Thursday Sep 18, 2014

New 'NCIS' spinoff sets up shop in New Orleans

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The newest members of the successful "NCIS" TV franchise understand the importance of their family roots. But the stars and producers of "NCIS: New Orleans" also are betting that the crime drama's setting, one of America's most distinctive cities, will...
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TV

New 'NCIS' spinoff sets up shop in New Orleans
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
New 'NCIS' spinoff sets up shop in New Orleans

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The newest members of the successful "NCIS" TV franchise understand the importance of their family roots. But the stars and producers of "NCIS: New Orleans" also are betting that the crime drama's setting, one of America's most distinctive cities, will exert its own magic with viewers. The series debuts at 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday on CBS, drafting on TV's top-rated drama "NCIS" that airs at 8 p.m. "It's really about the DNA of the city and the whole Gulf Coast," said executive producer Jeffrey Lieber. "The mysteries are sort of infused with a kind of culture and soul — which is not to say anything about 'NCIS' — but you feel the city in every beat and starting to inform the characters as well," Lieber said during a panel discussion with TV critics. "NCIS: New Orleans" is taped, both on location and at a studio, in the Big Easy and its surroundings. CBS offered viewers a taste last season, using a two-episode arc on "NCIS" to test its potential and then greenlighting the new series with star Scott Bakula. The original "NCIS," starring Mark Harmon and set in Washington, D.C., is shot at a studio north of Los Angeles. The LL Cool J-Chris O'Donnell spinoff is taped on the Paramount lot and on location in LA. In "NCIS: NOLA," to use its network nickname, Bakula plays Dwayne Pride, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. He's based in the New Orleans field office that handles cases involving military personnel. He's not taking success for granted, Bakula said recently on the set. "We're killing ourselves trying to make a great show and provide a great hour of entertainment. Obviously, people have many, many choices these days to turn to," he said. "We want them to stay and watch 'NCIS' and then follow with us." Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan, CCH Pounder and Rob Kerkovich also star. The other cast member, New Orleans, won't be shown only in its jazziest, most alluring guise. Members of the production staff based in the city have told the home office, "'Don't be shy. Don't be afraid to take us to these places that at the end of the day are an integral part of New Orleans,'" said executive producer Gary Glasberg. "So are there neighborhoods, are there areas that are struggling? Yes, of course. And we want to address that, and we want to be as true to it as possible," he said. Black appreciates the city and those who call it home. "I'm a proud Southerner and most people in New Orleans are as well," said the Alabama native. "They love their city and love where they come from." New Orleans brings its "flavor and flair and unique culture and fun" to the series, he said during a break in taping. It can also come with strings: Hot, sticky weather. "I'm used to this heat out here," Black said, grinning. "It's kind of fun for me to see some of the people that come from Los Angeles. They struggle out here in this humid weather." ___ Associated Press reporter Gerald Herbert in New Orleans contributed to this report. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Darrell Hammond takes over for Don Pardo on 'SNL'
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Darrell Hammond takes over for Don Pardo on 'SNL'

NEW YORK (AP) — A familiar face — former cast member Darrell Hammond — is taking over for a familiar voice at "Saturday Night Live." Hammond, who acted on the long-running comedy show from 1995 to 2009, is replacing announcer Don Pardo. He spent three hours in the announcing booth practicing on Thursday for the Sept. 27 season opener. For all but one year of the NBC show's 40-year history, it was Pardo's voice that would announce the host, musical guest and cast members every week, and the veteran broadcaster continued the job even after he retired to Arizona. Pardo died at age 96 on Aug. 18. Pardo's role, and his link to the show's storied history, is so important at Rockefeller Plaza that Hammond is walking a delicate line in replacing him. He wants to replicate the sound of that iconic opening without doing an outright impersonation. "It's an homage to what a presence he was, because you're not just going to do away with that sound," he said. In his three hours of rehearsal Thursday, Hammond felt he'd nailed six words: the names of three cast members. "It's Don, but it's not Don," he said. "It's Pardoesque but it's not Don Pardo." While he was on the show, Hammond filled in for Pardo six times. NBC never announced the change, and although a few bloggers may have noticed something different, the sound was so similar that his role wasn't widely known. "I felt a little weird about it," Hammond said. "I didn't feel good about it. I didn't want Don to feel that he could be replaced, because he can't be." Hammond will even do his announcer's job from a remote location on occasion, since he'll be in the San Diego area this winter performing in a play based upon his 2011 book about his career. The longest-running cast member of "Saturday Night Live" said it's uncertain if his role on the show will be broader. He's well known for his impersonation of Bill Clinton, and if Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, her husband is likely to be in the news again. "I'm not ruling anything out, but we haven't discussed it," Hammond said. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Amazon's new tablets offer something for everyone
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Amazon's new tablets offer something for everyone

