Sturgill Simpson, Brandy Clark Receive 2014 Grammy Noms
On Friday morning (12-5), the Grammy Award nominations were inefficiently and unceremoniously announced via Twitter (like we need another reason to bury our faces in our phones), and once again proved that their nose for quality in country music is somewhat better than what we’re used to seeing from the country music industry itself, even if their ability to categorize music remains somewhat curious.
Why is Sturgill Simpson ‘Americana’ instead of ‘Country,’ and Brandy Clark ‘country’ instead of ‘Americana’? Just because one is independent and one is mainstream? And isn’t Nickel Creek bluegrass, which has its own Grammy category? Nonetheless, seeing names like Sturgill Simpson, Brandy Clark, and Nickel Creek receive nods gives a little more hope to the music heart that is regularly dashed by annual award exercises, so the people who spend 363 days a year pretending they’re too cool for award shows can celebrate.
***UPDATE: According to numerous concertgoers, at Sturgill Simpson’s concert on December 5th in Milwaukee, he said about the nomination, “One year ago today we threw together an album in four days, today it got nominated for a fucking Grammy. Not exactly sure what Americana means but apparently it means a lot more than country. I’d rather be in a category with Rosanne Cash and Brandy Clark than fucking Kenny Chesney anyway.”
He actually is not in the same category as Brandy Clark (because she’s in the country category), but the sentiment remains the same.
See you on Feb. 8th for Saving Country Music’s LIVE blog of the Grammys.
Best Country Album Nominees
- Dierks Bentley – Riser
- Eric Church – The Outsiders
- Brandy Clark – 12 Stories
- Miranda Lambert – Platinum
- Lee Ann Womack – The Way I’m Livin’
Eric Church’s The Outsiders is a rock album. Along with her “New Artist” nomination, it appears Brandy Clark is the new critical darling i.e. the Kacey Musgraves of 2014, despite most of her songs being written by committee to formula. Good album and artist, but let’s tap the breaks just a little. Riser and The Way I’m Livin’ are solid nods.
Best Americana Album
- Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread
- John Hiatt – Terms of My Surrender
- Keb’ Mo’ – Bluesamericana
- Nickel Creek – A Dotted Line
- Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds of Country Music
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 because he’s an independent artist. At least they didn’t screw up like last year when they didn’t nominate Jason Isbell at all. Rosanne Cash will probably win this. Maybe Sturgill, or maybe Nickel Creek who’ve the Grammy’s have given love to before.
Best Country Song
(sorry, you don’t get a cool graphic, you get Joy Williams and her bun announcing it in all her regal fabulousness sitting like a Chinese heroin God beside a fire)
Glen Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” is mawkish exploitation. There I said it. Otherwise, a completely dumb list of songs. Even worse than the CMA’s or ACM’s.
- 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)
- Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill “Meanwhile, Back at Mama’s” (Tom Douglas, Jaren Johnston, Jeffrey Steele)
Best Country Solo Performance
Remember, if Keith Urban walks away with this, Sam Hunt gets a Grammy as the songwriter. Carrie Underwood better damn win.
- 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
Brandy Clark was nominated for “Best New Artist,” and Ryan Adams for Best Rock Song & Album, because he’s not country goddammit.
December 5, 2014 @ 11:37 am
Are any of the Americana award presentations being aired on TV?
The Grammys use to have standards but remember last year when a half naked BeyoncÃ© opened up the show with slutty dancing? A couple of people, like that Christian singer that was up for an award, got up and walked out. It was a weird change fit the Grammys that use to have a dress code.
December 5, 2014 @ 11:49 am
There is a 0% chance the Americana award will be shown on television. It will be buried in the pre-televised portion, hosted and screwed up last year by Cindi Lauper. They won’t even show the “Best Country Song” on the televised portion. They will however likely show “Best New Artist” so that will give some additional face time to Brandy Clark.
December 5, 2014 @ 11:57 am
Grow up, Phil.
December 5, 2014 @ 12:18 pm
I don’t get it? You mean grow up and not care that the Grammys, which air on network TV, dropped their standards. A couple of years back the show was clean enough to let children watch.
Or do you mean I’m stupid for thinking there might have been a chance they actually air an Americana award?
