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Ameripolitan Awards move north, but two Austinites are winners at annual gala

Peter Blackstock
pblackstock@statesman.com

Austin honky-tonker Dale Watson’s annual Ameripolitan Music Awards show moved to Memphis this year after a four-year run in Austin since its launch in 2014. But two Austinites still took home awards during Tuesday night’s gala at the Guest House at Graceland.

Brennen Leigh, known for her collaborations with Noel McKay and Sunny Sweeney and for writing songs that have been covered by the likes of Lee Ann Womack and Whitney Rose, was the winner in the Honky-Tonk Female category. Sophia Johnson, a guitarist and songwriter who moved to Austin from England a couple of years ago and has played with several local groups as well as leading her own band, won the Western Swing Female category.

The full list of winners was as follows:

Honky-Tonk Female — Brennen Leigh

Honky-Tonk Male — Luke Bell

Honky-Tonk Group — Reeves Brothers

Western Swing Female — Sophia Johnson

Western Swing Male — Billy Mata

Western Swing Group — Carolyn Sills Combo

Outlaw Female — Nikki Lane

Outlaw Male — Cody Jinks

Outlaw Group — Whitey Morgan & the 78’s

Rockabilly Female — Bailey Dee

Rockabilly Male — Al Dual

Rockabilly Group — Go Getters

Musician of the Year — Chris Scruggs

Venue of the Year — Sportsmens Tavern (Buffalo, N.Y.)

Festival of the Year — New England Shake Up (Sturbridge, Mass.)

DJ of the Year — W.B. Walker (Old Soul Radio Show)

READ MORE: Talking with Dale Watson about the Ameripolitan Music Awards