The online retailer's latest Fire devices could have been billed as the slate of the nation as each new model is the result of customer feedback and of consumer buying and preference trends observed across the company's website.So, as well as a new range-topping Fire HDX 8.9-inch tablet that wants to be a serious alternative to the iPad Air -- it's lighter than Apple's current full-size tablet, its screen has more pixels and it even boasts Dolby sound -- there is also a new line of seriously affordable ($99) tablets and even a new Kindle Fire aimed directly at children. The jury may still be out on the pros and cons of giving kids tablets but one thing that is clear is that most devices currently on the market aren't sufficiently robust to cope with the sort of accidental beating that children tend to mete out to high-tech products. The Fire Kids Edition is built to take a beating. It has a ruggedized external design. And if that's still not enough protection, Amazon will replace the tablet free of charge if it somehow gets broken within the first two years of ownership. The other potentially nasty surprise that can with kids' tablet use is hefty bills for in-app purchases. Amazon has managed to eliminate this by bundling in a year's free subscription to something called FreeTime Unlimited, which will give users complete access to age-appropriate apps, books and other content. It will even support multiple users so parents can set up different accounts for different children and the content they can access will be based on their age and interests. Away from the child-friendly features, the new Kindle is a proper tablet, with proper tablet specifications and a full HD 6-inch or 7-inch display. The 6-inch version will cost $149 when it goes on sale in October in the US and the 7-inch version will cost $40 more. Amazon's new premium 8.9-inch Fire HDX will cost $379; $120 less than an iPad Air despite very similar specifications, while its new affordable Fire HD range will cost just $99 for the 6-inch model and $139 for the 7-inch version. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Trailer: Robert Downey Jr defends 'The Judge'
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Trailer: Robert Downey Jr defends 'The Judge'

A few weeks ahead of its release, Warner Bros has shared a new trailer for "The Judge," a drama headlined by the "Iron Man" star as a big city lawyer coming to term with his small town past.Over a decade after "Ally McBeal," Robert Downey Jr. plays another successful attorney in "The Judge." The character returns to his hometown to bury his mother, and when his father, a judge, is accused of murder, he stays in town to put together a defense. Along the way, he reconnects with his roots and his estranged family. Downey Jr. co-stars with another Hollywood heavyweight, Robert Duvall, who plays the titular judge. Vincent D'Onofrio, in the role of the lawyer's brother, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Leighton Meester and Sarah Lancaster round out the cast. "The Judge" will bow in US theaters on October 10. Watch the new trailer: http://youtu.be/7TA5Y86yAo4 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

TV show helps spur arrest in 1997 Arizona killing
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
TV show helps spur arrest in 1997 Arizona killing

