Grammy Wish List

brad-paisleyYesterday marked the end of the eligibility period for the 2010 Grammy Awards, which will be presented in January. To accommodate the earlier award ceremony, this year’s period lasted one month shy of a year: October 1, 2008 – August 31, 2009.

It’s been something of an underwhelming year musically from my perspective, but I have a few nominations that I’d like to see:

George Strait

  • Best Male Country Vocal Performance: “El Rey”
  • Best Country Album: Twang

Strait’s been on a roll since It Just Comes Natural, releasing his most consistent string of albums since the mid-nineties trifecta of Easy Come Easy Go, Lead On and Blue Clear Sky.  It’s often been said that Strait could sing the phone book and make it sound great, and “El Rey” proved that he’d do just as well with la guía telefónica.

Todd Snider

  • Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album: The Excitement Plan

This category has been great at acknowledging artists who essentially make acoustic music that isn’t particularly commercial, with previous winners including Nickel Creek and Emmylou Harris.  Snider put out one of his strongest albums this year, and he’s long overdue for some Grammy love.

Brad Paisley

  • Best Country Album: American Saturday Night
  • Best Male Country Vocal Performance: “Welcome to the Future”
  • Best Country Instrumental Performance: “Back to the Future”

Paisley has reaffirmed himself as a creative force to be reckoned with and deserves to be amply rewarded with multiple Grammy nominations this year. The rock edge to his token instrumental track is a refreshing new take on his guitar-playing virtuosity.

Carrie Underwood

  • Best Female Country Vocal Performance: “Just a Dream”
  • Best Country Vocal Collaboration: “I Told You So” (with Randy Travis)

Even though Underwood won the ACM Entertainer of the Year trophy this past spring, it’s felt like it’s been all quiet on the Carrie front lately. That’s interesting, since I think that the two best singles from her Carnival Ride album were the ones saved for last. She won over a tough lineup with a weaker single last year, so I suspect a win for “Just a Dream” will be even easier to pull off.

2009 had nominations for strong singles from Lee Ann Womack, Trisha Yearwood and LeAnn Rimes, none of whom are likely to be contenders this year. Perhaps Taylor Swift will finally get a nomination in her gender genre race this time around.


  • Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal: “Already Gone”
  • Best Country Album: Live on the Inside

It’s been an very weak year for mainstream country albums, so Sugarland’s collection of legitimized bootlegs might actually get a nomination. It’s not quite as good as Love on the Inside, but it’s still a lot better than most of their mates at country radio have been turning in lately.

That’s about all I can think about right now, though I’m sure there are some great things I’ve missed. Who do you think deserves some Grammy love this year?


  1. I thought live recordings weren’t eligible for Grammy nominations? Maybe the rules have been changed, but I think that’s how it used to be — though I wouldn’t bet my house on it.

  2. Razor: I believe that John Mayer’s live cover of Free Fallin’ was nominated last year, it may have even won.

    I think that Taylor will get an all-genre album of the year nomination. Her album was very well reviewed, and she is a critic’s darling.

  3. Live recordings are eligible. Actually, it’s common for songs which should have been rewarded in their studio incarnations to later get nominated/win when they’re done live. That happened with Daft Punk and “Harder Better Faster Stronger” this past year, and I think it might have been how Keith Urban was able to nominated two years in a row for “You’ll Think of Me” (he released a version from Livin’ Right Now).

  4. Lee Ann Womack could sneak in there with ‘Solitary Thinkin,’ The great thing about the Grammy’s is the song doesnt need to be a hit to be nominated, like ‘What I Cannot Change’ from last year. I would hope the Womack’s ‘Call Me Crazy’ would get nominated but if I recall correctly, her masterpiece ‘There’s More Where That Came From’ didnt even get nominated during its eligable year. ‘Dead Flowers’ would be welcomed in the female category for me, and Billy Currington, ‘People Are Crazy’ for male.

  5. Hey Kevin, thanks for the nice comments about George Strait’s music…but….”El Rey” is not a “country song” and IMO shouldn’t be nominated in that category. His latest single “Living for the Night” should definitely be instead. As for “El Rey”, don’t they have Mexican or Hispanic music categories?? Perhaps it could get a nomination there???

  6. Just saw this on youtube…it’s Carrie Underwoods newest single from her new album, Play On. Not sure how I feel about it yet…just thought I’d share.


  7. Todd Snider is due to be award row….. I look forward to every release to hear his perception of the wacked world around us…. it this thing on?

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