<em>A Special Benefit Concert</em>: A Conversation with Dave Matthews, Grammy Bragging Rights, Plus More

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Mike Ragogna: Hello Dave.

Dave Matthews: Hey, how are you doing, Mike.

MR: So you're on tour with your buddy Tim Reynolds playing December 6th and 7th in Seattle.

DM: Yeah. We have a couple of shows here in Seattle. That's where I am now and then we go on from there and do a few more shows. Just got off the tour with the band and Tim was there with me as well. We are doing a couple of shows here in Seattle with an interesting twist that I hope will turn into somewhat of a fashion or style of giving you know.

MR: Right, and your association is with JustGive.org. Can you go into that a little bit?

DM: Well, JustGive.org is a venue online that you can go and see (about) 1.8 million different non-profits, which is quite a number. But that's a lot of charity, I think it's the biggest collection available of non-profits gathered in one place, and with them, we are doing this concert where people pay for their ticket, and then they get a number and that number will allow them to contribute, in this instance, a little more than the price of their ticket to whatever non-profit they choose. So, when they buy two tickets to the shows next week, then you take that number you've been given, and you can donate $150 for each ticket to whatever non-profit that you want, the idea being it will inspire giving. In the longer view, we hope that it will turn into something more--maybe we can do tours or festivals or different artists can join us in this venture where the price of the ticket and maybe a little more goes to this unique form of giving. It is where you can create an environment where people are giving, but they are giving to their charity, to what they care about. Obviously, I am not alone. There are a lot of different artists that do work for their specific charity whether it's veterans, homeless shelters, animals, the environment, farmers...it could be anything.

But the idea is we can do a show where the only point of it is the act of giving, and that act is in the hands of the audience. So, everybody involved is foregoing our payment; some of the crew are going to get a minimal payment, but pretty much everyone involved is giving away what we would otherwise take home. So, it's not what I am doing a show for or what I care about. It's about what we all care about, and I think it could hopefully create an interesting trend.

MR: Dave, it's a great prototype. Let's remind readers and listeners about what this is. On December 6th and 7th, the Seattle shows will benefit the various charities that Dave just talked about and even more--whatever is available through this website and whatever you want to give to, basically. And these concerts are going to be in Seattle's McCaw Hall right?

DM: Yes, that's right.

MR: There is also a website here, www.JustGive.org, in case people want to go there. Again, the concept is you pay for your concert ticket and you then decide what charitable organizations you would like your portion of the benefits go to. What a unique idea.

DM: Yeah, I just think that the act of giving feels psychological. When you see someone in need and you are moved to help them and you act to help, there is a feeling you get, and it's not a selfish feeling. There is a good feeling you have that not only is from the act of giving, but also from the act of receiving. This is not to suggest for a moment that people in the audience don't donate generously to the things that they believe in--but it's like you said, it's a unique idea.

My manager and I have been thinking about it for a long time. When we first started, we were thinking about how we might inspire giving and that was sort of the beginning of it. It was maybe that we would have a handful of charities that we would focus on and then maybe make it ten and then the ticket buyer could say well this is what I want out of my choice of ten. But now, you have almost two million non-profits to choose from and then it's all up to the audience. I just think it's unique because the only thing that brings us all together there, other than the music, is also this fun sort of promise of being able to direct where the money goes.

MR: Hey Dave, let's catch-up our readers with your history with Tim Reynolds. You're currently touring with him, recorded a few projects with him, and you have a long personal history together. As a duo, you've released the double CDs Live at Luther College in 1999, Live at Radio City in 2007 which included a DVD, plus a Live in Las Vegas project from this year.

DM: Yeah, we have done a few things together and Tim has also been on more than half of the band records including the most recent one. Tim and I have been playing music together for longer than my band has been together, but he was on the first three records. He also did a lot of stuff on my solo record I did a few years ago. Yeah, Tim and I have had a long friendship, and we have been making music together for a long time. We just enjoy that and I am grateful that our fans seem to enjoy the live shows. So, even though he and I haven't actually gone into a studio together, actually facing each other and making a record, we have had some good shows together.

MR: And you guys go back to your early days in Charlottesville, right?

DM: Yeah. I think I probably first saw Tim playing in the mid-'80s. He had a band then with a different lineup called TR3. I started playing with them and I fell in love with his guitar playing and I used to see him play solo. He is a pretty amazing solo musician, and the sounds he can make come out of a guitar are astounding. But he is a really unique and unusual musician, so whatever the situation, I am more than happy to play with him. And this is something that is a perfect idea to try out with him. We have a lot of fun together, and we have this really cool band that is opening the show called The Head and The Heart. They are going to be opening five shows with Tim and me, and I am excited about them too. They're a Seattle band that I think, not too far in the future, many people will hear about.

