Nashville Celebrates Its Grammy Nominees

Keith Urban, John Prine, Grascals Among Partygoers

As the year’s first snowfall pelted Nashville’s streets, music industry figures gathered at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza hotel Tuesday night (Jan. 17) to extend best wishes to the city’s 2006 Grammy nominees. Winners will be announced Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.

Susan Stewart, who heads the Nashville chapter of the Recording Academy — the organization that confers the awards — announced that Nashville placed nominees in 34 different categories, well beyond the chapter’s usual dominance of the country and gospel divisions.

Well over a dozen nominated acts, songwriters, producers and technicians attended the event, including Keith Urban, who’s in the running for best male country vocal performance for “You’ll Think of Me”; Marcus Hummon, Jeff Hanna and Bobby Boyd, whose “Bless the Broken Road” is up for both song of the year and best country song; and the Grascals, whose self-titled debut album is contending for best bluegrass album.

Three acts that are vying for the best southern, country or bluegrass gospel album prize were on hand — the Jordanaires (Southern Meets Soul: An American Gospel Jubilee), the Crabb Family (Live at Brooklyn Tabernacle) and Steve Gatlin (Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Sing Their Family Gospel Favorites).

Other nominees at the party were Dennis Scott, producer of Songs From the Neighborhood: The Music of Mister Rogers, which is nominated for best musical album for children; John Prine, whose Fair & Square is in the best contemporary folk album category; Walter Ostanek, gunning for best polka album with Time Out for Polka and Waltzes; Béla Fleck and Sam Bush, up for best country instrumental performance with “Who’s Your Uncle?”; director George Flanigen IV of Deaton Flanigen, whose “God’s Will” video for Martina McBride is nominated for best short form music video; and engineer Chuck Ainlay, whose work on Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms: 20th Anniversary Edition helped put it in consideration for best surround sound album.

Music for the party was provided by the Brian “Breeze” Cayolle jazz trio from New Orleans.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to