Black Music Matters Festival

Country acts gear up for Grammys

Saturday, February 11, 2017 – Country acts ranging from Sturgill Simpson to Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban will be onstage during the 59th Grammy awards on Sunday.

Simpson, Underwood and Urban will perform along with Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Maren Morris and Alicia Keys. Simpson was nominated for Album of the Year for "A Sailor's Guide to Earth." Ballerini and Morris were both nominated for Best New Artist.

Presenters during the evening are Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and Thomas Rhett.

Country nominations were:

Best Country Solo Performance:
"Love Can Go To Hell" - Brandy Clark
"Vice" - Miranda Lambert
"My Church" - Maren Morris
"Church Bells" - Carrie Underwood
"Blue Ain't Your Color" - Keith Urban Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
"Different for Girls" - Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King
"21 Summer" - Brothers Osborne
"Setting The World On Fire" - Kenny Chesney & P!nk
"Jolene" - Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton
"Think Of You" - Chris Young With Cassadee Pope Best Country Song:
"Blue Ain't Your Color" - Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban)
"Die A Happy Man" - Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett)
"Humble and Kind" - Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw)
"My Church" - busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris)
"Vice" - Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert) Best Country Album:
Big Day In A Small Town - Brandy Clark
Full Circle - Loretta Lynn
Hero - Maren Morris
A Sailor's Guide To Earth - Sturgill Simpson
Ripcord - Keith Urban

In the Americana Roots Music Field, nominees were:

Best American Roots Performance:
"Ain't No Man" - The Avett Brothers
"Mother's Children Have A Hard Time" - Blind Boys Of Alabama
"Factory Girl" - Rhiannon Giddens
"House Of Mercy" - Sarah Jarosz
"Wreck You" - Lori McKenna Best American Roots Song:
"Alabama At Night" - Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks)
"City Lights" - Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
"Gulfstream" - Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars)
"Kid Sister" - Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers)
"Wreck You" - Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna) Best Americana Album:
True Sadness - The Avett Brothers
This Is Where I Live - William Bell
The Cedar Creek Sessions - Kris Kristofferson
The Bird & The Rifle - Lori McKenna
Kid Sister - The Time Jumpers Best Bluegrass Album:
Original Traditional - Blue Highway
Burden Bearer - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The Hazel Sessions - Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
North And South - Claire Lynch
Coming Home - O'Connor Band With Mark O'Connor

Best Folk Album
Silver Skies Blue - Judy Collins & Ari Hest
Upland Stories - Robbie Fulks
Factory Girl - Rhiannon Giddens
Weighted Mind - Sierra Hull
Undercurrent - Sarah Jarosz

Hillary Scott & The Scott Family were nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for "Love Remains." Scott is one-third of Lady Antebellum.

Joey + Rory were nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album for "Hymns," which was released within days of her death from cancer last year.

Willie Nelson was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin." He goes up against Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli.

The Okee Dokee Brothers' "Saddle Up" was nominated for Best Children's Album.

"Bright Star," with music from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.

In the Best Recording Package category, Reckless Kelly was nominated for "Sunset Motel" with Sara and Shauna Dodds as art directors.

Nominated for Best Album Notes was "The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection" - Mikal Gilmore, album notes writer for Kris Kristofferson.

Sarah Jarosz's "Undercurrent " was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non Classical with Shani Gandhi and Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer nominated.

The Grand Ole Opry received a nomination for "American Saturday Night: Live From the Grand Ole Opry" for Best Music Film.

The awards will be broadcast starting at 8 p.m. eastern on CBS.

More news for Sturgill Simpson

CD reviews for Sturgill Simpson

A Soldier's Guide to Earth CD review - A Soldier's Guide to Earth
If scratching your head about the sounds emanating from Sturgill Simpson's third release, then "It Ain't All Flowers" from his last release, the excellent "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," ought to serve as a reference point. In a disc filled with traditional country sounds, "Flowers" was about as far away as one could get with the electronics sounding so completely disjointed from everything else on the release. Put it this way - " Islands" »»»
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music CD review - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
The first time you hear Sturgill sing you may feel like you've heard a ghost - the ghost of Waylon Jennings, that is. Although his voice isn't as low as Jennings' was, it's nevertheless still in the same general vocal range ballpark. Better still, the Kentucky native sings wonderfully honest country songs. "Life of Sin," for instance, is a song about, well, sinning, which is really some of what great country is all about. Yes, most of this album will do a »»»
High Top Mountain CD review - High Top Mountain
There's not a whole lot of traditional troubadours around these days. Old school may still be appreciated, but when it comes to country crossovers and reaching the masses, it's roots rock, alt.-country and Americana that hold the upper hand. Which makes it surprising in a way that newcomer Sturgill Simpson should sound like such a, well, old-timer. Hell, even his name resembles the kind of handle aptly suited to a country crooner. It's little wonder then that his debut disc, »»»