The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards draws nigh. That famous night that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences put on the most glitzy industry trade show. Though Americana and roots music comes to mind when you think of the GRAMMYs but there have been some great moments if you were paying attention.
Here are a few of my favorite GRAMMY moments over the years. Leave your in the comments, I’d love to hear about them.
Boston-based folk-pop performer Linda Chorney does the seemingly impossible and snags a 2011 nomination for the GRAMMY for Americana Album of the Year by employing elbow grease, sleepless nights and the Internet. This sets social media tongues wagging and puts PR pros and other music industry gatekeepers on their heels.
Extraordinary newcomer John Fullbright was nominated for a 2012 Americana Album of the Year GRAMMY for his debut studio full-length “From The Ground Up.â€ After his passionate performance of “Gawd Above” he lost out to the legendary Bonnie Raitt. Afterwords he said with a smile “If I’m going to lose Bonnie Raitt is the one I want to lose to.”
It appeared to be just a jam between two great roots acts, Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers. The ands joined together and the true intension was revealed as they backed Bob Dylan on “Maggie’s Farm” at the 2011 GRAMMYS.
In a heartfelt 2012 GRAMMY tribute in honor of Levon Helm and the victims of Sandy Hook shooting Elton John, Mumford & Sons, Mavis Staples, Zac Brown , Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard and T Bone Burnett came together for a passionate rendition of The Band’s ” classic ” The Weight.”
After years of lingering in a career slump Johnny Cash scores the GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1995 giving the latter part of Cash’s career much deserved attention and a spirit of vitality.
This bonus moment goes out to Arlene – “O Brother Where Art Thou” Grammy Performance (2002)
Once there was a woman of musical talent, persistence and ingenuity who performed original songs and favorite covers to audiences worldwide. She was a road warrior for over 30 years before catching a career changing break. Belief in herself, and her craft, took her to heights she’d never imagined. It helped drive her that she possessed the confidence that she certainly deserved to succeed. She believed.
Fellow musicians and industry professionals, caught in a music business grasping for identity, relevance and diminishing revenue, applauded her drive. Though her music – a pop-folk, adult contemporary mix not unlike Sheryl Crow – might not be their shot of hooch, they all treated her with respect and heralded her as a harbinger of the DIY work ethic. One where an artist can circumvent gatekeepers and industrial trip-wires and engage the double edge levers of technology to snag a professional success. Even a Grammy nomination.
Well, not quite. Linda Chorney, a black horse in the run for the 2012 Grammy Award for Americana Album of the year , was nominated among rock/country/folk/Americana heavy hitters Emmylou Harris, Ry Cooder, Lucinda Williams and Levon Helm (winner.) She used the Grammy social network, Grammy 365, to get her 7th album, Emotional Jukebox, in front of Academy members who nominated her for the short list for a little statue.
Chorney’s success from planning, help from friends and loved ones, dumb luck and shear will was met by some in the Americana community with almost immediate online character assassination, professional chicanery and calls for withdrawal of her nomination. On what grounds were the calls of withdrawal based? Accusations of “cheating” and “gaming the system” abounded though no actual proof was presented.
“Who The F$%# is Linda Chorney” details the her road to the Grammys much in a manner like her blog posts. Unguarded, profane observational bursts of of highs and lows that ring of authenticity. She tells of making the best of a once-in-a-lifetime moment – dress fittings in New York, cover features in Variety, shooting a music video in L.A. with renowned/producer Forrest Murray, walking the red carpet and hob-nobbing with her hero Gregg Allman. All the while enduring vile online and personal attacks and undermining. She does it in a way that never becomes dour and for reason both litigious and polite she changes the “names of the guilty.”
The worst offenders were those most threatened by by her unconventional success. media relations specialists, radio professionals and labels all piled on. Instead of accolades toward someone producing the stuff we all profess to celebrate – music- and a moment of professional self-reflection and reassessment where value is produced in the new music order, there was a circling of wagons and shots ringing into the night. The old guard reacted as you might expect. Attack and attempt retrenchment in a landscape shifting beneath their feet.
Though there was no official condemnation from the Nashville-based trade group Americana Music Association, the choice to not issue it’s standard nominee congratulatory press release that year, for the first time in history of the Americana Album of the year 3 year history, spoke volumes.
Cards on that table – I was the official Americana blogger for the Grammys during this whole sad affair. I have a small part in the book and was surprised to discover in reading it that I was the first person to interview her after her nomination. I was also a witness to much of the online attacks and for a while got caught up in, complete with threats, the ugliness that transpired. Truth be told, i was ashamed of our community of outcasts. I still see it as a dark period.
