by Norman Warwick

There will be more than several Grammies (shown above) up for grabs In january 2022. When you think of the holiday season, awards season may or not come to mind, but it’s upon us all the same. The Recording Academy unveiled its nominees for the 64th Grammy Awards via livestream recently, with past (and present) nominations including Jon Batiste, Billie Eilish, H.E.R., FINNEAS, Carly Pearce, Måneskin, Nate Bargatze, Tayla Parx and BTS (left) on envelope-opening and nominee-reading duties.

Jon Batiste (right) was the surprise star of the show, leading all nominees with 11, including Record and Album of the Year nominations for Freedom and We Are, respectively. H.E.R., Doja Cat and Justin Bieber tied with eight nods each, followed by Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo with seven. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga collected six nominations, including Record and Album of the Year for I Get A Kick Out Of You and Love For Sale, their second collaborative album, while Lil Nas X grabbed five. And Kanye West was nominated in four categories, including Album of the Year, for his latest, Donda.

Brandi Carlile scored five nominations, including two in the Song of the Year category. Bruno Mars’ and Anderson .Paak’s Silk Sonic was nominated four times, with Leave The Door Open up for Record and Song of the Year. Japanese Breakfast, Arlo Parks and Arooj Aftab were each nominated twice, including in the Best New Artist category (despite Michelle Zauner having released her debut album as Japanese Breakfast five years ago). Jazmine Sullivan was nominated thrice, and Yola twice, while TURNSTILE’s GLOW ON producer Mike Elizondo landed a Producer of the Year nomination. And a little band called ABBA (left) received a Record Of The Year nomination for I Still Have Faith In You, off their first new album in 40 years, Voyage.

Each category has an exhaustive list of nominations, and in fact the list of categories is in itself pretty exhaustive and, indeed, exhausting, given that there are around 80, (eight zero, eighty, yes EIGHTY) clearly defined categories with a total of around 500 nominations- Categories include, of course, Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Song of The Year.

The ten artists nominated in the category for Best New Artist include Arlo Parks (right) , a musician we have previously mentioned on these pages. That article, Found Very Much Alive, can still be found by simply typing into our archives search box. She is a British singer-songwriter and poet. Her debut studio album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, was released in 2021 to critical acclaim and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. It earned her nominations for Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2021 Brit Awards. It won the 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize for best album.

The more familiar names of Ariana Grande appear in the artists shortlisted for Best Pop Solo Act and Coldplay for Best Pop Group Act. Some of my favourite artists, such as Norah Jones (left) , Willy Nelson and Dolly Parton, find themselves nominated in the strangely titled category of Best Traditional Pop Album while, to further cloud or clarify the categories Justion Beiber and Billie Eillish are to be found in the Best Pop Album category, (note the omission of the word traditional, to avoif confusion !). Both therse artists, by the way, are also nominated for best pop album.

There are categories and classifications, too, for Dance Electronic Recordings and Dance Electronic Albums. You will also find categories such as Best Contemporary Instrumental, Best Rock and Best Metal albums and songs. Black Pumas, central to a debate about Afro-American awards that we featured a few weeks ago, being included among these acts.

Fleet Foxes and Arlo Parks are notable inclusions (for me) in the categories of Best Alternative Music Album.

Rhythm And Blues has categories for Best Performance, Best Traditional Performance and Best Song, Best R & B album and Best Progressive R & B album and RAP has nominations for best song and best album.

Some sidetracks & detours favourites are included in the various country music categorisation, such as Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert (right)

Divine Tides, a collaborative album by Stewart Copeland & Ricky Kej is nominated in the divinely quaintly titled category of New Age and Jazz enjoys five divisions of classification and includes a plethora of nominees we will discuss elsewhere in a further article.

Gospel and Christian Music is similarly ´broken down´,  as is Latin, but the American Roots  lists, despite being separated into ever smaller (more clearly defined? hardly !)  look like they could re-open the recent critics´  debate about which acts should be eligIble for each category, and why. Likely to be caught up in these navel-gazing discussions, through no fault of their own, are several artists including John Hiatt and Bela Fleck (left). Sidetracks & Detours will certainly keep our eye on the presentation ceremony and tis awards to the jazz and American sections in discuss them more closely in a subsequent feature.

With Reggae, Global, Children´s Music, Spoken Word and Comedy all with categories, as well as several sub-divisions for Musical Theatre, Classical and Non-Classical categories ad infinitum until we do come, surely finally, to Best Packaging, this could be an awards ceremony to last longer then the Woodstock Festival.

And, of course, this being the Grammys, there is plenty to be baffled by here, but nothing sticks out quite so shamefully as the nominations of Louis C.K.’s Sincerely Louis CK for Best Comedy Album and Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson) for his work on West’s Donda. Being “cancelled” seems to be working out surprisingly well for those guys!

Music’s Biggest Night takes place at Los Angeles’ soon-to-be-renamed STAPLES Center (which becomes the Arena on Christmas) on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. It will air live on CBS, and stream live and on demand via Paramount+, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

The primary sources for this article was a report in the excellent Paste on-line magazine.

In our occasional re-postings Sidetracks And Detours are confident that we are not only sharing with our readers excellent articles written by experts but are also pointing to informed and informative sites readers will re-visit time and again. Of course, we feel sure our readers will also return to our daily not-for-profit blog knowing that we seek to provide core original material whilst sometimes spotlighting the best pieces from elsewhere, as we engage with genres and practitioners along all the sidetracks & detours we take.

This article was collated by Norman Warwick, a weekly columnist with Lanzarote Information and owner and editor of this daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours.

Norman has also been a long serving broadcaster, co-presenting the weekly all across the arts programme on Crescent Community Radio for many years with Steve, and his own show on Sherwood Community Radio. He has been a regular guest on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio 4.

As a published author and poet he was a founder member of Lendanear Music, with Colin Lever and Just Poets with Pam McKee, Touchstones Creative Writing Group (where he was creative writing facilitator for a number of years) with Val Chadwick and all across the arts with Robin Parker.

From Monday to Friday, you will find a daily post here at Sidetracks And Detours and, should you be looking for good reading, over the weekend you can visit our massive but easy to navigate archives of over 500 articles.

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