Grammy Nominee for
Best American Roots Performance

Ain't No Man by The Avett Brothers
- Track from True Sessions

Click for other nominees of interest...

TOM WAITS

(born December 7, 1949)

Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor.

Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding like "it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car". With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musicals and has acted in supporting roles in films, including Paradise Alley and Bram Stoker's Dracula. He also starred in Jim Jarmusch's 1986 film Down by Law. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

Waits' lyrics frequently present atmospheric portraits of grotesque, often seedy characters and places, although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists: "Jersey Girl", performed by Bruce Springsteen, "Ol' '55", by the Eagles, and "Downtown Train", by Rod Stewart. Although Waits' albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[3][4] He is also included among the 2010 list of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers,[5] as well as the 2015 list of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

(Wikipedia)

PATRICK SKY

Patrick Sky (born Patrick Lynch: October 2, 1943 in Liveoak Gardens, Georgia) is a musician, folk singer, and songwriter of Irish and Native American ancestry (Creek Indian). Sky was raised near the Lafourche Swamps of Louisiana).

A close contemporary of Dave Van Ronk and others in the Greenwich Village folk boom of the 1960s, following military service Sky released a number of well received albums from 1965 onwards and played with many of the leading performers of the period, particularly Buffy Sainte-Marie, Eric Andersen and the blues singer Mississippi John Hurt (whose Vanguard albums Sky produced). Sky's song "Many A Mile" became a folk club staple, and has been recorded by Sainte-Marie and others.

Becoming increasingly disillusioned with the music business and politically radical, Sky released the controversial and scabrously satirical Songs That Made America Famous in 1973 (the album was recorded in 1971 but rejected by several record companies before it found a home); to this day he claims to have received no royalties for the album. This album featured the earlier known recorded version of the song Luang Prabang, written by Sky's friend Dave Van Ronk. Patrick Sky had honed his politically charged satire in earlier albums, but Songs That Made America Famous raised the stakes. The Adelphi Records website describes how the content was, indeed, shocking; yet, how several critics encouraged the public to rush to buy these timely and brilliant "explicit lyrics" while it could. Sky gradually moved into the field of Irish traditional music, founding Green Linnet Records in 1973. Today he is recognised as an expert in building and playing the Irish uillean pipes, often performing with his wife, Cathy. He has also published several books on the subject. In 1995, Sky edited a reissued version of the important 19th-century dance tune book Ryan's Mammoth Collection and followed up in 2001 with a reissue of Howe's 1000 Jigs and Reels. (From his Wikipedia page)

TRIO MANDILI

Trio Mandli are a Georgian women trio. Their voices seamlessly harmonize together as they film themselves taking a walk. A translated Reddit comment identifies the song as originating from eastern Georgia's mountainous Khevsureti region and states the song is about a traditional courting ritual between a man and woman.

PENNYWHISTLERS

The (amazing) Pennywhistlers at Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest (1966), singing "Shto Mi e Milo" (Macedonia)

English translation:

How I would like to have a shop

in the town of Struga,

hurry, young Kalino.

To sit by the door

and watch the young girls of Struga go by

hurry, young Kalino.

As they go to fetch water

with their colorful jugs,

hurry, young Kalino.

And meet with their friends at the well,

hurry, young Kalino.

DAVE "SNAKER" RAY

(August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002)

DAVE "SNAKER" RAY (August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002) was an American blues singer and guitarist from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was most notably associated with Spider John Koerner and Tony "Little Sun" Glover in the early Sixties folk revival. Together, the three released albums under the name Koerner, Ray & Glover.

DAVE "SNAKER" RAY (August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002) was an American blues singer and guitarist from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was most notably associated with Spider John Koerner and Tony "Little Sun" Glover in the early Sixties folk revival.

GEOFF MULDAUR

(August 12, 1943)

GEOFF MULDAUR (August 12, 1943) is an American musician and a founding member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band of Cambridge, Massachusetts; a member of Paul Butterfield's Better Days and an accomplished solo guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and arranger.

After establishing an impressive reputation with the Kweskin Jug Band during the 1960s, Geoff and then-wife, Maria Muldaur, recorded their first album, Pottery Pie, on Warner Bros. Records in 1969. It was on this album that Muldaur recorded his celebrated version of "Brazil" (original title "Aquarela do Brasil"), which became the title inspiration and the opening theme for Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil. After recording Pottery Pie, the Muldaurs moved to the burgeoning folk, blues, and folk-rock scene in Woodstock, New York. They separated in 1972, shortly after Geoff joined Paul Butterfield's Better Days group.

After leaving the Butterfield band in 1976, Muldaur recorded two more solo albums for Warner Bros. Records, a duo album with Amos Garrett, a solo album on the Flying Fish Records label, and a jump band album, Geoff Muldaur and the Nite Lites, for Hannibal Records. During this period, Muldaur also recorded with Bobby Charles, Jerry Garcia, Eric Von Schmidt, Bonnie Raitt, and John Cale. In the early 1980s, Muldaur left the stage and recording studio for a working sabbatical. During this period, he composed scores for film and television, winning an Emmy Award, and produced albumsfor Lenny Pickett and the Borneo Horns and the Richard Greene String Quartet.

Muldaur emerged in 1998 with The Secret Handshake. After two more albums in 1999 and 2000, he recorded the semi-classical jazz album Private Astronomy, a Vision of the Music of Bix Beiderbecke on the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2003.

