Country acts gear up for Grammys
Saturday, February 11, 2017
– Country acts ranging from Sturgill Simpson to Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban will be onstage during the 59th Grammy awards on Sunday.
Simpson, Underwood and Urban will perform along with Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Maren Morris and Alicia Keys. Simpson was nominated for Album of the Year for "A Sailor's Guide to Earth." Ballerini and Morris were both nominated for Best New Artist.
Presenters during the evening are Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Thomas Rhett.
Country nominations were:
Best Country Solo Performance:
"Love Can Go To Hell" - Brandy Clark
"Vice" - Miranda Lambert
"My Church" - Maren Morris
"Church Bells" - Carrie Underwood
"Blue Ain't Your Color" - Keith Urban
Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
"Different for Girls" - Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
"21 Summer" - Brothers Osborne
"Setting The World On Fire" - Kenny Chesney & P!nk
"Jolene" - Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton
"Think Of You" - Chris Young With Cassadee Pope
Best Country Song:
"Blue Ain't Your Color" - Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)
"Die A Happy Man" - Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
"Humble and Kind" - Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)
"My Church" - busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)
"Vice" - Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
Best Country Album:
Big Day In A Small Town - Brandy Clark
Full Circle - Loretta Lynn
Hero - Maren Morris
A Sailor's Guide To Earth - Sturgill Simpson
Ripcord - Keith Urban
In the Americana Roots Music Field, nominees were:
Best American Roots Performance:
"Ain't No Man" - The Avett Brothers
"Mother's Children Have A Hard Time" - Blind Boys Of Alabama
"Factory Girl" - Rhiannon Giddens
"House Of Mercy" - Sarah Jarosz
"Wreck You" - Lori McKenna
Best American Roots Song:
"Alabama At Night" - Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks)
"City Lights" - Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
"Gulfstream" - Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars)
"Kid Sister" - Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)
"Wreck You" - Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna)
Best Americana Album:
True Sadness - The Avett Brothers
This Is Where I Live - William Bell
The Cedar Creek Sessions - Kris Kristofferson
The Bird & The Rifle - Lori McKenna
Kid Sister - The Time Jumpers
Best Bluegrass Album:
Original Traditional - Blue Highway
Burden Bearer - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The Hazel Sessions - Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
North And South - Claire Lynch
Coming Home - O'Connor Band With Mark O'Connor
Best Folk Album
Silver Skies Blue - Judy Collins & Ari Hest
Upland Stories - Robbie Fulks
Factory Girl - Rhiannon Giddens
Weighted Mind - Sierra Hull
Undercurrent - Sarah Jarosz
Hillary Scott & The Scott Family were nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for "Love Remains." Scott is one-third of Lady Antebellum.
Joey + Rory were nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album for "Hymns," which was released within days of her death from cancer last year.
Willie Nelson was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin." He goes up against Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli.
The Okee Dokee Brothers' "Saddle Up" was nominated for Best Children's Album.
"Bright Star," with music from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.
In the Best Recording Package category, Reckless Kelly was nominated for "Sunset Motel" with Sara and Shauna Dodds as art directors.
Nominated for Best Album Notes was "The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection" - Mikal Gilmore, album notes writer for Kris Kristofferson.
Sarah Jarosz's "Undercurrent " was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non Classical with Shani Gandhi and Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer nominated.
The Grand Ole Opry received a nomination for "American Saturday Night: Live From the Grand Ole Opry" for Best Music Film.
The awards will be broadcast starting at 8 p.m. eastern on CBS.
More news for Sturgill Simpson
CD reviews for Sturgill Simpson
A Soldier's Guide to Earth
If scratching your head about the sounds emanating from Sturgill Simpson's third release, then "It Ain't All Flowers" from his last release, the excellent "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," ought to serve as a reference point. In a disc filled with traditional country sounds, "Flowers" was about as far away as one could get with the electronics sounding so completely disjointed from everything else on the release. Put it this way - " Islands" »»»
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
The first time you hear Sturgill sing you may feel like you've heard a ghost - the ghost of Waylon Jennings, that is. Although his voice isn't as low as Jennings' was, it's nevertheless still in the same general vocal range ballpark. Better still, the Kentucky native sings wonderfully honest country songs. "Life of Sin," for instance, is a song about, well, sinning, which is really some of what great country is all about.