In either case, you can take your arrogant comment and shove it up your ass.
December 5, 2014 @ 12:30 pm
I mean grow up and not call someone “slutty”. I guessed you missed Madonna’s performance in 1990, or the countless other scantily clad women that attended over the past 3 or so decades. Buncha christians also thought Elvis’s moves were “slutty”.
December 5, 2014 @ 5:50 pm
You’re telling me to grow up and you’re the one that started this shit. I’m grown up enough to remember a time when all music award shows had enough class for parents to allow children to watch them (without half naked women like Beyonce grinding on chairs at the Grammys).
Your argument also makes about as much sense is telling people that killing Jews is OK because Hitler use to do it. Saying something is “OK” because someone else is doing it is the same type of argument children or immature people make.
Why are you even here? You sound like a Luke Bryan or Florida Georgia line fan with that idiot smut justification logic you’re spewing. You’re a teenager aren’t you?
December 5, 2014 @ 7:39 pm
The reductio ad Hitlerum means that you have automatically lost the argument.
December 5, 2014 @ 11:45 am
Congrats to Sturgill, Brandy, Lee Ann and Rosanne! 🙂
December 5, 2014 @ 11:49 am
Funny how a nomination for Best Americana Album has “country” right in the title…
December 5, 2014 @ 11:54 am
Exactly. And the only reason Keb Mo is there is because he put ‘Americana’ in his title.
I don’t want to belittle Simpson’s nomination or even the Americana category, but it is diminutive the way they did it in my opinion. It’s like CMT “Edge.” The “Edge” is there to tell you it’s second-class content. I think Brandy Clark’s “12 Stories” is much more Americana that “Metamodern Sounds.” But the simple fact is if Sturgill hadn’t been nominated in Americana, he probably wouldn’t have been nominated at all.
December 5, 2014 @ 7:37 pm
Are we also saying that Ray Charles’ “Modern sounds in Country Western music” should be classified as strictly Country? When both Album titles have an undertone of sarcasm or maybe even dare I say IRONY?
December 5, 2014 @ 8:33 pm
I would definitely classify both albums as country music from a sonic standpoint. Are we calling that into question now as well? “Modern Sounds in Country Music” was released 35 years before they began using the term “Americana” to define music. Of course there is irony in Sturgill’s title. That doesn’t make the album more Americana than country though.
December 5, 2014 @ 8:55 pm
Im not saying that it’s not County. It most definitely is but unfortunately it does not fit in today’s Genre. YET I think that’s where possibly his nomination itself is a big Fuck you to mainstream. I feel that the Grammy are saying to Nashville and the CMA’s “uhh if you don’t want him we will CERTAINLY find a place for him until you figure your shit out” . He owns his own rights Noone really gains but him. So I don’t quite buy the politics yet. People move genres all the time. Official stamps or labels aren’t in stone as they used to be. Hes on the up. Now if he was Roseanne Cash who or other older artists using Americana for relevency motives then we would have a problem. I feel
December 5, 2014 @ 8:15 pm
I expected to see Old Crow in Americana too.
December 5, 2014 @ 8:24 pm
Yeah, so why exactly are they folk? They’re members of the Grand Ole Opry. I would put them in bluegrass or Americana before folk.
December 5, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
“Why is Sturgill Simpson ”˜Americana”™ instead of “Country,”™ and Brandy Clark ”˜country”™ instead of ”˜Americana”™? Just because one is independent and one is mainstream? And isn”™t Nickel Creek bluegrass, which has its own Grammy category …….?.”
I wonder if the category is decided by the artist at the time of submission , Trigger , if indeed the artist /label has some input on that count .Perhaps this would explain why Sturgill would not want to be associated with what radio thinks is country music ….Dunno ……
The interesting thing about the Grammys and ‘country’ music , to me , is that they do indeed get it right much of the time when acknowledging the REAL stuff . Note there’s no Blake or Bro or “Burnin It Down” , Luke of the Kruise Kids in those lists though these ” songs” got incredible airplay and sales , comparatively .Saying that , I would question the Eric Church nomination as a country album .
