Posts Tagged ‘Del McCoury Band’
Saturday, December 7th, 2013
The nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards have been announced. Taylor Swift has the top nomination connected to country music, earning her second nomination for Album of the Year. She took home the award four years ago for Fearless.
Here are the general category nominees, along with all country and country-related categories:
Album of the Year
- Sara Bareilles, The Blessed Unrest
- Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
- Kendrick Lamar, good kid m.A.A.d. city
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
- Taylor Swift, Red
If Taylor Swift wins, she will be the first country-related artist in history to win the category twice with individual projects. Alison Krauss also has two victories, one for her collaboration with Robert Plant (Raising Sand, 2009), and another for her contributions to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack (2002.) The award has only been won by country artists in two other years: Glen Campbell for By the Time I Get to Phoenix (1968), and the Dixie Chicks for Taking the Long Way (2007).
Record of the Year
- “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams
- “Get Lucky” – Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
- “Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars
- “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons
- “Royals” – Lorde
For the third time in the last eight years, no country or country-related records make the cut. Only four country-related winners have triumphed in this category, but three of them have been in the last few years. Olivia Newton-John won for “I Honestly Love You” in 1975, followed much later by the Dixie Chicks for “Not Ready to Make Nice” in 2006; Robert Plant & Alison Krauss for “Please Read the Letter” in 2009; and Lady Antebellum for “Need You Now” in 2011.
Song of the Year
- “Just Give Me a Reason” – Jeff Bhasker, P!nk, and Nate Reuss
- “Locked out of Heaven” – Phillip Lawrence, Ari Levine, and Bruno Mars
- “Roar” – Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry, and Henry Walter
- “Royals” – Joel Little and Lorde
- “Same Love” – Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert, Ryan Lewis, and Curtis Mayfield
For the third straight year, country is shut out of the top songwriting category, a streak that began after the writers of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” won in 2011.
Best New Artist
- James Blake
- Kendrick Lamar
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Kacey Musgraves
- Ed Sheeran
Kacey Musgraves is the latest new artist to represent country music in this category, which has become a nearly annual occurrence since LeAnn Rimes was nominated and won back in 1997. Previous country winners also include Bobbie Gentry (1968), Carrie Underwood (2007) and Zac Brown Band (2010).
Best Country Album
- Jason Aldean, Night Train
- Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom
- Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park
- Blake Shelton, Based on a True Story
- Taylor Swift, Red
Despite the presence of four big, established stars, only Taylor Swift has actually earned a victory in this category. She won in 2010 for Fearless. She contended again in 2012 with Speak Now, which lost to repeating victors Lady Antebellum, who won two years in a row for Need You Now (2011) and Own the Night (2012). Kacey Musgraves earns a nomination for her debut album, the first artist do so since 2005, when Gretchen Wilson contended with Here For the Party.
Best Country Solo Performance
- Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
- Hunter Hayes, “I Want Crazy”
- Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
- Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”
- Blake Shelton, “Mine Would Be You”
Since this category combined the solo categories into one, this award has been one by Taylor Swift (“Mean”) and Carrie Underwood (“Blown Away.”) Lambert is the only previous winner in a predecessor of this category.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
- The Civil Wars, “From This Valley”
- Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill, “Don’t Rush”
- Little Big Town, “Your Side of the Bed”
- Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
- Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “You Can’t Make Old Friends”
There’s really only one hit here, but there are plenty of former Grammy winners scattered among this category. In case you’re wondering, the answer is no, they didn’t win a Grammy for “Islands in the Stream.”
Best Country Song
- “Begin Again” – Taylor Swift
- “I Drive Your Truck” – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary
- “Mama’s Broken Heart” – Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves
- “Merry Go ‘Round” – Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves, and Josh Osborne
- “Mine Would Be You” – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Deric Ruttan
It’s not too common for people to receive double nominations, but here there are four songwriters competing against themselves: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves.
Best American Roots Song
- “Build Me Up From Bones” – Sarah Jarosz
- “Invisible” – Steve Earle
- “Keep Your Dirty Lights On” – Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott
- “Love Has Come From You” – Edie Brickell and Steve Martin
- “Shrimp Po-Boy, Dressed” – Allen Touissant
This category is brand new this year, encompassing songs from all of the subcategories in the American Roots field: Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, and regional roots music.
