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2018 GRAMMY Nominations: Best Americana Album Roundup

(L-R) Jason Isbell, Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), Gregg Allman, Brent Cobb, Raul Malo (Mavericks)
Photos: Wireimage.com

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2018 GRAMMY Nominations: Best Americana Album Roundup

Ranging from genre pioneers to storytelling titans and modern troubadours, take an in-depth look at the 60th GRAMMY nominees up for Best Americana Album

GRAMMYs/Jan 17, 2018 - 07:52 am

While Americana is one of the younger genre categories to be recognized at the 60th GRAMMY Awards — the award was implemented for 2009 — the music itself is deeply rooted in our country's musical culture. Whether incorporating the crafty twang of country, wielding the attitude and grit of rock, summoning the spirit of soul, or harkening back to the storytelling origins of folk, Americana at its best tends to pick just the right mix of flowers and weeds from the garden of musical tradition to create a bouquet that is familiar yet fresh, beautiful yet prickly and reverent yet honest.

This year's crop of GRAMMY nominees in the Best Americana Album category covers a vast swath of the genre's influencers and tastemakers. Nominees range from the legendary late Gregg Allman, who helped invent the genre with the Allman Brothers Band, to newcomer Brent Cobb, who represents the contour of a more modern Nashville, Tenn., skyline with deep roots and country crossover ability.

The category also includes alt-country pioneers the Mavericks, who blend "Cuban grooves and Bakersfield-inspired twang," indie-folk sweetheart Iron & Wine, who brought the genre to a new audience, and Americana powerhouse Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, who have re-drawn the genre's boundaries of success and influence.

Let's take a closer look at the five GRAMMY nominees making the cut in this dynamic Best Americana Album category.

Gregg Allman, Southern Blood

The final studio album from one of rock and roll's true legends, Southern Blood delivered an intimate look at GRAMMY winner Allman. For his last act, Allman compiled a collection of one original song — the leadoff track, "My Only Friend" — plus a mixture of cover songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Lowell George, Jackson Browne, Willie Dixon, and more.

Released three months following Allman's death, the album was recorded at the historic Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and was produced by GRAMMY winner Don Was. Despite the sense that Allman's health was worsening — the singer died on May 27, 2017, due to complications from liver cancer — Was explained that the album came from a more uplifting place of introspection.

"It's not an album about dying," said Was. "Gregg was explaining his life and making sense of it, both for the fans who stood with him for decades, and for himself."

Brent Cobb, Shine On Rainy Day

Originally from a small town in rural Georgia, singer/songwriter Cobb has managed to carve out his own groove while landing big-time cuts with marquee Nashville names such as Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney and Luke Bryan. But country star-power aside, Cobb's soulful debut album, Shine On Rainy Day, evokes the vibe of his hometown of Ellaville, Ga.

"It just is Georgia," said Cobb. "It's just that rural, easy-going way it feels down there on a nice spring evening when the wind's blowing warm and you smell wisteria, you know?"

While Cobb hopes to win his first GRAMMY, it wouldn't be the first GRAMMY in his family. His cousin, Americana super producer Dave Cobb, took home two trophies at the 58th GRAMMY Awards: Best Country Album for Chris Stapleton's Traveller and Best Americana Album — the same category for which his cousin is now vying — for Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free.

Iron & Wine, Beast Epic

Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Sam Beam returned in 2017 with his sixth LP, and first in four years, under the stage moniker Iron & Wine. Earning Beam his first career nomination, Beast Epic showcases the direct connection his songs draw to the soul, while giving his audience a new, more vulnerable view inside his world.

"I feel like [vulnerability is] important for what I like to write songs about," Beam told Under The Radar. "That's appropriate for this group for sure. There's a brokenness to them but I also don't think they're just sad. They're just honest songs about our frailties and our strengths."

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound

Coming off his time in alt-country rock ramblers Drive-By Truckers, Isbell has enjoyed a wildly successful solo career in recent years, highlighted by 2013's Southeastern and his 2015 GRAMMY-winning album, Something More Than Free, which took home two awards at the 58th GRAMMY Awards, one for Best Americana Album and another for Best American Roots Song for "24 Frames."

His latest effort, The Nashville Sound, re-enlists his backing band, the 400 Unit, and establishes Isbell as one of today's finest songwriters. His band includes his talented wife, Amanda Shires, on violin — a successful singer/songwriter in her own right. The couple's romantic and musical compatibility is on full display in the painful and stunning "If We Were Vampires," which also earned Isbell a GRAMMY nomination this year for Best American Roots Song.

The Mavericks, Brand New Day

Unique in their design and execution of Americana music, pulling in Latin flavor with retro rockabilly elements, the Mavericks formed more than 25 years ago. Led by singer/songwriter and co-producer Raul Malo, the Mavericks returned in 2017 with Brand New Day, their third album in five years following a nine-year hiatus.

Rolling Stone lauded the title track's "throwback, symphonic sweep," adding it "recalls the wall of sound arrangements of the 1960s. Malo pulls double duty as frontman and Phil Spector-ish producer, stacking the song high with bells, horns, harmonies, and plenty of four-on-the-floor stomp."

The Mavericks are hoping to land their second career GRAMMY win. The band's "Here Comes The Rain" won Best Country Performance at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for 1995.

Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

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Bruno Mars Wins Song Of The Year | 2018 GRAMMYs

The Hawaiian native takes home Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like" at the 60th GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 08:11 am

Feeling the 24K Magic, Bruno Mars' successful progress through the categories he's been nominated in at the 60th GRAMMY Awards picked up another one at Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like."


Christopher Brody Brown and Philip Lawrence co-write with Mars under the name Shampoo Press & Curl. The other winning songwriters for Mars' hit tonight in this category are James Fauntleroy and production team "The Sterotypes" — Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and  Jonathan Yip.

For additional "Finesse" on stage at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Mars was joined by Cardi B for a reprise of their 148-million-views hit remix.

The Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award wrapped up the night and wrapped up Bruno Mars' complete rampage through his six nominated categories — now six wins.

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