Country trio Midland and former American-Statesman journalist Michael Corcoran are among Austin-area nominees for the 60th Grammy Awards, which will be presented January 28 in New York. The full list of nominations was announced by the Recording Academy on Tuesday morning.
Midland relocated to Dripping Springs shortly before making their debut album “On the Rocks.” Their hit single “Drinkin’ Problem” is up for for Best Country/Duo Group Performance in a field that includes Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band and Brothers Osborne.
“Drinkin’ Problem” also got a nod in the Best Country Song category. Band members Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy and Mark Wystrach share that nomination with their co-writers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. Also among the five nominees in that category is Miranda Lambert’s hit “Tin Man,” which she co-wrote with Austin’s Jack Ingram and Nashville songwriter Jon Randall.
“The Grammys are the pinnacle of musical achievement and we are so honored to be associated with the caliber of these nominated artists,” the band said in a statement Tuesday morning. “It’s beyond our wildest imagination to be recognized by our peers in this way.”
Midland, which performed at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, will next play in Austin on February 9, 2018, at the Erwin Center.
Corcoran’s two nominations are for “Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams,” a compilation of works by the early-20th-century Texas gospel musician. He shares the nomination in the Historical Album category with his co-producers April G. Ledbetter and Steven Lance Ledbetter as well as mastering engineer Michael Graves. He’s also nominated in the Album Notes category for his liner notes to the release.
“The project started with a 2002 article in the Statesman and I just never stopped digging,” Corcoran said Tuesday morning. “The story of Washington Phillips is one of the best I’ve come across as a music journalist, and I was extremely lucky to be the first one to pursue it, nearly 50 years after he died.”
Notable local omissions from the nominees list include Willie Nelson, whose album “God’s Problem Child” was one of his best releases in decades. Nelson did win a Grammy last year for his “Summertime” album of Gershwin standards. And he does have a song in this year’s list: Alison Krauss’s recording of his tune “I Never Cared for You” is up for Best American Roots Performance, though the award goes to the performer and not the songwriter.
Other locals with high-profile releases in 2017 that did not receive nominations include indie rock band Spoon, whose “Hot Thoughts” was widely acclaimed and reached the high end of the charts; Gary Clark Jr., who released his second live album earlier this year; and electronica newcomers Missio, whose song “Middle Fingers” from their debut album “Loner” reached millions via YouTube and Spotify streams.
Two Austin musicians share in the Contemporary Blues Album nomination for “Live From the Fox Oakland” by Tedeschi Trucks Band, which includes local drummer J.J. Johnson and trumpeter Ephraim Owens. Former Austinite Sam Beam, a.k.a. Iron & Wine, is nominated in the Americana Album category for his latest record “Beast Epic.”
This year’s Grammy Awards cover albums released between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017.
Check out our Facebook Live interview with Midland from this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival: