Announcing the 2023 International Folk Music Award Winners

The Folk Alliance International conference is officially underway in Kansas City, Missouri.

There, as every year, folk musicians and the people who love them will spend the rest of this week discussing the state of the industry, setting goals for the future, performing in official and unofficial showcases, and generally communing in the name of this music we all love.

To kick things off, FAI presented its annual awards last night. Winners are listed below. Congratulations to all the nominees for their incredible contributions to folk music over the past year!

Album of the Year (sponsored by Rounder Records)
Crooked Tree by Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

Artist of the Year
Janis Ian

Song of the Year (sponsored by Sound Royalties) (tie):

“Bright Star” written and performed by Anaïs Mitchell

“B61” written and performed by Aoife O’Donovan

Sara Curruchich – “Mujer Indígena”
Janis Ian Tribute – Jake Blount, “At Seventeen”
Janis Ian Tribute – Wallis Bird, “Better Times Will Come”
Josh White tribute – Leyla McCalla, “I Gave My Love A Cherry (The Riddle Song)”
Josh White tribute – Josh White Jr., “One Meatball”
John Prine Tribute – Valerie June and Milk Carton Kids, “That’s the Way the World Goes Round”
John Prine Tribute – Iris DeMent, “Mexican Home”

In addition, previously announced honorees include:

The People’s Voice Award: This award is presented to “an individual who unabashedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers.” Its 2023 recipient was Leyla McCalla.

The Rising Tide Award: This award is presented to “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.” Its 2023 recipient was Alisa Almador.

The Clearwater Award: This award is presented to “a festival that prioritizes environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production.” Its 2023 recipient was the Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire, England, UK.

The Spirit of Folk Awards are presented to “honor and celebrate people and organizations actively involved in the promotion and preservation of folk music through their creative work, their community building, and their demonstrated leadership.” 2023 recipients were Steve Edge, Amy Reitnouer Jacobs, Marcy Marxer, Adrian Sabogal, and Pat Michell Worley.

The Folk DJ Hall of Fame: 2023 inductees were Robert Resnik, Marilyn Rea Beyer, John Platt, and Harry B. Soria, Jr.

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