The best album cycle of his career continues to happen for Jason Aldean as My Kinda Party not only allowed him to score a Best Country Album nomination, but Jason Aldean also scored Best Country Solo Performance (used to be separated by male/female/instrumental) and Best Country Duo/Group performance (where duo, group and vocal event categories merged). The former for “Dirt Road Anthem” and the latter for the mega duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson.
The Band Perry scored a Best New Artist nomination and are up against Indie stalwart Bon Iver, R&B singer J. Cole, Dubstep/Dance artist Skrillex and the likely front runner, female rapper Nicki Manaj.
The other nominations for “Best Country Solo” performance outside of Aldean include Martina McBride for her brilliant “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee,” Taylor Swift for “Mean,” and Carrie Underwood for “Mama’s Song.”
The Best country Duo/Group Performance category includes “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” from Thompson Square, “Barton Hollow” from The Civil Wars (who likely lost the “Best new Artist” slot to Bon Iver), “You And Tequila” from Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter and of course the Aldean/Clarkson duet.
Best Country Song (which goes to the songwriters) finds “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” from Thompson Square, “God Gave Me You” from Blake Shelton, “Mean” from Taylor Swift, “You And Tequila” from Kenny Chesney/Grace Potter and “Just Fishin’” from Blake Shelton going up against Vince Gill’s “Threaten Me With Heaven” and given Gill’s history of winning at the Grammy Awards, look for him to take home this award.
“Best Country Album” finds Aldean’s third nomination this year (leading country artists in a tie with Swift and Shelton) for My Kinda Party, Eric Church’s Chief, Lady Antebellum’s Own The Night, Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue, George Strait’s Here For A Good Time and Swift’s Speak Now. Look for this to go to either Lady Antebellum (who won this category last year) or to Swift with Aldean having an outside shot as well.
Zac Brown and Wyatt Durrette were also nominated in the Film/TV/Media category for Best Song Written for Digital Media. They wrote “Where The River Goes” with Drew Pearson and Anne Preven. Durrette is a close friend of Brown’s who also co-writes many of the Zac Brown Band’s hits. Zac sang this song on the Footloose Soundtrack as a solo artist. The song is up against songs from Burlesque, Winnie The Pooh, Tangled, Family Guy and Never Say Never, Justin Bieber’s movie.
In the Best Bluegrass Album category, Alison Krauss and Union Station’s Paper Airplane is up against this Jim Lauderdale’s Reason and Rhyme: Bluegrass Songs By Robert Hunter, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Ranger’s Rare Bird Alert, The Del McCoury Band’s Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe, Dr. Ralph Stanley’s A Mother’s Prayer and Chris Thile & Michael Daves’s Sleep With One Eye Open. This is a seriously talented group of pickers and albums and honestly, any of the six nominees could take home the award as all have won Grammy awards previously.
The complete list of categories that are country related are listed below.
Note: Grammy Award Categories changed this year, so there are no longer separate Group, duo, male, Female or instrumental categories anymore. The Recording Academy said this was to streamline the award shows' long telecast. We don't think we like the loss of male/female and instrumental categories though.
Best New Artist
The Band Perry
Best Country Solo Performance
"Dirt Road Anthem," Jason Aldean
"I'm Gonna Love You Through It," Martina McBride
"Honey Bee," Blake Shelton
"Mean," Taylor Swift
"Mama's Song," Carrie Underwood
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
"Don't You Wanna Stay," Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
"You and Tequila," Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter
"Barton Hollow," the Civil Wars
"Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not," Thompson Square
Best Country Song
"Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not"
Songwriters: Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy
Artist: Thompson Square
"God Gave Me You"
Songwriter: Dave Barnes
Artist: Blake Shelton
Songwriters: Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell and Ed Hill
Artist: Trace Adkins
Songwriter: Taylor Swift
Artist: Taylor Swift
"Threaten Me With Heaven"
Songwriters: Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Will Owsley and Dillon O'Brian
Artist: Vince Gill
"You and Tequila"
Songwriters: Matraca Berg and Deana Carter
Artist: Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter
Best Country Album
My Kinda Party, Jason Aldean
Chief, Eric Church
Own the Night, Lady Antebellum
Red River Blue, Blake Shelton
Here for a Good Time, George Strait
Speak Now, Taylor Swift
Best Americana Album
Emotional Jukebox, Linda Chorney
Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down, Ry Cooder
Hard Bargain, Emmylou Harris
Ramble at the Ryman, Levon Helm
Blessed, Lucinda Williams
Best Bluegrass Album
Paper Airplane, Alison Krauss & Union Station
Reason and Rhyme: Bluegrass Songs by Robert Hunter & Jim Lauderdale, Jim Lauderdale
Rare Bird Alert, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe, the Del McCoury Band
A Mother's Prayer, Ralph Stanley
Sleep With One Eye Open, Chris Thile and Michael Daves
Best Blues Album
Low Country Blues, Gregg Allman
Roadside Attractions, Marcia Ball
Man in Motion, Warren Haynes
The Reflection, Keb Mo
Revelator, Tedeschi Trucks Band
Best Folk Album
Barton Hollow, the Civil Wars
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive, Steve Earle
Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes
Ukulele Songs, Eddie Vedder
The Harrow & the Harvest, Gillian Welch