In Sunday night’s Grammy Awards ceremony, Loudon Wainwright III was awarded Best Traditional Folk Album for High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project, and Steve Earle took home the Best Contemporary Folk Album title for Townes, an album of songs written by Townes Van Zandt. Steve Martin‘s The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, mentioned in an earlier post, was named Best Bluegrass Album. Electric Dirt, recorded by Levon Helm, earned the Best Americana Album award, beating out Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams and Wilco.
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott‘s A Stranger Here was named Best Traditional Blues Album and The Derek Trucks Band won out over Susan Tedeschi, Ruthie Foster and Mavis Staples and The Robert Cray Band to take home the Best Contemporary Blues Album award for Already Free. In other American Roots category results, the Best Hawaiian Album award was given for Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2, recorded by various artists and produced by Daniel Ho, George Kahumoku, Jr., Paul Konwiser & Wayne Wong; Buckwheat Zydeco was awarded Best Cajun/Zydeco Album for Lay Your Burden Down and Bill Miller, Best Native American Album for Spirit Wind North.
In related categories, Mamadou Diabate won the Best Traditional World Music Album award for his instrumental kora album Douga Mansa, and Bela Fleck won the Best Traditional World Music Album award for Throw Down Your Heart: Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 – Africa Sessions, an album based on the African history of the banjo. Fleck’s album also won the Best Pop Instrumental Performance award.
A couple of others caught my eye — Ziggy Marley‘s Family Time was named Best Music Album for Children, and Neil Young Archives Vol. I (1963-1972) was named Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, with the award going to Gary Burden, Jenice Heo and Neil Young as the art directors.