The Grammys are like a championship dog show. The awards go the the best behaved, the best bred to exacting standards and not to the the idiosyncratic mutt. Okay, sometimes there is the occasional gnarly crossbreed – The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day – but not until long after they’ve lost their edge or if an artists sales are so large there really is no risk in putting them on the carpet. Personally, I use it as a check list of music to avoid.
Country/Roots/Americana (hereafter referred to as C/R/A) is the unwashed cousin of the show. With a longer pedigree that metal or rap C/R/A always lurks on the perimeters of the ceremony even though much of the music being celebrated would exist without those roots.
Unless there is a anomaly like the million-plus selling “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack you can bet artist like Gillian Welch and Ralph Stanley will be sparse, And artists as brilliant and groundbreaking as the Drive By Truckers and the Avett Brothers, well there;s a saying about snowball in Hell…
With the music and showcases so tightly choreographed the only drama comes from the nominees extracurricular activities (I’m looking at you Winehouse!) The show is it pull in the lowest common denominator market with the least context for musical excellence in order to sell them things from thesponsors – Delta Airlines, Google, iTunes, Starbucks, eBay, XM and Hilton. Delta – not to showcase the best music available.
All said here are my predictions for the Grammys, or my own Grammys if I ran them. I’ve taken liberties to disagree if I thought the nominees are not the best representation of the work that’s out there. that’s what having your own blog allows you, complete disregard for the powers that be.
Best New Artist – Ryan Bingham (Taylor Swift and Winehouse can kiss my ass)
Song of the Year – Jason Isbell – Dress Blues
Best Southern, Country, Or Bluegrass Gospel Album – Went with an actual nominee here. Billy Joe Shaver – Everybody’s Brother
Best Female Country Vocal Performance – Patty Griffin – Burgundy Shoes
Best Male Country Performance: I like George Strait but I’m giving this to Dale Watson for Justice For All
Best performance by a Duo or Group: Hands down, the Avett Brothers – Shame
Best country collaboration: I go with an actual nominee for this onetoo – I Need You by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill. It’s a great song and it was co-written by my uncle, Tony Lane
Best country song: I Need You by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill. See above.
Best country album: This is easy, Dale Watson for From the Cradle to the Grave.
Now bring on the dogs….