The 54th Grammy Awards had some pleasant surprises…
Best Americana Album: Ramble At The Ryman by Levon Helm on Vanguard/Dirt Farmer Music. The live album was recorded at Nashville’s Ryman Theater, featuring some great special guests like John Hiatt and Sheryl Crow. Levon Helm also won a Grammy Award in the same category in 2010.
Best Blues Album: Revelator by Tedeschi Trucks Band on Masterworks. I just love Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks Band, these guys are simply amazing musicians, and their choice of material is always tasty.
I also have to say I’m thrilled that Marcia Ball’s album Roadside Attractions on Alligator was also nominated for Best Blues Album.
Best Pop Instrumental Album: The Road From Memphis by Booker T. Jones on Anti Records. This is a great album of classic Memphis soul featuring legendary Motown session guitarist Dennis Coffey and members of The Roots. Kudos to Booker T. Jones for keeping this important tradition of southern soul alive. Plus I just love the sound of the Hammond B3 through a Leslie!
Best Historical Album: Band On The Run (Paul McCartney Archive Collection – Deluxe Edition) on Hear Music. My favorite Wings album! McCartney was also honored as the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year, and received his long-awaited star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame last week.
Best Surround Sound Album: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (Super Deluxe Edition,) Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Bill Levenson & Elliot Scheiner, surround producers, Derek & The Dominos on USM/UMe/Polydor. A must-have album for any Eric Clapton fan, and an important piece of music history.
Foo Fighters had multiple Grammy wins with Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance of “White Limo,” Best Rock Song “Walk,” and Best Rock Album Wasting Light on RCA/Roswell Records. I like the fact that this album was recorded in the band’s garage on a tape machine, which is a testament to the raw power of a real performance by real musicians. Dave Grohl had the best acceptance speech when he said…”it’s all about the human element in music…singing into a microphone and musicians playing real instruments.”
Best Bluegrass Album: Paper Airplane by Alison Krauss & Union Station on Rounder Records.
Also nominated for Best Bluegrass Album was Rare Bird Alert by Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers on Rounder Records. I have profound respect for Steve Martin and his band for being nominated in this catagory.
The Civil Wars won two awards; Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Barton Hollow,” and the band also won Best Folk Album for their album Barton Hollow on Sensibility Music.
Best Country Song and Solo Performance: “Mean” by Taylor Swift from her album Speak Now on Big Machine Records. Swift and her six-string banjo turned in a flawless performance on the song, with a big band on an even bigger stage set.
It’s a shame The Band Perry didn’t win for Best New Artist. They were my favorite nominated in this category.
Best New Age Album: What’s It All About by Pat Metheny on Nonesuch Records.
Best Spoken Word Album: If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) by Betty White on Penguin Audio. I have a lot of respect for these older artists who keep busy on current projects, regardless of their age they stay young and active doing what they love to do!
Best Instrumental Composition: ”Life In Eleven” by Béla Fleck & Howard Levy, from their Rocket Science album on eOne Music. Béla Fleck & The Flecktones make some truly amazing music; they also won last year for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package: The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town, story by Dave Bett & Michelle Holme, art directors, Bruce Springsteen on Columbia Records.
Great performances included the Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys duet of “Sunday Kind of Love” in tribute to Etta James, Beach Boys with Maroon Five, Foo Fighters, the Whitney Houston memorable tribute led by Jennifer Hudson, and Questlove gave tribute to the late Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. And of course, Glen Campbell; it’s awe-inspiring to see such a legendary artist in the throes of such an awful disease still perform with grace and style.
I won’t go into the disgraceful aspects of the show (let’s stay positive here,) but Tony Peters at iconfetch.com captured my feelings on this year’s Grammies.
There’s a complete list of Grammy Award winners at grammy.com
Monday, February 13th, 2012
Written by: Mike Withrow
Posted in Awards