I always found the idea of music awards show a little on the lame side. The Grammy's are supposed to be given on artistic merit regardless of chart position or number of units sold. This is rarely the case. Many times it's the flavor of the moment or in more recent years awards are given to aging rockers(Bonnie Riatt, Santana, Eric Clapton to name a few few) whose best records were 25 years ago. One of my first memories of the Grammy awards was in the late 70's when Fleetwood Mac cleaned house with the Rumours album a(a great record if I may add). I vividly remeber a very sexy Stevie Nicks and her gaggling cast of charcters.
This year's awards however produced some very noteworthy results. In what is being called the biggest upset in Grammy history, Espernanza Spaulding won Best New Artist. She beat out Beiber. I've have watched Espernanza's career for awhile now, she's a killer bass player, composer and singer. She has been working in it hard for some time and it is great to see such a fabulous talent prevail. Here is a clip of her on the David Letterman show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Latnl1iMnnA There is a Narrows connection in this clip, the harmony singer closest to Espernanza is Gretchen Parlatohttp://www.gretchenparlato.com/. We just booked Gretchen for April 6. Hopefully, Espernanza's win will turn some people onto some great jazz. I've always been a believer that if you turn people on to really great music they will usually dig it. The problem is most people get their music fix from some bogus radio station. We can discuss this issue in a later post.
Other noatable winners were Mavis Staples for Best Americana Album "You Are Not Alone" This was a collaboration between Mavis and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. I personally love Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. The guy has the midas touch and knows how put together great records and a killer band. Here's a clip of Mavis and Jeff doing the title track acoustic.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW0kE6mucFY Mavis along with her dad Pop were not only great musical talents. They were also at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement. Mavis has carried that torch for over fifty years. She and her band played a great show at the Narrows in 08. Suprisingly it was poorly attended.
It was also great to see The Ramones get the Lifetime Achievement award. The Ramones had a huge influence on thousands of bands and they flat out rocked. I am sure many of you remeber some great Ramones shows at the Living Room and Lupos in the 80's. Kudos to the Black Keys for taking three awards. They have a great new record "Brothers", that is very groovey and ultra hip
So thanks, to the Grammy voters for getting a few right this year
Essential listening and watching Jessica Lea Mayfield She has a great new record Our Hearts Are Wrong. she's only 20, check this clip out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWyjeqkarxQ&feature=player_embedded
Essential Reissue: The Best of Faces. Classic British blues rock, good tunes great interplay. This is when Rod Stewart was on top of his game. Group also included Ronnie Wood(replaced Mick Taylor in the Stones), Kenny Jones(replaced Keith Moon in The Who), Ronnie Lane and Ian Mclagan(playing at the Narrows June 15)