Best Americana Album
- Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon
- Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Love Has Come For You
- Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Jim
- Mavis Staples, One True Vine
- Allen Touissant, Songbook
Collaborations dominate this category, which is populated with many previous Grammy winners. Emmylou Harris won this award twice, back when it was called Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Best Bluegrass Album
- The Boxcars, It’s Just a Road
- Dailey & Vincent, Brothers of the Highway
- Della Mae, This World Oft Can Be
- James King, Three Chords and the Truth
- Del McCoury Band, The Streets of Baltimore
Del McCoury Band are the only returning victors in this category, winning back in 2006 for The Company We Keep. Perhaps because of the broad voter base, this category has been dominated by acts with explicit ties to country music, including multiple wins by Ricky Skaggs, Jim Lauderdale, and Alison Krauss & Union Station, and one-off victories by Patty Loveless and Dolly Parton. This year is the second in a row without crossover contenders; last year’s winner was the Steep Canyon Rangers for Nobody Knows You.
Best Folk Album
- Guy Clark, My Favorite Picture of You
- The Greencards, Sweetheart of the Sun
- Sarah Jarosz, Build Me Up From Bones
- The Milk Carton Kids, The Ash & Clay
- Various Artists, They all Played for Us: Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary Celebration
A tribute to Guy Clark earned a nomination in this category last year, and now Clark himself is in contention for the prize. None of the acts in contention have won in the folk fields before.
Also of note, the Pistol Annies set Annie Up earned nominations for engineer Chuck Ainlay and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig in the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical category. It competes against Daft Punk, another album mastered by Ludwig, along with sets by Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Andrew Duhon, and Madeline Payroux.
Tags: Alison Krauss, Blake Shelton, Bobbie Gentry, Brandy Clark, Buddy Miller, Carrie Underwood, Connie Harrington, Dailey & Vincent, Darius Rucker, Darrell Scott, Del McCoury Band, Della Mae, Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Edie Brickell, Emmylou Harris, Glen Campbell, Gretchen Wilson, Guy Clark, Hunter Hayes, James King, Jason Aldean, Jessi Alexander, Jim Lauderdale, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Rogers, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Robert Plant, Rodney Crowell, Sarah Jarosz, Shane McAnally, Steve Earle, Steve Martin, Taylor Swift, The Boxcars, The Civil Wars, The Greencards, The Milk Carton Kids, Tim McGraw, Tim O'Brien, Vince Gill, Zac Brown Band
Sunday, December 28th, 2008
Gone are the days where this would just be called the Country Universe’s Top Singles of 2008. The collective tastes of our writers makes for more distinguished lists, but thankfully, there’s still a place for my personal favorites. Here are the twenty singles of 2008 that I enjoyed the most.
#20: Reba McEntire & Kenny Chesney, “Every Other Weekend”
A welcome return to domestic themes, which have often provided McEntire with her best work. This plays out the like the epilogue to “Somebody Should Leave.”
#19: Sara Evans, “Low”
Triumph in the face of adversity, as the surrounding negative energy is rejected in favor of a positive and determined move toward the future. Plus, it’s a little bluegrassy, which just sounds cool.
#18: Keith Urban, “You Look Good in My Shirt”
Even Conway Twitty wasn’t so good at slipping in mature themes so skillfully. There are children across the country bopping along to this one without a clue about how she ended up wearing that shirt.
#17: Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood, “Another Try”
Turner’s unsure vocal reveals emotion for a moment, then pulls back, then reveals a little bit of it again. He’s hoping for one more chance, but it doesn’t sound like he’s convinced himself that he’ll truly “hang on for dear life” next time.
#16: Tim McGraw, “Let it Go”
Letting go of the past doesn’t mean that you forget your mistakes. Rather, you resolve to learn from them without letting them dictate your future.
Category Best of 2008
Tags: Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Crystal Shawanda, Del McCoury Band, Donna Fargo, Eddy Arnold, Jewel, Josh Turner, Keith Anderson, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Randy Houser, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Sara Evans, Sarah Buxton, Sugarland, Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
Let’s do this, y’all. You’ll recognize some of these write-ups from our collective list, but others weren’t posted there or were cut down for that list. This is my “Director’s Cut” version, you might say – or maybe the “UNRATED!!” version, depending on your taste in films.
In any case, here are my favorite 20 things designated as country music singles in 2008 (that I picked up on, anyhoo):
Elizabeth Cook, “Sunday Morning”
Cook mines an abstract Velvet Underground song and halfway convinces you it was always meant to be a quiet country reflection. The production and vocal are a bit too buoyant to fully convey the song’s weariness, but they do flesh out its gentle message of hope, and that’s not too bad, either.
