Sam Bush: AMA lifetime achievement award

Sam BushMulti-instrumental legend Sam Bush is to receive the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist award at a ceremony later in the year. Bush will be presented with the award at the 8th Annual Americana Honors and Awards ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on September 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Primarily known for his work on fiddle and mandolin, Bush has earned many awards through the years since he had his first mandolin at the age of 11. These include 3 first place prizes in the junior division of the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest in Weiser, Idaho. He was one of, if not the, leading light in the progressive bluegrass movement, being a member of both the Bluegrass Alliance and New Grass Revival, a group that he co-founded in 1971.

For two years Newgrass Revival toured with Leon Russell. Bush recorded a seminal album with Strength In Numbers, playing with Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer. When the New Grass Revival disbanded in 1989, Bush joined Emmylou Harris’ band the Nash Ramblers, with whom he stayed for five years.

Sam has collaborated with many prominent names, playing in a wide range of styles with the likes of Doc Watson, Linda Ronstandt, Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Dolly Parton, Ann Savoy and Tony Rice.

He has several solo albums, most of which were released on the Sugar Hill label.

The Sam Bush Band are regulars at Merlefest, Rockygrass and the Telluride Bluegrass Festivals as well as other large festivals throughout the US. His new album, Circles Around Me, will be released October 20, also on Sugar Hill Records.

In 2007, he won the IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, as he had previously in 1990, 1991 and 1992. He had also been chosen as “Best Mandolin Player” for four consecutive years (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989) in the Frets Magazine Reader’s Poll when they were still in publication.

This Americana award is well-merited.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.

A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.

He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.