2018 Armadillo Award Winners

Fan Photo Of The Year

Fan Vote Winner:

  • This one was the closest race in the fan voting. Single digits separated the top two candidates. In the end, with 39.2% of the vote Josh Fairbanks photo of Tyler Childers at the EXIT/IN took the fan vote.
Photo Credit: Josh Fairbanks

Editor’s Choice Winner:

  • I fell in the category of voting for the second place entry in the Fan Vote. Maybe it was because I was there and I got to experience how electrifying that moment was, but I’m going with the group of Jinks, Whitey, Ward, and Cauthen and their takeover of the stage at Tailgate N’ Tallboys by Taylor Evans Hendrix!
Photo Credit: Taylor Evans Hendrix

Professional Photo Of The Year

Fan Vote Winner:

  • This one was not such a close race, and I was a bit surprised by that. Taking a whopping 52.8% of the fan vote was Rock Williams’ shot of Cody Jinks at Loud and Heavy admiring the birthday present he was presented with on the stage. (For those keeping score at home Rock swept this category last year with his Kris Kristofferson entry.)
Photo Credit: Rock Williams

Editor’s Choice Winner:

  • Last year the fans and I agreed on Rock’s photo of Kris Kristofferson looking like the super hero he is. This year, though, I thought that Chris Couture’s shot of Colter Wall took the cake. This is such a natural shot. The horse, the skeleton cowboys floating overhead, they fit right in with Colter. This photo is, in my humble opinion, Album Cover worthy.
Photo Credit: Chris Couture

Moment/Event Of The Year

Fan Vote Winner:

  • Another close race that saw quite a bit of back and forth before the voting was closed, but in the end Cody Jinks’ “Fuck Nashville, we’ll start our own goddamn club!” edged out Tyler Childers’ “Americana ain’t no part of nothing” speech at the Americana Awards 37.3% to 33.8%.

Editor’s Choice Winner:

  • I too chose that moment for the best of the year. It was spontaneous, it was a cherry on top of Tailgate N’ Tallboys, which had already been an outstanding weekend, and it was a show of rebelliousness that has endeared so many to the personalities and the music in this corner of country music.

Song Of The Year

Fan Vote Winner:

  • This one was another very close vote, the final difference between first and second being less than 25 votes. With 24.4% of the vote Cody Jink’ “Headcase” brings home the fan vote for the best song of 2018!

Editor’s Choice Winner:

  • Once again I was in the camp of the #2 option. Ward Davis’ “Good And Drunk” (21.8%) gets my nod for the best song of the year. That is the kind of song that country music was made for. A deeply personal song that expresses the heartache Ward felt over a very real life situation nabs the Editor’s Choice here at the Armadillo for Song Of The Year!

Spotlight Award

Fan Vote Winner:

  • With 22.7% of the vote Tennessee Jet took the fan vote. Jet no doubt had an incredible year, writing “Lifers” with Cody Jinks, and hitting the road and playing shows with Jinks, Whitey Morgan, Ward Davis, Sunny Sweeney, and more including his date on the grand stage of The Ryman Auditorium in August.

Editor’s Choice Winner:

  • Oh this one was hard. So many great names among these nominees, and to choose just one… Every single one of the nominees on this list are deserving of winning. All of them. In the end, I’m going to go with Ashley McBryde for the Editor’s Choice. She is making waves like no one else right now, and she rides into 2019 with the most potential to break out and become the next big thing.

Album Of The Year

Fan Vote Winner:

  • As the votes started rolling in for this one it looked like it might be a pretty competitive one, but as time went on one surged ahead of all the others and never saw any real challenge. With 26.7% of the vote Cody Jinks’ “Lifers” claims the Fan Vote for the best album of 2018.

Editor’s Choice Winner:

  • For me the best album I heard this year was Whitey Morgan’s “Hard Times and White Lines”. An inspired, and perfected album this one came bearing it’s soul in places (“Wild and Reckless”) and it’s edge in others (“Honky Tonk Hell”). In the spaces in between there was no shortage of raw, and real music and lyrics to sink yourself into.

Artist Of The Year

Fan Vote Winner:

  • Pulling in 36.9% of the vote Tyler Childers stands tall as the 2018 Fan Choice Artist Of The Year. Tyler had a huge year despite not releasing a new record, headlining many major festivals, and selling out everywhere his name has been on the marquee all year long. He played the Ryman. He announced shows with Willie Nelson coming in 2019. Everything Childers touched turned to gold in 2018, and he is certainly deserving of this award.

Editor’s Choice Winner:

  • This award was the most difficult for me to make a decision on. In the end, I chose a little sentimentally. All of the names on this list have had great success in 2018, but for me, it was the legendary John Prine having the year he did at the point he is at in his career that swayed me. John Prine has been making music and writing songs since before everyone else on the list of nominees with him was born. But 2018 brought his most successful year as a musician and songwriter with his highest selling and charting album. Plenty of names on this list were honored to open shows for Prine, and look up to him as an inspiration and a hero. To have your best career year at 72 leaving all the other names on this list in awe of what you’re capable of makes John Prine more than deserving of the 2018 Editor’s Choice for Artist Of The Year.

Thank you to everyone for your participation in the 2018 Armadillo Awards! Thank you to all of those who shared and helped get the votes rolling in! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to pay attention to the things we do here at The Armadillo in 2018, and we are looking forward to having an even more impressive 2019!

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