Here’s the official list: https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/2020-grammy-awards-complete-nominees-list
I’m more interested in the Waffle House awards tonight, but I’ll congratulate these nominees, too.
Country music is sparsely represented in the general field categories, though Billy Ray Cyrus shows up for Old Town Road.
Tanya Tucker did get a nomination for song of the year for “Bring My Flowers Now.” The video for the song is included in my October-December Country Plus Showcase.
Yola landed a nomination for new artist. She isn’t a country artist, per se, but she does have country influences, and she tours with country/Americana artists.
Rodrigo and Gabriela show up in the “best contemporary instrumental album” category. Although not considered “country,” this act is included on my March-April Country Plus Showcase: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-bwAXPAD9vVn5DA_X-Xhka
Rival Sons have a couple of nominations in the rock categories, but I’ll mention them because Dave Cobb produced their album. Although the California band is not a “southern rock” band, I do include a song from this album in my Southern Rock Plus Showcase because the band went to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record, and the Muscle Shoals influences are reflected in the music.
Best Country Album looks pretty good, for the most part. I would have liked seeing George Strait in there, too. His album sold better than a lot of the other country albums this year, but he has been shut out of awards. It’s worth mentioning that the winning CMA country album from Maren Morris did not receive a nomination. I was unimpressed by the album, and apparently the Grammy voters were, also. The Highwomen album is a better example of Maren as a country artist, but was released after the eligibility deadline. Carrie Underwood and Garth Brooks were in the headlines a whole lot last week at the CMAs , but both were shut out entirely at the Grammys.
Tanya Tucker and Ashley McBryde are two of the five in the “country solo performance” and “best country song” categories, but I have no idea if that gives them any advantage over the other nominees in those categories. Willie Nelson landed a nomination for country solo performance, which adds to his already exceptional legacy.
I’m not impressed by most of the country duo/group nominees. Luke Combs with Brooks and Dunn did a very straightforward remake of an old Brooks and Dunn hit. If voters wanted to reward Combs’ huge year, honoring one of Luke’s own songs would have been more appropriate. Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile ? If voters wanted to recognize these artists, they’d have been better off recognizing one of the songs released by The Highwomen.
For “best country song,” Miranda Lambert’s “It All Comes Out In The Wash” seems marginal to consider. Poll some random Miranda Lambert fans for their list of five favorite Miranda Lambert songs, and see if this song gets many votes. It’s not a bad song. I just think she has had some much bigger songs in her career.
Dolly Parton landed a nomination for “contemporary Christian performance” with King & Country. They performed at the CMA awards. Dolly also picked up a nomination for a movie soundtrack song.
The American Roots, Americana, folk, and regional roots categories are a jumbled mess. Good luck figuring out which is what and why. Keb Mo is apparently Americana, rather than blues, Vince Gill is American Roots, and Yola is somehow both Americana and American Roots, and she’s not even American !
The bluegrass category is nice enough, but I’m surprised that neither Molly Tuttle nor Billy Strings are included somewhere in the bluegrass or other roots categories. Seriously, folks, check ’em out. With all of the roots/folk/Americana categories, you’d think they could land a song or performance somewhere.
Bluegrass fans should also take note of a couple of the nominees in the “roots gospel album” category, since Steven Curtis Chapman’s album is a bluegrass gospel album, and his long-time friend Jerry Salley is also best known for his work in the bluegrass field.
There are some other country names in a few of the obscure categories near the bottom of the page, too. For instance, Randy Newman has a nomination for writing the “Lonesome Cowboy” song in Toy Story 4. Chris Stapleton sang the song (and very well, of course), but isn’t nominated for this or anything else, unfortunately.