Ry Cooder honoured at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Ry Cooder and Al Stewart received top honours at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017, both receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony which was held at London's Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday night (05.04.17)

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Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 in London on Wednesday night (05.04.17).

The 70-year-old roots rock legend - famous for his slide guitar playing - has worked with greats including The Rolling Stones in the past and gave a rare UK performance of his 1974 hit 'Jesus On The Mainline' at the ceremony held at the Royal Albert Hall.

Cooder was presented with his accolade by 'Cruel to Be Kind' hitmaker Nick Lowe.

Folk legend Al Stewart was also presented with a Lifetime Achievement accolade by veteran BBC DJ Tony Blackburn.

The broadcaster revealed on stage that Stewart was the lead guitarist in his group Tony Blackburn and the Swinging Bells in the 60s as he gave him his prize.

And Blackburn quipped about how he'd make Stewart lose street cred by relaying their musical past.

Blackburn recalled: "We used to practice at my parents' house and, as good as he was, he always played his electric guitar far too loud as it always drowned out my vocals ... The fact I'm here tonight will do Al's credibility a lot of damage but I don't care as I've enjoyed playing 'Year of the Cat' very much over the years and I haven't seen him in a long time. It really is an honour to present this Lifetime Achievement Award to such a talented musician."

The late Woody Guthrie was posthumously inducted into the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame and Billy Bragg paid tribute to the icon - who died of complications of Huntington's disease at the age of 55 in October 1967 - by doing his own version of Guthrie's hit song 'I Ain't Got No Home'.

Bragg previously covered the song for his 2013 album 'Tooth & Nail'. The induction marked 50 years since his death.

Guthrie's songs are timeless with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga covering his music and he had a strong bond with Bob Dylan, who he became a mentor to.

The evening featured an array of performances from artists of all backgrounds, but one rather poignant set of the Ballads of Child Migration, which documented thousands of British children who were sent overseas to Australia and Canada between 1869 and 1970, without their parents, by leading churches and charities and were written to keep alive their memories.

It was narrated by Barbara Dickson with original songs performed by Kris Drever, Jez Lowe, While & Matthews, Boo Hewerdine, O'Hooley & Tidow, John McCusker, Andy Cutting and Michael McGoldrick.

The prestigious Best Album went to Songs of Separation for their self-titled record and Musician Of The Year was given to 'Here's My Heart Come Take It' hitmaker Rachel Newton.

Other winners on the night included Kris Drever, who was crowned Folk Singer Of The Year, Best Duo went to Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 full list of winners:

FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR presented by Sharleen Spiteri:

Kris Drever

BEST DUO presented by Peter Lord of Aardman Animations:

Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton

BEST GROUP presented by Sir Ray Davies

The Furrow Collective

BEST ALBUM presented by Mark Kermode:

Songs of Separation - 'Songs of Separation'

HORIZON AWARD presented by Rachel and Becky Unthank (of The Unthanks):

Daoirí Farrell

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR presented by Gus Unger-Hamilton from Alt-J:

Rachel Newton

BEST ORIGINAL TRACK presented by Susie Dent:

'If Wishes Were Horses' by Kris Drever

BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK presented by Pauline Black of The Selecter:

Van Diemen's 'Land by Daoirí Farrell'

BBC RADIO 2 YOUNG FOLK AWARD presented by Simon Nicol of Fairport Convention:

Josie Duncan & Pablo Lafuente

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD presented by Tony Blackburn

Al Stewart

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD presented by Nick Lowe

Ry Cooder

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

Woody Guthrie

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