The Michigan contingent at Sunday’s Grammy Awards — including Billy Strings, The War and Treaty and Bob James — came away empty-handed but still made a splash in their own way over the weekend.
There’s no shame in getting shut out at the Grammy Awards when your competition boasts the star power of Paramore, Jason Isbell, Molly Tuttle, Victoria Monet, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer.
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Michigan’s contingent at Sunday’s Grammy Awards — Billy Strings, The War and Treaty, Greta Van Fleet, Bob James and Bettye LaVette — didn’t bring home any hardware, but they still made an impression as nominees.
Iconic jazz keyboardist James, a Missouri native who now makes his home in Traverse City, dazzled the audience at the afternoon “Premiere Ceremony” pre-telecast in Los Angeles, performing with an all-star cast of jazz greats who introduced the pianist as “representing Michigan.”
Ionia County-bred Billy Strings, who was up for three awards, lost out to Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway’s “City of Gold” for bluegrass album of the year, nudging out “Me / and / Dad,” which Billy Strings recorded with his father, Terry Barber. Billy brought his parents on Sunday to the Grammys, where they were interviewed by Billboard magazine.
Tuttle, a pal and frequent collaborator with Billy, was a guest star in Grand Rapids for the guitarist’s sold-out Halloween spectacle at Van Andel Arena, and she praised the other nominees in her category when accepting the bluegrass award on Sunday.
“Congratulations to my dear friend Molly Tuttle and her amazing band on tonight’s Grammy win for best bluegrass album,” Billy declared on Facebook. “I’m proud to know you Molly. Keep kicking ass.”
Billy Strings also was nominated for best country duo/group performance (“High Note” with Dierks Bentley). an award won by Zach Bryan for “I Remember Everything” (also featuring Kacey Musgraves).
Billy and Albion’s The War and Treaty also were nominated for best American roots song, a category won by Jason Isbell for his song, “Cast Iron Skillet.” The War and Treaty also lost out in the high-profile best new artist category to up-and-coming singer Victoria Monet.
While The War and Treaty didn’t snag their first Grammy, they still made a splash in L.A. The night before the big awards show, they played the 2024 MusiCares Person of the Year gala honoring Jon Bon Jovi. At one point, The War and Treaty, Hugh McDonald, Jon Bon Jovi, Sammy Hagar, Shania Twain, John Shanks, Bruce Springsteen, Marcus King, Jelly Roll and other notables even performed an all-star rendition of “Livin’ On a Prayer.”
Frankenmuth rock band Greta Van Fleet, meanwhile, lost out to Paramore for best rock album.
Jazz icon and keyboardist James had been nominated for best contemporary instrumental album for his “Jazz Hands,” an award that instead went to “As We Speak” by Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer featuring Rakesh Chaurasia.
Other Michiganders nominated included Detroit singer Bettye Lavette (up for best contemporary blues album), and Traverse City songwriter Aaron Allen (who co-wrote “California Sober” with Billy Strings). Lavette also was a guest on “Basie Swings the Blues” which won the Grammy on Sunday for best large jazz ensemble album.
The big winners on Sunday included pop superstar Taylor Swift, who won a record fourth album of the year, Billie Eilish, SZA, Miley Cyrus and Boygenius. Read more at Reuters.com.
Sunday’s Grammy winners also included performers and recording artists who recently made stops in West Michigan: Americana singer-songwriter Allison Russell and gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama (St. Cecilia Music Center), country singers Chris Stapleton and Zach Bryan (Van Andel Arena) and Jason Isbell (Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park).
View the full list of nominees and winners at grammy.com here.
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