Independent music awardsThe nominations for the 13th Independent Music Awards came out and I got a wonderful surprise. My album Little Big Sky has been nominated for Best Country Album! That in itself would have been enough, but there were even more great news. Jillian Cardarelli, an incredibly talented young up and coming country artist was nominated for Best Country Song for her version of Worth The Whiskey, the song we wrote together. And speaking of co-writing, I want to give a special thanks and shout out to my very talented colleague and friend Scarlet Keys. She has been a great cowriting partner for many years, and she co-wrote the title song of the album with me, so it is very special to share this award with her.

I was also happy to see a number of other good friends nominated. Melissa Ferrick, a colleague on the Berklee faculty was nominated for Best Alt-Country album and Best Americana Song. And Suzie Brown was nominated for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Album. And in the Best Country Song, Antigone Rising (I opened for them a while ago), also have a whiskey based song, which they co-wrote with Lori McKenna.

The final results will come out in May 2014. There is a jury vote (see list of judges below), but there is also a Vox Populi award, determined by Internet vote. You can VOTE FOR MY ALBUM HERE and VOTE FOR JILLIAN’S SONG HERE.

The nominees were selected from thousands of submissions coming from all over the world: North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Greenland and Europe.

The final jury is made of a quite impressive set of artist and industry experts. Among others,  Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson, Sharon Jones, Laurie Anderson, Suzanne Vega, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chiddy Bang, Shelby Lynne, Joshua Redman, G. Love, Aoife O’Donovan, Jim Lauderdale, Chris Wood & Oliver Wood, Band Of Skulls, Judy Collins, Raul Midon, Bernie Worrell, Dennis Diken, Arturo Sandoval, Alan Light (Live From The Artists Den), Terry McBride (Nettwerk Music Group), Kevin Lyman (Vans Warped Tour), Jason Olaine (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone), Hillary McAndrew Plate (Lincoln Center) Bob Ludwig (Gateway Mastering), Bruce Iglauer (Alligator Records), Evan Schlansky (American Songwriter), Delphine Robertson (Playtone Productions), Benji Rogers (PledgeMusic), Megan West (SoundCloud).