Allison Russell Wins Big at 2022 International Folk Music Awards: Full Winners List

Allison Russell Wins Big at 2022 International Folk Music Awards: Full Winners List

Allison Russell won both artist of the year and album of the year at the 2022 International Folk Music Awards, which were presented Wednesday (May 18), the opening night of the 34th annual Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Russell won album of the year for her debut solo album, Outside Children ,. This album has been a huge success and has attracted many awards in recent months. It was nominated last November for the Grammy for best Americana Album. It won the Juno Award in Russell’s native Canada for contemporary roots album. On Monday, it became an Americana Honors & Awards nominee for album of the year.


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Crys Matthews‘ “Changemakers” garnered song of the year honors. Matthews performed on the show, as did fellow nominees John Smith and Diana Jones. The show opened with a song from Isaac Cates & Ordained.

Accordionist Flaco Jimenez, the late songwriter and interpreter Nanci Griffith, and Denver-based folk music center Swallow Hill Music were this year’s recipients of the Elaine Weissman lifetime achievement awards. These awards are given each year to recognize the cultural impact of legendary folk musicians.

Jason Mraz, known for his attention to conservation, human rights and LGBTQIA issues, received The People’s Voice Award, which is presented to an individual who “unabashedly embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public careers.” Past recipients include Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ani DiFranco and Bruce Cockburn.

Mraz stated that she was shy at first because she thought she was too young to receive the award. She also felt that they didn’t say enough. Then I realized that those thoughts and feelings don’t go away. I still feel the nagging feeling that I haven’t done enough. It’s this nagging thought that tells us that we still have the energy to give and to want to .”

Mali Obomsawin was a Smithsonian Folkways Recordings musician, journalist, and member of the band Lula Wiles. He received the Rising Tide Award. The award was launched in 2021 to celebrate a new generation (under age 30) artist who inspires others by embodying the values and ideals of the folk community.

The 2022 recipients of the Spirit of Folk Awards included musician, educator and documentary producer Eugene Rodriguez of Los Cenzontles; composer, producer, performing artist and Louisiana Red Hot Records vice president and head of A&R Lilli Lewis; NPR Tiny Desk contest winner, musician and disability rights activist Gaelynn Lea; Canadian Live Music Association president & CEO Erin Benjamin; Bolivian-American multi-instrumentalist, composer and instrument maker Amado Espinoza; and Sound Diplomacy founder Shain Shapiro. These awards are given to recognize individuals and organizations that actively promote and preserve folk music.

Colorado-based Planet Bluegrass was awarded the Clearwater Award. This award is given to festivals that demonstrate public leadership in sustainable event production and environmental stewardship.

Angela Page was inducted into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame. This honor recognizes radio DJs who have made outstanding contributions in the preservation, promotion, and presentation of folk music. Page has hosted Folk Plus since the early 1990s on hydro-powered WJFF 90.5 FM Radio Catskill in Jeffersonville, N.Y. Dr. Overby is a DJ and Wisconsin Public Radio host and a noted ethnomusicologist and scholar.

Folk Alliance International was founded in 1989. Its more than 3,000 members constitute a worldwide community of artists, agents, managers, labels, publicists, arts administrators, venues, festivals and concert series presenters.

Folk Alliance International produces the world’s largest conference for the folk music industry, the Folk Alliance International Conference; the International Folk Music Awards; an artist-in-residence program; the Folk ExChange market development program; the Ethno USA gathering (on behalf of JM International); community outreach; and a Finest Folk concert series.

Folk Alliance International describes folk broadly as “the song of the people” and offers a variety of sub-genres, including Appalachian and Americana, blues and bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun and global roots hip-hop. It also programs a diverse range of fusions such as zydeco, spoken word, traditional, zydeco and singer-songwriter.

Here’s a list of the winners in key categories

Artist of the year
The Longest Johns
Kalani Pe’a
WINNER: Allison Russell
Arooj Aftab
John Francis Flynn

Album of the year
They’re Calling Me Home, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
Wary Strange, Amythyst Kiah
Un Canto por Mexico, Vol. 2, Natalia Lafourcade
WINNER: Outside Child, Allison Russell
The Fray, John Smith

Song of the year
“On Solid Ground,” Reggie Harris
“Painted Blue,” Sarah Jarosz
“We Believe You,” Diana Jones
“Call Me A Fool,” Valerie June
WINNER: “Changemakers,” Crys Matthews

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