Hank Williams III, “Six Pack of Beer”
Silly and shallow it may be, but III’s turbo-campy lament of hard times + booze was also this year’s sweetest piece of hillbilly ear candy. I think it sounds like the fastest, most frivolous thing Johnny Cash never recorded, but maybe that’s just me.
James Otto, “Just Got Started Lovin’ You”
What’s this? A contemporary country single with a traditional structure that skips on big choruses? A distinctive voice at the helm? Oh? It was the most played song of the year? Huh. So country music fans want to hear unique-sounding singers singing some semblance of actual country music on the radio? How perplexing.
In all seriousness, this smash really is a fine example of feel-good radio fluff that still manages to sound human. It’s impossible to evaluate honestly without the requisite (and very valid) comparison to Josh Turner’s “Your Man,” but honestly, I think Otto out-sexed his predecessor by a good margin. Turner gave a fine performance with his standard sweetness, but Otto opted for randy, slightly jagged cooing that ultimately sounds much more convincing coming from a man in this particular situation.
Joey + Rory, “Cheater, Cheater”
My soft spot for frivolity shows itself again. This tell-off ditty has a cute bite, and its malicious irrationality is delivered with a knowing wink that has been regrettably absent in many recent, like-minded harangues (cough cough, “Picture to Burn”). Still, it’s the frenetic bluegrass production and the couple’s palpable chemistry that ultimately sell the thing.
Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood, “Another Try”
I’m always game for more regret on country radio, particularly when you’ve got two of the best singers in the biz on the job. The only thing holding it back for me is the melody, which is a bit too “Peabo Bryson goes country” for my taste.
Sugarland, Little Big Town & Jake Owen, “Life in a Northern Town”
There is a certain kind of song whose impact simply defies logical explanation, which seems to tap something so primal in the human spirit that you don’t even want to try explaining it for fear you might belittle it somehow. You couldn’t ask for a better example of that phenomenon than this cover of Dream Academy’s surreal ode to singer-songwriter Nick Drake, which resolves into a chorus of tribal “hey ma ma ma ma”s that somehow manage to say more (to me) than most actual words ever do.
It’s much more “Lion King soundtrack” than “country,” of course, but the union of all of these unique individual voices evokes the sort of grand communal warmth that you can normally only find in church or around a campfire. Personal favorite moment: Jake Owen’s solo, which he sings with such silky ease that it makes you pissed he hasn’t found better material for himself yet.
Category 2008 Rewind
Tags: Alison Krauss, Ashley Monroe, Ashton Shepherd, Del McCoury Band, Elizabeth Cook, Emily West, Gary Allan, Hank Williams III, Hayes Carll, James Otto, Jamey Johnson, Joey + Rory, Josh Turner, Kenny Chesney, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Reckless Kelly, Ricky Skaggs, Robert Plant, Sugarland, The Raconteurs, Trisha Yearwood
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
The consensus builds with the next set of ten singles. While there is still some lesser known singles and artists in the mix, more than half of these entries come from top-selling albums. Of course, radio still didn’t play all of those, either, but record buyers heard them anyway.
Emily West, “Rocks in Your Shoes”
A burst of country-poptimism that manages to sound both sunny and smart. Eat your heart out, “Red Umbrella.” – DM
Sugarland, “Already Gone”
Perhaps leaving takes place in two stages. The heart and mind go first, then the body catches up with them later on. “Already Gone” explores this concept thoroughly, with keen attention to detail. “Pictures, dishes and socks. It’s our whole life down to one box.” Months after my first listen, I still find myself playing that final verse over and over again. – KJC
Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney or Skip Ewing, “Every Other Weekend”
Two divorced parents contemplate the unfulfilling aftermath of their split and the lingering feelings they have for one another in intimate detail (“First thing in the morning / I turn the T.V. on to make the quiet go away”). Neither Chesney nor co-writer Skip Ewing was able to match McEntire’s combination of technical and interpretive skill, but you don’t get this kind of song everyday. – DM
Category Best of 2008
Tags: Alison Krauss, Carrie Underwood, Del McCoury Band, Emily West, Keith Urban, Kenny Chseney, Miranda Lambert, Randy Houser, Reba McEntire, Reckless Kelly, Robert Plant, Skip Ewing, Sugarland