In the aftermath of the spotlight Chorney has brought her story to the prestigious TED talk series (below) and she sang the Star Spangled Banner for her beloved Boston Red Socks and recently recording a song memory of 8 year old Boston bombing victim Martin Richard
Oh, and she wrote a book which she’s now shopping around to be made into a film.
Whether you see Chorney as a gatecrashing outsider or a industrious rebel, her story is one that any artist toiling on the road can take to heart as proof that if you believe in your craft, and cultivate a gift for gab and a sense of marketing, success can be yours. It’s also a cautionary tale for the music industry and self-appointed gatekeepers that access ain’t what it used to be.
NPR intern Emily White has come under a brush-fire of criticism for being guilty of two things. Music piracy, to which she confesses, and being naively honest.
White belongs to a generation of customers, or in the parlance of my tech day-job; users, who have come to expect simple, frictionless access to media to accommodate their lifestyle.
Is it egotistical and reckless not to consider the larger business consequence of consumption? Yes it is, but I don’t think outright immorality is what we have here. White’s generation have been shown to be more socially conscious , with their fair-trade coffee and local sourced restaurants, then previous generations. Her generation is certainly provided with easy access to more real-time information in order to make informed decisions then any previous generation.
But Technology Giveth, and it taketh Away.
Access to information comes in many forms. Sometime information comes as social and web sites. Sometimes information comes as sharable files. Sometimes these files have audio media. Technology is amoral and it inadvertently leads to immoral, or at least questionable, results. There’s an entire generation who’s source of music wasn’t like mine – Peaches, Sam Goody and Tower Records. It’s the infinite isles of online shared music shared globally and at the speed of light. It’s an inexhaustible inventory with the doors unguarded and wide open 24-7. The old regime, or the big-label bubble as I like to think of it, was gone almost overnight.
But Napster was a wake up call not a time bomb. Like the Linda Chorney and the Americana AOTY GRAMMY nom broo-haha, the Emily White post blow-back is more about attacking the messenger instead of looking for a larger technology, business and behavioral changes in the air. Then the industry having the courage of self-assessment and pivot to meet the new conditions.
The current environment of attack and blame from the top of an LA corner office down to the working stiff PR agent wasted energy and a missed opportunity. If this business side of the industry used the same creativity exhibited by the producers of the music this could be the enlightenment instead of the professed dark ages.
Renee Hopkins, Senior Editor of Texas Enterprise and Media Relations Manager at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business tweeted to me when I asked about her to weigh in on this topic ” *Anyone* involved – record co, artist, tech firm, listener – could create new biz model for digital distribution of music. Record co’s didn’t figure out digital distrib biz model either, so indirectly encouraged culture of free, sold out artists. Artists need new biz model based on wider distribution/lower margins. But they dont get it. #disruption” (I know this is over 140 characters, this is a compilation of three tweets )
Then there’s the moral dissonance. Yes there was convenience in ripping and sharing music but does that make it right? What about the creators of the music? Dwindling school music programs and little support in most towns for local bands made music an abstraction in people’s life. The culture of music of the local barn dance from you great-grandparents life is long over. add to that knee-jerk big label lawsuits against fans, and you have
animosity with little context to the of working musicians and lets face it, the vast majority of musicians fall into that category.
The tech might be new but the business environment appears to me as being very much like the old ways. While reading the excellent book “Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers” (Igniter books) I was struck by the hardships and daily hustling that Ira and his brother Charlie endured to escape the back-breaking toil of the Alabama family farm and make a name for themselves. Their routine was early morning radio (the Internet of it’s day) performances -usually for free. Followed by local business performances, – also usually for free/ These provided a few opportunities for merch sales , typically lyric sheets or if lucky, your vinyl form the back of the car. These free performances (free music) allowed exposure and led to a wider tour schedule (without the benefit on an interstate highway system) and established a career and, because of the quality of the music, a legacy.
Then there was the Louvin’s stern, sharecropping father who, though opened the door to music for the boys by making them perform in church, held contempt of the “soft’ life they must have led after perusing it as a vocation. Ira had the idea to invite the old man on the road for a couple of weeks to which their father agreed, thinking it vacation of sorts. After two weeks of bad road food and strange motels the old man was begging to get back home with a renewed respect for the life his boys led.
