Despite wide acclaim, Bob Dylan’s latest album Rough and Rowdy Ways has been ignored at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
When the nominations were announced for music released between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020, there was no room for Dylan in any of the wide range of categories he would have been eligible.
Rough and Rowdy Ways was Dylan’s first album of original songs since his 2012 release Tempest which also failed to get a Grammy nomination, despite much adulation. Dylan’s last Grammy win came in 2006 for Modern Times, a release not considered in the same class as the two latter original albums.
Rolling Stone best summed up the snub: “To his fans, Rough and Rowdy Ways should have stood a shot at Album of the Year; leaving it with zero nominations of any kind, in any category, feels like an insult.”
Another big name who did not find a place among the nominees was Jason Isbell whose latest release Reunions looked set to be a contender for Best Americana album, an honour he won with two earlier albums Something More Than Free and The Nashville Sound. But there is nothing this year for currently one of the most popular artists of the genre.
High-profile act The Highwomen did get one nomination for “Crowded Table” in the Best Country Song category. But it was slim pickings for the supergroup with four members – Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby – who have seven Grammy wins between them.
The sentimental favourite in the Americana/Roots categories will be the late John Prine, whose final recording “I Remember Everything” gets two nominations, as Best Americana Roots performance and Best American Roots Song - a nomination he shares with Pat McLaughlin.
Another star with two nominations is Lucinda Williams, a finalist in Best Americana Album for Good Souls Better Angels and also in Best Americana Roots Song with “Man Without a Soul,” co-written with Tom Overby.
Legend Leonard Cohen is also remembered with a nomination for Thanks for the Dance in Best Folk Album. This posthumous album was released three years after his death. He will be competing with the likes of Gillian Welsh and David Rawlings (All the Good Times).
The winners of the 63rd Grammy Awards will be announced on January 31.
Americana/Roots Music-related Nominations:
Best Americana Album:
• Old Flowers — Courtney Marie Andrews
• Terms of Surrender — Hiss Golden Messenger
• World On the Ground — Sarah Jarosz
• El Dorado — Marcus King
• Good Souls Better Angels — Lucinda Williams
Best American Roots Performance:
• "Colors" — Black Pumas
• "Deep in Love" — Bonny Light Horseman
• "Short and Sweet" — Brittany Howard
• "I'll Be Gone" — Norah Jones & Mavis Staples
• "I Remember Everything" — John Prine
Best American Roots Song:
• “Cabin” — Laura Rogers & Lydia Rogers, songwriters (The Secret Sisters)
• “Ceiling to the Floor” — Sierra Hull & Kai Welch, songwriters (Sierra Hull)
• “Hometown” — Sarah Jarosz, songwriter (Sarah Jarosz)
• “I Remember Everything” — Pat McLaughlin & John Prine, songwriters (John Prine)
• “Man Without a Soul” – Tom Overby & Lucinda Williams, songwriters (Lucinda Williams)
Best Bluegrass Album:
• Man on Fire -Danny Barnes
• To Live in Two Worlds, Vol. 1 – Thomm Jutz
• North Carolina Songbook – Steep Canyon Rangers
• Home – Billy Strings
• The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project, Vol. 1 – Various Artists
Best Folk Album:
• Bonny Light Horseman - Bonny Light Horseman
• Thanks for the Dance – Leonard Cohen
• Song for Our Daughters - Laura Marling
• Saturn Return – The Secret Sisters
• All the Good Times – Gillian Welch & David Rawlings