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A television show that featured the nearly two-decade-old killing of an Arizona teenager and her unborn baby helped lead to the arrest of her ex-boyfriend, police said Wednesday. Cecilio Cruz is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Police in the city of Cottonwood, about 100 miles north of Phoenix, said Cruz fatally shot 17-year-old Marisol Gonzalez in the face on March 25, 1997. Cruz, 34, long had been suspected in Gonzalez's death, Cottonwood police Sgt. Tod Moore said. The two dated in high school, and she found out that she was pregnant with his child after they broke up. Her body was found in an alley near her Cottonwood home the same day she was scheduled to be induced to deliver the baby boy she named Andrew, Moore said. Moore took a keen interest in the case — the only cold case within the department. A promotion freed him up in 2008 to scour boxes of material from the case, looking for anything that police could have missed. He later responded to a request from TNT's "Cold Justice" for ideas on cases to feature on the show. The episode, titled "First Love," aired in February. An investigative team from the show came to Cottonwood last October and helped review dozens of leads and conduct interviews so that the case could be presented to a grand jury, Moore said. Cruz was indicted last week. "Most of the evidence we've always had. But we couldn't put it together," Moore said. Kelly Siegler, a former prosecutor who helps solve cases on "Cold Justice," said the persistence of Moore and Cottonwood Police Chief Jody Fanning, who was assigned to the case in 1997, paid off. She said prosecutors and police have "our complete respect and support and prayers as they continue to seek justice." Cruz and his family moved to Tucson about a week after Gonzalez was killed. Cottonwood police investigated her death for about two years before the leads dried up, Moore said. Authorities said they believe Cruz and Gonzalez were arguing about the pregnancy and his involvement with other girls on the night she was killed. Moore said one of Cruz's cousins told police and others that he saw Cruz and Gonzalez walking together around the alley but later recanted the statement. Others who once feared for their safety have come forward with information to police only recently, Moore said. Police have no DNA directly tying Cruz to the crime, nor did they find what they believe was a small-caliber gun, Moore said. Despite that, he said he believes the circumstantial case is solid. Cruz bonded out of the Pima County jail on Wednesday, a day after his arrest at a funeral home and cemetery in Tucson where he worked, the sheriff's office said. Gonzalez's family said they were relieved to hear of his arrest but upset to know he's out of jail. Cruz invoked his right to remain silent, Moore said. Authorities did not know whether he had an attorney, and possible phone numbers for Cruz went unanswered Wednesday. Johanora Gonzalez said her younger sister was looking forward to having a baby and had plans to become a preschool teacher. The family sometimes gathers at the cemetery on her birthday and leaves flowers in remembrance. She said Cruz lived near the family in Cottonwood and he and Marisol Gonzalez often would meet up in the alley. When word came of her killing, she said the family immediately thought of Cruz. "That night, my sister was waiting for his phone call," she said. "So who else can it be?" Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Trailer: Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever in 'Men, Women & Children'
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Trailer: Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever in 'Men, Women & Children'

Jason Reitman's October film "Men, Women & Children" looks at the pros and cons of using tech to connect.Ansel Elgort ("The Fault in Our Stars") plays Tim Mooney, a lad looking to find his place in the world, and kindle a hopeful romance with Brandy, played by Kaitlyn Dever ("Short Term 12"). But factoring into how the relationship plays out are Brandy's protective, cautious mother, Patricia (Jennifer Garner), and Tim's dad Kent (Dean Norris, "Breaking Bad"). Reitman has become something of a specialist in directing films about unusual relationships after "Labor Day," "Up in the Air" and "Juno," and here explores the lives of a group of high school seniors and their parents, with Chad Kultgen's original novel providing a route into an examination of objectification and its consequences. Limited theaters are to show the film from October 1 before an October 17 general release date arrives, while the UK gets "Men, Women & Children" a week later on the 24th and other Central European territories benefit come mid-December. Men, Women & Children - international trailer: youtu.be/DS7uc8OF6Rs Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Trailer: Robert Downey Jr defends 'The Judge'
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Trailer: Robert Downey Jr defends 'The Judge'

A few weeks ahead of its release, Warner Bros has shared a new trailer for "The Judge," a drama headlined by the "Iron Man" star as a big city lawyer coming to term with his small town past.Over a decade after "Ally McBeal," Robert Downey Jr. plays another successful attorney in "The Judge." The character returns to his hometown to bury his mother, and when his father, a judge, is accused of murder, he stays in town to put together a defense. Along the way, he reconnects with his roots and his estranged family. Downey Jr. co-stars with another Hollywood heavyweight, Robert Duvall, who plays the titular judge. Vincent D'Onofrio, in the role of the lawyer's brother, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Leighton Meester and Sarah Lancaster round out the cast. "The Judge" will bow in US theaters on October 10. Watch the new trailer: http://youtu.be/7TA5Y86yAo4 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Mackenzie Davis in line for key role in 'The Martian'
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Mackenzie Davis in line for key role in 'The Martian'

