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Richard Thompson and Booker T. Jones to Receive Americana Lifetime Awards

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Richard ThompsonNashville, TN -- The Americana Music Association announces the selection of Booker T. Jones and Richard Thompson as Lifetime Achievement Award winners to be presented at its 11th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Jones is to receive the award for instrumentalist and Thompson for songwriting. They join Bonnie Raitt, who was previously announced to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. All three artists will be present to receive the trophies and will perform during the show, with Thompson confirmed to do a showcase during the Americana Music Festival and Conference September 12 through September 15 in Nashville.

Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson
While Thompson’s genre defying guitar playing has earned immense acclaim among his peers and coveted awards from Mojo, Les Paul and Gibson Guitar, his songwriting has made an indelible mark on roots music artists. The Del McCoury Band, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Plant, Los Lobos, Elvis Costello, Blind Boys of Alabama, REM, Linda Ronstadt and Buddy & Julie Miller and many others have all recorded his songs ; while “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” is likely performed at every campfire or living room jam and at festivals across the country (including McCoury’s famous version), it remains one of the most requested songs on National Public Radio. Raitt, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and more have covered another beloved song, “Dimming of the Day.”

Known just as Booker T., the multi-instrumentalist was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and honored with a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. His early band, “Booker T. and the MG’s” were not only essential in shaping the sound of southern soul and Memphis soul as a band, but all of the individual members (Steve Cropper, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson, Jr.) were part of the Stax Records house band – playing on hundreds of recordings in the 60s including those of Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Bill Withers to name just a few. As originators of the unique Stax sound, the group was one of the most prolific, respected, and imitated of their era and one of the first racially integrated rock groups.

Outside of the band, Jones made the charts as a solo artist and produced albums for Rita Coolidge, Bill Withers, Willie Nelson's Stardust and more. He also lent his trademark keyboards to many artists ranging in genre from Ray Charles to Neil Young. He still plays with Booker T. & the MGs and his own Booker T. Jones Band, and received an instrumental Grammy for his 2011 album The Road To Memphis.

"Booker and Richard's artistry and influence are part of the rich tapestry of Americana," noted Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association. "We are thrilled they are coming to AmericanaFest; their contributions exemplify the broad reach of our community, from the common ground of folk rock to R&B born in Memphis."

The 13th Annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, kicks off Wednesday, September 12 and runs through Saturday, September 15. The conference will offer daily seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Downtown Nashville Sheraton Hotel and other select venues throughout the city. The week will culminate with the 11th Annual Americana Honors and Awards ceremony hosted by industry stalwart Jim Lauderdale and band leader Buddy Miller on Wednesday, September 12 at the historic Ryman Auditorium. For Press Release and complete list of 2012 nominees click HERE. The festival brings more than 100 Americana showcases to venues throughout Music City. Last year, approximately 1,000 industry professionals attended the conference, while more than 12,000 fans enjoyed the festival’s musical events.

The Americana Music Association is a professional non-profit trade organization whose mission is to promote awareness, provide a forum, and advocate for the creative and economic vitality of the Americana music genre. The Association produces events throughout the year including the annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, which will take place September 12-15, 2012 in Nashville, TN. Americana Music Festival and Conference Early Bird Registrations rates are available through the store at http://americanamusic.orgp

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