Considered a leader of the Americana genre, the 71-year-old released "Tree of Forgiveness" this year, his first collection of new material in 13 years. Isbell won for song of the year for "If We Were Vampires," and as a duo/group for his band, the 400 Unit.
Country singer Tyler Childers was named emerging artist of the year, while bluegrass banjo player Molly Tuttle won instrumentalist of the year. Irma Thomas, Buddy Guy and k.d. lang all received lifetime achievement honors.
Jason Isbell may be the leading nominee for this year's Americana Music Association's Honors and Awards show Wednesday night, but he faces a strong challenge from multiple female nominees aiming to add more diversity to the genre.
Isbell is the sole male nominee going up against Brandi Carlile, Mary Gauthier and Margo Price for album of the year. He's also facing Carlile, Price and Lee Ann Womack in the song of the year category. Carlile and Price are also nominated with Isbell and folk icon John Prine for artist of the year.
Although Isbell's already earned two Grammys this year for his album "The Nashville Sound," the strength of the female artists may be overwhelming this year.