Rising star Mackenzie Davis of Canadian romcom "The F Word" is on the verge of signing for Ridley Scott film "The Martian" opposite lead character Matt Damon.Davis's role is "a small but crucial role," according to TheWrap, which reports that final negotiations with the "Halt and Catch Fire" actress are underway. Adapted from the self-published Andy Weir novel which was pîcked up and republished by Random House subsidiary Crown in March 2014, "The Martian" has Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded alone on the red planet. Having been nominated for her supporting role in Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan movie "The F Word" (aka "What If" outside of Canada), Davis took the role of computer whizz Cameron Howe in 1980s IT industry drama "Halt and Catch Fire" which premiered on US TV in June of 2014. Jessica Chastain of "The Help" and "Zero Dark Thirty" has already been cast as female lead, while Kristen Wiig ("Bridesmaids") has also been attached to the production in an unconfirmed capacity; "The Martian" is due late November 2015. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Cara Delevingne lands lead in 'Paper Towns'
Wednesday Sep 17, 2014
Cara Delevingne lands lead in 'Paper Towns'

The adaptation will see British model Cara Delevingne play female lead Margo in the 2015 adaptation of John Green novel "Paper Towns."Despite her status as a relative unknown in acting terms, Delevingne "blew everyone away" at audition, and demonstrated a perfect understanding of lead character Margo, said "The Fault in Our Stars" author Green, via Twitter. The Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, DKNY and Stella McCartney model started her segue into film with a minor part in Joe Wright's 2012 interpretation of "Anna Karenina," a main role in Michael Winterbottom's recent literary adaptation "The Face of an Angel," and again with Wright on 2015 fairy tale "Pan." For "Paper Towns," directed by Jake Schreier of the award-winning crime comedy "Robot & Frank," Cara will become a mysterious, mischevious classmate of Quentin (Nat Wolff, "The Fault in Our Stars"), who incites him to indulge his most vengeful urges before she makes a sudden disappearance. A July 2015 debut has been fixed by Fox and Temple Hill, and Cara joins a long line of models-turned-actresses; company that includes Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz, Vanessa L. Williams, Uma Thurman and Charlize Theron. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'Final Fantasy' rumors grow before Tokyo Game Show
Wednesday Sep 17, 2014
'Final Fantasy' rumors grow before Tokyo Game Show

A swiftly removed announcement that part of "Final Fantasy XV" will be made available in 2015 builds hopes for a surprise announcement at the Tokyo Game Show.In development for over eight years, role-playing adventure "Final Fantasy XIV" was initially conceived of as "Final Fantasy Versus XIII" in 2006; since then, a convoluted development process has seen its release overtaken by that of nearly two dozen other games in the "Final Fantasy" universe. But according to a post on Game Informer, since removed, Square Enix's "Final Fantasy XV" is due a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One downloadable demo in 2015. It's to contain portions of the game under the name of "Episode Duscae," a name which corresponds to a US trademark filing made in July; the inadvertent leak also brought news of a March 17 date for PS4 and XBO remake "Final Fantasy Type-0 HD," which is to contain a voucher for the demo episode. Going against the rumor is the fact that neither "Final Fantasy XV" nor the unconfirmed March 2015 release of "Type-0 HD" form part of Square Enix's published plans for the Tokyo Game Show; instead, its roster included several titles from the "Dragon Quest" franchise, localized versions of "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" and "Divekick," and a handful of other "Final Fantasy" related products. The Tokyo Game Show runs September 18-21 within the halls of the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, opening to the public on September 20. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Popular Venezuelan cartoonist fired over drawing
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Popular Venezuelan cartoonist fired over drawing

