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International Folk Music Awards

The International Folk Music Awards started off Folk Alliance International this year. These awards were presented in partnership with Folk Music Canada/Musique Fok Du Canada. The host this year was Ruthie Foster.

Opening Welcome

Performance by Ruthie Foster and Ruthie hosting the awards show

Spirit of Folk Awards: Betsy Siggins, Kristian Blak

Business Lifetime Achievement Award: Elektra Records (No photo)

Elektra Records is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group, founded in 1950 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickolt. It played an important role in the development of contemporary folk music and rock music between the 1950s and 1970s. In 2004, it was consolidated into WMG's Atlantic Records Group. After five years of dormancy, the label was revived as an imprint of Atlantic in 2009. The label has been run since 2015 by Gregg Nadel, who officially became its president in 2017. -Wikipedia

Best of 2017: Song of the Year

Winner: You Didn't Call My Name by Molly Tuttle

Folk DJ Hall of Fame: Dick Pleasants, Mary Cliff and (not pictured) Fiona Ritchie

Dick Pleasants, Mary Cliff

Spirit of Folk Award: Richard Gillmann

Clearwater Award (for environmentally friendly festivals): Winnipeg Folk Festival

Performance by Giri and Uma Peters

Best of 2017: Album of the Year

Winner: Freedom Highway by Rhiannon Giddens (Not Pictured)

Spirit of Folk Award: Martyn Joseph, Anaïs Mitchel

People's Voice Award: Bonnie Raitt (Not Pictured)

Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award: Richie Havens

Havens' live performances earned widespread notice. His Woodstock appearance in 1969 catapulted him into stardom and was a major turning point in his career. As the festival's first performer, he held the crowd for nearly three hours. In part, Havens was told to continue playing because many artists scheduled to perform after him were delayed in reaching the festival location with highways at a virtual standstill. He was called back for several encores. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual "Motherless Child" that became "Freedom". In an interview with Cliff Smith, for Music-Room, he explained:

"I'd already played every song I knew and I was stalling, asking for more guitar and mic, trying to think of something else to play – and then it just came to me...The establishment was foolish enough to give us all this freedom and we used it in every way we could."

The subsequent Woodstock movie release helped Havens reach a worldwide audience. He also appeared two weeks later at the Isle of Wight Festival (in late August 1969). -Wikipedia

Through his life Havens created a recorded label, released many albums, acted, spent time educating youth about ecological issues, and won prestigious awards. In 2013 he passed away.

Performance: Guy Davis

Guy Davis sings the song Freedom, what Richie Havens played at the end of a three hour set at Woodstock.

Thirty Years of FAI: Comments by Aengus Finnan

Aengus Finnan

Performance: Anaïs Mitchell

Best of 2017: Artist of the Year

Winner: Ordinary Elephant


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