MR: I guess it's always about Seattle.

DM: At least for now. (laughs)

MR: Dave, you are no stranger to charitable causes and putting in your time with organizations, etc., that have needs. Is there anything in the news right now that has your eye?

DM: The news tends to concentrate on the big stories, but there is heartbreak in all of those. What I am grateful for is the fact that there are a lot of people who care deeply about the wellness of everyone around them. So, usually what happens, the way things work for me, is someone will tap me on the shoulder and say, "Did you know that there is this happening in the world?" Somehow, I will hear about something through a news article, but as often as that, I will hear about something from a friend or an acquaintance that will make me take another look. There are obvious things, like what has happened in Haiti. There is endless work to be done there, whether it's orphans or building schools down there...whatever we can do is important. Then you look at what happened with Katrina and the recovery. These are bigger stories that people need to know about that I am mentioning. The recovery is still ongoing, it is still a damaged city, although, certainly, a long way back to its recovery. So, certainly, with situations like that, it's obvious we can all direct our energy and our money towards those things. The things that are more unique are what I am connected to, like the struggle of Pine Ridge Reservation and the poverty and the repression of people by others.

MR: There are so many issues to deal with in the world right now that it's almost staggering to pick those that you can concentrate on, you know, being only one human.

DM: I think the thing is that wherever you see a problem, there are going to be people that are working on trying to relieve some of the suffering. So, that is often how it works for me. In the case of Haiti, it's a terrible, natural disaster, but it really highlighted an incredible, mind-boggling poverty that is so close to us. In many ways, where the richest country in the world is just across an almost swimmable amount of water, there is this incredible poverty. And this natural disaster brings about and heightens its visibility. So, there is some obvious place where building schools or orphanages is where we can get involved. Then there's the long recovery, in another prominent news story where we can all help and where I've been drawn in, is what happened in New Orleans and the Gulf more recently with the oil spill and, before that, with Katrina.

But then there are things that I learn about that are really through word of mouth. Someone makes me aware of it. Whether it's the incredible poverty and crime in some of the poorer parts of the United States with a lack of education and resources that are spent more on trying to prevent the unthinkable rather than on books, on teachers and extracurricular activities. That, for me, is where I often find I focus my energy--just from people who care about their fellow human and who find their way to me or they are a friend of mine or an associate of mine who says, "Hey, did you know this is happening?"

MR: Terrific.

DM: In some ways, I spread myself kind of thinly--and it might seem to somebody that I don't have a focus. But really, for me, I have been so lucky, almost insanely fortunate as a musician to be where I am. Almost 99.9% of musicians have to have another job just to be able to play music. Now, I am lucky in that my hobby and my profession are the same thing, and to an exorbitant level. So, for me, I appreciate it, but it almost makes me feel a little less ashamed of my good fortune, to be able to help people help people. That has been one of the great luxuries and gifts for me, my good fortune. It takes a responsibility, in a strange way, away from me, and in some way, the act of being good if it's just me playing a show or me giving somebody a bit of money to help them do something wonderful. But it's a gift to be able to do it.

That, in some way, is what inspired this whole idea about the concerts--the idea that I can have a concert and raise a lot of money about something that I care about. I can do something like Farm Aid with Willie (Nelson), Neil (Young), and John (Mellencamp), and we can raise a lot of money to highlight a problem in this country--like the small farmer--and then also financially help the struggling farmers. Then the idea came what if the audience are the people that are deciding. Maybe the focus is not as great on the amount, and obviously, if you give a greater amount of money to one specific thing, it will have a greater effect. But there is another quality in this--the act of giving, and the responsibility that it is in the hands of the people who spent the money. I just feel really good about it. It's a quick line and jokingly avoids the taxman. So, the concert is just the telegraph between the giver and the receiver.

MR: Dave, let me also ask you some casual questions like what is your favorite guitar?

DM: Well, that's difficult. I have one guitar that I think I would call my favorite because I have had it for a long time. It's a Taylor guitar and it's kind of beat up. I have had it for a while and I love it. But now, I have a couple of Taylors in case I break a string and we are in the middle of a song or something. Really, it's that guitar--a 914--and it's a beautiful guitar. But there are a lot of great guitars. I have a guitar that Gibson just gave me that is a neat little Sunburst guitar, and I have a great Martin.