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A popular cartoonist said she lost her job over her representation of the late Hugo Chavez's iconic signature as a flat-lined heartbeat to dramatize Venezuela's health care crisis. Award-winning Rayma Suprani said that she was fired by El Universal, one of the country's largest and most-prestigious dailies, after the sketch was published Wednesday. The ouster of the veteran journalist has alarmed press freedom advocates who say once-independent media are seeing criticism of the socialist government snuffed out. Several columnists resigned from El Universal to protest its sale in July to a Spanish company whose shareholders are unknown and who they fear may represent the government's interests. "We don't know who bought EL Universal or who pays the salaries," Suprani said in an interview Wednesday with CNN en Espanol. "But now we know they are bothered by the critical editorial line so we can presume that it wasn't some invisible man but the government got its hands on it." Suprani's final cartoon bears her trademark bite, touching a nerve of government supporters who credit Chavez with broadening access to health care and importing hundreds of Cuban physicians to treat patients in poor neighborhoods. More recently however, as Venezuela's economic crisis has deepened, medical supplies and medicines have disappeared, putting lives at risk. El Universal's longtime editor Elides Rojas declined to comment on Suprani's dismissal but on social media expressed regret over the paper's recent decline. "What's coming? Resignations in the opinion page, mass resignations in the newsroom, more declines in readership, little publicity," he wrote in Twitter. "I guess we're all leaving." While El Universal's coverage of the government remains mostly critical, even veteran reporters confide that it is only a matter of time before the new management makes its presence felt and the paper follows in the footsteps of two other major media outlets sold in the past year and softens its editorial line. The makeover of Venezuela's media landscape comes as many papers face a severe shortage of newsprint. More than a dozen Venezuelan papers have closed or reduced their print editions in the past year because of a lack of dollars to buy newsprint. Venezuela's government has restricted access to foreign currency for 11 years. __ Associated Press Writers Jorge Rueda in Caracas and Joshua Goodman in Bogota, Colombia contributed to this report. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'The Voice' winner goes to Broadway's 'Pippin'
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
'The Voice' winner goes to Broadway's 'Pippin'

NEW YORK (AP) — The next guy to play Pippin on Broadway has already proved he has stage magic. He won the latest edition of "The Voice." Josh Kaufman said Thursday he'll be taking a turn as the lead in the Tony Award-winning revival "Pippin." The fedora-wearing singer said he never saw himself leading a Broadway show until the offer came. "It's something I'm really excited about," he said. "I tend to be the kind of person who doesn't want to do just one thing. I get bored. So I'm really excited about having a new challenge and having something different to do." Kaufman, who belted out George Michael's "One More Try" during his "The Voice" audition, earned cheers for his rendition of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" and plays with the band The New Etiquette, will join "Pippin" from Nov. 4-Jan. 4 at the Music Box Theatre. The 38-year-old Indianapolis resident, a former SAT prep tutor and father of three, was coached by Usher to be the sixth champion of "The Voice" this summer. He'll rejoin the final few cast mates for the new season starting later this month and hopes to have his own yet-to-be recorded single released early next year. "Pippin" is a whimsical coming-of-age story about the son of the first Holy Roman Emperor which boasts pop-rock music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson. Kaufman said he managed to come to New York and see it a few times in the past month in preparation. The revival is led by director Diane Paulus, who has added jaw-dropping circus tricks. The songs include "Magic to Do," ''Corner of the Sky," ''No Time at All" and "Kind of Woman." Kaufman said he hasn't much stage experience, but has performed live in front of millions on TV and says those skills will be useful. "I've been performing since I was a little kid," he said. "In a way, it's a really new experience. But in a way, I feel like I can draw on the experiences that I've had in the past to tackle this new challenge." He said he'll be dedicating his performances to his grandmother. "She had all the music and would play stuff from it growing up. I didn't remember a lot of it until I started hearing the songs again," he said. "I wish she was still around to hear this." ___ Online: http://www.pippinthemusical.com ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

MTV to air documentary about transgender youths
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
MTV to air documentary about transgender youths