I recall the stories above to illustrate the point that music as a vocation is not new. Miles of roads and night after night of seedy bars is a common way of learning the ropes and paying your dues. Luckily the Internet allows you to take the temperature of a city and get out the word of your impending show from a phone. Life on the road, for good and bad, can be shared with fans through social media and that close connection can lead to a higher moral barrier against theft. You turn yourself from an agent of the big label system to a human being working for a living. One of them creating something of value.
People have less qualms stealing from a big box store then from the mom and pop store on the corner. You’re more akin to the mom and pop shop, let the fans know this by engaging with your fans and humanizing yourself. To this day country performers, like politicians, make jokes and recall local color in the attempt to signal “I’m one of you.” Social media let’s you do this anytime you want with no concern for distance or time. But in the end it’s about the music.
I don’t pretend to have the answers, but i do know there are some out there if we look and stop wringing our hands like the buggy whip manufacture in the face of the Model A. I am a music blogger and , as of this writing, make no money for my efforts. I’m still struggling with how all this good-will and influence can be turned into cold, card cash. I want the financial freedom to do more, to hear and see more music and bring that music to a larger audience. I’m sure where I for in the new industry, but I know I do and I’ll figure it out, with your help.
Chorney -Â Â Ukrainian and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for someone with dark skin or dark hair, from Ukrainian chorny â€˜blackâ€™.
Linda Chorney is aptly named. As the lone question mark on aÂ Grammy Americana Album of the Year nominee list. A list dominated by Americana music stalwarts Ry Cooder,Â Emmylou Harris.Â Levon Helm and Lucinda Williams. Chroney is in name as well as in actuality, the dark horse.
As the GRAMMY blogger for the Americana/folk categories I was anticipating the nominees for these are other categorizes like Blugrass, country and wherever else the music I love was being representedÂ Spotting an unknown name on the Grammy Americana Album of the Year list was surprising and, truth be told, bruised my ego a bit.Â I pride myself on knowing a thing or two about not just the Â mainstream but the fringes of theÂ Americana/Roots music territory. Seeing an unknown name, like happened to me with the Civil Wars and Mumford and Sons in early 2010 when they broke, kind of shakes my taste-maker mojo.
After interviewing Chorney about a week after her nomination I left unconvinced that her style of music fell into my definition of Americana.But after listening to songs over her catalog and watching live performances I could hear hints of artist I’ve seen perform at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the Americana Music Association showcases. So Okay.
One thing I had no doubt about was that this woman, over her 51 years, had paid her dues. Also that by engaging the GRAMMY365 site, a social site for members of the Grammy organization, to get her music in from of people that influence that nominations, was ingenious.
The Americana Music Association, who had a hand in the creation of Americana as a distinct Grammy category,Â has even withheld their boiler plate congratulations that is released soon after the nominees are announced. I wonder if their heads will explode if she actually wins.
In balance there were some people of considerable merit (most notably by Kim Ruehl and Paul Schatzkin) that took a more thoughtful approach to the Chroney nomination. They argue that though her music wasn’t their shot of hooch they were able to see Chorneys’s nomination as a testament to indy ethos, DIY perseverance and a performer’s adept ability to adapt in a music business that is undergoing a significant industrial upheaval.
Generally, the arguments against Chorney’s nomination run into twoÂ camps; She hasn’t done time in the Americana community and she somehow cheated her way into the nomination.
The first argument is ridiculous and smacks of the same Nativist logic used by some to argue for building a wall on the Mexican border. “You’re an outsider, you don’t belong and have nothing to contribute. You miust be kept out”Americana, like America herself, is made up of refuges and misfits. Diversity and acceptance are qualities that make up the genres strength. Newcomers are not always appealing to all members (yours truly included.)
The second argument – “she cheated” – Is equally ridiculous. It’s the same augment made by Luddites whenever a new way of doing things disrupts the norm. Automobiles were a “cheat” in a horse culture. Computer were a “cheat” in an analog world. Chorney paid her dues as a singer/songwriter, had n opportunity to create the album of her dreams, and then used a social network to get that album in front of people involved with the Grammys. The album still had to go though the evaluation of members of NARAS and, as is my understand in the case of Americana, a separate genre “expert” panel. There were many checks and balances beyond Chornys personal efforts to lobby for her work.
Chorney is a great example of the new breed of artist-entrepreneur, artists and craftsmen that see technology and a connected world has laid the world at their career doorstep and use every means at their disposal to walk through it.