There are a lot of great guitars out there and if it was really up to me, I would be choosing small makers as well because there are so many great guitar manufacturers that, in a way, go unnoticed. There is a guitar maker from Virginia, and I am just starting to play his guitar. It's called a "Rockbridge" guitar, and these couple of guys out of Lexington, Virginia, make them. Man, they make an incredible guitar, and for the last few days, I have been playing this little Rockbridge. I haven't even told them yet if I am going to keep it, but it is an astounding instrument. So, maybe just for the sake of it, I would say that the guitar I have played the most in the last ten years is probably that Taylor 914, but the guitar I have played the most in the last week is a small-bodied little guitar called a Rockbridge.

MR: Nice. Who is your favorite artist right now?

DM: The band called The Head and The Heart.

MR: The band you mentioned earlier.

DM: I think they are the ones that I have been listening to a lot.

MR: What is your favorite song of all time?

DM: I think "The Needle and the Damage Done."

MR: Beautiful, beautiful. What do you think is most significant about Dave Matthews or the Dave Matthews Band considering your musical history?

DM: Probably that we are still playing together. That my band is still together and that we still have an audience. That is the thing that I think is sort of amazing. We work hard but I feel very lucky, and I hope that I can be playing music regardless. I am pretty amazed that I have been able to play and be compensated in such an unbalanced way in my favor.

MR: As a veteran, what advice do you have for new artists?

DM: I think now, more than any other time, is play what you love to play. Find out what you love to play. Play all the time because that is the core of what has kept us playing music together. The band playing music together kept me playing, I just love it. And my search is always to find something that I love and that I think is a beautiful sound--doesn't have to be beautiful to anyone else. So, my advice would be do what you love, don't follow a fashion unless it just happens to be in line with what you love. Play your heart. Otherwise there is too much heartbreak, to be honest. I think that is the most important thing, and I don't know if I would know what the hell that means if someone told me (that) when I was 23. But I think I turned out to have--whether for good or bad--ended up following my own path.

MR: You really have and it's been an amazing career and you're an amazing person, especially for doing these wonderful benefit concerts on December 6th and 7th in Seattle at McCaw Hall.

DM: Well, thanks very much for talking to me Mike, and it was nice talking to you.

MR: Thanks again for visiting us at Solar-Powered KRUU-FM, which, by the way, is, well, solar-powered. We're trying hard, in our own way, to make a difference.

DM: That's very cool. Oddly, I think, at least publicly, you are the only solar-powered radio station I have ever spoken to, so doesn't that say a lot.

MR: Wow. Dave, thanks so much.

DM: Cheers, Mike.

(transcribed by Erika Richards)



Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash has been nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award for "Best Americana Album" for The List. This is Cash's eleventh career nomination, including a nomination last year for "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals" for "Sea of Heartbreak," a duet with Bruce Springsteen that appears on The List. She won a Grammy Award in 1985 for "Best Country Vocal Performance, Female" for "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me."

The List also won "Album of The Year" at the 2010 Americana Music Honors and Awards Show in September. Cash's first-ever covers album, The List is a collection of 12 classic songs she selected from a list of "100 Essential Country Songs" that her legendary father Johnny Cash gave her when she was a teenager. The album has earned widespread praise from media outlets across the country, including NPR Music, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Associated Press, USA Today, Time, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, People, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Elle, Paste, Relix, American Songwriter, and The San Francisco Chronicle.

In August, Cash published Composed: A Memoir (Viking), in which she shares her recollections growing up as Johnny Cash's eldest daughter and coming into her own as a performer, daughter, and mother. Composed appeared on The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post bestseller lists and was recently chosen as one of the Top 100 books of the year by Publishers Weekly, which called it "a rare treat" and Cash "a terrific writer."

Over the course of her career, Cash has recorded fourteen albums, including 1981's gold Seven Year Ache and 1987's gold King's Record Shop, and charted 21 Top 40 country singles, 11 of which climbed to No. 1. The List debuted in the Top 5 on the Country chart and entered the Billboard Top 200 at No. 22. Cash is also the author of Bodies of Water and the children's book Penelope Jane: A Fairy's Tale. Her essays and fiction have been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and New York magazine.



Rounder Records is proud to announce that Robert Plant has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. His current album, Band of Joy, received nominations in the "Best Americana Album" and "Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance" categories. The "Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance" is for the song "Silver Rider."

