, Lucinda Williams, David Ramirez, Adam Torres, Third Root, Riders Against the Storm, Bavu Blakes, Laurie Gallardo, Rick McNulty, KUTX, Austin Music Poll, Townes Van Zandt, Margaret Moser, Joe Ely, Liz Lambert