GRAMMY 60


It’s only an awards show, but there’s plenty to talk about with the 2018 Grammy nominations. Away from the rock and metal nominations, the lists of Country/Americana/Blues nominations has raised some eyebrows—as has the treatment of those genres’ artists.

Most notably, among the four all-genre categories that get the lion’s share of Grammy attention, there is not one country or Americana-based artist or record. Maybe it’s been a poor year – sales and most critics say otherwise, though – but you have to go back to 1994 to find a year where no country act got a top nod. You could spin that fact all ways, though: due to hip-hop R&B’s dominance in the main categories, rock doesn’t get a look-in either in those top Record, Artist, Album et al categories either.

Still, with so many categories, the Grammys is the sort of show where nearly everyone’s a winner, right? Many observers think the Rolling Stones already have the Traditional Blues award sewn up because, well, they’re the Rolling Stones, right, and this could indeed be the last time. And Gregg Allman’s Southern Blood looks a favorite in Americana: but not just because the legend died this year, it also happens to be an absolutely superb album. Jason Isbell has a strong showing too and the still remarkable Derek Trucks once again gets a nod in Contemporary Blues.

So, in the pick of the more traditional guitars+songs categories, keep your eyes on...

Best Traditional Blues Album

Blue & Lonesome – The Rolling Stones

Migration Blues – Eric Bibb

Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio – Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio

Roll and Tumble – R.L. Boyce

Sonny & Brownie's Last Train – Guy Davis and Fabrizio Poggi


Best Americana Album Nominees

Southern Blood – Gregg Allman

Shine on Rainy Day – Brent Cobb

Beast Epic – Iron & Wine

The Nashville Sound – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Brand New Day – The Mavericks


Best Americana Roots Song Nominees (with songwriter names)

“Cumberland Gap” David Rawlings (David Rawlings & Gillian Welch)

“I Wish You Well” The Mavericks (Raul Malo & Alan Miller)

“If We Were Vampires” Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Jason Isbell)

“It Ain’t Over Yet” Rodney Crowell Featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White (Rodney Crowell)

“My Only True Friend” Gregg Allman (Gregg Allman & Scott Sharrard)


Best Contemporary Blues Album Nominees

Live From the Fox Oakland – Tedeschi Trucks Band

Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm – Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm

Recorded Live in Lafayette – Sonny Landreth

TajMo – Taj Mahal & Keb' Mo'

Got Soul – Robert Randolph & The Family Band


Best Country Album

Cosmic Hallelujah Kenny Chesney

Heart Break Lady Antebellum

The Breaker Little Big Town

Life Changes Thomas Rhett

From A Room: Volume 1 Chris Stapleton