Blues News

2020 Grammy Blues Nominees

2020 Grammy Blues Nominees

The 2020 Grammy Awards are on the horizon. So, every year, The Recording Academy has an annual ceremony that features performances by who they feel are prominent artists.  The awards they give out depict a gilded gramophone.  While the die-hards who watch the show in its full glory, I just watch certain parts while flipping channels.

Furthermore, a lot of the genres and categories I like are ceremonies that don’t make the tv time slot. So, that brings us to the important category that we like to see, the “Blues”.  2019 was a great time for the Blues – there are some really amazing artists that have been around and up & coming.  So, we’re going to highlight the Grammy nods for this year.  At KTBA, we’re always looking for great blues music so we’re always open to hear what you are checking out. So, let us know!

2020 Grammy – Best Traditional Blues Album

Tough call when it comes to this category only because they’re all great artists. Christone Kingfish Ingram, Jimmie Vaughan, Delbert McClinton, Bobby Rush and Jontavious Willis.

Jimmie Vaughan – Baby, Please Come Home

First up is legendary blues guitarist & singer, Jimmie Vaughan performing ‘Baby What’s Wrong’ which is a Jimmy Reed track from his new album “Baby, Please Come Home.” The whole album is a nod to an eclectic collection of songwriters. Such as Gatemouth Brown, T-Bone Walker, Etta James, Jimmy Reed as well as Lefty Frizell to name a few. The whole album is fantastic, and Vaughan does a great job adding his special touch and care to each classic gem.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – “Kingfish” 

Once in a generation, a blues artist comes along who not only reminds mainstream audiences how deeply satisfying and emotionally moving the best blues music can be but shakes the genre to its core. With both eyes on the future and the blues in his blood, 20-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter.  Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is set to take the music world by storm with the long-awaited release of his debut album, KINGFISH, on Alligator Records.

Sprung from the same earth as so many of the Delta blues masters, Kingfish comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49. A student of the Delta’s musical history, he is acutely aware of the musicians and the music that emerges from his corner of the world. 

Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men – Tall, Dark & Handsome 

He’s a Texas songwriting legend and he’s back with his 26th album Tall, Dark & Handsome. Whether you’re a fan or you don’t know his music, either way, this album packs a punch of Texas blues! For one, he has the formula down to perfection of what great songwriting is about. He also has longevity and his musical ability to smoothly combine country, blues, soul, rock n roll with a splash of special sauce. Let’s face it, he’s been there and has done pretty much what he wants, and it works for him. It’s a rare talent for most. If I Hock My Guitar is one of the office favorites. Check it out!

Jontavious Willis, Spectacular Class 

It’s been said that the days are gone when famous musicians give lesser known musicians a leg up by having them open for them on concert tours. Grammy winners Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ are revitalizing that old school practice with Jontavious Willis, the acoustic blues singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist who’s been taking the country by storm and opening for both Mahal and Keb’ Mo’.

His new album, Spectacular Class, was released through “Kind of Blue Music”. Jontavious Willis is the future of acoustic blues. He’s the real deal, and at age 22, to be this talented and such a soulful, full-bodied singer with spunk and sass (think Muddy Waters,) something’s gotta be rumbling in the area of the blues. And in this talented, young musician’s old soul. – By Martine Ehrenclou / Rock And Blues Muse

Bobby Rush – Sitting on Top of the Blues

Grammy award winning bluesman, Bobby Rush, talks about his new album “Sitting on Top of the Blues!” Featured in a number of Blues Museums around the country, Rush has come to more prominence since his Grammy Award. Which was for his last album “Porcupine Meat.” He’s also appearing with Eddie Murphy in the movie “Dolemite Is My Name.” Catch Bobby on tour this year for the full Entertainment Bobby Rush Experience!  Credits: FOX 17 Rock & Review.

2020 Grammy – Best Contemporary Blues 

Gary Clark Jr. – This Land

Is an American musician from Austin  Texas. He’s best known for his fusion of blues, rock and soul music with elements of hip hop. Throughout his career Clark has been a prolific live performer, has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, B.B. King and the Rolling Stones.

Larkin Poe – Venom & Faith

Rebecca & Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe are singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist sisters creating their own brand of Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll: gritty, soulful, and flavored by their southern heritage. Originally from Atlanta and currently living in Nashville, they are descendants of tortured artist and creative genius Edgar Allan Poe.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Robert Randolph and the Family Band is an American funk and soul band led by pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph. NPR has described the band as one with an “irresistible rock ‘n’ roll swagger”. Rolling Stone also went on to include Randolph upon their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. The band has released six studio albums and has been Grammy nominated three times. And once more with “Brighter Days”.

Sugaray Rayford – Somebody Save Me

The new studio album from Texas-born soul blues singer, Sugaray Rayford. On the album’s opening track, “The Revelator”, Rayford forcefully sings, “I’m a freak of nature / I ain’t no honey bee / I’m an unknown creature / The like you’ve never seen.” At 6’5” and 300 pounds, this cigar chompin’ ex-Marine with a voice like a force of nature holds court in any room he enters. Possessing a magnetic personality, and an old school vocal style that echoes Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass, Rayford is also a stellar dancer with moves reminiscent of the Legendary James Brown.

Southern Avenue – Keep On

Southern Avenue is an American five-piece blues and soul blues band from Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Formed in 2015, they took their name from a street in Memphis running from the easternmost part of the city limits to “Soulsville”, which was the original home of Stax Records.  

So, there you go – We’ll see who makes the cut and who wins! The 62nd GRAMMY Awards are right around the corner, airing Jan. 26 on CBS

Be sure to check back next week to see what’s new on KTBA!  If you like what you read, please share.

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