The 2020/2021 Austin Music Awards Came Bearing a Pandemic Stimulus

Hop in the Winner Wagon and see who we surprised with this year's unique awards


Art by Zeke Barbaro

Not throwing an epic wing-ding after the dreadful and disillusioning last 12 months remains a bitter pill to pop. This community deserves one. That said, not having an in-person Austin Music Awards is a no-brainer. No tradition's worth risking the health of people we care about – not even a homegrown legacy show.

So instead of orchestrating a diminished version of something we've done for 38 consecutive years, the Chronicle decided on something totally different: bringing the AMAs to the winners.


Emcee Kevin Curtin behind the wheel (Photo by David Brendan Hall)
In an homage to the Publishers Clearing House Prize television commercials from decades ago, we transformed a 1995 Dodge band van into a “Winners Wagon” and surprised the top vote-getters of the 2020/2021 Austin Music Poll at their homes.

In an homage to the Publishers Clearing House Prize television commercials from decades ago, we transformed a 1995 Dodge band van into a “Winners Wagon” and surprised the top vote-getters of the 2020/2021 Austin Music Poll at their homes. Like the old school Prize Patrol, we presented folks with comically oversized checks.

That decision, in lieu of trophies or plaques, arose from the knowledge that musicians in our community have weathered a financially forsaken existence over the last year. AMA honors never came with money, but we believe honorees of every walk need to keep the lights on even if the state can't. Our own creative venture here at the paper suffered like everything else in the pandemic, but sponsors allowed us to accompany each of the 20 awards and one Hall of Fame induction with $500.

And anyway, isn't it everyone's dream to stand there on camera holding a giant check?

Minor stimulus aside, the Austin Music Awards remain an endeavor of thanking, honoring, and recognizing individuals and groups who make community-binding art. Probably like us, you've had your fill of "unprecedented" times and can't wait to return to warranted life. Expect next year's AMAs to be a proper hug-it-out festivity.

For now, we celebrate the 2020/2021 winners who'll stand forever as those who emerged triumphant in a year like no other.


The Winners and Nominees


Black Pumas receive the award for Band of the Year (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Band of the Year (Sponsored by Dulce Vida Tequila)

Black Pumas

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

Sam Houston & Blk Odyssy

Ley Line

Sir Woman




Musician of the Year (Sponsored by Trashless)

Jackie Venson

Gina Chavez

Jake Lloyd

Walker Lukens

Mobley




Songwriter of the Year (Sponsored by Desert Door Distillery)

David Ramirez

Eric Burton

Bill Callahan

Eliza Gilkyson

Jana Horn




Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (Sponsored by BeatStars)

Magna Carda

Blackillac

Deezie Brown

Kydd Jones

The Teeta




Album of the Year (Sponsored by Real Ale Brewing Co.)

Jackie Venson, Vintage Machine

Botany, End the Summertime F(or)ever

Deezie Brown & EC Mayne, Candy Blue Like Screw

Charley Crockett, Welcome to Hard Times

Eliza Gilkyson, 2020

Greyhounds, Primates

Ley Line, We Saw Blue

David Ramirez, My Love Is a Hurricane

Skeleton, Skeleton

Star Parks, The New Sounds of Late Capitalism

Sweet Spirit, Trinidad

The Teeta, The Quarantine




Song of the Year (Sponsored by Real Ale Brewing Co.)

Heartless Bastards, "Revolution"

Tameca Jones, "IDK"

Mobley, "James Crow"

Adrian Quesada and various artists, "Walk With Me Austin"

Sun June, "Karen O"




Video of the Year (Sponsored by Real Ale Brewing Co.)

Annabelle Chairlegs, "Outside" [Dir. Vanessa Pla]

Being Dead, "Underworld" [Dir. Riley Engemoen, Juli Keller, Cody Dosier]

Dossey, "Someone to Love" [Dir. Peter Longno]

Caroline Rose, "Feel the Way I Want" [Dir. Caroline Rose]

Jonathan Tyler feat. Nikki Lane, "Old Friend" [Dir. Jonathan Tyler, Scott Wade, Chris Boosahda]




Local Label

Chicken Ranch

Holodeck

Insect

Modern Outsider

Spaceflight




Radio Station (Sponsored by BMI)

KUTX 98.9FM

KVRX 91.7FM

ACL Radio 97.1FM

Sun Radio 100.1FM

101X 101.5FM




Radio Personality

Laurie Gallardo

Suzanna Choffel

Kevin Connor

Aaron "Fresh" Knight

Taylor Wallace




Record Store

Waterloo Records

Antone's Records

BLK Vinyl

Breakaway Records

End of an Ear




Recording Studio

Arlyn Studios

The Bubble

King Electric

The Orb

Public Hi-Fi




Best Nonprofit (Sponsored by Capital Metro)

Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM)

Black Fret

Diversity Awareness & Wellness in Action (DAWA)

Girls Rock Austin

SIMS Foundation




Best Fundraising Effort

HAAM Day

Fine Southern Gentlemen's Austin Will Survive

Free Lunch for the homeless (Carrie Fussell Bickley, Jade Skye Hammer, Jazz Mills)

No More Silence Vol. 1 & 2

Red River Cultural District's Banding Together Fund




Shinyribs receives the award for Best 2020-Themed Song (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Best 2020-Themed Song (Sponsored by Precision Camera)

Shinyribs, "Stay Home"

Akina Adderley, "Broke"

Big Bill, "Death to the DNC"

Dumb, "I Gave Greg Abbott the Coronavirus"

Miss Lavelle White, "Keep Your Mask On"




Best Innovation / Business Pivot (Sponsored by Becky Beaver)

Love & Lightstream drive-ins

ACL Live week of weddings

Emo's election polling station

Mobley's curbside tour

Mosaic Sound Collective's livestream facility




Musician Who Went Above & Beyond (Sponsored by The Soup Peddler)

Jackie Venson

Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone

Adrian Quesada

Nakia Reynoso

Charlie Sexton




Best Virtual Event (Sponsored by Weird Homes Tour)

Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic

A Night for Austin

Black Everythang Matters

Blues on the Screen

HOME Cookin' for the Holidays




Shakey Graves receives the award for Best Online Series (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Best Online Series

Shakey Graves Presents Hello Gorgeous

Bud's Presents Live & Direct

Hotel Vegas' Hotel Free TV

Lost Well's Rock for Rent Safehouse




Best Livestreaming Artist (Sponsored by Luxe Refill)

Jackie Venson

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

Band of Heathens

Corey Baum (Croy & the Boys)

DJ Mel




Austin Music Hall of Fame (Sponsored by Strait Music Company)

Iron Age

James Hand

Erik Hokkanen

Tee Double

Texana Dames

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

2020 / 2021 Austin Music Awards, Black Pumas, Jackie Venson, David Ramirez, Magna Carda, Heartless Bastards, Annabelle Chairlegs, Chicken Ranch Records, KUTX 98.9FM, Laurie Gallardo, Waterloo Records, Aryln Studio, Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic, Shakey Graves Presents Hello Gorgeous, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, HAAM Day, Shinyribs, Love & Lightstream drive-ins, Iron Age

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