Meet the nom­i­nees with Mem­phis ties

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page - Bob Mehr Mem­phis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

The nom­i­na­tions for 61st an­nual Grammy awards were an­nounced Fri­day, and those rec­og­nized among the 84 cat­e­gories in­clude sev­eral Mem­phis and Mid-South artists, writ­ers and pro­duc­ers.

“My phone is blow­ing up this morn­ing, said Mem­phis Grammy se­nior ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jon Hornyak, whose chap­ter also rep­re­sents Mis­sis­sippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. “It’s a good year for our chap­ter.”

One of the year’s top nom­i­nees, hiphop star Drake — whose pa­ter­nal fam­ily is from the Bluff City and who spent his child­hood sum­mers here — is ac­tu­ally a Grammy mem­ber through the Mem­phis chap­ter. He racked up seven nom­i­na­tions (sec­ond only to fel­low rap­per Kendrick La­mar with eight), in­clud­ing Record of the Year, Al­bum of the Year and Song of the Year.

Mean­while, Milling­ton na­tive and pop su­per­star Justin Tim­ber­lake also checked in with a nom­i­na­tion in the best Pop Duo/Group Per­for­mance for his team-up with coun­try singer Chris Sta­ple­ton on “Say Some­thing.”

Be­yond the big names, plenty of lo­cals rang up Grammy nom­i­na­tions. Hill Coun­try blues­man Cedric Burn­side earned his sec­ond nom­i­na­tion of his ca­reer. Burn­side’s most re­cent LP, “Ben­ton County Relic,” is up for the Best Tra­di­tional Blues Al­bum award. Burn­side will be go­ing up against an es­teemed group that in­cludes Chicago blues le­gend Buddy Guy and the duo of Ben Harper and Mis­sis­sippi-born, Mem­phis-bred Char­lie Mus­sel­white.

Mem­phis blues pian­ist — and Blues Mu­sic Award peren­nial — Vic­tor Wain­wright earned his Grammy recognition in the Best Con­tem­po­rary Blues Al­bum cat­e­gory. His LP, "Vic­tor Wain­wright and the Train," will seek to best al­bums by vet­er­ans like Boz Scaggs for the tro­phy.

In the Best Gospel/Per­for­mance Song cat­e­gory, “You Will Win” by West Mem­phis singer Jeka­lyn Carr was rec­og­nized. Carr and her fa­ther, Allen Carr, are nom­i­nated as song­writ­ers in the cat­e­gory.

Writer, his­to­rian, blues ex­pert, long­time of Univer­sity of Mem­phis pro­fes­sor and past Grammy win­ner, Dr. David Evans will be vy­ing for a Grammy for best al­bum notes. Evans was nom­i­nated for his work on the box set “Voices of Mis­sis­sippi: Artists and Mu­si­cians Doc­u­mented by Wil­liam Fer­ris.” The Fer­ris pack­age will also be up for a Best His­tor­i­cal al­bum award.

Two-time Grammy win­ning engi­neer Matt Ross-Spang, will have a chance to add an­other tro­phy to his man­tel. RossS­pang worked on singer-song­writer John Prine’s “Tree of For­give­ness,” which is up for mul­ti­ple hon­ors, in­clud­ing Best Amer­i­cana Al­bum. Should the al­bum win — best­ing com­peti­tors like Brandi Carlile and Lee Ann Wo­mack — Ross-Spang will earn a third Grammy for en­gi­neer­ing the LP.

An­other Ross-Spang client, Amer­i­cana star Margo Price — who recorded both her break­through al­bums in Mem­phis, at Sun and Phillips — is up for the Best New Artist tro­phy, in a tough field that in­cludes Bebe Rexha and Greta Van Fleet.

Also, Mem­phis na­tive Kenneth Whalum has a pair of writ­ing cred­its on the late Mac Miller’s record “Swim­ming,” which is up for Rap Al­bum of the Year.

The 61st an­nual Grammy awards will be pre­sented Feb. 10 at the Sta­ples Cen­ter in Los An­ge­les.


Mem­phis pian­ist Vic­tor Wain­wright is nom­i­nated for the Best Con­tem­po­rary Blues Al­bum Grammy.

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