The Grammy Award nominations were announced this evening, and while we at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass are long past having any emotional investment in such things- I recognize about a fifth of the names within the first twenty-five categories, but am thrilled to see Neil Young & Crazy Horse to be nominated for Best Rock Album for the masterful "Psychedelic Pill"- we remain curious as to who is recognized within our roots world. Here are the relevant nominees for 2014:
Best American Roots Song
Build Me Up From Bones Sarah Jarosz, songwriter (Sarah Jarosz)
Invisible Steve Earle, songwriter (Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses))
Keep Your Dirty Lights On Tim O'Brien & Darrell Scott, songwriters (Tim O'Brien And Darrell Scott)
Love Has Come For You Edie Brickell & Steve Martin, songwriters (Steve Martin & Edie Brickell)
Shrimp Po-Boy, Dressed Allen Toussaint, songwriter (Allen Toussaint)
My take: My knowledge of the above five songs is limited. I have the Earle album, but don't recall that track, and I haven't yet found the O'Brien & Scott disc for purchase locally- I'm guessing an Amazon order will be made either just before or after Christmas. Coincidently, I was listening to Allen Toussaint in the truck today...but not recent Toussaint. I would love Tim and Darrell to receive the award, but suspect it will go to Edie and Steve. Funny that three and a half of the five nominated artists have connections to bluegrass.
Best Americana Album
"Old Yellow Moon" Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
"Love Has Come For You" Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
"Buddy And Jim" Buddy Miller And Jim Lauderdale
"One True Vine" Mavis Staples
"Songbook" Allen Toussaint
My take: I bought the first three albums on this list, and quite liked each. By rule, I refuse to purchase any album entitled "Songbook," and when I last heard Mavis sing, she wasn't. I suspect this will also go to the power couple Edie and Steve, but if I had a vote, it would be for "Old Yellow Moon." Again, bluegrass connections.
The category that matters:
Best Bluegrass Album
"It's Just A Road"- The Boxcars
"Brothers Of The Highway"- Dailey & Vincent
"This World Oft Can Be"- Della Mae
"Three Chords And The Truth"- James King
"The Streets Of Baltimore"- Del McCoury Band
My take: Since I only received The Boxcars' album for review via download this month, and haven't gotten to it yet, and since Rounder doesn't service me any more...and I suspect I couldn't find a James King album in a store within a couple hundred miles- trust me, I've done my share of looking, including this afternoon- I've only heard the D&V album (which I enjoyed much more than any of their previous endeavors) and the Del recording. "The Streets of Baltimore" is a very good recording. It gets my vote.
Actually, surprised Edie and Steve didn't get a nom in this category.
I almost missed this category:
Best Folk Album
"My Favorite Picture Of You" Guy Clark
"Sweetheart Of The Sun" The Greencards
"Build Me Up From Bones" Sarah Jarosz
"The Ash & Clay" The Milk Carton Kids
"They All Played For Us: Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary Celebration" (Various Artists)
Does it matter that I have only one of these albums on my shelf? Hands down, Mr. Guy Clark. It would be about time, in my opinion. Bluegrass connections in at least two places, three if you stretch to Clark's co-write Sis Draper, four I suppose as the Arhoolie set includes Laurie Lewis & Her Right Hands.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee Bluegrass. Donald