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Country And Americana Picks For The 2019 Grammys

Here’s are the nominees that should win this year, across all genres. Please forgive me in advance for picking Florida Georgia Line.


The Grammys will officially enter their seventh decade on Sunday, with Alicia Keys set to host the 61st annual ceremony on CBS. Here’s a list of nominees that should win in categories across the country and American roots music genres. To be clear, these aren’t predictions of songs that will win. Please forgive me in advance for picking Florida Georgia Line, even if it was only for one award. Highlights include the Best Country Album category—which is really close call between Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, and underdog Ashley McBryde—and the Best American Roots Song category.

Embedded at the bottom is Jon Batiste’s take on “Saint James Infirmary Blues,” a performance that should be getting more attention.

Best Country Solo Performance:
“Wouldn’t It Be Great?” — Loretta Lynn
“Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters” — Maren Morris
“Butterflies” — Kacey Musgraves
“Millionaire” — Chris Stapleton
“Parallel Line” — Keith Urban

Runner up: Stapleton (See our review of the full Loretta Lynn album here.)

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
“Shoot Me Straight” — Brothers Osborne
“Tequila” — Dan + Shay
“When Someone Stops Loving You” — Little Big Town
“Dear Hate” — Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill
“Meant To Be” — Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line

Runner up: Brothers Osborne (It’s painful to pick a Florida Georgia Line song for anything, but “Meant To Be” deserves it this time. This one time.)

Best Country Song:
“Break Up In The End” — songwriters Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill & Jon Nite (Cole Swindell)
“Dear Hate” — songwriters Tom Douglas, David Hodges & Maren Morris (Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill)
“I Lived It” —songwriters Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley & Ben
Hayslip (Blake Shelton)
“Space Cowboy” —songwriters Luke Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves (Kacey Musgraves)
“Tequila” —songwriters Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds & Dan Smyers (Dan + Shay)
“When Someone Stops Loving You” —songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill & Lori McKenna (Little Big Town)

Runner up: Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill & Lori McKenna

Best Country Album:
“Unapologetically” — Kelsea Ballerini
“Port Saint Joe” — Brothers Osborne
“Girl Going Nowhere” — Ashley McBryde
“Golden Hour” — Kacey Musgraves
“From A Room: Volume 2” — Chris Stapleton

Runner up: McBryde. She’s obviously the underdog in this category but her album measures up easily to both the excellent records Stapleton and Musgraves released. It’s pure country, with a great vocal performance and sharp writing (in line with Lori McKenna’s recent work, but with a little more rock flavoring). The competition here this year does country music proud.

Best American Roots Performance:
“Kick Rocks” — Sean Ardoin
“Saint James Infirmary Blues” — Jon Batiste
“The Joke”  Brandi Carlile
“All On My Mind” — Anderson East
“Last Man Standing” — Willie Nelson

Runner up: Willie.

Best American Roots Song:
“All The Trouble” —songwriters Waylon Payne, Lee Ann Womack & Adam Wright (Lee Ann Womack)
“Build a Bridge” — songwriter Jeff Tweedy (Mavis Staples)
“The Joke” — songwriters Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth (Brandi Carlile)
“Knockin’ On Your Screen Door” —songwriters Pat McLaughlin & John Prine (John Prine)
“Summer’s End” —songwriters Pat McLaughlin & John Prine (John Prine)

Runner up: This probably has to go to either of the Prine nominees, but I really like the Tweedy-Staples collaboration as well. All of these cuts are good enough to warrant consideration, even in a category with two Prine co-writes.

Best Americana Album:
“By The Way, I Forgive You” — Brandi Carlile
“Things Have Changed” — Bettye LaVette
“The Tree Of Forgiveness” — John Prine
“The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone” — Lee Ann Womack
“One Drop Of Truth” — The Wood Brothers

Runner up: Carlile.

And here’s Batiste, with “Saint James Infirmary Blues.”