The Mavericks, Keb’ Mo’ + More Are 2021 Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
The Mavericks, Keb' Mo' and three additional acts will be honored as Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award winners during the upcoming 2021 Americana Honors & Awards ceremony. The AMA announced the news on Tuesday (Sept. 7).
In addition to the Mavericks and Mo', three other acts are being honored with 2021 Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Awards: the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Trina Shoemaker and Carla Thomas. "All of these artists have transformed the way we listen and experience music and have helped to build a perennial foundation for Americana music to prosper as an art form today," says Americana Music Association Executive Director Jed Hilly.
The Mavericks — the Miami-bred band that combines country and rockabilly music with Latin influences — will receive the Americana Trailblazer Award, on the heels of their 2020 release, the all-Spanish album En Español. The band, led by Raul Malo, have been together since 1989, but took a break during the 2000s; they've got a Grammy and several ACM and CMA Awards, as well as a Americana Duo/Group of the Year win, under their belts.
Blues-rooted artist Mo', meanwhile, is receiving the 2021 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. Born Kevin Moore, the songwriter, guitarist and native of Los Angeles, Calif., began his career playing with Jefferson Airplane violinist Papa John Creech in the 1970s but made his debut as solo artist Keb' Mo' in 1994. He's a five-time Grammy Awards winner, including for his newest album, Oklahoma (2020's Best Americana Album).
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are 2021's Legacy of Americana Award winners. The honor is presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music and, this year, recognizes the 150-year-old choir, attached to Nashville's Fisk University, a historically Black school. The groundbreaking group are Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductees, National Medal of Arts recipients and, as of 2021, Grammy Awards winners.
Shoemaker, a native of Joliet, Ill., is 2021's Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Producer/Engineer winner — the first woman to receive the honor. She's worked with, among others, Emmylou Harris (on her Wrecking Ball album), Whiskeytown and Sheryl Crow; her part in Crow's Globe Sessions album earned Shoemaker her first Grammy. Most recently, she's worked on Tanya Tucker's While I'm Livin' and the Secret Sisters' You Don't Own Me Anymore.
Thomas, meanwhile, is 2021's Americana Inspiration Award winner. "The Queen of Memphis Soul," Thomas released albums with Stax and Atlantic Records in the 1960s, when she was in her late teens and early 20s; her repertoire includes a full album of duets with Otis Redding and the all-genre Top 10 single "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)." She'll be only the second-ever Inspiration Award winner, after Mavis Staples.
All five 2021 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award recipients will be honored during the 2021 Americana Honors & Awards, set for Sept. 22 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The event will take place on the first day of AmericanaFest 2021, scheduled to run Sept. 22-25 and include conference panels and artist showcases. More than 200 artists are scheduled to perform.
See 16 Country Songs That Spill the Truth: