Grammy Noms for Folk Folks

The nominations for this year’s Grammy Awards came out last week. Johnny Cash is again nominated, despite having passed away over a year ago, and the late Ray Charles is a lock to “walk away” with several prizes, but there are many nominees who are still among the living. Without the sentimental pull of the late Warren Zevon‘s last album mucking up the mix, this year’s nominees for Best Contemporary Folk Album feature plenty of original singer/songwriter material and only include one entry focused on the work of dead artists (although Dave Van Ronk rises again in the traditional category).

Ani DiFranco, who won a Grammy last year for best CD design (for which she’s nominated again this year), makes a mark with her music with a nod for Educated Guess. Steve Earle‘s political statement, The Revolution Starts… Now, earned him a ticket to the Staples Center on Feb. 13. Eliza Gilkyson and Patty Griffin bring two powerful releases, Land Of Milk And Honey and Impossible Dream respectively, to the list. The nominees are rounded out with The Unbroken Circle, a CD tribute to The Carter Family produced by John Carter Cash that includes contributions from Sheryl Crow, John Prine and some interesting collaborations between artists.

Norman & Nancy Blake, who appear on Unbroken Circle, are nominated themselves for The Morning Glory Ramblers in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. The Blakes are up against another compilation, Beautiful Dreamer – The Songs of Stephen Foster; a Cajun band (BeauSoleil with Gitane Cajun); the late Dave Van Ronk’s final performance on …And The Tin Pan Bended, And The Story Ended… (which includes plenty of Dave’s talking between the songs as well); and folk singer and storyteller Rosalie Sorrels and friends (My Last Go Round – listen to a preview on her web site).

The Grammy Awards ceremony (which most likely will not present any of these artists on stage) will be broadcast live in the U.S. on CBS on Feb. 13 beginning at 8 p.m. EST.

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