55th Annual Grammy Award Nominees in Americana and Related Categories

Tonight, the Recording Academy gathered for a monster television special to announce a handful of the nominees for the next round of Grammy Awards. Among the presenters tonight were last-minute add-on the Lumineers (nominated for Best Americana Album and Best New Artist). Americana darlings the Alabama Shakes scored a few mainstream nominations, as did Jack White, Bruce Springsteen, and others. Holly George-Warren, who you may know from her blogs on this site, was nominated for a Best Album Notes Grammy for her contributions to a Janis Joplin disc. We'd especially like to wish her congratulations!

I'll gather more thoughts about all these nominations in the weeks to come but, in the meantime, I just wanted to share a full list of nominees in categories which may be of interest to the No Depression Community. Even though the "Best Country Album" category typically celebrates more mainstream country acts, I've included the full field here because so many of its nominees were folks whose work has been discussed quite a bit here on No Depression. I could just as well have included the entire field of nominees for Best Recording Package, Best Historical Album, and Best Boxed or Limited Edition Album. I chose instead to delineate those nominees separately, as the folks included therein were also nominated for other awards. 

So, without further ado, I give you the folk/Americana/roots/alt/indie/country/rock/whatever categories for the 2013 Grammy Awards. The Awards will be presented during ceremonies held on Feb. 10, 2013. You can watch the televised portion that evening on CBS. For a full list of nominees in all categories, check out Grammy.com. For ongoing coverage about the Americana artists and categories at the Grammys, check out Baron Lane's Grammy blog

Best Americana Album
The Avett Brothers - The Carpenter
John Fullbright - From the Ground Up
The Lumineers - The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream

Best Bluegrass Album
Dailey & Vincent - The Gospel Side Of
The Grascals - Life Finds a Way
Noam Pikelny - Beat the Devil & Carry a Rail
Special Consensus - Scratch Gravel Road
Steep Canyon Rangers - Nobody Knows You

Best Country Album
Zac Brown Band - Uncaged
Hunter Hayes - Self-titled
Jamey Johnson - Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran
Miranda Lambert - Four the Record
The Time Jumpers - Self-titled

Best Blues Album 
Shemekia Copeland - 33 1/3
Dr. John - Locked Down
Ruthie Foster - Let It Burn
Heritage Blues Orchestra - And Still I Rise
Joan Osborne - Bring It On Home

Best Folk Album
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
Ry Cooder - Election Special
Luther Dickinson - Hambone's Meditations
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile - The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Various - This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark

Artists/albums of interest to the ND Community, nominated in other categories

  • Mumford & Sons - Album of the Year for Babel, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for "I Will Wait", Best Long-form Music Video for "Big Easy Express" (with OCMS, Edward Sharpe, etc.), Producer Markus Dravs nominated for Producer of the Year
  • Jack White - Album of the Year and Best Rock Album for Blunderbuss, Best Rock Song for "Freedom at 21"
  • Alabama Shakes - Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance  for "Hold On", Best Recording Package for Boys and Girls
  • The Lumineers - Best New Artist
  • Paul McCartney - Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Kisses on the Bottom
  • Bruce Springsteen - Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for "We Take Care of Our Own", Best Rock Album for Wrecking Ball
  • Tom Waits - Best Alternative Music Album for Bad as Me
  • Dierks Bentley - Best Country Solo Performance for "Home"
  • Taylor Swift/The Civil Wars - Best Country Duo/Group Performance  and Best Song Written for Visual Media for "Safe and Sound"
  • Don Williams (feat. Alison Krauss) - Best Country Duo/Group Performance for "I Just Come Here for the Music"
  • Elizabeth Mitchell - Best Children's Album for Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie
  • Aimee Mann - Best Recording Package for Charmer
  • David Byrne & St. Vincent - Best Recording Package for Love This Giant
  • The Rolling StonesSome Girls: Super Deluxe Edition - Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
  • Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection - Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, Best Historical Album
  • Paul & Linda McCartney for Ram: Paul McCartney Archive Collection - Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, Best Historical Album
  • Beach BoysThe Smile Sessions Deluxe Box Set - Best Historical Album
  • Holly George-Warren, who blogs now and then on this site, was nominated for Best Album Notes, for her contribution to Janis Joplin's The Pearl Sessions.
  • Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music: 34 Historic Songs, Ballads, And Instrumentals Recorded In The Great Smoky Mountains By "Song Catcher" Joseph S. Hall - Best Historical Album
  • Ryan AdamsAshes and Fire - Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Views: 4764

Comment by Jack Williams on December 7, 2012 at 5:30am

One big difference in the Americana category is the dearth of "legends" nominated.  Just Bonnie Raitt and then four fairly young acts. 

Comment by pam morris on December 7, 2012 at 5:52am

I am more than pleased to see the Carolina Choco Drops and the Avetts nominated.  I don't feel that either will have a chance of winning thoug.

Bonnie Raitt for Americana album?   I like the album- but it's not the right category at all........


No Old Crow Medicine Show?   That's a shame too

Comment by Doug Dick on December 7, 2012 at 6:07am

I was glad to see the John Fullbright selection as it was a pleasant surprise. I really like his CD. Overall the Grammys did a pretty good job in the selection process although one can always find CDs that were skipped over and should have been nominated. I was also very happy to see Ruthie Foster get a nomination in the Blues Album category.  The sad thing is that virtually none of the artists that this group really likes are likely to be seen on the broadcast other than the really big names like Springsteen and McCartney.

