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Yola, Breakout Country/Soul Star, Earns Four Grammy Nominations

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Alysse Gafkjen
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Yola, the English country/soul powerhouse singer and songwriter who was widely noticed via the Americana Music Associations in the United Kingdom and the US, has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, including the industry-wide Best New Artist category. The Wednesday morning announcement caps a remarkable year that began with the release of her debut album Walk Through Fire. The project was produced and released by Nashville’s Dan Auerbach, who was himself nominated as non-classical Producer of the Year as well as earning a shared, co-writer nomination with Yola for Best Amerian Roots Song.

Yola is up for Americana Album of the Year, as well as Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance for “Faraway Look,” the album’s opening track. It marks the first time an emerging Americana format artist born and raised overseas has seen such dramatic and rapid success in the American music marketplace. “To be nominated for four awards in the 10th month of my debut year is beyond a dream come true,” Yola said in a statement from Europe, where she’s on tour. “ Thank you to my incredible team and everyone who has supported and believed in me along the way.”

The Americana Album nominees are more diverse than ever, rounded out by Franklin, TN-based Keb’ Mo’s Oklahoma, Kenyan J.S. Ondara’s Tales of America, Years To Burn by Arizona’s Calexico with Iron & Wine and Who Are You Now by young California songwriter Madison Cunningham. The closely related Folk category features legend Patty Griffin, four-time Grammy winner Joy Williams, high concept songwriter/violinist Andrew Bird, South Africa-born, Boulder-based songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov and new fusion string band Che Appalache.

Breakout African-American folk singer Amythyst Kiah of East Tennessee landed her first Grammy nomination in the American Roots Song category for the anthemic “Black Myself.” The song is part of the vibrant Songs Of Our Native Daughters project spearheaded by Rhiannon Giddens with fellow folk artists Allison Russell and Leyla McCalla. That quartet performed “Black Myself” as the opening song of the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards, which airs on PBS this weekend. Giddens, a six-time nominee and one-time winner for her work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, was nominated in Best American Roots Performance for “I’m On My Way” from her album There Is No Other with collaborator Francesco Turisi. 

The Best Bluegrass Album category closely tracks artists who’ve been recognized over the years by the International Bluegrass Music Association, but it does include some significant first-time Grammy nominees, including veteran songwriter/ bass player Missy Raines and throwback band the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Michael Cleveland and icon Doyle Lawson round out the category. 

The 62nd Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The American Roots category nominees are published below. A full list of Grammy nominees can be found here

 
 

45. Best American Roots Performance
 

  • SAINT HONESTY
    Sara Bareilles
     
  • FATHER MOUNTAIN
    Calexico And Iron & Wine
     
  • I'M ON MY WAY
    Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
     
  • CALL MY NAME
    I'm With Her
     
  • FARAWAY LOOK
    Yola

46. Best American Roots Song

  • BLACK MYSELF
    Amythyst Kiah, songwriter (Our Native Daughters)
     
  • CALL MY NAME
    Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O'Donovan & Sara Watkins, songwriters (I'm With Her)
     
  • CROSSING TO JERUSALEM
    Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, songwriters (Rosanne Cash)
     
  • FARAWAY LOOK
    Dan Auerbach, Yola Carter & Pat McLaughlin, songwriters (Yola)
     
  • I DON'T WANNA RIDE THE RAILS NO MORE
    Vince Gill, songwriter (Vince Gill)

47. Best Americana Album
 

  • YEARS TO BURN
    Calexico And Iron & Wine
     
  • WHO ARE YOU NOW
    Madison Cunningham
     
  • OKLAHOMA
    Keb' Mo'
     
  • TALES OF AMERICA
    J.S. Ondara
     
  • WALK THROUGH FIRE
    Yola

48. Best Bluegrass Album

  • TALL FIDDLER
    Michael Cleveland
     
  • LIVE IN PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
    Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
     
  • TOIL, TEARS & TROUBLE
    The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
     
  • ROYAL TRAVELLER
    Missy Raines
     
  • IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT
    Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

49. Best Traditional Blues Album
 

  • KINGFISH
    Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
     
  • TALL, DARK & HANDSOME
    Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men
     
  • SITTING ON TOP OF THE BLUES
    Bobby Rush
     
  • BABY, PLEASE COME HOME
    Jimmie Vaughan
     
  • SPECTACULAR CLASS
    Jontavious Willis

50. Best Contemporary Blues Album
 

  • THIS LAND
    Gary Clark Jr.
     
  • VENOM & FAITH
    Larkin Poe
     
  • BRIGHTER DAYS
    Robert Randolph & The Family Band
     
  • SOMEBODY SAVE ME
    Sugaray Rayford
     
  • KEEP ON
    Southern Avenue

51. Best Folk Album
 

  • MY FINEST WORK YET
    Andrew Bird
     
  • REARRANGE MY HEART
    Che Apalache
     
  • PATTY GRIFFIN
    Patty Griffin
     
  • EVENING MACHINES
    Gregory Alan Isakov
     
  • FRONT PORCH
    Joy Williams

52. Best Regional Roots Music Album
 

  • KALAWAI’ANUI
    Amy H?naiali’i
     
  • WHEN IT'S COLD - CREE ROUND DANCE SONGS
    Northern Cree
     
  • GOOD TIME
    Ranky Tanky
     
  • RECORDED LIVE AT THE 2019 NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL
    Rebirth Brass Band
     
  • HAWAIIAN LULLABY
    (Various Artists)
    Imua Garza & Kimié Miner, producers

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