Irish singer Cara Dillon won the best album award for "Hill Of Thieves," released on her own label Charcoal Records, at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The 11th BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, held at London's Brewery venue last night (Feb. 1), kicked off with a rollicking live performance from comedian Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds, proving that the band's nomination as best live act this year was more than tokenism.

Although Dillon won the major award for best album, she missed out on the other awards for which she was nominated - best traditional track and folk singer of the year. She was beaten to the folk singer of the year award by Jon Boden, one half of Spiers and Boden and a member of Bellowhead (who won for best live act).

Populated with some famous faces - AC network Radio 2's new breakfast show presenter Chris Evans, actor Zoe Wannamaker and Crowded House's Neil Finn - the awards celebrated the lifetime achievements of Grammy-award winning Texan singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith and Scottish guitarist, songwriter and producer Dick Gaughan. He said of his award that "it beats a bus pass." (In the U.K., people of pensionable age get free travel on buses.)

Best original song went to "Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed" written by Steve Knightley and recorded by Show Of Hands (Hands On Music). The best group award went to Scots-English instrumental trio Lau. The good tradition award was picked up by the Transatlantic Sessions, the Celtic-Americana collective, who went on to perform (along with Dillon) at the ceremony.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Feb. 3 from 7pm and video will be available on the Radio 2 Web site on that date.

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