I think a lot of the bile hurled at Chorney is a result of Americana communities inability to better define what Americana is. As I mentioned I believe this to be a founding strength but it makes others uncomfortable in practice. Some of the ill will, and I know tis because I know the professional background of some of those posting sneering bon-mots online, results from Chroney’s efforts shining a bright light on the PR industry and showing that many of it’s traditional value now lies in the hands of a diligent artist. Instead of reevaluating their place in the entertainment industry they choose to attack rather than adapt.
True until her bid for a nomination on GRAMMY365 Chorney appears to have never heard the term Americana applied as a musical formal genre. Most people haven’t. I bet when many young and established musicians start emulating the influences that enrich the genre, The Band, Parsons, Cash,Â their first instinct is not to look for labels but to indulge in the only thing that matters, the music. Do you think that the Avett Brothers or Robert Plant specifically sought out the Americana handbook before creating a work?
The real irony here is that many people that are up in arms about Chorneys nomination are people that over the years have dismissed the Grammys as being out of touch with current music and not representative of the best of music. Her nomination should just further justify their point of view.
Love her or hate her, Chorney is a excellent example when gatekeepers are removed from the music industry.
Below is a video I uncovered showing Chorney playing a show in 2009. I defy anyone to watch it and tell me that there nothing, absolutely NOTHING, that might be considered Americana in her sound (and wardrobe!)
The GRAMMY nominees categories that I cover does not come with choreographed dancers or share the stage with Rihanna. They appear further down on the list near Best World Music Album and Best Spoken Word Album -Â the Americana/folk/bluegrass and the speck of trad country that might find its way into a movie soundtrack or liner note nods. This is the the pre-telecast posse, the back of the bus and behind the gym crowd. This is where the cool kids hang out. Where Lou Reed can sit between a nominee for Best Opera Recording and Best Comedy Album. These are the rough and rowdy mongrels of music.
I watch the nominee concert dutifully but it’s nothing to do with me or my readers.Â I am waiting for the full list to be posted online. Then I run my eye over it. downward to the Best Folk Album, some nice surprises with The Civil Wars and Eddie Vedder.Â Best Bluegrass Album, great to see the old guard Del McCoury and Ralph Stanley in the mix with Steve Martin and Jim Lauderdale. Next the big enchilada – Best Americana Album. Ry Cooder, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm, Lucinda Williams legends all…wait…who’s this? Who is Linda Chorney?
I’m a frikkin “Influencer” for krips sake (or so Klout tells me), how is it I don’t know this person? Where did she come from and how, after 6 albums, is it that I haven’t heard of her until now? i like a to be surprised as much as the next music blogger, but sometimes there is this feeling that if you missed this artist how many others are sliding past your gaze. I needed to atone and find out who this person is.
So i did what any red-blooded Americana blogger would do – I Googled her. First off a video that appears to be centered on scuba diving in some tropical locale. She’s easy on the eyes, but how does she sound? First impression is Aimee Mann, Chrissie Hynde and Michelle Shocked on a serious Meet The Beatles! bender. I emailed her directly from her site. She can’t already have a layer of people to sift through for a conversation. I’m the the official GRAMMY folk/Americana blogger guy. I figure that that should account for something!
Maybe it did. Maybe I caught her at a vulnerable time in the wake of her nomination. Maybe she confused with with her friend Bryan Lang. Whatever…i had an interview set.
I hope the below exchange let’s you get to know Linda Chorney and you find her as charming and talented as I did. enjoy…
Twang Nation – So, how are you feeling?
Linda Chorney – I’m still a little but in shock but I feel great. When I told my mom and dad (about the Best Americana Album Grammy nomination) and my mom said this is one of her greatest moments since your birth for me.
TN – Wow, you can’t buy fans like that.
LC -Â (laughs) When I was younger they paid for my demo tapes and have been coming to biker bars that I’ve played throughout my life. They’ve waited for me to get my big break and now it’s kind of come.
TN – Tell me a little about how you got here.
LC – I once broke the top 40 in the adult contemporary on the Friday Morning Quarterback (music industry news publication) with my song Living Alone. We thought then that something was going to happen. Then the day we had some deals on the table was on September 11th (2001) and everything sort of got put on hold. I said to myself that I didn’t die that day, and nobody I know died. How important is another song? So I didn’t take (the deals falling through) that hard. Though I took the the events of September 11th very hard and wrote a song about it on my third album.
TN – I’ve been blogging about this genre for several years and lived in New York City for 5 years, how is it I’m just now hearing about a Grammy nominated Americana artists based from New Jersey?
