The 2023 Grammy Award nominees were announced on Tuesday (11-15), with some big surprises, some worthy nominees, and a some disappointment in some categories as it seems the Recording Academy continues to be obsessed with nominating familiar names as opposed to doing a true search for the most talented and deserving in a given field, especially when it comes to the American Roots categories.
Nonetheless, the Grammy Awards are the only place you’ll see nominations for people like Zach Bryan, Willie Nelson, Molly Tuttle, Allison Russell, and Brandi Carlile. Zach Bryan picked up a nomination in the Best Country Solo Performance category for “Something in the Orange,” but missed nominations in Best Country Album and Best New Artist that some believed he was competing for.
However, country/roots fans picked up a Best New Artist nomination in the form of Molly Tuttle. A big surprise, this is a big career moment for Molly, who was also nominated for Best Bluegrass Album. Perhaps she’ll receive a performance slot on the awards as well.
Two of the biggest nominees in all of the Grammy Awards were Willie Nelson and Brandi Carlile. Willie Nelson received three nominations in country, as well as another in Best Roots Gospel Album. Meanwhile, Brandi Carlile cleaned up across the board. She picked up three nominations in the American Roots Categories, two nominations in Rock categories, and two all-genre nominations, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Miranda Lambert also received multiple nominations.
Charley Crockett felt like a big snub here with the push he’s been receiving this year, and the way he fits the Grammy profile. The good thing about Charley though, you know he will be releasing plenty of songs and albums in the coming year to compete once again.
See the full nominations relevant to the country and roots/Americana world below.
Best Country Solo Performance
Fairly strong field. Zach Bryan’s nomination here validates him as a top tier artist in country. “Live Forever” was written by Billy Joe Shaver, and even though this is not a songwriter award specifically, it’s cool to see him get recognized with Willie Nelson.
“Heartfirst,” Kelsea Ballerini
“Something in the Orange,” Zach Bryan
“In His Arms,” Miranda Lambert
“Circles Around This Town,” Maren Morris
“Live Forever,” Willie Nelson
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Super weak field. “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” should win this running away.
“Wishful Drinking,” Ingrid Andress and Sam Hunt
“Midnight Rider’s Prayer,” Brothers Osborne
“Outrunnin’ Your Memory,” Luke Combs and Miranda Lambert
“Does He Love You — Revisited,” Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton
“Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde
“Going Where the Lonely Go,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Best Country Song
Do we really consider these the strongest songs in country music over the last year? “I’ll Love You Till The Day I Die” could be, and “Til You Can’t.” Willie Nelson could have a big Grammy night.
“Circles Around This Town,” Ryan Hurd, Julia Michaels, Maren Morris and Jimmy Robbins, songwriters (Maren Morris)
“Doin’ This,” Luke Combs, Drew Parker and Robert Williford, songwriters (Luke Combs)
“I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” Lori McKenna and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
“If I Was a Cowboy,” Jesse Frasure and Miranda Lambert, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“I’ll Love You Till The Day I Die,” Rodney Crowell and Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Willie Nelson)
“‘Til You Can’t” Matt Rogers & Ben Stennis, songwriters (Cody Johnson)
Best Country Album
Really glad to see both Ashley McBryde and Willie Nelson not get overlooked. Pretty strong field here. Hopefully Maren Morris doesn’t win here just for a sympathy vote, or Luke Combs just as the commercial powerhouse.
“Growin’ Up,” Luke Combs
“Palomino,” Miranda Lambert
“Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville,” Ashley McBryde
“Humble Quest,” Maren Morris
“A Beautiful Time,” Willie Nelson
Best American Roots Performance
This really feels like we’re nominating names, not performances. All great artists, but none of these except for maybe “Prodigal Daughter” resonated on a bigger scale. It is cool to see Bill Anderson pick up a late-career Grammy nomination.
“Someday It’ll All Make Sense (Bluegrass Version),” Bill Anderson featuring Dolly Parton
“Life According to Raechel,” Madison Cunningham
“Oh Betty,” Fantastic Negrito
“Stompin’ Ground,” Aaron Neville with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band
“Prodigal Daughter,” Aoife O’Donovan and Allison Russell
Best Americana Performance
Brandi Carlilie’s “You and Me on the Rock” was nominated everywhere. Cool to see Lyle Lovett and Asleep at the Wheel pick up nominations, but Lyle deserved one for his song “12th of June,” and over a lot of the other Americana nominees.
“Silver Moon (A Tribute to Michael Nesmith),” Eric Alexandrakis
“There You Go Again,” Asleep at the Wheel featuring Lyle Lovett
“The Message,” Blind Boys of Alabama featuring Black Violin
“You and Me on the Rock,” Brandi Carlile featuring Lucius
“Made Up Mind,” Bonnie Raitt
Best American Roots Song
So many amazing songwriters are emerging in Americana at the moment. Charles Wesley Godwin anyone? And we’re still obsessed with the old guard of Robert Plant, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, etc. in these American Roots categories, while Brandi Carlile can fall out of bed and pick up a handful of nominations.
“Bright Star,” Anaïs Mitchell, songwriter (Anaïs Mitchell)
“Forever,” Sheryl Crow and Jeff Trott, songwriters (Sheryl Crow)
“High and Lonesome,” T Bone Burnett and Robert Plant, songwriters (Robert Plant and Alison Krauss)
“Just Like That,” Bonnie Raitt, songwriter (Bonnie Raitt)
“Prodigal Daughter,” Tim O’Brien and Aoife O’Donovan, songwriters (Aoife O’Donovan and Allison Russell)
“You and Me on the Rock,” Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile featuring Lucius)
Best Americana Album
Brandi Carlile should and will win this. Hey Grammy Awards, there are Americana artists under 70. Check them out.
