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Brandi Carlile And Molly Tuttle Among Top Grammy Nominees

Brandi Carlile.
Will Heath/NBC
Brandi Carlile.

It seems lately that it is Brandi Carlile’s world and we’re but grateful citizens on her gentle planet. The socially active singer songwriter and proud flag waver for Americana music received seven nominations for the 65th Grammy Awards on Tuesday, bringing her lifetime collection to 24. Meanwhile, bluegrass artist Molly Tuttle’s nomination in the industry-wide Best New Artist category was a coup for roots music. The category hadn’t seen an Americana artist nominated since Yola in 2019.

Brandi Carlile’s haul of potential trophies includes: Album of the Year and Best Americana Album for 2021’s In These Silent Days; Record of the Year, Best Americana Performance, and Best American Roots Song for its track “You And Me On The Rock” featuring the duo Lucius; and a pair of nods in the rock categories for the song “Broken Horses.” Carlile is also one of the most awarded artists in Americana itself in recent years, having won its Artist of the Year prize in 2019 and 2021.

Other contenders for the Americana Album of the Year are Alison Krauss and Robert Plant for Raise The Roof, Bonnie Raitt for Just Like That, Keb’ Mo’ for Good To Be, and the late Dr. John for his posthumous release Things Happen That Way. These are, frankly, among the oldest and most widely famous prospects in the format, suggesting a striking lack of attention to the heart of the music’s vibrant scene. Overlooked were Americana radio standouts and critically acclaimed artists such as Charley Crockett, Sierra Ferrell, Adia Victoria, Amythyst Kiah, Maggie Rose, Nathaniel Rateliff, and even the prolific Jim Lauderdale who’s only earned one non bluegrass nomination in his long career releasing country and soul leaning Americana.

Molly Tuttle also took a nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for her fresh yet traditional opus Crooked Tree in a category that spanned a wider range of generations. They include veterans Peter Rowan (Calling You From My Mountain) and the Del McCoury Band (Almost Proud), mid-career standouts Yonder Mountain String Band (Get Yourself Outside) and the Infamous Stringdusters (Toward The Fray).

Maren Morris, a rare country artist with good standing in roots music by way of her collaboration in The Highwomen, had a very good day, snagging three nominations including Best Country Album and Song. Willie Nelson, certainly no red headed stranger to the Grammys, picked up nods for Best Country Album (A Beautiful Time) and Best Country Solo Performance for “Live Forever” from the new Billy Joe Shaver Tribute album.

Sorting out who should be in the Folk Album category versus Americana is always a puzzle. Nominees Punch Brothers (Hell On Church Street), Madison Cunningham (Revealer) and Aoife O’Donovan (Age Of Apathy) could have gone either way. Veterans Janis Ian (The Light At The End of the Line) and Judy Collins (Spellbound) are also up for the prize. Cunningham, one of the most rapidly and imaginative young artists in folk/rock also took a nomination for Best American Roots Performance for the moving “Life According To Rachel”.

In Traditional Blues, age and experience reigned, with album nominations for Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal with Ry Cooder, John Mayall, Charlie Musselwhite and Gov’t Mule. In the Contemporary Blues Album category, we find Shemekia Copeland going for her first Grammy after four prior nominations for her release Done Come Too Far, alongside Eric Gales, Ben Harper, Edgar Winter and the North Mississippi Allstars.

In other notable Nashville nominations, Dan Auerbach is up for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, saxophone player and composer Jeff Coffin could win Best Contemporary Instrumental Album (for Between Dreaming And Joy), while the Tennessee State University Marching Band took its first-ever nomination in the Best Roots Gospel Album category.

The 65th GRAMMY Awards will take place at Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.

See the complete list of Grammy Awards nominations here.

Craig Havighurst is WMOT's editorial director and host of The String, a weekly interview show airing Mondays at 8 pm, repeating Sundays at 7 am. He also co-hosts The Old Fashioned on Saturdays at 9 am and Tuesdays at 8 pm. Threads and Instagram: @chavighurst. Email: craig@wmot.org