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ECMA Honors Music of Eastern Canada

February 28, 2006

The East Coast Music Association handed out their annual awards last night (2/27) as part of the organization's yearly conference. The evening's big winners were Matt Mays & El Torpedo (who play that crazy rock and roll music). Singer/songwriter Joel Plaskett was honored as Male Artist of the Year and SOCAN Songwriter of the Year. Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond took home prizes for Female Artist of the Year and Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year.

In one of those 6 degrees of seperation (but not really that many) things, also honored during the CBC telecast was Cape Breton fiddler Buddy MacMaster. MacMaster, who recorded his first album in 1988 at age 63 after a lifetime fiddling in his spare time working for the railroad, was awarded the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the uncle of fiddlers Natalie MacMaster and Ashley MacIsaac. MacIsaac, who seems to have taken a musical turn away from the traditional if the songs on his web site are any indication, performed on Lamond's first album, Bho Thir Nan Craobh.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:57 PM | Comments (1)

Folk Alliance Hands Out Inaugural Awards

February 21, 2006

Although they've presented lifetime achievement awards, for the first time at this year's conference, Folk Alliance racked up a full slate of honorees. Here is the complete list of winners:

Eliza Gilkyson (Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Solo Artist of the Year and Contemporary Artist of the Year)
The Duhks (Band of the Year, Emerging Artist of the Year)
Le Vent du Nord (Traditional Artist of the Year)
Winnipeg Folk Festival (Festival of the Year)
The Ark and Club Passim (tie-Venue of the Year)
Rouse House Concerts and Fox Run (tie-House Concert of the Year)
Red House Records (Record Label of the Year)
CD Baby (Folk Business of the Year)

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 2:26 PM | Comments (0)

Juno Nominations Salute Neil Young and Others

February 17, 2006

Canada's Juno Awards have announced nominees for the annual prizes, which will be distributed in Halifax, NS on April 2. Although led by rockers Nickelback (I'll give the lead singer a dollar if his voice is not stripped in 5 years), jazz-centric Diana Krall and Michael Buble came in right behind. Neil Young is up for 3 awards (Songwriter of the Year, Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Producer of the Year). Martha Wainwright competes for New Artist of the Year.

Nominees for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo are:
Corb Lund - Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer
Harry Manx - Mantras for Madmen
Ian Tyson - Songs from the Gravel Road
Lynn Miles - Love Sweet Love
Yves Lambert - Recidive

Nominees for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group are:
Elliott Brood - Ambassador
Genticorum - Malins Plaisirs
Great Big Sea - The Hard & The Easy
Sexsmith & Kerr - Destination Unknown
The Duhks - The Duhks

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:02 PM | Comments (0)

Tim O'Brien and John Prine - Grammy Award-winners

February 9, 2006

In a Grammy Award ceremony that seemed to be obsessed with Folk, Bruce Springsteen was called the most representative folk voice today (he earned the Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for Devils & Dust) and U2 declared itself, "The loudest folk band in the world." The evening was also marked by casual dress and startled winners (Kelly Clarkson should have at least jotted down a few names before leaving the house).

With a contest boasting 105 categories, most of the presentations came, as usual, before the televised portion of the program began. Tim O'Brien won the statuette for Best Traditional Folk Album for Fiddler's Green (the partner of Cornbread Nation) with John Prine was honored for Best Contemporary Folk Album for Fair & Square. Both categories were hotly contested and the prizes richly deserved.

Alison Krauss + Union Station won two Grammys during the pre-show (Best Country Instrumental Performance for Unionhouse Branch and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for Restless), but the real excitement came when they picked up the prize for Best Country Album during the telecast for Lonely Runs Both Ways. Best Bluegrass Album went to the Del McCoury Band for The Company We Keep and Emmylou Harris won the Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for The Connection.

The only big disappointment for the evening is that there wasn't a performance aspect to the Lifetime Achievement Awards presented, so no songs from or for the Weavers, and Pete Seeger was not in attendance. But neither was David Bowie and they hardly gave Jessye Norman a chance to stand and acknowledge her applause.

Other prizes went to Martin Scorsese's Dylan bio-pic No Direction Home for Best Long Form Music Video, The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes (for John Szwed's write-up of Jelly Roll Morton), the Johnny Cash retrospective The Legend for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, and Songs From the Neighborhood - The Music of Mister Rogers for Best Musical Album for Children.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 11:20 AM | Comments (3)

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Handed Out

February 8, 2006

On Monday, Feb. 6, BBC 2 presented 14 Folk Awards. Host Mike Harding emceed the event, which is the 8th such ceremony. A panel of 150 industry professionals nominates musicians and vote on the winners. Big winners this year include John Tams (for Folk Singer, Best Album and Best Traditional Track), Julie Fowlis (Horizon Award), Chris Wood & Hugh Lupton (Best Original Song), Michael McGoldrick (Musician of the Year), and Kate Rusby (Best Live Act). Paul Brady and Richard Thompson were both honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The Audience Vote for Most Influential Folk Album of All Time went to Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief. From the pictures, it looks like it was a fun party!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:15 PM | Comments (0)

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