What a year for Allison Russell.
The Americana artist took home Album of the Year and Artist of the Year at the 2022 International Folk Music Awards on Wednesday (May 18) for her LP, Outside Child, which partly tells Russell’s story of her difficult upbringing as the victim of very serious abuse.
The accolades mark two of many nods from awards bodies of late, including a recent Grammy nomination for Russell.
In addition to Russell’s win, the award for Song of the Year went to Crys Matthews for the track, “Changemakers.”
Said Russell during one of her two speeches, “I cannot tell you how much this means to me coming from this community in particular. It was at Folk Alliance [in 2001] where I first met JT [Nero, her partner and sometimes musical collaborator] and so many of the people who would become a part of my chosen family.
“This is a beautiful community,” she continued. “It’s growing and I’m very proud of the fact that we understand collectively and truly believe that tolerance is not enough. Tolerance is for mosquitos. We tolerate mosquitos. Humans require love… This is like a family reunion. We have the conviction that art and music is an essential service and a sacrament. It saves lives. It saved my life. And it reduces harm in the world. It bridges the gulfs between. It turns fear into love. It’s magic.”
In her second acceptance speech, Russell added, “If you had told me when I was a 14, 15-year-old, running in fear, sleeping on park benches on Mount Royal Cemetery, that life could get this surreal and magical and happy and good, I would not have believed you.”
The nominees and winners in the three competitive categories include:
Album of the Year
“They’re Calling Me Home “by Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
“Wary + Strange” by Amythyst Kiah
“Un Canto por México, Vol. 2” by Natalia Lafourcade
“Outside Child” by Allison Russell
“The Fray by John Smith
Song of the Year
“On Solid Ground” by Reggie Harris
“Painted Blue” by Sarah Jarosz
“We Believe You” by Diana Jones
“Call Me A Fool” by Valerie June
“Changemakers” by Crys Matthews
Artist of the Year
The Longest Johns
John Francis Flynn
The full awards show can be seen here: