Grammy Fever – Part 2

Anticipation for the Grammys continue to build – at least in my world, where the Super Bowl is a non-issue. Here’s a rundown of the other country categories that have my interest; again, my picks are in red:

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
“Hey Good Lookin'” – Jimmy Buffett, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith & George Strait
“Creepin’ In” – Norah Jones & Dolly Parton
“Portland, Oregon” – Loretta Lynn & Jack White
“Pancho & Lefty” – Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Toby Keith
“Coat Of Many Colors” – Shania Twain with Alison Krauss & Union Station

This one’s a no-brainer. Loretta & Jack all the way.

Best Country Song
“It’s Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long” – Rodney Crowell & Vince Gill
“Live Like You Were Dying” – Tim Nichols & Craig Wiseman
“Miss Being Mrs.” – Loretta Lynn
“Portland, Oregon” – Loretta Lynn
“Redneck Woman” – John Rich & Gretchen Wilson

Five great songs are competing in this category. For me, it comes down to the two Loretta Lynn compositions. As a record, I think “Portland, Oregon” is superior; but as a song, the edge goes to “Miss Being Mrs.”

Best Country Album
Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose
Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying
Tift Merritt, Tambourine
Keith Urban, Be Here
Gretchen Wilson, Here For The Party

This is why I love the Grammys – they give me an Album of the Year category where I actually own and enjoy all of the nominees. In fact, my two favorite country albums – Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Stones In The Road and Dixie Chicks’ Home, have both won this award. Technically, my favorite album is Tim McGraw’s; but I think in terms of legacy and artistic breadth, Loretta should win this. She’s never won a Grammy for her solo work. And if Tim loses, songs off the album can be eligible next year. I say, Loretta in 2005, and a Grammy for “Drugs Or Jesus” in 2006.

My Wish List in Other Categories:

My fingers are crossed for a Green Day sweep; for me, there was no 2004 release more satisfying than their ambitious concept album.

Record Of The Year: “American Idiot” – Green Day
Song Of The Year: “Live Like You Were Dying” – Tim Nichols & Craig Wiseman
Album Of The Year: Green Day, American Idiot
Best New Artist: Gretchen Wilson
Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: “Sunrise” – Norah Jones
Best Pop Vocal Album: Norah Jones, Feels Like Home
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: “The Revolution Starts Now” – Steve Earle
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: “American Idiot” – Green Day
Best Rock Song: “American Idiot” – Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt & Tré Cool
Best Rock Album: Green Day, American Idiot
Best Rap Solo Performance: “99 Problems” – Jay-Z
Best Rap Album: Beastie Boys, To The 5 Boroughs
Best Contemporary Folk Album: Patty Griffin, Impossible Dream
Best Short Form Music Video: “Take Me Out” – Franz Ferdinand

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