September 21, 2010

Keith Urban Receives International
Jim Reeves ACM Award

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Academy of Country Music recognizes special awards

Over the past four years, the West Coast-based Academy of Country Music has chosen to award its special awards recipients and non-televised category winners in a separate and relaxed Nashville ceremony, rather than during the ACM’s tightly scripted spring awards show in Las Vegas.

Monday’s fourth annual ACM Honors found the star-packed Ryman Auditorium filled with heartened award-winners and with well-wishers who seemed to appreciate the chance to pay appropriate homage, rather than to merely clap during quickie camera time.

This year, tickets were available to the general public, who cheered the recipients, the performers (including Martina McBride, The Secret Sisters, Kenny Rogers and Randy Travis) and host/performer Lee Ann Womack more ardently than an industry-only crowd might have. While Mae Boren Axton Award-winner Rod Essig’s contributions as a talent agent are better known behind the scenes, the work of other winners is beloved by fans.

One Poet’s Award winner, Country Music Hall of Famer Cindy Walker, is known for writing classics including “You Don’t Know Me,” while the other, Don Schlitz, forges forward in a more than 30-year career that includes credits such as “The Gambler,” “On The Other Hand” and “When You Say Nothing At All.”

Mel Tillis and Country Music Hall of Famer Marty Robbins each received the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award. Tillis broke ground as a country music songwriter, singer, humorist, publisher and movie star, and Robbins is a Country Music Hall of Famer whose career lasted more than four decades. At 78, Tillis remains a much-covered songwriter.

“And ‘Stick With Me, Baby’ was recorded by Alison Krauss and (former Led Zeppelin lead singer) Robert Plant,” he said Monday afternoon. “I said, ‘Who the heck is Robert Plant?’”

Kix Brooks, who just completed a 19-year run with mondo-successful duo Brooks & Dunn, was on hand to congratulate crowd favorite Keith Urban for winning the Jim Reeves International Award. Urban, a native New Zealander reared in Australia, has done much to spotlight country’s international appeal.

“This music is global,” Urban said. “It crosses all language barriers, because we speak and sing and write about the human condition.”

Feature film Crazy Heart, which brought country songs from Ryan Bingham, Billy Joe Shaver, Stephen Bruton, T Bone Burnett and others to grand attention, received the Tex Ritter Award for featuring country music on the big screen.

Nine of Nashville’s top session musicians won in the musician/bandleader/instrumentalist categories. Those prizes went to fiddler Stuart Duncan, drummer Shannon Forrest, steel player Paul Franklin, producer Dann Huff, guitarist Brent Mason, engineer Justin Niebank, bass man Michael Rhodes, keyboard player Michael Rojas and multi-instrumentalist Randy Scruggs.

Sommet Center, Nashville’s downtown venue which was recently renamed Bridgestone Arena, won for venue of the year. Brian O’Connell of Live Nation won promoter of the year, and Todd Boltin of Variety Attractions, Inc. was named the Don Romeo Talent Buyer of the Year. Billy Bob’s Texas won the top nightclub prize, and Las Vegas’ Green Valley Ranch Resort was named the nation’s top casino for country music performances.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Keith Urban Collects International Award

By Tom Roland

He hails from Australia and New Zealand, he conquered America and he’s found an audience in Europe. Keith Urban’s global assault was hailed Monday as the Academy of Country Music handed him its Jim Reeves International Award during the fourth annual ACM Honors at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

The award wasn’t just a nicety. While country music was born and bred in the U.S.A., it’s had a bit of a rocky road in building audiences beyond American borders. Keith’s made a point of taking his music to other territories, leading host Lee Ann Womack to hail “the world domination of Keith Urban.”

“This music is global,” Keith said, explaining his passion for exporting country. “We speak about the human condition. It’s why this music transcends all boundaries.”

Not that it’s always been that way. Keith gave an effective, condensed history of the genre’s global outreach, using his homeland as an example. He recalled that his very first concert was a Johnny Cash show when he was a mere five years old, a concert that was, Keith said, “very impactful and left a huge impression on me.”

Keith’s next concert was a Tom T. Hall performance, and he remembered numerous acts in that era — including Charley Pride and Glen Campbell — played Australia regularly.

In the 1980s and ‘90s, as Keith recalled, fewer country stars went overseas. But Keith — introduced by Kix Brooks as “the wonder from Down Under” — ran down a list of some of the performers who’ve made a point of visiting Australia in the last few years, including Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Brooks & Dunn.

B&D, he laughed, are “going back, I hope, on their big reunion tour.”

Kix and Ronnie Dunn, of course, just wrapped up their final concerts as a duet, and there are no plans for a reunion. So no more Australian jaunts for them. Nevertheless, despite the difficult task of putting together a schedule, transporting musicians and equipment across the ocean and taking a smaller paycheck for the inconvenience, country artists have begun once again to understand the importance of playing for the world.

Keith, for one, intends to make sure people get exposed to the genre all over the globe, just as he was exposed to country in that Johnny Cash concert when Keith was five.

“I’ll keep carrying this message,” Keith said, “everywhere I possibly can.”


There's no video of Keith accepting his award but Twitter has provided some details!

jenniferg07: Never know who might show up! Kix Brooks presented Keith Urban with the Jim Reeves International Award @ACMAwards Honors!

AP_Country: 1st time Kix Brooks saw @KeithUrban play, he thought: I could practice the rest of my life and never play guitar like that.

@KeithUrban does quick "I'm not worthy" bow to Kix Brooks as he walks up to accept his #ACMHonors award.

1st concert @KeithUrban ever saw as a kid in Australia was Johnny Cash.

#ACMHonors @KeithUrban says wife Nicole Kidman and daughter Sunday Rose "give me such purpose."

Pondering what cocktail attire means for tonight, @KeithUrban & crew determined it means "jeans and a fashionable top."


Post a Comment