“In These Silent Days,” Brandi Carlile
“Things Happen That Way,” Dr. John
“Good to Be … ,” Keb’ Mo’
“Raise the Roof,” Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
“Just Like That…,” Bonnie Raitt
Best Bluegrass Album
Strong field. Cool to see Peter Rowan get a nomination. Molly Tuttle will win this running away, especially with her Best New Artist nomination.
“Toward the Fray,” The Infamous Stringdusters
“Almost Proud,” The Del McCoury Band
“Calling You From My Mountain,” Peter Rowan
“Crooked Tree,” Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway
“Get Yourself Outside,” Yonder Mountain String Band
Best Folk Album
Arlo McKinley, Ian Noe, Willi Carlisle and others should have competed in this category.
“Spellbound,” Judy Collins
“Revealer,” Madison Cunningham
“The Light at the End of the Line,” Janis Ian
“Age of Apathy,” Aoife O’Donovan
“Hell on Church Street,” Punch Brothers
Best Traditional Blues Album
“Heavy Load Blues,” Gov’t Mule
“The Blues Don’t Lie,” Buddy Guy
“Get On Board,” Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder
“The Sun Is Shining Down,” John Mayall
“Mississippi Son,” Charlie Musselwhite
Best Contemporary Blues Album
“Done Come Too Far,” Shemekia Copeland
“Crown,” Eric Gales
“Bloodline Maintenance,” Ben Harper
“Set Sail,” North Mississippi Allstars
“Brother Johnny,” Edgar Winter
Best New Artist
Yay Molly Tuttle! a career-making moment, even if she doesn’t win, and she probably won’t in a field of pop names. Zach Bryan most definitely deserved consideration here.
Domi & JD Beck
Album of the Year
“Un Verano Sin Ti,” Bad Bunny
“Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe),” Mary J. Blige
“In These Silent Days,” Brandi Carlile
“Music of the Spheres,” Coldplay
“Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” Kendrick Lamar
“Harry’s House” – Harry Styles
Record of the Year
It’s almost embarrassing at this point how many nominations Brandi Carlile receives. They could make their obsession a bit more subtle. That said, she is a great artist. Her song just feels like an outlier here.
“Don’t Shut Me Down,” Abba
“Easy on Me,” Adele
“Break My Soul,” Beyoncé
“Good Morning Gorgeous,” Mary J. Blige
“You and Me on the Rock,” Brandi Carlile featuring Lucius
“Woman,” Doja Cat
“Bad Habit,” Steve Lacy
“The Heart Part 5,” Kendrick Lamar
“About Damn Time,” Lizzo
“As It Was,” Harry Styles
Best Rock Performance
Yep. Even in rock, Brandi Carlile rules.
“So Happy It Hurts,” Bryan Adams
“Old Man,” Beck
“Wild Child,” The Black Keys
“Broken Horses,” Brandi Carlile
“Patient Number 9,” Ozzy Osbourne featuring Jeff Beck
Best Rock Song
–“Black Summer,” Flea, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis and Chad Smith, songwriters (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
–“Blackout,” Brady Ebert, Daniel Fang, Franz Lyons, Pat McCrory and Brendan Yates, songwriters (Turnstile)
–“Broken Horses,” Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth, songwriters (Brandi Carlile)
–“Harmonia’s Dream,” Robbie Bennett and Adam Granduciel, songwriters (The War on Drugs)
–“Patient Number 9,” John Osbourne, Chad Smith, Ali Tamposi, Robert Trujillo and Andrew Wotman, songwriters (Ozzy Osbourne featuring Jeff Beck)
Best Roots Gospel Album
“Let’s Just Praise the Lord,” Gaither Vocal Band
“Confessio — Irish American Roots,” Keith and Kristyn Getty
“The Willie Nelson Family,” Willie Nelson
“2:22,” Karen Peck and New River
“The Urban Hymnal,” Tennessee State University Marching Band
Song of the Year
–“Abcdefu,” Sara Davis, Gayle and Dave Pittenger, songwriters (Gayle)
–“About Damn Time,” Melissa “Lizzo” Jefferson, Eric Frederic, Blake Slatkin and Theron Makiel Thomas, songwriters (Lizzo)
–“All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (The Short Film),” Liz Rose and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
–“As It Was,” Tyler Johnson, Kid Harpoon and Harry Styles, songwriters (Harry Styles)
–“Bad Habit,” Matthew Castellanos, Brittany Fousheé, Diana Gordon, John Carroll Kirby & Steve Lacy, songwriters (Steve Lacy)
–“Break My Soul,” Beyoncé, S. Carter, Terius “The-Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant and Christopher A. Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)
–“Easy on Me,” Adele Adkins and Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
–“God Did,” Tarik Azzouz, E. Blackmon, Khaled Khaled, F. LeBlanc, Shawn Carter, John Stephens, Dwayne Carter, William Roberts and Nicholas Warwar, songwriters (DJ Khaled Featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend and Fridayy)
–“The Heart Part 5,” Jake Kosich, Johnny Kosich, Kendrick Lamar and Matt Schaeffer, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
–“Just Like That,” Bonnie Raitt, songwriter (Bonnie Raitt)
Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” 20th Anniversary Edition also was nominated in Best Album Notes, and Best Historical Album.