Absolutely thrilled to see Brandy Clark recognized . The songs may , in part, have been written ‘by committee’ as you say , Trigger , but as a songwriter myself unless I was aware of that I wouldn’t have surmised the same the way I so often do with other ‘radio’ country and its blatant mining of generic themes and cliches .
And I’m gonna disagree that Miranda’s record shouldn’t be in there . There’s 16 tracks on that record , I believe , and most consist of solid songwriting about themes that resonate across the board , ( not just to 16 year old girls ) in the same way that Loretta’s envelope-pushing but always COUNTRY lyrics did . I think we can always expect creative writing from Miranda’s camp which does indeed manage to deliver a relate-able narrative , songwriting craft which serves the story or message , traditional country vocals by one of the best , and a variety of sentiments packaged in fresh yet familiar fashion. My only nit with Miranda’s stuff is , perhaps , the absence of more traditional instrumentation at times . I’d like to hear a bit more wood in her arrangements .
December 5, 2014 @ 12:15 pm
I posted this earlier on the Facebook page, but will post here also. I can’t help but think Brandy is being given the higher recognition here due to her social stance. Last year Kacey won big and here is Kacey’s songwriting buddy. The bad thing is I am a huge Brandy fan and 12 Stories is one of my favorite albums, but I can’t even feel happy for Brandy because it is an absolute shame that Sturgill wasn’t nominated here. His album is much more country. People can disagree with me, but if you don’t think her social views and stance came into play on why she would get a nomination and Sturgill wouldn’t in the higher visibility category you are kidding yourselves. Brandy should have been nominated, but if they were just taking one non major album, it should have been Sturgill. I know Brandy has signed with a bigger label now, but 12 stories was not on a large label. A genre defining album is being left out of the most visible country category. Kacey was the darling last year, because she is had a great album and her social views fit more with the Grammy crowd and now Brandy is nominated over the album that basically every publication in America is calling the album of the year, even some publications that are not even affiliated with country. It just makes me sad that I can’t feel the same excitement for Brandy I should, because the best album of the year is sitting in a lower visibility category like Best American album. I wanted to see those other country artists see Sturgill Simpson walk on that stage and get that award, showing them what real country is. While Brandy is also a shining example of country, Sturgill is just different, raw and powerful. This should have been his moment.
December 5, 2014 @ 1:11 pm
In my opinion (and I know this is a strange one), Brandy Clark’s nomination for “Best Country Album” would have MORE meaning if that was the only nomination she had received. By nominating her for “Best New Artist,” this is clearly the Grammy’s playing politics, and giving this distinction to country music’s lesbian songwriter. Brandy Clark has never released a song that even cracked the Top 40 of COUNTRY, let alone the Top 40 of music. She does not belong in the New Artist category. It just shows the Grammy’s hand that the fix is in. She also has absolutely no shot of winning New Artist. I like Brandy Clark, but let her stand on her own merit. Don’t gerrymander the system for her and cheapen the distinctions.
If feel like I should be happy with these nominations because of the names involved, but I am fuming right now and I’m not even exactly sure why. The whole thing just seems really shady and ill-prepared. And yes, I know we shouldn’t care enough to get mad over them. But the way they handed these distinctions to Sturgill and Brandy almost seems more insulting than complimentary to me for some reason.
December 5, 2014 @ 1:49 pm
You summed up exactly the way I feel. I find myself angry for some odd reason and feel like it is almost insulting to Sturgill the way they did it.
December 5, 2014 @ 2:00 pm
Ok. So who else would you nominate in the new artist category then if not Brandy Clark? The Grammys always seem to nominate one country artist in this category each year (and they should). Sturgill? Sure I’d be much more happier about him being nominated in this catagory. But Clark has a lot more industry peeps than Simpson currently. I think it’s more about her paying her dues than social politics. Hell I didn’t even know she was gay till about a month ago. Her camp doesn’t seem to play that card. With that said, she’s been on quit a roll the last month – song of the year at CMAs, signed to a major, co-headlining Alan Jackson’s anniversary tour this summer. She’s had a big year with some big industry clout. I think it’s more about her talent than social issues.
