Friday BBQ Spotify 12/13/13
Nominations for the 56th Grammy Awards were announced this week. These days, I normally hold the Grammy Awards in the same regard that I do other music awards extravaganzas – little more than an opportunity to further popularity of the same music I hear ad infinitum blasting out of tweeners’ MP3 players, TV commercials, or on other major awards extravaganzas. Don’t get me wrong – I think artists like Taylor Swift, Robin Thicke, and Blake Shelton are talented – but the whole thing is a bit of a power play, and we rarely hear much from the nominees who don’t get a lot of media coverage. I had hoped that the Internet and online music services might change that, but you still have to dig a little to find the diamonds in the rough. So imagine my surprise when I dug through this week’s Grammy nominations and found some real gems. This list has a few popular choices (Imagine Dragons – the “it” concert group of the moment right now, and Coldplay, the previous “it” concert group of the moment with their song from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) because it’s simply good music. But I was pleasantly shocked to see some great artists you’ve probably never heard of, and probably won’t hear much more of during the awards telecast or even after. Some of these musicians are so talented, they should break through that recognition barrier anyway. Gary Clark, Jr. is the epitome of modern Texas blues, and most people outside Austin didn’t even know who he was until Eric Clapton’s 2013 Crossroads concert. Fellow Texan nominee Sarah Jarosz has been nominated previously for Best Country Instrumental Performance in 2009 but have you heard of her? Probably not unless you follow country or bluegrass circles closely, but you should. Really nice to see Jack White get nominated for his rendition of “I’m Shakin.’ Certainly not the first time this Little Willie John classic has been covered, but a nice treatment nevertheless.
In any event, check out this Grammy-nominated collection filled with a few recognizables, and a whole lot of music and musicians you’ve probably never heard of – but if you’re like me – you’ll want to hear a lot more from them. Even if Taylor, Blake, or Daft Punk walk off with most of the hardware on January 26th. Have a great mid-December weekend everyone, stay warm, and keep digging to find those diamonds of surprise.