In 2009, Muldaur formed a roots supergroup for work on a new album. Dubbing themselves Geoff Muldaur and the Texas Sheiks, folk and American music luminary Stephen Bruton, Grammy-winning Dobro player Cindy Cashdollar, fiddle virtuoso Suzy Thompson, guitarist Johnny Nicholas, and bassist Bruce Hughes joined Muldaur in the studio for a pair of recording sessions in 2008. Bruton died in May 2009. Texas Sheiks was released on September 22, 2009, on Tradition & Moderne. His sister is the actress Diana Muldaur. His daughters Jenni Muldaur and Clare are also musicians. His daughter Dardanella Slavin is a chiropractor.

Muldaur is the author of Moles Moan, which was recorded by his friend Tom Rush. This song has been used as a theme song for many folk music radio programs, most notably by Gene Shay. [WikiPedia]

RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT

(August 1, 1931)

RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT (born Elliot Charles Adnopoz; August 1, 1931) is an American folk singer and performer.

Born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents in 1931, he attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and graduated in 1949. Elliott grew up inspired by the rodeos at Madison Square Garden, and wanted to be a cowboy. Encouraged instead to follow his father's example and become a surgeon, Elliott rebelled, running away from home at the age of 15 to join Col. Jim Eskew's Rodeo, the only rodeo east of the Mississippi. They traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. He was only with them for three months before his parents tracked him down and had him sent home, but Elliott was exposed to his first singing cowboy, Brahmer Rogers, a rodeo clown who played guitar and five-string banjo, sang songs, and recited poetry. Back home, Elliott taught himself guitar and started busking for a living. Eventually he got together with Woody Guthrie and stayed with him as an admirer and student.

"Nobody I know—and I mean nobody—has covered more ground and made more friends and sung more songs than the fellow you're about to meet right now. He's got a song and a friend for every mile behind him. Say hello to my good buddy, Ramblin' Jack Elliott." Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Television Show, 1969

With banjo player Derroll Adams, he toured the United Kingdom and Europe. By 1960, he had recorded three folk albums for the UK record label Topic Records. In London, he played small clubs and pubs by day and West End cabaret nightclubs at night. When he returned to the States, Elliott found he had become renowned in American folk music circles. Woody Guthrie had the greatest influence on Elliott. Guthrie's son, Arlo, said that because of Woody's illness and early death, Arlo never really got to know him, but learned his father's songs and performing style from Elliott. Elliott's guitar and his mastery of Guthrie's material had a big impact on Bob Dylan when he lived in Minneapolis. When he reached New York, Dylan was sometimes referred to as the 'son' of Jack Elliott, because Elliott had a way of introducing Dylan's songs with the words: "Here's a song from my son, Bob Dylan." Dylan rose to prominence as a songwriter; Elliott continued as an interpretative troubadour, bringing old songs to new audiences in his idiosyncratic manner. Elliott also influenced Phil Ochs, and played guitar and sang harmony on Ochs' song "Joe Hill" from the Tape from California album. Elliott also discovered singer-songwriter Guthrie Thomas in a bar in Northern California in 1973, bringing Thomas to Hollywood where Thomas' music career began.

Elliott appeared in Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour and played "Longheno de Castro" in Dylan's movie Renaldo and Clara. In the movie, he sings the song "South Coast" by Lillian Bos Ross and Sam Eskin, from whose lyric the character's name is derived.

"My name is Longheno de Castro

My father was a Spanish grandee

But I won my wife in a card game

To Hell with those lords o'er the sea"

Elliott plays guitar in a traditional fingerpicking style, which he matches with his laconic, humorous storytelling, often accompanying himself on harmonica. His singing has a strained, nasal quality which the young Bob Dylan emulated. His repertoire includes American traditional music from various genres, including country, blues, bluegrass and folk. Elliott's nickname comes not from his traveling habits, but rather the countless stories he relates before answering the simplest of questions. Folk singer Odetta claimed that her mother gave him the name, remarking, "Oh, Jack Elliott, yeah, he can sure ramble on!" His authenticity as a folksy, down-to-earth country boy, despite being a Jewish doctor's son from Brooklyn, and his disdain for other folk singers, were parodied by the Folksmen (Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer) in the satirical documentary A Mighty Wind in the name of their "hit" album Ramblin'. A Mighty Wind also referred to a former member of the New Main Street Singers, Ramblin' Sandy Pitnick, a somewhat geeky-looking white man in a cowboy hat, apparently in parody of Elliott. Elliott's first recording in many years, South Coast, earned him his first Grammy Award in 1995. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1998. His long career and strained relationship with his daughter Aiyana were chronicled in her 2000 film documentary, The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack. At the age of 75, he changed labels and released I Stand Alone on the ANTI- label, with an assortment of guest backup players including members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He said his intention was to title the album Not for the Tourists, because it was recorded in response to his daughter's request for songs he loved but never played in concert. When asked why he did not, he told her, "These songs are not for the tourists." In 2012 he was featured on two tracks (4, 12) on the album Older Than My Old Man Now by Loudon Wainwright III.

ALISON KRAUSS

(July 23, 1971)

ALISON MARIA KRAUSS (July 23, 1971) is an American bluegrass-country singer and musician. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station (AKUS), and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.

She has released fourteen albums, appeared on numerous soundtracks, and helped renew interest in bluegrass music in the United States. Her soundtrack performances have led to further popularity, including the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, an album also credited with raising American interest in bluegrass, and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, which led to her performance at the 2004 Academy Awards.

As of 2012, she has won 27 Grammy Awards from 41 nominations, tying her with Quincy Jones as the most awarded living recipient, second only to classical conductor Georg Solti, who holds the record for most wins with 31. She is the most awarded singer and the most awarded female artist in Grammy history. At the time of her first, the 1991 Grammy Awards, she was the second youngest winner (currently tied as the ninth youngest).