December 5, 2014 @ 3:17 pm
Far be it from me to lobby for taking the name of an artist like Brandy Clark off a nomination list, but “New Artist of the Year” is a distinction of the widespread pop world that an artist like Brandy Clark has no business being nominated for. When LeAnn Rimes won it, she was the cute little girl from Dallas that America had fallen in love with, that had #1 songs and numerous television appearances. I will guarantee you that when Brandy Clark’s name is read during the show, 99% of the people watching will have no idea who she is. That in itself goes against the spirit of this award, and if I’m going to complain about the Americana award going against the spirit of Sturgill Simpson’s music, it would be unfair to not give that same opinion about this award. A bigger artist deserves that nomination, period. And if I were an artist whose career launched in 2013 and had a big single or singles and had worked my butt off, I would be mad as hell that some no name took my spot just because she’s country and they had to nominate someone.
Who should take her place? That’s a good question, and lends to the deeper concern that country music can’t develop new talent, especially when it comes to women. But in my opinion, gerrymandering them into distinctions like this will not solve that problem, it will just create conflict. Yes, Brandy Clark has had a hell of a year, and great for her. But that doesn’t mean her fan base still isn’t about 0.05% of the size of Meghan Trainor’s for example.
I would have to go back and look and tabulate more than I am willing to do, but my guess is Brandy Clark very well may be the least-recognized, and least-accomplished artist to ever be nominated by the Grammy’s for this distinction.
Also, let’s not overplay her accomplishments. She won the CMA Song of the Year as the songwriter. Kacey Musgraves was the face of that win. Also, she’s not co-headlining Alan Jackson’s Anniversary tour, she’s opening it. That is a HUGE difference.
I like Brandy Clark and I am happy for her success and I hope she continues to have more and grow as an artist. But this was an unnecessary step up orchestrated by the country music industry and her label that in my opinion is insulting of her self-earned accomplishments, like her Grammy nomination for “Album of the Year”, which is inspiring and well-deserved.
December 5, 2014 @ 7:21 pm
Trig my brother I get it. I feel like all awards have this “game” bieng played. And I’m guessing from Sturgills silence that he either agrees or trully just doesn’t care. But I have to say that all PUB is good PUB. You yourself I believe even said back when MSCM was released that for him to get nominated at ALL anywhere outside AMA WOuld be a miracle. Sorry man but it IS a miracle. His rise is uncategorized. So why does it matter anyway. Hes THERE someone wants to give him a hand up. In a way I’m glad. Why should country get to claim he’s in there “club” when they all but turned there back on him. And by the way. You should be Fucking proud of yourself. There is ZERO doubt that you have helped his credibility and popularity immensely.
December 5, 2014 @ 8:57 pm
I’m not sure if I said back in May that a Grammy nomination would be a miracle, but I do believe I cautioned a lot of things needed to happen before we could consider that and we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. Since then we’ve seen Sturgill get picked up by the Zac Brown tour, play Conan and Letterman, win an award from the Americana Music Association, Keith Urban tweeting about him, topping pretty much every end-of-year list, etc. etc. So yeah, the proper benchmarks have been met and then some, and by last month I totally expected to see Sturgill get a Grammy nod, and honestly believed it would be in the Americana category. That is why I am somewhat baffled myself why the category bothers me so much. I am very happy for Sturgill however and I do believe this is an important moment.
“Why should country get to claim he”™s in there “club” when they all but turned there back on him.”
I disagree. I think the country industry is horny for Sturgill like you have no idea. I think every major label wants to sign him, and would be willing to sign him on his terms. However, they’re not going to make him their golden boy unless he signs with them, which the indications are Sturgill is somewhere between reluctant to downright dismissive of doing. At some point he may have to sign to something bigger, like Green Day had to simply to erect the proper support team to keep up with demand. I think there are many in the country industry who are in favor of Sturgill.
Who turned their back on Sturgill and never gave him a proper chance was the underground. And the fact that they ignored him and he never got wrapped up in that drama and the typecasting of careers that comes with it is one of the reasons he’s been able to do so well in my opinion.
I don’t think Americana or country or anyone should be able to “claim” Sturgill. Sturgill claims Sturgill. But I also think “Metamodern Sounds” would be better classified as a country album in this context.