LC – Probably because I’ve been bopping around the whole world. I played on Bleecker Street for years, at Red Line and the Back Fence and a few other clubs. I’ve played the Hamptons. I like to travel! I’ve bartered my way around the world. I’m an avid scuba diver but diving costs a lot of money so when I travel I will write a few dive places and say “Hey I’m a singer/songwriter and will perform for your crew aboard or your place in exchange for scuba diving. Diving can easily can run you a couple of hundred bucks a day. One place that responded was the Bottom Time Bar in Palau Micronesia and that where I shot my video for my song Sink or Swim (see below) I played a weekend and was able to dive for two weeks for free.
TN – Not a bad gig.
LC – it was awesome! I also went to Mount Everest where I sang at 17,000 feet – I’ve sung below sea-level and sung 17,000 feet above sea-level.
TN – Did you know you were in the running for a Grammy nomination?
LC – From the feedback I was getting from Grammy 365 people. I said to my executive producer, “Jonathan is all the people that say I’m great and are voting for me actually do vote for me I think we might have a shot.” I had no idea what I was doing. This is my first time with the whole Grammy process, two weeks before the ballets were due I had zero contacts. My husband and I stayed up 20 hours a day and we wrote every single person we could on the Grammy 365 site to ask for their contact information. Out of the roughly 6000 emails we personally wrote – we didn’t have a staff it was just me and him – then around 2000 people responded and I asked them to consider my stuff. I was overwhelmed with responses. One guy was the historian on (Martin) Scorsese’s George Harrison documentary, he said very nice things about my stuff, he said it touched him and that he was going to talk to other people about me and get them to consider my music – this happened several time with others -Â I was just blown away!
TN – Tell me the story about your executive producer and how y’all met.
LC – I was in Colorado playing a ski resorts, because the moneys good and I sell a lot of merch and get to keep all the money, and I would ski to my gig every day with my guitar on my back to perform at 10.000 feet. At one gig this quirky guy comes up to me after buying all my CDs I had for saleÂ and said “You have something special here. I’m a doctor but I wanted to be a musician, so I know how hard it can be. I’d lie to send you something.” I had no idea who this guy was or if he was hitting on me so I gave him a P.O. Box address and sure enough a few weeks later a chord-less mic and guitar pickup showed up in the mail and it contained a note that read “This is for you kid, way to go.” Over the years I got to know his family, and we became really good friends. Last year he approaches me and says “Linda, I want you to make the album you’ve never been able to make before, and I’ll pay for it.”
Every other album I’ve done has been out of my own pocket and I was always watching the clock , I didn’t have the money for live drums or more time for the engineer, I knew how to make a great album but I never had the resources. Jonathan says “I want you to do this album without compromise Linda. I’m going to give you the money for this album and I don’t want anything in return. I just want you to make the greatest album that you can and I want to be part of the process.” I was so touched by this! Jonathan also knows some musicians like Jeff Pevar (CPR) and Leon Pendarvis (band leader for the Saturday Night Live band) who is a great keyboard player. So he got them involved in the project. I knew Lisa Fischer (singer and background vocalist for the Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross, and others) because she sang background on my adult contemporary charting song Living Alone. And I knew bass player Will Lee (The Late Show with David Letterman, B.B. King, Cat Stevens, Ringo Starr, James Brown and many others), then I knew people here in my neighborhood (Asbury Park, NJ) who should be famous , likeÂ Arlan Feiles, who has his own album coming out soon and to me is like Bob Dylan with a prettier voice. I had him sing a duet with me called Finally on the album and then I have a song on the album called Do It While You Can, with a kind of a Satchmo vocal vibe to it and Richie Blackwell (Bruce Springsteen) helped with that. So this whole thing is a passion project. There was no thought to “Let’s make this song four minutes so we can get radio airplay.”
The second CD (on Emotional Jukebox) has a symphony I fantasized about making (Mother Natures Symphony.) The 15 minute piece begins with classical to Bluegrass to folk then back to classical and then ends with a Beatles ending.
TN – Wow, you’re not one to walk the genre straight and narrow are you. You also cover Led Zeppelin’s Going to California on Emotional Jukebox.
LC – I do! I had to fight to have that on because I jammed it in the end with aÂ Flamenco solo by this guy Hernan Romero (Al Di Meola) whoÂ this amazing player that was just in the Latin GRAMMYs who I met in Boston who’s been on a couple of my albums. I had this idea of the song that ended up being 7 minutes long and we still got airplay. They don’t make songs like that anymore. I like solos. On my song I’m Only Sleeping I put a whirly solo it it. I like music!
