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article by Lee Ward The Independent The Daily Independent Thu Apr 21, 2011

ASHLAND — A local Ohio musician has received another honor.steve free

Steve Free has been nominated for album of the year by the Americana Music Awards for the album “Sometimes A Song.”

The organization also nominated him for Emerging Artist of the Year.

Free said he learned about the nominations from his promoter, Bill Wence, two weeks ago.

“I thought it was pretty cool .. Americana is starting to get a lot more recognition,” he said, adding he and his band also were nominated in the new Grammy Award category of Best Americana Album.

He said the artists who were nominated by the organization are all well-known artists.

“I feel really honored to be mentioned with them,”he said. “With all big names in there, though, I think my chances are pretty slim, but it will look good on the resume,” he said with a laugh.

He said he’s especially pleased to be nominated alongside Johnny Rivers, who is in the running for Album of the Year for his “Shadows on the Moon.”

“He and I have the same promoter, so I'm rooting for him if I don't make it,” Free said. “It's like being a NASCAR team I guess. I've talked to him on the phone really nice guy — always was one of my favorites.”

He said he doesn’t understand why he received a nominations for Emerging Artist of the Year.

“I mean, I've been around for a hundred years,” he said. “My promoter said it's not new artist but emerging. I've taken a step up the food chain to be with the big names.”

Free is an eight-time ASCAP award winner for songwriting and he has charted with 14 songs, including three number one hits. He has been nominated for Americana awards previously and won the 2008 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio.

He has won a variety of other awards and has performed in many venues, including National Public Radio. In addition to his most recent album, he has produced three CDs: “No Regrets,” “Rivers, Rails and Tales” and “Timeline.”

The awards program will be Oct. 12 through 15 during the Americana Music Conference at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.


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