December 5, 2014 @ 8:41 pm
Esperanza Spalding and Bon Iver, two of the most recent *winners*, were unknowns to the overwhelming majority of viewers (particularly the former, who was nominated against Drake, Justin Bieber and Mumford & Sons), so it’s absurd to say nominating a talented–but non-mainstream–artist is against the spirit of the award.
James Blake, who was completely unknown in America, somehow got nominated over Lorde and Imagine Dragons for BNA last year. Kacey Musgraves also has nothing on them from a widespread popularity standpoint.
Yes, I completely agree with you that people will shrug their shoulders or even complain when they see this woman they don’t know on the screen, but the Grammys have long made it clear that the point is not just to stack this category exclusively with people who top the charts.
December 5, 2014 @ 8:42 pm
I read several different articles prior to the nomination announcements that pegged Brantley Gilbert to be the country front runner for new artist .
December 5, 2014 @ 9:02 pm
1. I shouldn’t have wrote co-headlining. I’ve been writing about Reba and Brooks & Dunn’s Vegas residency for three days, so maybe that’s why I chose that word. Clark is the opener, but still quite the accomplishment when you think about all the other artists that could have been tabbed for Jackson’s tour.
2. LeAnn Rimes only had one #1 record when she won the Granmy’s Best New Artist – “One Way Ticket (Because I Can)”. She officially had released 4 singles at that point to radio, including “Blue” which topped out at #10. Yes, that’s way more than Clark and she had a marketing machine behind her, but I was in the room with industry people who were shocked when she upset Jewel, Garbage and No Doubt.
3. My overall point was artists who pay their dues writing songs for other artists rise fast especially through the award circuit. I was thinking today of the careers of Mike Reid and Paul Overstreet. Both wrote a ton of huge country hits for other country artists in the 80’s and we’re rewarded with their own decorated careers in the early 90s. Jamey Johnson’s career didn’t take off till Trace Adkins and George Strait recorded songs he had a hand in writing. So there’s a bit of take care of our own or scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours especially in the award circuit.
December 5, 2014 @ 2:10 pm
And I wouldn’t rule out Clark winning this award, either. In 1997, LeAnn Rimes somehow beat out Garbage, Jewel and No Doubt for a huge upset. Past winners Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band were on more even footing with their fellow competitors, but they were big country wins nonetheless.
December 5, 2014 @ 8:44 pm
I love Brandy Clark but she doesn’t stand a chance against Sam Smith for new artist. If he doesn’t win I will be floored.
December 5, 2014 @ 12:56 pm
It is kind of funny that Sturgill Simpson’s album name actually has the phrase country music in it yet is still in Americana. (Not saying that is unfitting)
December 5, 2014 @ 2:47 pm
Don’t forget that Americana put a claim in on Sturgill a few weeks ago with Emerging Artist Of The Year. Didn’t hear him complain then, don’t think he’d complain about a Grammy nod in the same category.
December 5, 2014 @ 3:41 pm
“Don”™t forget that Americana put a claim in on Sturgill a few weeks ago”
See, this is the exact problem I have with Americana. I’m a huge Americana supporter. I talk about Americana artists so much it pisses of traditional country fans to no end. I cover their awards and news and other distinctions. But they have NO right to lay claim or define ANY artist, especially one who is clearly country, and whose album that was nominated has “country” right there in the title. This is where Americana is diminishing and splitting the independent country fan base in two, and in my opinion it is detrimental to the future of both genres.
Am I happy that Sturgill received a Grammy nomination? Of course I am, and it would be asinine for me to believe that they’d actually give him a nomination for “Country Album of the Year,” at least in this point in his career. But I still have a big problem with it, regardless if Sturgill or anybody else does.
We have to stop thinking of Sturgill Simpson as this scrappy underdog who wows us every time he’s up for one of these distinctions or makes the top of a “Best Of” list. Of course he’s accomplishing these things because he should be. We should be surprised when he DOESN’T get nominated for a Grammy, like Jason Isbell last year. This all stems from the poverty mentality of independent music fans that are used to nothing going their way. Sturgill Simpson is the Chris LeDoux of our generation—a strictly independent artist with mainstream impact. This is where he is right now. Where he goes in the future is yet to be determined, but my hope would be it will transcend the Americana distinction, not because Americana is a reduction, but because country is the best way to describe his music.
