A 57th Annual Grammy Awards Complete Preview

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THE 57th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

When: 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific on CBS.

Where: The Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Host: LL Cool J

Pre-Telecast: Streaming at Grammy.com. Starts at 3 PM Eastern. Schedule of pre-telecast can be seen here.

EARLY WINNERS*

*NOTE: As early winners relevant to the country realm are announced, they will be added here.

Hank Williams and “The Garden Spot Programs 1950” wins for Best Historical Album. The award went to Colin Escott (Hank’s biographer) & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer.

Carrie Underwood wins Best Country Solo Performance for “Something In The Water.”

The Band Perry wins Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Gentle On My Mind.”

Glen Campbell & Songwriters win the Best Country Song Grammy for “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”

The Earls of Leichester win the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy for the album “The Earls of Leichester”

”Rosanne Cash wins three Grammy’s. Best American Roots Performance, Best American Roots Song, and Best Americana Album.

Sturgill Simpson is beat out by Rosanne Cash for Best Americana Album.

Old Crow Medicine Show wins for Best Folk Album

THINGS TO WATCH FOR

Not a lot of country this year. Despite the country genre rising to become arguably the biggest genre in popular music right now, there’s just not a whole lot of country to be featured on the show this year. Last year there were six country performances, including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson all performing together with Blake Shelton. This year’s country performance slots are cut in half, with the only collaboration being between Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam. The Grammy’s usually tend to be a little more dignified to begin with, but it’s good to see there will be no Bro-Country performers or performances on the night.

Brandy Clark could be a big story. Though she’s probably an outsider for all of her nominated awards, if she wins Best Country Album and Best New Artist, she could walk away being considered one of the biggest winners of the entire night. This would also anoint her as a new top tier female country performer. Simply being awarded a performance slot shows just how much the Grammy’s think of her, and may be a hint that she will win something.

Taylor Swift is not performing. In a curious decision, the high flying Taylor Swift who’s positively dominated the charts recently will not perform. She will however hand out an award, and you can be sure the camera will find her for shots of awkward dancing and shock face.

Sturgill Simpson & others in pre-telecast awards. For independent country, roots, and bluegrass fans, most of the drama will be over before the TV presentation begins. The Americana, bluegrass, and some of the country awards will be given away pre-presentation. We’ll keep folks updated to the winners here.

No matter what, expect Miranda Lambert to have a big night. Because people love giving awards to Miranda.

THE COUNTRY PERFORMANCES

Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam will be performing Brandy’s song “Hold My Hand.” It’s said the two “bonded” while touring together opening for Eric Church. It should be one of the highlights of the night.

Eric Church will make his first ever Grammy Awards performance.

Miranda Lambert will perform “Little Red Wagon.” Miranda says she’s ready to “rock out” after having performed ballads on the Grammys in previous years.

THE PRESENTERS

”Similar to the performances, 2015 is light on country presenters. Dierks Bentley and Keith Urban are the only announced presenters, while former country artist Taylor Swift will also present an award. Hunter Hayes is the host of the pre-telecast presentation.

”Other artist presenters include Dave Grohl, Stevie Wonder, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Niki Minaj, Meghan Trainor, Nick Jonas, Pentatonix, Barry Gibb, Enrique Iglesias, Smokey Robinson, and Nile Rodgers.

”Actor and TV Personality presenters include James Corden, Josh Duhamel, Jamie Foxx, Anna Kendrick, Shia LaBeouf, Katharine McPhee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gina Rodriguez, and Ryan Seacrest.

