OK. Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar stole the show, and most of the main pop awards. Chris Stapleton won three of the four mainstream "Country" Awards, but Reba McEntire, Rhonda Vincent and The Infamous Stringdusters won two of the most interesting American Roots categories at 2018 Grammy Awards: Best Roots Gospel Album (Reba) and Best Bluegrass Album (Rhonda & Infamous Stringdusters)
Reba McEntire: Best Roots Gospel Album
"Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope"
Reba McEntire got choked up accepting her Grammy Award for Best Roots Gospel Album on Sunday night (Jan. 28) in New York City. Her honest acceptance speech brought laughter, a few tears and heavy applause.
The country singer won for a gospel album, something she recognizes as unusual, if nothing else. Once handed her Grammy statuette McEntire remembered first talking about recording Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, insinuating that it was out of her comfort zone.
"I'm a country artist," she deadpanned, leading the crowd to laugh. "But I've been singing these songs that's on this album all my life, on the pond down at Grandma's house singing 'Oh, How I Love Jesus ...' and it's so great to get those songs on an album."
From there the 62-year-old got even more personal. The album in many ways seemed to be her calling, and she took the opportunity to remind everyone just how much she appreciated being in a position to answer.
"Our job in the entertainment business is to heal hearts. That's what God put me on this earth for, I know it is. To help other people. I love my job. I'm so grateful to get to do it."
Then after thanking her record label, she said, "I'm gonna give this back to God."
Rhonda Vincent: Best Bluegrass Album
"All The Rage - In Concert Volume One [Live]"
After seven Grammy nominations, and a world class band that holds the title of the Most Award Winning Band in Bluegrass Music History, the All American Bluegrass Queen adds Grammy Winner to her title for “Best Bluegrass Album.”
“I was beginning to think I was the Susan Lucci of the Grammys,” Rhonda touted. “This has been a fairy-tale adventure in New York City, and we are so happy and blessed to now win a Grammy from the Recording Academy; and it’s so special to win it on the 60th anniversary of the Grammys. Thank you to the Academy and all those Grammy voters who made this possible.”
Rhonda says it’s even more special, because every band member is featured on the project, and the project perfectly reflects exactly what they present at every show. The new Grammy Winning CD “All The Rage - Volume One,” is the first of a two-part project. It was released on CD and on DVD on Upper Management Music.
This first win for Rhonda Vincent is historical in that there was a tie for Best Bluegrass Album, with the Stringdusters. This is a double win for bluegrass music.
“Congratulations to the Stringdusters!” Rhonda says. “I think this is great for bluegrass music. Someone asked how I felt about the tie, and I said I’m fine with it, as long as they don’t keep the bottom half and I only get the top,” Rhonda says as she laughs, knowing all members will receive their own Grammy to proudly display.
In celebration of the 60th Grammy Awards, the owners of the Grand Ole Opry launched a Nashville style venue in Times Square called Opry City Stage. Grammy winners Rhonda Vincent & The Rage joined Vince Gill to perform at the grand opening of the 4-level restaurant, gift shop, and performance venue.
Rhonda also joined Vince Gill and Colin Reed, the CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, to ring the closing bell on Friday at the New York Stock Exchange.
“I feel like I’m living a fairy-tale dream right now,” Rhonda shares. “A Grammy win for a project that presents a LIVE show of these world class musicians, a visit to the New York Stock Exchange, and performing in Times Square for the opening of Opry City Stage with Vince Gill. We are so thankful for these many blessings,” Rhonda says from New York City.
Join the newest Grammy Winners, "Rhonda Vincent & The Rage" as they travel around the World, sharing the music they love.
The Infamous Stringdusters: Best Bluegrass Album
"Laws of Gravity: Live"
There is none more deserving of this years 'Best Bluegrass Album of the Year' than The Infamous Stringdusters and their seventh studio album, The Laws of Gravity. Their infectious bluegrass driven blend of Americana, blues, and rock, has pushed what may be considered a more traditional genre to an adventurous new frontier. I have been fortunate to work with these guys and see first hand their dedication to their craft and the presentation of their music. It comes as no surprise that they are nominated and I will be rooting them on to take home the gold!
"Laws Of Gravity: Live" is a 13-track collection featuring live renditions of songs included on their acclaimed, #1 Billboard Bluegrass album Laws Of Gravity, which was released on Compass Records.
In addition to capturing live audio throughout the last tour with 52 shows, the band also filmed and live streamed video of select tour stops for Facebook Live and online archives.
For "Laws Of Gravity: Live", the Grammy-nominated acoustic five-piece--Andy Hall (dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle) and Travis Book (upright bass)--took production duties into their own hands as Falco and Pandolfi teamed up to produce the record and Falco put the finishing touches on with the mixing process.
“One of the best things about making a new album is the infusion of new material in the live show,” says Pandolfi. “As Laws Of Gravity was about to drop, we were adapting all the songs for the show, trying different arrangements and seeing which ones would lend themselves to extended improvisation, transitions, teases, etc. Unlike some previous albums, all the songs have found a meaningful place in the live repertoire, some evolving significantly from their original iterations on the album. "Laws Of Gravity: Live" gives everyone a chance to hear that evolution, and to enjoy the great energy that the fans brought to our album release tour.”