NEW YORK (AP) — Laverne Cox will host a documentary on MTV and Logo next month that profiles seven young transgender people. The special, "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word," will air simultaneously on the two channels on Oct. 17. Cox, a transgender actress, was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in Netflix's "Orange is the New Black." After the documentary, Logo and MTV's web site will air a forum where Cox and the documentary's cast members answer questions from viewers about their lives. MTV personality SuChin Pak will help lead the "Trans Forum" discussion. MTV said Thursday that the people profiled in the documentary range in age from 12 to 24. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jason Isbell sweeps Americana awards
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Jason Isbell sweeps Americana awards

Alternative country star Jason Isbell swept the Americana music awards on Wednesday with his deeply personal album "Southeastern."The Alabama-bred singer and guitarist was named artist of the year and "Southeastern" won the award for album of the year. He beat out a field that included Roseanne Cash -- Johnny Cash's daughter, who took home the prize for best album in 2010. Isbell, a former member of the Drive-By Truckers, also won best song for the album's opening track "Cover Me Up" at the Americana Music Association's annual ceremony at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. "Cover Me Up" deals with Isbell's struggles to give up drinking, with his impassioned voice over a strummed acoustic guitar giving way to the plain-stated verse, "I sobered up / And I swore off that stuff / Forever this time." Isbell, who completed "Southeastern" days before getting married last year, also deals frankly on the album with themes of cancer and incest. Another song about alcohol problems, "New South Wales," was inspired by a trip to Australia. The awards have been held each year since 2002 amid growing commercial interest in "Americana" -- a loosely defined genre that focuses on American roots music and generally includes folk, alternative country and the blues. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Jason Isbell cleans up at Americana Awards
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Jason Isbell cleans up at Americana Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell swept the major awards Wednesday night at the Americana Honors & Awards, creating another special moment with his wife, Amanda Shires. Isbell won artist, album and song of the year during the 13th annual awards show Wednesday night at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Though surprisingly ignored by Grammy Awards voters, Isbell's album of the year winner "Southeastern" reverberated through the Americana community and made many of 2013's best-of lists. He performed song of the year "Cover Me Up" with Shires, a significant figure on the album as muse and collaborator. "I wrote this song for my wife," Isbell said. "I've had a lot of people ask me to dedicate it to their wives, girlfriends or cousin's wife or something strange like that. This was probably the hardest song I ever had to write because I wrote it for her and then I played it for her. It was very difficult. Do the things that scare you. That's the good stuff." Isbell was one of this year's top nominees along with Rosanne Cash and Robert Ellis. Each had three nominations and all were up for artist, album and song of the year. Many of the top nominees and honors recipients performed, including all five emerging artist nominees. Former couple Patty Griffin and Robert Plant made a surprise appearance and sang their collaboration "Ohio." Sturgill Simpson, something of a modern cosmic cowboy, earned emerging artist of the year and the Milk Carton Kids took group/duo of the year. And Buddy Miller, now executive music producer for the television show "Nashville" and the Americana's winningest performer, won his fifth instrumentalist of the year award. The Americana Music Association also honored several pioneering musicians. Loretta Lynn received the lifetime achievement award for songwriting from Kacey Musgraves and Angaleena Presley. "The truth is we both might cry giving out this award," Musgraves said. Lynn, writer of some of country music's most important female empowerment songs, accepted the award in a sparkly lavender dress and her usual humble manner. "When they told me I was going to get this award," she told the crowd, "I said, 'Naw, you got the wrong one.'" Jackson Browne received the Spirit of Americana-Free Speech in Music award, Flaco Jimenez received the lifetime achievement award for instrumentalist and Taj Mahal earned the lifetime achievement award for performance. "I was affected deeply by American music, near and far — my mother's interest in Southern music and my dad's interest in jazz and bebop and classical, all that kind of stuff," Mahal said in an interview. "But this music here, if you get this music, you can go anywhere in the world with it. For me, I play for the goddess of music. People ask me what I do and I go, deep Americana." Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.