Band of Joy, co-produced by Buddy Miller, is Plant's first album since 2007's six-time Grammy Award-winning Raising Sand. It was recorded in Nashville and was released on September 14. The powerful first single from the album, "Angel Dance," has been sitting atop the Triple A charts for one month and counting. It has been top10 since August and top 5 since September.

The critical response to the record has been glowing. Rolling Stone, in its four-star review called it "sweet, elegant folk that still swings like Satan's barn door," while Time called it "smoldering." Entertainment Weekly noted that Plant "sounds vocally re-energized," and Spin described the songs as "moonshine-soaked country blues with a gospel undercurrent." American Songwriter claimed that the record "reveals another side of Plant's persona, and touches on all the places he's been while simultaneously pointing to an appealing, restless future," and the Washington Post hailed, "Plant has nuance and subtlety to match his power and range," The New York Times raved that the performances on Band of Joy are "consistently surprising."

Plant and his band, made up of Patty Griffin, vocals; Darrell Scott, multi instrumentalist/vocals; Byron House, bass/vocals; Marco Giovino, drums and percussion/vocals, and co-producer Miller, guitar/vocals, will be hitting the road in America beginning January 18.


Beck Is Most Nominated Artist In Rock Field, Grabs Most Nominations For British Artist

Also Nominated For Imagine, Beck's Collaboration With Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1 & Oumou Sangare

"Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul" Tour Set To Launch In U.S. In March; CD & DVD Out In February

Two time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck's first studio album in seven years, Emotion & Commotion, arrived earlier this year to critical praise and chart success and has now been nominated for five Grammy® awards including Best Rock Album, Best Rock Instrumental Performance ("Hammerhead"), Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals ("I Put A Spell On You" with Joss Stone), Best Pop Instrumental performance ("Nessun Dorma"), and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (for Steve Lipson). Beck is also nominated in the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals category for "Imagine," his collaboration with Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1 & Oumou Sangare.

This marks the most nominations ever for Beck in a single year and makes him the most nominated artist in the Rock field in addition to being the most nominated British artist for this year's awards. Beck has previously won five Grammy awards including a win last year for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for his rendition of "A Day In The Life."

"Wow, would have been honored to be nominated for just one for Emotion & Commotion, but to be nominated for five is mind-blowing," says Beck. "Now all I need to do is win them!"

Emotion & Commotion, released by Atco Records, an imprint of Rhino Entertainment, features a mix of tracks that finds the guitar virtuoso accompanied by a handpicked cast of talented musicians, as well as several songs accompanied by a 64-piece orchestra. Working with award-winning producers Steve Lipson and Trevor Horn late last year at Sarm Studios in London, Beck used a number of musicians to help create the album's diverse sound including guest appearances from Imelda May ("Lilac Wine"), Olivia Safe ("Elegy For Dunkirk," "Serene"), and Stone (Grammy-nominated "I Put A Spell On You" and "There's No Other Me").

Beck will release a new live CD and DVD Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul in February documenting his intimate tribute shows from New York's Iridum Jazz Club this past June. Beck will take the "Rock 'N' Roll Party" on the road for a short U.S. tour backed by The Imelda May Band and its enchanting singer Imelda May, who joined Beck on stage at the 2010 Grammy® Awards for a spot-on rendition of Paul's "How High The Moon."

"Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul" Tour Dates

24 9:30 Club Washington, D.C.
25 Keswick Theater Philadelphia, PA
26 The Wang Centre Boston, MA
28 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
29 State Theatre New Brunswick, NJ
31 Michigan Theatre Ann Arbor, MI

1 Cadillac Palace Theatre Chicago, IL
4 Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie Grand Prairie, TX
5 Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theatre Austin, TX
8 Fox Theater Pomona, CA
9 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA



RCA Records is proud to announce that Kings of Leon have received two Grammy nominations in the "Best Rock Song" and "Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals" categories for their hit single, "Radioactive." This is the band's third consecutive nomination in both categories. "Radioactive" is the first single from the band's acclaimed new record Come Around Sundown. It sat atop the Billboard Modern Rock chart for three weeks straight, currently holds the #2 position and has been in the top 5 for over two months. It is #1 on Triple A chart.

Come Around Sundown is Kings of Leon's fifth album and has sold two million copies worldwide to date. It debuted at #2 on the Top 200 and at #1 on the Digital and Alternative Album sales charts giving the band its largest sales week and highest chart position in its career. The New York Times called it "the rock blockbuster of the season," and USA Today said the album has "the grandeur and emotional weight that turned the Kings into rock royalty." Rolling Stone called the band America's U2 and hailed the new album as "gigantic sounding" in its four-star review.

