The nominations announced today stem from his latest, chart-topping studio album, “Renewal.” Billy Strings’ national tour hits Grand Rapids in late December.
Ionia County’s favorite bluegrass son, Billy Strings, continues to attract accolades and national attention, with the Recording Academy today nominating the guitarist for two Grammy Awards stemming from his latest studio album.
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“Renewal,” which soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart after its release, landed two nominations – one for bluegrass album of the year, and the other for best American roots performance for the song, “Love and Regret,” which appears on the recording.
The Michigan-bred William Apostol, aka Billy Strings, won his first Grammy just last year, for best bluegrass album for “Home.”
“It’s been an amazing day,” Apostol told fans in a video he posted on his Facebook page. “I bought a house this morning, I got this cool purple corduroy shirt, and oh yeah, we got nominated for two Grammys.” (Scroll down to watch his video.)
The guitarist and his band continue their sold-out national tour in New Orleans next week, wrapping up the 2021 run with three straight homecoming shows at Grand Rapids’ GLC Live at 20 Monroe starting Dec. 30. He also recently made headlines in his hometown of Muir by giving away more than 200 guitars to students at Twin Rivers Elementary School.
His Twitter feed today was filled with congratulatory messages from fans cheering him on for another Grammy victory.
In the bluegrass album category, Billy Strings joins impressive nominees Bela Fleck (“My Bluegrass Heart”), The Infamous Stringdusters (“A Tribute to Bill Monroe”), Sturgill Simpson (“Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1) and Rhonda Vincent (“Music Is What I See).”
The competition is just as stiff in the best American roots performance category, with Jon Baptiste (“Cry”), The Blind Boys of Alabama & Bela Fleck (“I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free”), Brandy Clark & Brandi Carlile (“Same Devil”) and Allison Russell (“Nightflyer”).
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“Thank you so much for listening to the record and for everybody that’s coming out on tour,” Apostol said in his video. “Thank you to the Recording Academy, and we’ll see. I don’t know, I’m sort of rooting for Bela Fleck, too. That’s a damn good record. I just appreciate the love, everybody.”
Interestingly, banjo virtuoso Fleck’s nominated album features guest appearances by, yes, Billy Strings, along with notable musicians such as Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton and Stuart Duncan.
Fleck — who’s won numerous Grammy Awards over the years — brings his tour behind the new album to Grand Rapids on Saturday, playing DeVos Performance Hall at 8 p.m. with Bush, Meyer, Sutton, Douglas and Duncan in his all-star band. Tickets – $36-$84 – available online here.
Bush recently performed in Grand Rapids with his own band at St. Cecilia Music Center, the first in-person show at Royce Auditorium in more than a year.
And another multiple Grammy nominee just revved up Grand Rapids’ Listening Room last weekend. Jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard – who played two shows on Saturday in Grand Rapids – is nominated for best improvised jazz solo for “Absence” and for best jazz instrumental album for “Absence.” (View a Local Spins photo gallery here.)
Another recent Listening Room performer, Los Lobos, earned a nomination for best Americana album for “Native Sons.”
Check out the full roster of nominees, including those for album and song of the year, online at grammy.com.
The Grammys will be awarded on Jan. 31, with the evening ceremonies broadcast by CBS.
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