OTHER GRAMMY PERFORMERS

  • AC/DC
  • Beck and Chris Martin
  • Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
  • Beyoncé
  • Common and John Legend
  • Ariana Grande
  • Herbie Hancock, John Mayer, Questlove with Ed Sheeran
  • Hozier and Annie Lennox
  • Jessie J and Tom Jones
  • Juanes
  • Lang Lang
  • Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani
  • Jeff Lynne’s ELO
  • Madonna
  • Katy Perry
  • Rihanna, Paul McCartney and Kanye West
  • Sia
  • Sam Smith and Mary J. Blige
  • Usher
  • Pharrell Williams

 

COUNTRY AWARD NOMINEES, PREDICTIONS, OBSERVATIONS

Best Country Album

It’s good to see Brandy Clark and Lee Ann Womack recognized here, but this feels very much like a race between Eric Church and Miranda. Lambert has been winning these Best Album awards left and right, but with the value Eric puts on them, you can be assured his label is lobbying hard for him to win.

  • Dierks Bentley Riser
  • Eric Church The Outsiders – Potential Winner
  • Brandy Clark 12 Stories
  • Miranda Lambert Platinum- Potential Winner
  • Lee Ann Womack The Way I’m Livin’

 

Best Americana Album

Progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek was put in this category because they’re more commercially-viable than most bluegrass, and Sturgill Simpson was put in this category because he’s less commercially-viable than most country. Great to see Sturgill nominated, but would have been better if he wasn’t relegated to Americana, which is how this feels. At least they didn’t screw up like last year when they didn’t nominate Jason Isbell at all. Rosanne Cash and Nickel Creek were the strong contenders when the nominations were announced. But now with Sturgill continuing to rise and with a major label behind him, it might be his to lose.

  • Sturgill Simpson Metamodern Sounds of Country Music – Winner
  • Rosanne Cash The River & The Thread – Other Potential Winner
  • John Hiatt Terms of My Surrender
  • Keb’ Mo’ Bluesamericana
  • Nickel Creek A Dotted Line – Other Potential Winner

 

Best Country Song

Can you say “sympathy vote”? Miranda and Eric Church will also be strong contenders.

  • Kenny Chesney  “American Kids” (Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally)
  • Miranda Lambert  “Automatic” (Nicolle Galyon, Natalie Hemby, Miranda Lambert)
  • Eric Church  “Give Me Back My Hometown” (Eric Church, Luke Laird)
  • Glen Campbell  “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond) – Winner
  • Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill  “Meanwhile, Back at Mama’s” (Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston, Jeffrey Steele)

 

Best Country Solo Performance

If Keith Urban walks away with this, Sam Hunt gets a Grammy as the songwriter. Carrie Underwood deserves this, but who knows.

  • Eric Church “Give Me Back My Hometown”
  • Hunter Hayes “Invisible”
  • Miranda Lambert “Automatic”
  • Carrie Underwood “Something In The Water”
  • Keith Urban “Cop Car”

 

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Dreck on parade. Even The Band Perry’s cover of Glen Campbell barely raises a pulse.

  • The Band Perry “Gentle On My Mind
  • Miranda Lambert with Carrie Underwood   “Somethin’ Bad”
  • Little Big Town “Day Drinking”
  • Tim McGraw with Faith Hill “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”
  • Keith Urban with Eric Church “Raise ‘Em Up”

 

Best Bluegrass Album

  • The Earls of Leichester The Earls of Leichester
  • Noam Pikelny Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen Cold Spell
  • Bryan Sutton Into My Own
  • Rhonda Vincent Only Me

 

Best American Roots Performance

  • Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal “Statesboro Blues”
  • Rosanne Cash “A Feathers Not a Bird”
  • Billy Childs with Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas “And When I Die”
  • Keb’ Mo’ “The Old Me Better”
  • Nickel Creek “Destination”

 

Best American Roots Song

  • Rosanne Cash “A Feathers Not a Bird”
  • Jesse Winchester “Just So Much”
  • Woody Guthrie & Del McCoury “The New York Trains”
  • Edie Brickell & Steve Martin “Pretty Little One”
  • John Hiatt “Terms of My Surrender”

 

Best Folk Album

  • Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas, & Rob Ickes Three Bells
  • Alice Gerrard Follow The Music
  • Eliza Gilkyson The Nocturne Diaries
  • Old Crow Medicine Show Remedy
  • Jesse Winchester A Reasonable Amount of Trouble