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Americana Music Association to Bestow Lifetime Achievement Award on Jason & the Scorchers

NASHVILLE, June 9, 2008 - The Americana Music Association is proud to announce pioneers Jason and the Scorchers will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement in Performance Award at the annual Americana Honors and Awards show Thursday, September 18 at the Ryman Auditorium. Original Jason and the Scorchers members Jason Ringenberg, Warner Hodges, Jeff Johnson and Perry Baggs will be on hand not only to accept the honor, but to perform together for the first time in more than a decade.

Directly following the awards ceremony, Ringenberg and Hodges will front a band performing a set of Scorchers' originals at a venue to be announced; more details surrounding the red-letter show will be released soon.

It's a mantra - a cliche: "To succeed, you have to be first, different or better." Many pioneers whose music is savored from the moment of conception to generation after generation have fallen under this sing-songy definition of success in one way or another. But Jason and the Scorchers embodied all three prongs of the hypothesis.

They were punk. They were country. They were rock. Perhaps most of all, they were originals. Jason and the Nashville Scorchers, as they were originally called, were messiahs for a 1980's American rock scene suffering from a slight inferiority complex and aching for pride and grit. Together, frontman Jason Ringenberg, guitarist Warner Hodges, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer Perry Baggs, personified roots music experimentation, boasting an unparalleled respect for and familiarity with honky tonk, while wielding innate punk savvy. It wasn't just how they said it: What they were saying also resonated. Ringenberg's songwriting often drew heady thematic comparisons to Southern Gothic literary giants like Flannery O'Conner or William Faulkner, and Hodges' influential guitar work roared in response as the punk-rock backbone of their euphoric sound's dual-personality. The group's spirited interpretations of traditional country classics by journeymen including Hank Williams were uninhibited celebrations of hillbilly soul.

Their arguably unprecedented mix's live translation is now legendary: The Scorchers infused the soul of Gram Parsons with the fury of the New York Dolls, shepherded by a lead vocalist who channeled both Faron Young and Iggy Pop. National and subsequent international acclaim arrived on the heels of major label albums and on the strength of live shows, released in conjunction with and steadily guided by early indie hometown believers Praxis. Instead of shying away from their southern roots, Jason and the Scorchers owned them, and quite simply, they made Nashville proud.

It's often said that art's impact is most accurately gauged looking backward, after the silt settles to the bottom and some sort of clear context emerges. Jason and the Scorchers' profound effect on the international music scene and more specifically, what Nashville rock bands felt they could accomplish, was historic, with ramifications still blissfully felt today.

Hosted by Jim Lauderdale and featuring a band led by Buddy Miller, the Honors & Awards ceremony will also toast winners in six member-voted categories: Album, Artist, Instrumentalist, New and Emerging Artist, Song and Duo/Group of the Year. The AMA will also recognize iconic troubadour John Hiatt with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting.

Slated for Wednesday, September 17 through Saturday, September 20, the 9th Annual Americana Festival and Conference will offer daily seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Nashville Convention Center. Each evening brings stacked Americana showcases to key venues throughout Nashville.

One ticket to the Americana Honors and Awards is included in each conference registration packet. The general public may also purchase tickets for the ceremony for $45 each. In addition, showcase wristbands granting admission to the Jason and the Scorchers venue show and all other evening showcases on all four nights are also available for $35. To buy tickets, learn more about becoming a member of the Americana Music Association, and access detailed conference information and please visit www.americanamusic.org.

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