TN – Where was the album recorded?
LC – We recorded at Sear Sound in New York and Lupos Studio with Frank Wolf, who I’ve worked with in the past, engineering the project. He’s an amazing talent. I spent the most time on the album than anybody. I did all the editing and arranging myself on my Pro Tools at home at night with the master and poured over every single bar on the album to make sure I had all the instrumentation in all the right places so it was tasty, clean and interesting to me. that was my goal. I probably spent over 2000 hours on it.
TN – well your hard work is being recognized. When did you find out about your nomination?
LC – We were having a party that night and somebody gave me a mock GRAMMY because we all conceded to the fact that I didn’t stand a chance against these amazing and well-known artists – John Hiatt, Jeff Bridges, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Ry Cooder – who is one of my heros – there was just no slot open for an unknown. So all the people went home from the party and then I started getting all these emails saying “Congratulations.” “You have my support.” “I’ll see you in L.A.” I thought this has to be a mistake. This must be a chain email that I’m on and somebody else was nominated. Then I had a hard time finding the list of nominees online. Then we found the list of nominees on GRAMMY.com and there in Americana Album of the year was my name first on the list. I had to wake up my executive producer, Jonathan, at midnight to tell him about it. We freaked out.Â He believed in me and my music and he’s such an amazing person.
TN – I love that you are on the nominee list, and that the GRAMMY Americana category appears to be a big tent where talent is rewarded no matter how what your profile.
LC – Early in the process I did put my album up for a lot of categories – best Album, and all of that. In retrospect i should have concentrated on the one category. I submitted for 8 but but as I was getting up to speed submitting my work it occurred to me that I might have been spreading myself too thin and that might not be in my best interest. So then I started concentrating on the Americana music category.
TN – Have you got your speech ready?
LC – (laughs) Not yet.I think I might have a mock one ready for You Tube and to post on my blog (lindachorney.wordpress.com) to thank the people that helped me.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) announced its nominees for the 54rd Annual Grammy Awards. I was pleased to see Americana and roots performers being nominated for some of the more prestigious awards like Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Below are nominees that fall into the Americana and roots category and other artists in other categories that might be of interest to readers of Twang Nation.
Best Americana Album
Emotional Jukebox – Linda Chorney
Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down – Ry Cooder
Hard Bargain – Emmylou Harris
Ramble At The Ryman – Levon Helm
Blessed – Lucinda Williams
Best Folk Album
Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars
I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive – Steve Earle
Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
Ukulele Songs- Eddie Vedder
The Harrow & The Harvest – Gillian Welch
Best Bluegrass Album
Paper Airplane – Alison Krauss & Union Station
Reason And RhymeÂ – Jim Lauderdale
Rare Bird Alert – Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers
Old Memories: The Songs Of Bill Monroe – The Del McCoury Band
A Mother’s Prayer- Ralph Stanley
Sleep With One Eye Open- Chris Thile & Michael Daves
Best Country Album
“Here For A Good Time” — George Strait
Best Children’s Album
I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow (various artists collection)
Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes
The Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music (various artists collection)
Record Of The Year
Rolling In The Deep – Adele
Holocene – Bon Iver
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Album Of The Year
21 – Adele
Song Of The Year
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Holocene – Bon Iver
Rolling In The Deep – Adele
Best New Artist
Best Pop Solo Performance
Someone Like You – Adele
Best Pop Instrumental Album
The Road From Memphis – Booker T. Jones
Setzer Goes Instru-Mental! – Brian Setzer
Best Pop Vocal Album
21 – Adele
Best Rock Performance
Down By The Water – The Decemberists
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Best Rock Song
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Down By The Water- The Decemberists
Best Rock Album
WilcoÂ â€“ The Whole Love
Best Alternative Music Album
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars
Best Country Song
Threaten Me With Heaven – Vince Gill
Best Engineered Album (Non Classical)
Follow Me Down-Â Brandon Bell & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Sangwook “Sunny” Nam & Doug Sax, mastering engineers (Sarah Jarosz)
The Harrow & The Harvest – Matt Andrews, engineer; Stephen Marcussen, mastering engineer (Gillian Welch)
Paper Airplane – Mike Shipley, engineer; Brad Blackwood, mastering engineer (Alison Krauss & Union Station)