Sam Bush will receive the Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist award at the 8th Annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony, presented by the Gibson Foundation, on Thurs., Sept. 17 at the historic Ryman Auditorium. As co-founder and leader of the seminal progressive bluegrass band New Grass Revival for 18 years, Bush was among the first purveyors of newgrass–the wild bluegrass stepchild that features rock ‘n’ roll grooves and extended virtuosic jams–and he continues to burn as one of the genre’s most brilliant lights, both as a sideman and the leader of the Sam Bush Band.
Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, praised Bush’s standing as one of the greatest mandolin players ever. “Sam has created his own genre and has become such an integral part of the Americana community,” Hilly said. “It’s such a privilege to honor him this year.”
The past 20 years have found Bush performing as a sideman with Emmylou Harris; special guest artist with the likes of Lyle Lovett and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones; spearheading boundary-stretching collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor and David Grisman; and driving nearly every “bluegrass supergroup” imaginable with his mandolin playing. Bush’s newest album, Circles Around Me, will be released Oct. 20 on Sugar Hill Records.
The Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist is one of several career honors that will be handed out during the awards ceremony on Sept. 17, to be hosted by Jim Lauderdale with Buddy Miller leading his all star band. Running Sept. 16-19, the 10th Annual Americana Music Festival & Conference will offer seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Nashville Convention Center by day, and bring a stellar lineup of musical showcases each evening. Conference registrations currently at the early bird discount rate of $350 for members and $450 for non-members are available here.