December 5, 2014 @ 4:12 pm
I understand your point completely. But…
For an artist that’s never been played on country radio to be nominated for anything is huge!
He can’t be called country by the awards folks without charting somewhere (see Clark, Brandy regardless of where she peaked) but you recently posted that Meta had been played on 70 “Americana” stations this year. So what is he? Country to our ears? Americana because those stations play him? Or, as evidenced by his #45 ranking in iTunes All Genre 200, transcendental to category? The latter would fit with what you’ve been saying since Metamodern was released: folks, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.
I’m happy he was nominated regardless, but you continue your dourness if it suits you. (And nothing personal by that last remark. You KNOW I’m a huge fan of this site and you.)
December 5, 2014 @ 9:40 pm
I agree 100 percent noone should be able to claim him. Whitey Morgan said himself in his interview with RS that people are paying attention more. As much as momentum seems to be shifting small victories are so important. And I can’t even count how many there are just in the last year. What your doing is working. We may not get it all exacly the way we want it as we move forward but Trigger come on man your in the thick of it, fighting these battles everyday while we come and go as our lives allow. I get it, but man you have to realise how fucking big this is regardless. I just feel that with how far this whole movement has come some sort of pleasure has to be had. Allow yourself that. You deserve it. Just wait till he doesn’t hold back anymore. There still won’t be a fitting category. 🙂
December 5, 2014 @ 10:00 pm
I really appreciate the praise Ben. I do think I may have had some role, whatever it was, in helping to offer the first layers of support for Sturgill when his career was in its infant stages. But my role in what has happened in 2014 I think is very marginal. I would give credit to Sturgill himself, his manager, Dave Cobb, Thirty Tigers, and the energy of the fans. Since the release of ‘Metamodern Sounds” I guess I have become less of a cheerleader and more of a realist about Sturgill because I think that is what the situation calls for. His arc keeps rising, but for it to continue to rise, you have to create sustainability. He’s too big time, and I’m too small time to effect anything else at this point, so I’m on to trying to find the next Sturgill, and trying to understand what we’re seeing with him and how this could help other artists in the future. And for the Sturgill success story, unfortunately there’s been artists that I’ve pushed and praised in the beginning and they’re not much farther along than when they started. I do hope what I’m doing is having some affect, but as I always say, in the end it will be the artists who are going to save country music.
December 5, 2014 @ 1:02 pm
There was a time when these award shows had standards but now you can’t take them seriously. You just have to look at them and remember it’s for entertainment purposes only. I always thought that artists made music because they loved it and I know there are some that still do. But some of these artists now act like they should win everything even tho what they are putting out there isn’t worthy. I keep thinking that eventually these shows will be like little league, where they pass out trophies just for showing up.
December 5, 2014 @ 1:18 pm
Also of note is Dave & Phil Alvin’s Best Blues Album nomination for their “Common Ground” tribute to Big Bill Broonzy. The Alvins have an excellent shot at taking home the Grammy. Great album.
December 5, 2014 @ 1:48 pm
Y’all can fight and fume over politics, pandering, and award categories, while I sit back and celebrate the wonder that is Sturgill and the impact Metamodern has had on even non country fans this year.
For all the BS that is the Grammy’s, for all the years I’ve disdained them or watched them, I’ve got a lump in my throat reading/thinking about these words:
Sturgill Simpson Was Nominated For A Grammy
Something tells me that Mrs.Simpson, Sturgill, Dave Cobb, and Pappaw don’t care which category either.
Toby in AK
December 5, 2014 @ 1:49 pm
This only confirms that Sturgill Simpson is too country for country music 😉
I find this somewhat amusing. Do they sort these categories by the label they come from? Sturgill isn’t country because he’s not with the right label?
And how are the Rival Sons not represented in rock? Jack White’s new album by the way, is not that great.
December 5, 2014 @ 2:38 pm
I actually purchased “Platinum” for my girlfriend and ended up listening to it for 10 days consecutively while in Alberta and loved most of the album. “Holding on to You”, “Automatic”, “Bathroom Sink”, “Old Shit”, “All That’s Left” and “Hard Staying Sober” all stood out for me, the only thing is I don’t get why the auto-tune is cranked up so high on this album. She’s a great singer, I don’t get it.
