Buddy Miller leads pack for Americana awards

Buddy Miller leads pack for Americana awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Singer-songwriter Buddy Miller leads all nominees for the eighth annual Americana Music Association awards. He got five nominations, including artist of the year and instrumentalist of the year.

The 56-year-old Fairborn, Ohio, native and his wife, Julie Miller, are also up for album of the year for “Written in Chalk.”

The nominations were announced Wednesday for the Sept. 17 awards show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Justin Townes Earle, son of alt-country star Steve Earle, received three nominations.

Alejandro Escovedo, the Flatlanders and Australia’s Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson picked up two apiece.

The nominees were selected by the Americana Music Association based on work released between June 1, 2008, and May 1, 2009.

Thomas, Spader to star in ‘Race’

NEW YORK — Richard Thomas will co-star with the previously announced James Spader in the world premiere of David Mamet’s Broadway-bound play “Race.”

The 57-year-old Thomas made his Broadway debut at age 7 in “Sunrise at Campobello,” a play about Franklin Roosevelt before he became president, and is best known for his role as John-Boy on the venerable TV series “The Waltons.”

“Race,” which Mamet will direct, will open Dec. 6 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre with previews starting Nov. 17. Rehearsals begin Oct. 19.

Producer Jeffrey Richards has declined to talk about the play’s plot, but said earlier this year, “The title is self-explanatory.”

Moore’s documentary on economy due in Oct.

NEW YORK — Michael Moore’s documentary about the economic crisis will hit theaters Oct. 2.

The announcement was made Thursday by Overture Films and Paramount Vantage.

The film is not yet titled. Moore earlier planned to make it more broadly about America as an empire. Instead, the documentary explores the causes of the global economic meltdown. Moore has called it “the biggest swindle in American history.”

The division between rich and poor is old territory for Moore, who broke through 20 years ago with “Roger & Me” — about General Motors closing a plant in his hometown of Flint.

Moore won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2003 for “Bowling for Columbine.”

Today’s birthdays

Actor-comedian Tommy Chong is 71. Musician Bob Dylan is 68. Actor Gary Burghoff (“M*A*S*H”) is 66. Singer Patti LaBelle is 65. Actress Priscilla Presley is 64. Actor Alfred Molina is 56. Singer Rosanne Cash is 54. Actor John C. Reilly (“Chicago,” “Gangs of New York”) is 44. Rapper Heavy D is 42. Guitarist Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes is 40. Drummer Cody Hanson of Hinder is 27. Country singer Billy Gilman is 21.

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