Carpenter To Be Honored By AMA, Play Schermerhorn

The Americana Music Association and Washington D.C.’s Newseum will present Mary Chapin Carpenter with the “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech in Music Award on April 27. The heralded singer will be honored during the “Freedom Sings” event in the nation’s capital, which will include a conversation with Carpenter, and performances by Grammy winners Judy Collins and Rodney Crowell.

“Ms. Carpenter is an artist in the truest sense of the word,” said Americana Music Association Executive Director Jed Hilly. “With her live performance and studio albums, her music has touched and inspired so many. We are honored to bestow this prestigious award on her.” The Newseum is presenting the honor via its First Amendment Center, which also has an office at Vanderbilt University. Past recipients include Collins, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, Charlie Daniels and Steve Earle. Ticket details at www.newseum.org.

Carpenter is a fitting honoree because in addition to her Grammy winning music career, she is a dedicated supporter of Campaign for a Landmine-Free World, Artists Against Hunger and Poverty, Voters for Choice, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and other groups.

She has been making music consistently since her breakthrough to mainstream country in the ’90s with such memorable hits as “Down at the Twist and Shout,” “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me.” Now she is planning the April 27 release of her album The Age of Miracles on Zoe/Rounder Records. Carpenter will perform at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on July 16. Tickets start at $27.50 and may be purchased online at NashvilleSymphony.org.

In more Americana Music Association news, the organization is about to begin the nominations process for its annual Honors & Awards. Only eligible members can vote. This year’s Awards show will take place on Thurs., Sept. 9, as part of the festival and conference running Sept. 8-11, 2010.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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