December 5, 2014 @ 2:43 pm
Eric Chruch’s popularity and recognition is as mysterious to me as the draw people have to Jason Aldean??? They are both complete toolboxes, but somehow have convinced folks they are bad ass rule breakers and trailblazers.
There are not two artists that have pulled the wool over fans eyes more.
December 5, 2014 @ 3:15 pm
I like him. First time I heard him I thought “so this is where new rock ‘n roll lives”.
Not bro by a long shot, sometimes actually country, and often rock. First time I heard Home Town I immediately flashed on the first U.S. Moody Blues single “Go Now”. Loved that then and this now.
Now if only there was a way to shut him up…
December 5, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
I don’t know that I’d call Church “new” rock and roll. He isn’t exactly breaking new barriers. He signs some arena anthems.
I will give some credit that he has a couple very solid songs. But his down right elementary songs and his antics far outweigh anything good he does. I think his good is more dumb luck and the real Church is just an arena rock fan with a marketing background so he grabbed onto the “badass” movement and proclaimed himself chief outsider when he does nothing of the sort.
December 5, 2014 @ 4:47 pm
I know nothing of his “badass” shtick other than what I come across here. Same as I don’t pay attention to the Kardashians or other celebrity goings on. I’m only responding to his music, specifically his Outsiders album.
And if you’re as old as I am, you’d call him new rock too. Try and find something rock without listening to the tired oldies stations. Church would be a breath of fresh air there.
Whatever, you know what they say about opinions, yours or mine.
December 5, 2014 @ 4:02 pm
I’m a big Miranda Lambert fan but Platinum is not her best album. She should’ve won a grammy long ago with Revolution. I’m happy for Brandy Clark. I know people here on savingcountrymusic are big Sturgill Simpson fans but I honestly could never get into his music. Brandy Clark’s album I think appeals to everyone more than Sturgill could.
December 5, 2014 @ 7:47 pm
I agree about the ridiculousness of the Americana vs. country dynamic. Frankly, the two categories need to be merged into a single genre.
I disagree that Brandy Clark’s album represents “songwriting by committee”. Working with cowriters =/= songwriting by committee.
Also, calling “Meanwhile Back at Mamas” a “dumb song” is completely unwarranted, especially given your praise of the song in the Tim McGraw album review.
December 5, 2014 @ 8:28 pm
I did not call the song “dumb.” I said it was “a completely dumb list of songs.” No, “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s is not a terrible song, but Song of the Year at the Grammys? This is the category they usually dig deep and find the real heavy hitters. I can understand why they put the Glen Campbell song on there. Aside from that, it is a dumb list.
February 8, 2015 @ 11:10 am
For the record, Although Glen Campbell covered and had a a hit with “Gentle On My Mind”, it is a John Hartford song. Another great and exciting artist who has been mostly forgotten about over time.
December 5, 2014 @ 7:49 pm
SO happy for Brandy Clark. 12 Stories is absolutely golden!!!
By the way, when Esperanza Spalding won Best New Artist in 2011 – few people knew who she was, and she beat out Drake, Bieber, Mumford & Sons and Florence & the Machine (ALL of whom had monster year during nomination). I would argue Brandy is probably more known than Esperanza was then and her competition is not as stiff either (if we are going by popularity).
December 5, 2014 @ 9:55 pm
I think she will win and even though I really like her, she should not win this category. She has not had near the success of these other artists. I think her being nominated period is a sign she will win. While many people have noted they didn’t even realize she was gay, I can guarantee you all those nominating and voting knew. That movement is enormous in the country right now and to not think it factored in on her getting multiple Grammy nominations is being naive.
December 6, 2014 @ 10:53 pm
Her album is better, that is what matters here.
December 8, 2014 @ 7:31 am
We would just have to disagree on that. I like her album a lot, but it is not in the same league as Sturgill’s album in my opinion and I would say just about every respected music publication in the country has said the same thing. Publications like American songwriter and others have called Medamodern Sounds possibly the most important album of the last decade in country music. I am happy Brandy got nominated, but Sturgill should have gotten that spot. Brandy is no threat to the mainstream, if music is gonna change, it will be someone like Sturgill absolutely kicking the door in with a raw, edgy style of music..
