BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM
The first big party of the year is also one of the best.
The Grammy Nominee Party has it all – twinkling stars, great food, lovely location, enchanting music and a bounty of fabulons. Staged Thursday evening, Jan. 26, at Loew’s Vanderbilt Plaza, this year’s soiree attracted such celebs as The Isaacs, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Cassadee Pope, Luther Dickinson, Tim Stafford of Blue Highway, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (who harmonized a cappella for the press on the red carpet), Sierra Hull, Lori McKenna, Thomas Rhett, Drake White, The Time Jumpers, Clint Lagerberg and such CCM folks as Gordon Mote, For King & Country, Emily Weisband, Jonathan Smith, Bernie Herms and Michael Farren.
“It is with great pride that we honor these nominees and their works,” said Shannon Sanders. “The Grammy nomination is a true measure of your dedication to your craft.” The double Grammy winner is the president of the Nashville chapter of the Recording Academy. Shannon was resplendent in a silver tux jacket with a black diamond pattern and black lapels, worn over a black shirt and black bow tie.
Academy Southern regional executive Susan Stewart pointed out that the Nashville chapter has 107 nominees spread over 26 categories, including folk, reggae, blues, new age, bluegrass and r&b, as well as the country, Christian and Americana fields.
Chapter executive director Alicia Warwick made a special presentation to songwriters Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin. Their “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” as recorded by Bonnie Raitt is going into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
“You can imagine how this touches one,” said Mike. “I think of Allen as my youngest son or my baby brothers. Anyway, I love him.” Allen added, “Mike has been a true mentor to me.”
Addressing the room full of honorees, Shannon offered this advice: “Enjoy the moment. Be here. Soak it all in.”
“The moment” included smooth jazz sounds courtesy of The Birdsong Trio. The group played throughout the cocktail reception and can make any occasion seem a whole lot more elegant.
“The moment” also included a centrally sited buffet that included hot-chicken skewers, kobe beef cheeseburger sliders, fig & duck confit flatbreads, truffled mac & cheese, “So-Cal” shrimp & grits, BBQ chicken skewers, mushroom & truffle flatbreads and apple, pear and walnut salad. Plus fruit torts, chocolate covered strawberries and other sweets.
Working the room were Mayor Megan Barry, Pete Fisher, Allison Brown Jones, Tamara Saviano, George Flanigan IV, Drew Alexander, Gordon Kerr, Sherod Robertson, multi-tattooed songwriter Justin Weatherbee, Earle Simmons, Steve Buchanan, Lori Badgett, Pat McMakin, Jesse Knutson, Jules Wortman, Dawn Delvo, Eric T. Parker, Haley Crow and Jessica Nicholson.
Daniel Miller, Daniel Hill, Terry Bumgarner, Terry Hemmings, Mark Bright, Mark Ford, Mike Molinar, Mike Sisted, Robert Deaton, Bob Doyle, Fletcher Foster, Ronna Rubin, Joanna Carter, John Ozier, Virginia Hunt Davis, Beverly Keel, Regina Stuve, Tracy Gershon and Chris Keaton schmoozed mightily.
So did Jeff Balding, David & Carolyn Corlew, Tom Roland, Allen Brown, Doug Howard, Julie Boos, Cindy Watts, Rod Essig, Susan Niles, Hunter Kelly, Ken Robold, Shannon Hatch, Lisa Harless, Diane Pearson and Molly Hannula. Academy senior vice president Nancy Shapiro smiled, gazing over a fabulous event she launched more than two decades ago.
By the way, British “blue-eyed soul” superstar Sam Smith (“Stay With Me”) was a guest in the hotel. He won four Grammys in 2015 (including Record of the Year and Best New Artist), so we hoped he’d come downstairs to our party. Alas, he did not.
The Grammy Awards will take place on Feb. 12, 2017.