The Americana Music Association UK is delighted to announce that the recipients of the Trailblazer Award at the UK Americana Awards 2018 will be Mumford & Sons.

We’re very honoured to be included in this year’s UK Americana Awards. From ‘Folk-Rock’ to ‘Bluegrass’ to ‘Country’ to ‘Folk and Roll’ we’ve never fully felt comfortable with labels that people have put on our music. To us, it’s just the sound that we make, drawing on all sorts of influences from America and elsewhere. Americana encapsulates this patchwork of influence most broadly and to be recognised alongside some of our heroes is truly humbling.”
Ben Lovett, Mumford & Sons

The Trailblazer Award celebrates a UK artist, duo or group that has taken an exceptional path, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps in developing the Americana genre. Stevie Freeman, CEO AMA-UK, commented:

We are over the moon that Mumford & Sons are accepting this award from us as we’ve always felt they’ve been instrumental in taking UK Americana music world wide. They’ve really opened doors for countless other bands to walk through and have helped bring banjo and acoustic instruments back into the popular domain.

“’’Sigh No More’ was an incredibly influential album for the genre, remaining in the UK charts for 72 weeks! It won the band a Brit Award and reached number two in the UK and US charts, with many other top ten positions around the world too. They’ve since been rewarded with two Grammy Awards, and two number one albums on both sides of the Atlantic for Babel and Wilder Mind. Babel won them a second Brit Award for the British Album of the Year.

“Something else that I know Mumford & Sons are hugely proud of is the global development of their own travelling festival, the ‘Gentlemen of The Road’ Stopovers. These weekend events have toured the UK, USA and Australia, with the aim to involve and work together with local communities and business in towns and cities that might not usually feature on regular touring schedules. Very quickly it has become hugely successful, celebrating independence in all its forms, giving upcoming young artists a unique opportunity to perform to large audiences, and bringing big household names to the fans they might not have had a chance to perform to. The line-up, surrounding stalls, and ambience of the whole event is curated and nurtured by Mumford & Sons and their team, and of course all the hard work and goodwill of the local people.”

The UK Americana Awards show 2018 at Hackney Empire on Thursday February 1st will be hosted by legendary broadcaster Bob Harris OBE and will feature performances from nominees and award winners, including Robert Plant, The Wandering Hearts and newly announced, Imelda May. Ethan Johns will once again be musical director. The winners of the seven AMA-UK membership-voted categories will receive their awards from specially invited guest presenters and the best-selling UK Americana album of 2017 will be recognised with a special award. The nominations shortlist follows below.

The UK Americana Awards are part of AmericanaFest UK, the two-day event taking place in London on January 31st and February 1st, which will include daytime conferences on both days at Hackney House, an evening of showcases on Wednesday 31st January in multiple venues around Hackney and the prestigious UK Americana Awards on Thursday 1st February at Hackney Empire to conclude the event in style.

International showcase artists for 2018 include: The Texas Gentlemen, Prinz Grizzley, Kasheena Sampson, Rev.Sekou, Joanna Seratt, The Remedy Club, Beth Bombara, Jacob Dineson, Jaime Wyatt and The Americans. They join up and coming UK artists: Curse of Lono, Steve Grozier, Colin MacLeod, Donald Byron Wheatley, James Edwyn and the Borrowed Band, Lauren Housley, Little Folk, Lunch Special, Orphan Colours, Robbie Cavanagh, Shooter Jennings, The Buffalo Skinners, The Fargo Railroad Co, The Often Herd, Benjamin William Pike and Elles Bailey.

Two days of conference sessions are set to feature Billy Bragg delivering the keynote speech, a masterclass in songwriting from Mary Gauthier, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Sam Baker and Chris Difford and platforms hosting panellists from across the music industry including artists Frank Turner, Danni Nicholls, Joanna Seratt and Danny George Wilson.

In a first for 2018, AmericanaFest UK will include a film screening on Tuesday 30th January – “The Orphan Brigade – Soundtrack To A Ghost Story”. The Orphan Brigade will perform live following the screening.


UK Album of the Year
Brilliant Light by Danny & The Champions of The World (produced by Chris Clarke)
I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins by Robert Vincent (produced by Robert Vincent, Michael Gay and Etienne Girard)
Proud Disturber Of The Peace by William The Conqueror (produced by Ruarri Joseph and Harry Harding)
Sweet Kind Of Blue by Emily Barker (produced by Matt Ross-Spang)

International Album of the Year
A Deeper Understanding by The War On Drugs (produced by Adam Granduciel)
Honest Life by Courtney Marie Andrews (produced by Courtney Marie Andrews)
So You Wannabe Be An Outlaw by Steve Earle & The Dukes (produced by Richard Bennett)
The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell (produced by Dave Cobb)

UK Song of the Year
Devon Brigade by Police Dog Hogan (written by James Studholme)
Endless Road by Worry Dolls (written by Zoe Nicol, Rosie Jones and Jeff Cohen)
Home by Yola Carter (written by Yola Carter)
Moonshine by Foy Vance (written by Foy Vance)

International Song of the Year
Pa’lante by Hurray For The Riff Raff (written by Alynda Segarra and Pedro Pietri)
Ready To Die by Aaron Lee Tasjan (written by Aaron Lee Tasjan)
Thirteen Silver Dollars by Colter Wall (written by Colter Wall)
Tenderheart by Sam Outlaw (written by Sam Outlaw)

UK Artist of the Year
Danni Nicholls
Danny & The Champions of The World
Emily Barker
Laura Marling

International Artist of the Year
Angaleena Presley
Courtney Marie Andrews
Imelda May
Rhiannon Giddens

UK Instrumentalist of the Year
Georgina Leach
Kit Hawes
Harry Harding
Thomas Collison

Lifetime Achievement Award
Selected by the board members, their highest honour is awarded to a UK artist, duo or group in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Americana genre over the span of their career and life in music.

Recipient 2018: Robert Plant

Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award
Selected by Bob Harris OBE, this special award celebrates the breakthrough artist, duo or group that has particularly impressed the legendary music broadcaster throughout the year.

Recipient 2018: The Wandering Hearts

The Grass Roots Award: a newly-established award selected by the board members, this special award celebrates the sometimes un-sung heroes of the UK Americana scene. It is presented to people working in the industry (in a capacity other than as artists) who have made outstanding efforts to support Americana music from the grass roots up.

Recipient 2018 – Come Down & Meet The Folks

The Trailblazer Award celebrating a UK artist, duo or group that has taken an exceptional path, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps in developing the Americana genre.

Recipient 2018 – Mumford & Sons

The Best-Selling Americana Album of 2017 will be announced at the Awards show:
The AMA-UK works with the Official Charts Company to create the UK Americana Chart. This Award is given to the best-selling Americana Album of the year, by a UK Artist.


About the AMA-UK
The AMA-UK is a professional trade association representing and advocating for the voice of American Roots music in the UK. Its membership comprises musicians, both from the UK and overseas, plus professionals from all sectors of the music industry.

At the second annual UK Americana Awards last year, Richard Thompson received the UK Americana Lifetime Achievement Award, Van Morrison collected the Award for Best Selling Americana Album of 2016 and presenters at the prestigious show included Jools Holland, Harry Shearer, Jim Lauderdale and Timothy B Schmit.


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