Worthy Country & Roots Artists Pick Up 2020 Grammy Nominations

The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded for their time and attention.

In the country categories, we see multiple worthy names pick up nominations. Ashley McBryde picks up two nominations for her song “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.” Tanya Tucker receives two nominations for “Bring My Flowers Now.” Older acts like Willie Nelson and Brooks & Dunn pick up nominations. And though you would have loved to see Tyler Childers pick up an album nomination and “All Your’n” is a strange track to nominate, at least they did not try to shoe horn him into the Americana categories, and he can now claim he’s a Grammy-nominated artist until kingdom come.

Aside from Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road, the Best Country Album category is quite strong, with Reba McEntire and The Pistol Annies picking up nominations where the CMA’s dropped the ball. Eric Church picks up his second nomination in the album category, and Tanya Tucker picks up her third nomination here, and her 4th nomination overall since “Bring My Flowers Now” is also nominated for the all genre Song of the Year.

In the American Roots categories (Americana, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues), we definitely see voters striving for diversity, with the Best Americana Album including three black performers in Keb Mo, J.S. Ondara, and Yola. It is Yola that is is the story of the Americana Grammy Awards so far, also picking up song and performance nominations for “Faraway Look.” Don’t be surprised if she wins all of these either. Americana wins tend to be bunched up, and the momentum behind Yola is sizable, and worthy. Yola also picks up a nomination in the vaunted all genre Best New Artist category. These nominations also give country fans something to root for in these categories.

“I’m With Her” also pick up multiple nominations, but aside from that, there is some of the sameness we normally see from Americana where you wonder if they’re nominating the “who” and not the “what.” There’s not a whole lot of digging deeper than the surface, and artists like Ian Noe, Caroline Spence, and others feel a little overlooked with their landmark releases.

Along with Yola being nominated for Best New Artist and “Bring My Flowers Now” for Tanya Tucker being nominated for Song of the Year, the Best Song Written for Visual Media has three songs with country/roots implications. Also Dan Auerbach—who produced Yola’s Walk Through The Fire, as well as albums from Kendell Marvel and Dee White—receives a Producer of the Year nomination. Lil Nas X receives plenty of love in the all genre categories, but does not show up in any of the country categories.

The Grammy Awards will be handed out on January 26, 2020.

Best Country Solo Performance:
“All Your’n” — Tyler Childers
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” — Ashley McBryde
“Ride Me Back Home” — Willie Nelson
“God’s Country” — Blake Shelton
“Bring My Flowers Now” — Tanya Tucker

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
“Brand New Man” — Brooks & Dunn with Luke Combs
“I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” — Brothers Osborne
“Speechless” — Dan + Shay
“The Daughters” — Little Big Town
“Common” — Maren Morris ft. Brandi Carlile

Best Country Song:
“Bring My Flowers Now” — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker, Songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” — Jeremy Bussey & Ashley Mcbryde, Songwriters (Ashley Mcbryde)
“It All Comes Out In The Wash” — Miranda Lambert, Hillary Lindsey, Lori Mckenna & Liz Rose, Songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“Some Of It” — Eric Church, Clint Daniels, Jeff Hyde & Bobby Pinson, Songwriters (Eric Church)
“Speechless” — Shay Mooney, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers & Laura Veltz, Songwriters (Dan + Shay)

Best Country Album:
Desperate Man — Eric Church
Stronger Than The Truth — Reba McEntire
Interstate Gospel — Pistol Annies
Center Point Road — Thomas Rhett
While I’m Livin’ — Tanya Tucker

Best American Roots Performance:
“Saint Honesty” — Sara Bareilles
“Father Mountain” — Calexico With Iron & Wine
“I’m On My Way” — Rhiannon Giddens With Francesco Turrisi
“Call My Name” — I’m With Her
“Faraway Look” — Yola

Best American Roots Song:
“Black Myself” — Amythyst Kiah, songwriter (Our Native Daughters)
“Call My Name” — Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’donovan & Sara Watkins, songwriters (I’m With Her)
“Crossing To Jerusalem” — Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, songwriters (Rosanne Cash)
“Faraway Look” — Dan Auerbach, Yola Carter & Pat Mclaughlin, songwriters (Yola)
“I Don’t Wanna Ride The Rails No More” — Vince Gill, songwriter (Vince Gill)

Best Americana Album:
Years To Burn — Calexico and Iron & Wine
Who Are You Now — Madison Cunningham
Oklahoma — Keb’ Mo’
Tales Of America — J.S. Ondara
Walk Through Fire — Yola

Best Bluegrass Album:
Tall Fiddler — Michael Cleveland
Live In Prague, Czech Republic — Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Toil, Tears & Trouble — The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
Royal Traveller — Missy Raines
If You Can’t Stand The Heat — Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Best Folk Album:
My Finest Work Yet — Andrew Bird
Rearrange My Heart — Che Apalache
Patty Griffin — Patty Griffin
Evening Machines — Gregory Alan Isakov
Front Porch — Joy Williams

All Genre Categories:

Album of the Year

Bon Iver – i,i
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
H.E.R. – I Used to Know Her
Ariana Grande – thank u, next
Lil Nas X – 7
Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride

Record of the Year

Bon Iver – “Hey, Ma”
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”
Ariana Grande – “7 rings”
H.E.R. – “Hard Place”
Khalid – “Talk”
Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road”
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”
Post Malone – “Sunflower”

Song of the Year

Lady Gaga – “Always Remember Us This Way”
Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”
Tanya Tucker – “Bring My Flowers Now”
H.E.R. – “Hard Place”
Taylor Swift – “Lover”
Lana Del Rey – “Norman Fucking Rockwell”
Lewis Capaldi – “Someone You Loved”
Lizzo – “Truth Hurts”

Best New Artist

Black Pumas
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Maggie Rogers
Rosalía
Tank and the Bangas
Yola

Best Song Written For Visual Media:

“The Ballad Of The Lonesome Cowboy” — Randy Newman, songwriter (Chris Stapleton); Track from: “Toy Story 4”
“Girl In The Movies” — Dolly Parton & Linda Perry, songwriters (Dolly Parton); Track from: “Dumplin’”
“I’ll Never Love Again (Film Version)” — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey & Aaron Raitiere, songwriters (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper); Track from: A Star Is Born
“Spirit” — Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Timothy McKenzie & Ilya Salmanzadeh, songwriters (Beyoncé); Track from: “The Lion King”
“Suspirium” — Thom Yorke, songwriter (Thom Yorke); Track from: “Suspiria”