Yes, most of this album will do a »»»
High Top Mountain
There's not a whole lot of traditional troubadours around these days. Old school may still be appreciated, but when it comes to country crossovers and reaching the masses, it's roots rock, alt.-country and Americana that hold the upper hand. Which makes it surprising in a way that newcomer Sturgill Simpson should sound like such a, well, old-timer. Hell, even his name resembles the kind of handle aptly suited to a country crooner.
It's little wonder then that his debut disc, »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Elephant Revival becomes a headscratcher
Elephant Revival is not the easiest band to sonically pinpoint. Typically grouped in the bluegrass/jam band arena, in the live setting, the Colorado band stretched its musical boundaries. Folk and jazz overtones were part of the mix as well for the veterans.
No matter the style, Elephant Revival easily absorbed and mastered the music.... »»»
Concert Review: Mellencamp flexes his creative muscles
For his "Sad Clowns & Hillbillies" tour, John Mellencamp brought along Carlene Carter - the night's self-described hostess who appears on the recent album, as well as Emmylou Harris. Each iconic woman performed her own set, as well as joining in with the headliner's set. With Mellencamp dressed rather formally, this man introduced... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Headed into 2015, Imelda May was on a hit streak. Her rockabilly career was in full swing, nurtured by the likes of former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and guitar icon Jeff Beck. Her albums routinely topped the charts in her native Ireland.... »»»
For most artists, eight years is a fair amount of time in their careers. For Nikki Lane, eight years represents the entirety of her recorded history, and she's filled that relatively short time span with a highlight reel of impressive accomplishments, not the least of which would be actually... »»»
For The Avett Brothers, MerleFest is a coming home of sorts. This year's edition of the MerleFest "traditional-plus" music festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event's 30th anniversary, a milestone...... »»»
There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves... »»»
For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic.... »»»
For years, Lonesome River Band was proud to be "Carrying The Tradition" of bluegrass music. Then, with last year's release they began the process of "Bridging The Tradition" of bluegrass to something a little more progressive, a little more modern. Now, "Mayhayley's House" proves that LRB is continuing across that bridge. »»»
Positively Bob Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan
The reasons musicians elect to record full-album tributes are as varied as the results. Willie Nile's previous album "World War Willie" was a fiery collection of roots rock that didn't delve far from the approach that served him across 35 years as a recording artist. Inspired by his invitation to perform at a Dylan tribute show, Nile has taken it upon himself to refocus attention on the influence the Dylan songbook had on his development. The results are appreciated... »»»
So You Wanna Be An Outlaw
If Steve Earle had never done another album after "Guitar Town" and "Copperhead Road," he'd still have cemented his place in the musical firmament for skillfully creating a ragged and beautiful tapestry from the stray threads of rootsy rock and authentic country. And that may well be why his catalog over the past three decades has been so compelling and satisfying; »»»
Lady Antebellum may cause you to throw out many of your country music principles. They don't sing and play traditional country music, for starters. They're not cool like more rocking Americana artists. In fact, they're huge mainstream country stars. So, why are some of us still suckers for their sound? And why does the new "Heart Break" sound so good on the ears? Well, it's simple, but complicated. »»»
You Don't Own Me Anymore
Three albums into their career, the evolution of The Secret Sisters provide a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the listener. The beauty of their harmonies was evident from the first note, but their songwriting has progressed to the point that it deserves equal attention. "You Don't Own Me Anymore" is a high point for both their singing and writing abilities »»»
Hipsters may only consider checking out Bobby Bare's "Things Change" due to the participation of hot item Chris Stapleton, who sings on a remake of the old hit "Detroit City." Hopefully, though, they'll immediately recognize Bare's immense talent and stick around for the whole shooting match. Bare's no spring chicken anymore, but he sounds extremely good throughout this classic-sounding country effort.