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Blues Artists Nominated for Grammys
By Don Wilcock

Grammy's LogoGrammy nominations have been announced for a broad category of Blues artists including: Robert Cray, Ruthie Foster, Mavis Staples, The Derek Trucks Band, Susan Tedeschi, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Mick Fleetwood, John Hammond and Duke Robillard. Nominations for the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards were announced by The Recording Academy as determined by the voting members of The Academy.

The nominees for Best Contemporary Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental) are: This Time by The Robert Cray Band [Nozzle Records/Vanguard], The Truth According To Ruthie Foster by Ruthie Foster [Blue Corn Music], Live: Hope At The Hideout by Mavis Staples [ANTI], Back To The River by Susan Tedeschi [Verve Forecast], Already Free by The Derek Trucks Band [Victor Records].

Best Traditional Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental) nominees are: A Stranger Here by Ramblin' Jack Elliott [ANTI], Blue Again by The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band Featuring Rick Vito [429 Records], Rough & Tough by John Hammond [Chesky Records], Stomp! The Blues Tonight by Duke Robillard [Stony Plain Records], and Chicago Blues: A Living History, (Various Artists), Larry Skoller, producer, [Raisin' Music].

The artists nominated include a broad cross section of the Blues community including two younger artists married to each other, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. While Mavis Staples may be the only “iconic” first generation Blues artist nominated, the inclusion of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, an important part of the ’60s folk scare, for A Stranger Here is an unusual move. John Hammond’s Rough & Tough is an appropriate choice for traditional album, a really beautifully recorded audiophile disk, and Mick Fleetwood’s inclusion is a nod to the British invasion although Blue Again is not blues/rock but a bow to the post-war Chicago Blues roots. Perhaps most unusual is that most of the labels most prolific in producing Blues are not even represented: Alligator, Blind Pig, Delmark, Northern Blues, Delta Groove, and BluesWax’s parent label VizzTone.

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards will be held on January 31, 2010, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). For updates and breaking news, please visit the Recording Academy's website at Grammy.com, and hook up them at Facebook or Twitter

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