Mavis Staples takes Americana award at Grammys, Lady Antebellum are big winners
Soul and gospel singer Mavis Staples took the award for best Americana album at the 2011 Grammy Awards for her album You Are Not Alone, produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. It was an emotional first Grammy for the Chicago-based artist in a more than 40-year career. She beat out Rosanne Cash – whose album The List took the award at the Americana Music Association awards last September – Willie Nelson, Los Lobos and Robert Plant.
The Grammys were dominated by Country trio Lady Antebellum, who took five trophies home, including record of the year and song of the year – in which they bested Ray LaMontagne who was nominated for his song “Beg, Steal or Borrow”.
LaMontagne did leave with a Grammy, however, taking the award for best contemporary folk album for God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise, ahead of a field that included Mary Chapin Carpenter and Guy Clark. Best traditional folk album went to banjo heroes Carolina Chocolate Drops for Genuine Negro Jig.
Marty Stuart took the award for best country instrumental for the track “Hummingbyrd” from his album Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions. His competition included family bluegrass band Cherryholmes and musical all-rounder Darrell Scott. Patty Griffin won in the category of traditional gospel album for Downtown Church.
Patty Loveless was the winner of the best bluegrass album category for Mountain Soul II, ahead of Sam Bush, the Del McCoury Band, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band and the SteelDrivers.
Folk legend Pete Seeger tasted Grammy success in an unusual category. He was honoured in the best musical album for children category for his album Tomorrow’s Children, recorded with the Rivertown Kids.
Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett added a Grammy to the Oscar, Golden Globe and Americana awards (and many others) that they have previously won for their song “The Weary Kind”, the theme tune to the film “Crazy Heart”. They won in the category of best song written for motion picture, television or other visual media. Also nominated in that category was Steve Earle’s song “This City”, written for the TV series “Tremé”. The album of music from “Crazy Heart” also beat out “Tremé” in the compilation soundtrack category.