Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
For those of you that need a refresher, Ameripolitan is the moniker given to “real” country music. It encompasses such categories as honky tonk, outlaw, rockabilly, and western swing. All of the four food groups are represented. These awards are very important because this is the ONLY forum to recognize the men and women that have, and are, dedicating their lives to preserving these forms of music. This isn’t a revivalist movement at all because that would mean that these musical genres went somewhere. Not true. They have been here all along, it just needs to be returned back to the people.
Here are the nominees for Honky Tonk Female 2018:
Brennen Leigh Brennen has a golden voice and knows how to use it. Not only is Brennen a wonderful performer, she is an accomplished songwriter as well. Leigh has written songs for Lee Ann Womack, Sunny Sweeney, Charley Crockett, and Whitney Rose, among others. Leigh has collaborated with songwriting greats such as Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell, John Scott Sherrill, Robbie Fulks, Charlie Louvin and David Olney.
Kristina Murray Nashville-based songwriter Kristina Murray sings and plays Americana and country music, rooted and steeped in troubadour storytelling, southern rock grit, and the audible legacies of country queens of yesteryear. Kristina is currently recording her second full length record in Nashville.
Tommy Ash Tommy Ash’s music has been described by the Phoenix New Times as “hard edged honky-tonk”. Being heavily influenced by West coast country music and the Bakersfield sound, Tommy opened for the legendary Merle Haggard in 2015, and played several shows with the honky-tonk man Dwight Yoakam. She also shared the stage with Dale Watson, Turnpike Troubadours, Billy Bob Thornton, Ryan Bingham and more.
Whitney Rose Rose just released her fourth album in October 2017, Rule 62, produced by Raul Malo of The Mavericks. Whitney’s style is deeply rooted in the performers from the 50s through the 70s with the likes of Kitty Wells, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, George Jones, and Keith Whitley.
Emily Nenni Armed with a gorgeous voice that was made for country music, Emily just released her first recording, a 3 song Ep entitled Hell Of A Woman. In addition to the straight crooning, Emily is quite a yodeler and also has an amazing band that is the perfect compliment to her dynamic music.