December 8, 2014 @ 12:38 pm
Personally, I like Brandy’s album more than Sturgill’s. But then again, I am not a fan of “raw, edgy” music.
December 5, 2014 @ 10:19 pm
Well Said. Your role is bigger than u think. the rest WILL fall into place. People seem to be getting hungry for something more honest. I thinks Fans bieng more informed and honest with the themselves will help as well. Most people just won’t listen unless it comes out of the radio. Thats why I love it no matter the genre tag. Absolutely no radio play. No promotion cash.
But still he gets a seat at the table. Strictly on Bieng True, Bieng genuine and honest to the art.
December 5, 2014 @ 10:26 pm
I think it should be stated that the comment section for this article (Which is always one of my favorite parts about savingcountrymusic.com) seems to offer some of the most thought out comments and opinions I’ve seen in awhile on here. Thankful not to see any bickering or arguments. I’ve got nothing else to offer that hasn’t been stated already other than a big thank you to Trigger for giving all of us this forum and a thank you to my savingcountrymusic brothers and sisters for your opinions and always making me think. Cheers everyone!
December 6, 2014 @ 5:42 am
I’ve always been confused about how Grammy submissions work, so yesterday I did some research. Apparently, submissions usually come from labels (though they can also come from individual members of the academy), and are reviewed by nomination committees which are supposed to determine whether each song or album is appropriate for the category in which it is submitted. Then, members of the academy vote to determine which among the list of “acceptable” submissions go on to become nominees, and so on.
Sturgill Simpson is his own record label, so my guess is that ‘High Top Mountain Records’ submitted under Americana because Sturgill’s camp thought that he had a better shot at being nominated and / or winning in that category. (I’m sure that’s true, though my guess is that Rosanne Cash will win because she’s the big name.)
I too was baffled to see Old Crow Medicine Show in “Folk”, especially given that ‘Remedy’ was arguably their most twangy, country-oriented album to date. They’ll probably win, because “Folk” seems to be a weak category, but I find their placement there to be disingenuous. Realistically, they belong in Americana.
I was pleased by the Country Album nominations. It’s great to see Brandy Clark and Lee Ann Womack’s names (and zero bro-country artists) among the nominees. As out-of-touch and irrelevant as the Grammys are, they still have way more cred than the CMAs somehow.
December 6, 2014 @ 12:48 pm
Not sure if someone else posted but I didn’t see. Sturgill did post on Facebook yesterday “I guess I should of titled it Metamodern Sounds in Americana.” It was deleted after a few minutes. Not sure how to read into this but thought interesting to share
December 6, 2014 @ 1:38 pm
I am happy for Sturgill, especially, and for Brandi Clark and Roseanne.
But the Grammy’s are nothing but a heap of dung from an artistic assessment standpoint, as evidenced by a good many of this year’s (and every year’s nominees).
The Grammys are the Oprah’s Book Club of modern, mostly pop, music.
They are designed to appeal to the lowest denominator of music appreciation.
If you like shopping at Walmart, you will probably be tuning in to the Grammys.
I know you follow this stuff, Trig, so we don’t have to.
I have been pleased that Sturgill is receiving some great cross-over attention and, I hope, some good money.
He certainly deserves it.
If that is the best thing that comes from this year’s music producers’ spectacle, then I guess it is worthwhile.
I didn’t even watch last nights NASCAR awards banquet, so I will, as always, take a pass on watching the Grammys.
December 7, 2014 @ 8:19 pm
December 8, 2014 @ 12:32 pm
Saw Sturgill this weekend, he mentioned between songs about being nominated for a Grammy and said he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. He said he needed to thank Jason Isbell, that Isbell was screwed last year and that he “hopes they don’t fuck up and give him the award and let him have the mic.” It was a great moment, wish I had recorded it.
December 11, 2014 @ 12:48 pm
For what it’s worth, In Milwaukee last Friday, he actually said it’s better to be nominated with Roseanne Cash and Nickel Creek (not Brandy Clark).