While Eminem, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were some of the bigger names recognized at the Grammy nominations ceremony last night, Louisiana owned the Contemporary Blues Album category. Traditional Louisiana Grammy nominees Lil Wayne, Terence Blanchard and Irma Thomas are on the bench this year, but television gives Louisiana some of its best hopes for Grammy gold.
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue continue their remarkable year, being nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Backatown. They’ll be up against the Stanley Clarke Band, Joey DeFrancesco, Jeff Lorber Fusion and John McLaughlin.
Terence Blanchard has owned the Best Improvised Jazz Solo category in recent years, but Wynton Marsalis carries the mantle this year for his performance on “Van Gogh” on Ted Nash’s Portrait in Seven Shades. He’ll be competing with Alan Broadbent, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Hank Jones.
In the Best Contemporary Blues Album, Dr. John and the Lower 911 are once again nominated, this time for Tribal. They’re up against one-time New Orleanian Bettye LaVette’s Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, Lettsworth, Louisiana’s Buddy Guy and his Living Proof album, and Shreveport’s Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s Live! In Chicago (with guests Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, long-time Bourbon Street guitarist Bryan Lee and Shreveport’s Buddy Flett). Also nominated is the late Solomon Burke for his Nothing’s Impossible album.
Many of the best-known Cajun and zydeco musicians didn’t record this year, which will make the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album particularly interesting. The nominees are Zydeco Junkie by Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band (who’ll play OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Awards Friday, January 28), En Couleurs by Feufollet, Happy Go Lucky by D.L. Menard, Back Home by the Pine Leaf Boys and Creole Moon: Live at the Blue Moon Saloon by Cedric Watson et Bijou Créole.
Louisiana got two nods in the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, one for the Treme soundtrack and one for True Blood, Vol. 2. They’ll be up against the soundtracks for Crazy Heart, Glee: The Music, Volume 1 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
In the Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media, Steve Earle is nominated for “This City” from the Treme soundtrack. Randy Newman’s nominated for “Down in New Orleans,” which was performed by Dr. John on the soundtrack to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, and one-time New Orleanian Lucinda Williams’ “Kiss Like Your Kiss” – sung by Williams and Elvis Costello – is nominated from the True Blood, Vol. 2 soundtrack. Also in the category are “I See You” from Avatar and “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart.
For a complete list of nominees, visit Grammy.com.