Fresh from their recent Grammy success for Best Folk Album, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi have been named among the nominees for Album of the Year by Folk Alliance International (FAI) for their award-winning album, They’re Calling Me Home, recorded in Dublin last year.
Dubliner John Francis Flynn (who achieved a double success at the 2021 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards for Best Emerging Artist and Best Folk Singer) has now also receieved a FAI nomination for Artist of the Year. The Skippers Alley alumnus has achieved international recognition following the release of his widely acclaimed album, I Would Not Live Always.
The nominees in each category are:
Album of the Year
- Outside Child by Allison Russell
- The Fray by John Smith
- They’re Calling Me Home by Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
- Wary + Strange by Amythyst Kiah
- Un Canto por México, Vol. 2 by Natalia Lafourcade
- Call Me A Fool by Valerie June
- Changemakers by Crys Matthews
- On Solid Ground by Reggie Harris
- Painted Blue by Sarah Jarosz
- We Believe You by Diana Jones
- Allison Russell
- Arooj Aftab
- John Francis Flynn
- Kalani Pe’a
- The Longest Johns
The nominees in the Album of the Year category include three members of the quartet who collaborated on the acclaimed 2019 album, Songs of Our Native Daughters, and subsequent concert tours.
As well as Rhiannon Giddens, the nominees also include Amythyst Kiah (for Wary + Strange) and Allison Russell (for Outside Child). The missing ‘Daughter’ is Leyla McCalla.
Pictured right are: (from left) Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah.
In addition to the three categories determined by membership vote, the FAI also makes a number of other awards:
- Lifetime Achievement,
- the People’s Voice,
- the Spirit of Folk,
- the Rising Tide and
- the Clearwater.
Three Lifetime Achievement Awards – named in honour of Elaine Weissman – are presented each year to honour the cultural impact of major folk music figures – one living, one legacy, and one business/academic. This year’s recipients are:
- accordionist Flaco Jiménez,
- the late singer-songwriter, Nanci Griffith;
- the Denver-based folk music centre,
Swallow Hill Music.
The People’s Voice Award, which is presented to an individual who unashamedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers, is to be presented to Jason Mraz, the multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter known for his positivity and a consistent attention to conservation, human rights, and LGBTQIA+ issues. Jason will join an honour roll that includes past winners: Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Buffy Saint Marie, Ani Difranco, and Bruce Cockburn.
The Spirit of Folk Awards celebrate people and organisations actively involved in the promotion and preservation of folk music through their creative work, community building, and demonstrated leadership. The 2022 recipients will include:
- Eugene Rodriguez of Los Cenzontles – musician, educator, and documentary producer;
- Lilli Lewis – composer, producer, performing artist, and Vice President and Head of A&R of Louisiana Red Hot Records;
- Gaelynn Lea – NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner, musician, and disability rights activist;
- Erin Benjamin – President & CEO, Canadian Live Music Association;
- Amado Espinoza – Bolivian-American multi-instrumentalist, composer and instrument maker; and
- Shain Shapiro – founder, Sound Diplomacy.
The FAI’s Rising Tide Award will be presented to Mali Obomsawin – the award-winning Smithsonian Folkways artist from Odanak Wabanaki First Nation, who is also a member of the band Lula Wiles, a journalist; and the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Bomazeen Land Trust. Launched in 2021, this award celebrates a new generation (under 30) artist who inspires others by embodying the values and ideals of the folk community through their creative work, community role, and public voice.
Planet Bluegrass will receive the Clearwater Award which is presented to a festival that prioritises environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production.
About Folk Alliance International
Folk Alliance International (FAI) was founded in 1989 to connect folk music leaders aiming to sustain the community and genre. Today FAI is the leading international voice for folk music with a network of more than 3,000 members: a worldwide community of artists, agents, managers, labels, publicists, arts administrators, venues, festivals, and concert series presenters.
FAI produces the world’s largest conference for the folk music industry, the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs), an Artist-in-Residence programme, the Folk ExChange market development program, the Ethno USA gathering (on behalf of JM International), community outreach, and a Finest Folk concert series. FAI values diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, strives to ensure gender parity in all its programming, celebrates multiple languages and cultures, and actively welcomes participation from marginalised, disenfranchised, and underrepresented communities.
FAI defines folk broadly as “the music of the people” (reflective of any community they are from), and programmes a diverse array of sub-genres including, but not limited to, Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Hip-Hop, Old-Time, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, Traditional, Zydeco, and various fusions.