BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM
More than 50 members of the Nashville music community are nominated for Grammy Awards this year, and it seemed as if all of Music Row turned out to celebrate them on Monday evening (Jan. 26).
The Nashville chapter of The Recording Academy teamed up with Loew’s Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel to host the party honoring the 2014 Grammy anointed. There are, “23 categories represented by our nominees,” said chapter executive director Alicia Warwick. “The talent in this town is unbelievable,” said chapter president Jeff Balding, pointing out that Nashvillians are nominated in all of the “big four” Grammy categories, Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.
It’s true that Music City is all over the Grammy musical map, from our rockers Jack White, Cage the Elephant, Paramore and The Black Keys to Americana songsmiths John Hiatt, The Del McCoury Band and Sturgill Simpson. Engineers Chuck Ainlay and Richard Dodd are up for top awards, as is Producer of the Year nominee Jay Joyce.
Representing their categories at the party were Contemporary Christian Music greats For King & Country, MercyMe and Royal Tailor, Americana bluesman Keb’ Mo’ and bluegrass nominees Rhonda Vincent, Bryan Sutton and Shawn Camp (who is in The Earls of Leicester). Folk nominees Old Crow Medicine Show and Rob Ickes mingled with Children’s Album contender Secret Agent 23 Skidoo a.k.a Debrissa McKinney.
Roots Gospel contenders T. Graham Brown, Mike Farris and Tim Menzies rubbed shoulders, as did such songwriting nominees as Kevin Kadish, Shane McAnally, Ben Glover and Jaren Johnston.
Our own Hunter Hayes and Lee Ann Womack accepted multiple congratulations for their Country nominations, as did Brandy Clark, nominated for Best New Artist as well as Best Country Album.
“Thank you for all that you do for this city,” said Mayor Karl Dean to the all the creative folks who packed the Loew’s ballroom. “This will be the last Grammy nominee party I will be attending as Mayor….Nashville is a unique city because of its diversity and its entrepreneurial spirit. It’s because of you folks. It’s because of music. Nashville’s best days are still ahead of us. And you are a huge part of that.”
As the speeches ended, there was a wave of crowd motion toward the ballroom entrance as superstar Taylor Swift quietly joined the merriment. Smart gal. It was an opportune time to return to Nashville: Monday night was not one you wanted to spend in New York, since two feet of snow were expected.
Perhaps it’s because this is the first big party of the year, but every, every, I mean EVERYbody was there, all delighted to be schmoozing with one another again. Terry Hemmings, Terry Bumgarner, John Mullins, John Huie, John Briggs, Jon Randall Stewart, Leslie Fram, Leslie Roberts, Sherod Robertson, Jill Douglas, Doug Howard, Perry Howard, Allen Brown, Michael Baum, Ron & Regina Stuve, Rod Essig, Ronna Rubin, Fletcher Foster, Scott Stem, Susan Stewart, Susan Niles, Eric Parker, Erika Wollam-Nichols, Kay West, Wes Vause and Victoria Shaw were all in the New Year’s love fest.
Mayoral candidate Megan Berry was working the room, which wasn’t so hard, since she’s a Leadership Music alumnus. She could easily schmooze fabulons such as Jeff Walker, Jody Williams, Julian King, David Corlew, Dan Hill, Steve Buchanan, Celeste Buckingham, Lisa Harless, Debbie Carroll, Allison Jones, Beverly Keel, Holly Bell, LeAnn Phelan, Chandra LaPlume, Nancy Shapiro, Diane Pearson, Kelsey Grady, Tracy Gershon, Cyndi Forman, Tree Paine, Joanna Carter, Lori Badgett and Lacy Cavalier.
Is 17 too many women to name-drop in a row? Very well: Ansel Davis, Andrew Kintz, Pat Higdon, Hunter Kelly, George Flanigan, Garth Fundis, Ben Fowler, Tim Fink, Kirt Webster, Earle Simmons, Ed Morris, Frank Liddell. Like I said, everybody.
In gratitude for hosting this annual event, again, Tony Phillips of Loew’s was presented with framed artwork of the 57th annual Grammy Awards. He treated the attendees to barbecue meatloaf sliders, mac and cheese, marinated brussell sprouts and other cocktail-supper delights.
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