Robert Plant presented an award to Buddy Miller in Nashville on September 14 as part of the 2022 Americana Honors & Awards.
Plant took to the stage to introduce Miller, paying tribute to his career and noting that “he has driven fast freight through the nauseous categorisation which plagues our musical landscape.”
Plant awarded Miller with a Lifetime Achievement Award, or a “Buddy” as Plant called it. “And Buddy is going to sing ‘Stairway To…’ oh no, ‘Wide River To Cross’. Thank god we got that one out the way,” Plant joked before leaving the stage.
During his speech, Plant repeatedly made reference to the low height of the microphone he was speaking into, saying “I’m sorry about doing this, this is really ridiculous. I thought I was losing height as I got older…”
Plant and Alison Krauss had been nominated for two awards but failed to win either the album of the year award of the duo/group of the year award.
Plant is now scheduled to attend the Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony on September 15 and will help induct Priscilla Presley.
You can watch Plant’s speech from 2:01:17 in the below YouTube video:
Read Plant’s full speech honouring Buddy Miller below:
“Good evening, everybody. I’m here tonight, really, by default. I come, actually, from the land of the ice and snow but I got a really good ride in about 2002 and I got the hell out of there quick.
I’ve been on different microphones in the past but this… I’ve been told by my friends all over the years since 1966 when I cut my first record that I can’t stand still, I’ve got some kind of strange condition that always makes me move from project to project. But my adventures pale into insignificance alongside the prolific output and impact of my dear friend Buddy Miller.
He has almost single-handedly introduced me to the great, mysterious world of the obscure and almost forgotten musics. He brought fire and cool to Raising Sand and raised the roof for T Bone and Alison Krauss and myself. His credits, and I’m sorry about doing this, this is really ridiculous. I thought I was losing height as I got older but it seems like… his credits and productions and contributions are endless. Lucinda, Solomon Burke, Richard Thompson, Shawn Colvin, Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples, Ralph Stanley, Tom T. Hall, Jim Lauderdale, ceaseless and relentless, Buddy Miller.
Now, Buddy and his beloved Julie, their writing and their singing, their songs and their love of life, so much love and so many songs. True and genuine works of heart. There’s ‘Gasoline and Matches,’ ‘Wallflower,’ wow, ‘Let It Rain,’ ‘Little Darlin” and through the twists and turns of longstanding love ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,’ from Breakdown on 20th Ave. South.
And under his own steam, my hero, ‘Poison Love,’ ‘Does My Ring Burn Your Finger,’ ‘Why Baby Why,’ ‘Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go.’ It’s insane, really, I wish I could do this sort of thing. His encouragement and nurturing and legendary producing the beautiful Downtown Church that won both him and Patty Griffin a Grammy a while back.
His curating, scripting of his radio show with Jim Lauderdale, presenting the Buddy Miller stage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and loading up a load of freaks on the Cayamo folk boat. It all seems so leisurely and the vast reach of his works, drawing from trippy underground garage and 13th Floor Elevators, in our shared adventure with the Band of Joy to the sensitive beauty he brought to Ralph Stanley’s swan song.
He has driven fast freight through the nauseous categorisation which plagues our musical landscape. He’s a kind, patient and meticulous, and quietly extremely funny, man. He’s my dear and often far away friend, Buddy Miller.
It would be ridiculous not to actually present him with an award after all this spiel. So I’ve just developed a new award for this freight train and it’s called the Buddy. So this year’s first Buddy is presented to the real Buddy.”