We’re sure that Keb’ Mo’s decision to title his latest album BLUESAmericana had little, if anything, to do with looking to maximize his chances for a nomination in the annual Grammy Awards, where Best Blues Album and Best Americana Album are two of the just half-dozen or so categories that make up the American Roots genre of the awards. But it didn’t seem to exactly hurt either, with the album receiving a trio of nods in the nominations announced yesterday by The Recording Academy, including for Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Performance (for the delightful “The Old Me Better” featuring The California Feet Warmers), and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
Of course, there’s a whole lot more to these nominations than just an album’s title, and we really can’t think of a better example of Americana than this one from Mo’ (though we do admit to being somewhat biased to the bluesier of the selections), with other nominees in the Americana Album category including John Hiatt, Rosanne Cash, Nickel Creek, and Sturgill Simpson.
Mo’ faces a few of those same artists (Nickel Creek and Cash) in the Best American Roots Performance nominations, along with some additional competition from Billy Childs featuring Alison Krauss & Jerry Douglas (“And When I Die”) and Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal for their “Statesboro Blues” from the All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman CD.
The late, great Johnny Winter is among the nominees for Best Blues Album for his Step Back recording, up against harp ace Charlie Musselwhite (Juke Joint Chapel), Bobby Rush with Blinddog Smokin’ (Decisions), Ruthie Foster (Promise of a Brand New Day), and Dave and Phil Alvin (Common Ground – Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy).
Congratulations to Mo’ and all the rest of this year’s nominees, with winners slated to be announced during the 57th annual awards program taking place February 8th.