Lastly I don't know why some of the people posting here need to continue to mock Linda Chorney. She earned her nomination by taking advantage of the rules that  are in effect regarding the nomination process. Besides that I thought her CD was good and while I am not certain it would have been one of my picks for Best Americana Album it was a worthy competitor in the category  

Comment by Jack Williams on December 7, 2012 at 7:00am

Doug:  I don't know that all of the comments you allude to were mocking Linda Chorney directly.  I think some are just having fun referring to the Linda Chorney controversy and maybe other past controversies on ND.  I made the facetious comment about John Fullbright gaming the system, but that doesn't mean I think that's what Ms. Chorney did.  I think that you are correct that she worked within the rules and I have no doubt that she strongly believed in her album.  Also, I think that that the Americana category was the best fit for her if she was to go for the Grammy, but unfortunately the album had little appeal to the music fan community of the same name.   I'd call it decent adult contemporary  (I sort of feel that way about Bruce's new album, but maybe that's just me).  Even though John Fullbright is by far the least known of the current nominees, I severely doubt that we'll hear much rumbling about his nomination.  For example, I don't know his music very well at all, but at least I've read about him on more than one Amerana/Roots music site and know that he has his champions in the community.

Comment by Kim Ruehl on December 7, 2012 at 7:03am

A little Fullbright to orient you. I'm personally stoked about this. I'll explain in greater detail in a separate blog post (He'll be on my year-end list and will, thus, get a "Closeup" post). But, in the meantime, here's a video:

Comment by Easy Ed on December 7, 2012 at 7:14am

Linda Chorney may indeed have been a worthy competitor and I'm sure many people liked her album. Although she is mocked, it's really the nomination process that was put into place that allowed her to self-promote to NARAS members through the Grammy 365 online site that has been criticized. She went through two levels of the screening process to make it onto the final nomination ballot and this left many people scratching their heads, more for who she jumped over. Is it fair that she gets the heat? No. And probably no more than Christopher Cross gets for his win of the cursed Best New Artist Award back in the eighties. But she opened the door by putting herself out there, and that's what happens where you become a public figure. You get hit with the good and the bad. 

The televised Grammy award show has been chopped and cut to feature only the most popular of the awards that they give out, and lately they have spent most of the on-air time doing performances. They get knocked for mostly presenting the most popular, best selling artists or doing collaborative performances within the less popular genres, but that just speaks to their audience. If you don't like that sort of thing, don't watch it. 

If you're into roots music and spend your time here, chances are there isn't much interest in the Grammy TV show anyway. The actual awards themselves are a little more interesting because its nice to see some of these artists and technicians and writers acknowledged by their peers. What makes you want to scream sometime is that NARAS has cut the categories down so tight, that you often get people squeezed into areas that they don't belong. And the other thing is that try as hard as they will, the nominating process will never be a completely level playing field, nor will it necessarily reflect anything other than the tastes of a particular group of people. Hello Linda Chorney.

Finally, the thing I really love about Grammy and NARAS is their support of the MusicCares Foundation. Although heavy on the self-serving back pats and black tie events, they serve a great need in the music community by giving "musicians to have a place to turn, in times of financial, personal, or medical crisis, its primary purpose is to focus the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues which directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. The foundation's programs include emergency financial assistance, addiction recovery, outreach and leadership activities, and senior housing." Amen to that. 

Comment by Jack Williams on December 7, 2012 at 7:30am

Thanks for the video, Kim.  I heard "Gawd Above" today too, as Baron from Twang Nation posted it on Facebook.  This might be the first time an Americana Grammy nomination inspires me to buy an album.

So he's from Okemah, OK, just like that other famous folk singer.  Also, I think he's buddies with the Turnpike Troubadours, who also hail from Okemah and who put out one my favorite albums this year (Goodbye Normal Street). 

Comment by Ron Myhr on December 7, 2012 at 1:17pm

Very much liked seeing both Carolina Chocolate Drops and Heritage Blues Orchestra nominated, but am bemused that they are in different categories (Folk and Blues respectively).  I have them on the same playlist that I play in my car a lot, and am always taken as to how most of their songs could be interchangeable on each others' albums.  A bit more percussion for Heritage, a few more spoons for Carolina.  

I love both of these records, and was boogying in the car this morning (a limited boogy, obviously) to the HBO's C-Line Woman.  Awesome drum part.  

And a whole different question, how can there be multiple versions of the song, including Sea Lion Woman (Feist) and See-Line Woman (Nina Simone)?

Comment by Mark W. Lennon on December 7, 2012 at 4:17pm

I for one am excited to see these nominations, to me it looks like a WIN for the roots community!

With personal favorites - The Avett Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark all being nominated along with all of the other people you have mentioned. It seems the right community is finally getting their due.

We just gotta keep getting these great artists and albums out to the rest of the world.

Comment by Easy Ed on December 7, 2012 at 8:52pm

@Mark: As previously stated, as the Grammy show will most likely not feature any of these artists in performances, nor give out any of these awards on the air, I'm unsure how either the nomination nor the actual award itself will help the roots community.  A few years ago they did something with a bunch of roots artists together that people still talk about (outside of Mumford and Sons I forget who else was onstage), but its hit and miss. Could be "our year", but maybe not. One could argue that they could take the bloated formal TV show and make it maybe 90 minutes long instead of 180, and then produce a series of 30-60 minute programs highlighting different types of music. It would expose more artists and genres to a wider audience. But the name of the game at the end of the day is generating more sales. And the albums that benefit from that, are the ones already at the top of the charts. So an album that may be selling 50,000 a week before the show, might jump to 125,000 the week after. Any of the ones you like...let's take the Guy Clark tribute, probably is selling less than 500 per week (educated guess?) and will bump maybe to 600. So since the Grammys and the advertisers are funded in part by the major music corporations, you can figure what the emphasis is on and how they're going to utilize their resources to get there. I know your excited and I really don't mean to piss all over your parade here, but you know I've spent too long in the system not to speak up when I know it's just another carny game that could be so much more.


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.