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And the Best Bluegrass Album Is...

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The SteelDriversIn an awesome night, the Nashville powerhouse group, The SteelDrivers, captured their first Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass album. Their Rounder Records release, The Muscle Shoals Recordings earned them the honors. In the Bluegrass category, Dale Ann Bradley, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Ralph Stanley & Friends and the SteelDrivers were all competing for the Best Bluegrass Album award. The SteelDrivers have been nominated four times for Grammy awards and Sunday night was their night to shine.

The SteelDrivers’ innovative, soulful brand of bluegrass has made them one of the most successful bands on the contemporary bluegrass scene. Their award winning album The Muscle Shoals Recordings was released last June. The album is largely inspired by Muscle Shoals, an area of confluence and consequence, of intermingling, experimentation, and exultation, and a legendary music mecca. It’s also the hometown of the SteelDrivers’ lead vocalist and guitarist Gary Nichols, whose bandmates – fiddler and vocalist Tammy Rogers, banjoist Richard Bailey, mandolinist Brent Truitt, and bassist and singer Mike Fleming – made the two-and-a-half hour trek from Nashville to Sheffield, Alabama, to the NuttHouse Recording Studio to record eleven new original tunes, mostly written by Rogers and Nichols.

Gary Nichols has emerged as a vocalist of distinction, as a monster acoustic guitarist, and as a songwriting force who wrote or co-wrote five of Shoals Recordings’ 11 songs, including the plaintive “Here She Goes,” and the dark ballad “Brother John.” Tammy Rogers stepped up her songwriting as well, and she has credits on all but one of the album’s remaining songs, including the stirring waltz “Ashes of Yesterday,” and the somber, reflective album closer, “River Runs Red,” a meditation on the Civil War. Richard Bailey composed the lone instrumental, the joyous, rousing “California Chainsaw.” The one outlier on The Muscle Shoals Recordings is “Drinkin’ Alone,” a romp penned by Jay Knowles and former SteelDriver Chris Stapleton.

Chris Stapelton captured the Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance for "Traveller," the title track of the album by the same name. Chris rose to popularity with The SteelDrivers as one of the founding members of the band. Chris and The SteelDrivers both receiving awards last night makes for the icing on the cake for bluegrass music fans.

Béla Fleck And Abigail Washburn took home the award for Best Folk Album for their self tited album. The Best American Roots Performance award was also presented to Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn for And Am I Born To Die. The 58th Grammy Awards were held Sunday evening.

The recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY, is presented annually by The Recording Academy. A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy's voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is truly a peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions (GRAMMY Awards Voting Process). The annual GRAMMY Awards presentation brings together thousands of creative and technical professionals in the recording industry from all over the world.

A list of all the award winners and nominees is online at www.Grammy.com

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