Nashville, TN -- Compass Records recording artists received two out of the five nominations in the category of Best Bluegrass Album during last night’s Recording Academy announcement for the 55th Annual GRAMMY awards. Albums nominated include banjo virtuoso Noam Pikelny’s dynamic solo album Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail and Special Conensus’ critically acclaimed Scratch Gravel Road. The awards will be held on February 10th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live at 8/7c on CBS.
Praised by Acoustic Guitar Magazine as “one of the most invigorating and innovative acoustic albums of the year,” Noam Pikelny’s second solo album Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail showcases the innovative banjoist as a composer and virtuosic performer. Pikelny was the 2010 inaugural winner of the $50,000 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music and, as a member of Punch Brothers, he has helped broaden the awareness of the banjo in the mainstream.
The long-awaited album features Steve Martin, Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton and fellow Punch Brother Chris Thile. In addition to playing with Pikelny on the album, friends Steve Martin and Chris Thile join Ed Helms, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Bela Fleck and Earl Scruggs to help Pikelny avert disaster in a parody video featured on Funny or Die. Watch Pikelny narrowly escape creative failure here.
Bluegrass Unlimited calls Special Consensus’ Scratch Gravel Road a project “…marked by a consistent excellence beginning to end. To miss it is to miss one of the best, if not the best release of the year.“ Special Consensus has developed a reputation for excellence in the genre and bandleader Greg Cahill has been called the Cal Ripken Jr. of bluegrass for his relentless commitment to quality; this GRAMMY nomination is the first in the band’s 37-year history.
Currently the #2 album on the National Bluegrass Survey airplay chart, the IBMA Award-nominated Scratch Gravel Road was produced by Compass co-founder and banjoist Alison Brown and features Special Consensus alumni Chris Jones and Josh Williams on the Bill Monroe tribute track “Monroe's Doctrine."
Billboard Magazine has touted Compass Records Group as one of the leading independent labels of the past decade. The label group is home to over 500 releases across the Compass Records, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records imprints with a roster that boasts a variety of artists including Colin Hay, Victor Wooten, Claire Lynch, Altan, Peter Rowan, The Gibson Brothers, BeauSoleil, Catie Curtis and label co-founder Alison Brown.