Besides playing to a sold-out Madison Square Garden on November 16, the band has performed on Saturday Night Live, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the Today Show on Rockefeller Plaza the day before Thanksgiving. On Late Night, the band acted in a hilarious comedy skit with Fallon himself.

Come Around Sundown is also experiencing huge global success with chart-topping numbers coming in from every country. In the UK alone, the band moved 300,000 tickets in 48 hours recently for shows happening in the spring of 2011, selling out huge dates in such legendary venues as Dublin's Slane Castle (79,000 tickets sold out in less than hour) and London's Hyde Park (a second night was added due to overwhelming public demand -- and they just played a sold out show there this past June). They also sold out Sunderland's Stadium of Light, LCCC Stadium in Manchester and Edinburgh's Murrayfield, all 50,000 plus capacity stadiums. In Europe, they will headline the upcoming Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals in Germany, the UK's Isle of Wight Festival, Rock Werchter Festival in Belgium, Roskilde Festival in Denmark and Peace and Love Festival in Sweden.



Brothers, the acclaimed 2010 release from The Black Keys, is nominated for a total of six Grammy awards, including Best Alternative Album, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Instrumental. Designer Michael Carney, brother of drummer Patrick Carney, also received a nod for Best Recording Package, while Danger Mouse, who produced the album's #1 hit "Tighten Up," is nominated for Producer of the Year. The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on February 13 at 8pm ET/PT.

These nominations come after a monumentally successful year for the duo, whose first single, "Tighten Up," remains #1 at Modern Rock radio after six continuous weeks. This is the duo's first #1 hit as well as the first in Nonesuch's 40-plus year history. Additionally, the video for the single recently won Breakthrough Video at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. The album also debuted at #3 on Billboard's Top 200 chart and #2 on the Current Albums chart--the band's highest chart positions ever.

Aside from "Tighten Up" and a cover of the Jerry Butler classic "Never Gonna Give You Up," the songs on Brothers are written, performed, and produced by The Black Keys. Drummer Patrick Carney and singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach recorded the bulk of the album at the legendary Alabama studio Muscle Shoals with additional sessions at Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound System in Akron, OH and The Bunker in Brooklyn, NY.

Last week, on Black Friday, the duo released a special, limited edition numbered deluxe version of Brothers, in honor of Record Store Day. Included in this package are the original double 45 RPM vinyl and CD versions of Brothers as well as a bonus 10" featuring six previously unreleased live recordings and a poster.

Furthermore, The Black Keys' iTunes Session is currently available exclusively on the iTunes Store. Recorded live in studio in August, the 10-song digital album includes songs from Brothers as well as "Your Touch" from 2006's Magic Potion and "Chop and Change," which was featured on the soundtrack of this year's blockbuster film Twilight Saga: Eclipse (itself nominated for a Best Compilation Soundtrack Grammy).

In celebration of their breakout year, the duo will continue to tour throughout the winter. See reverse for full details.

December 3 Jacksonville, FL Met Park
December 4 Orlando, FL House of Blues
December 5 Tampa, FL 97X Next Big Thing
December 7 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
December 8 Seattle, WA WaMu Theater
December 10 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
December 12 Los Angeles, CA Gibson Amphitheater
December 30-January 1 Chicago IL Aragon Ballroom


EMI/Credential Recordings is proud to announce that Patty Griffin's acclaimed Downtown Church has been nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Traditional Gospel Album" category. Downtown Church, produced by Buddy Miller, was released this past January and is Griffin's seventh album. It was cut live in The Downtown Presbyterian Church on 5th Ave. N. in Nashville over the first week of January 2009 with Griffin singing from the pulpit. It features vocal support from Emmylou Harris, Raul Malo, Jim Lauderdale, Shawn Colvin, Mike Farris, Buddy and Julie Miller as well as Regina and Ann McCrary, whose father was one of the founding members of the legendary gospel group the Fairfield Four.

Praise for Downtown Church was effusive. Feature profiles ran on CBS Sunday and NPR as well as in the Sunday Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times. Reviews ran in the likes of Rolling Stone, USA Today, People, the Associated Press among many others. The Tennessean hailed, "The collaborators ultimately arrived at an album that can stand with Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace, Harris' Angel Band, and Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming as an effective and moving, spiritually-oriented album from an artist normally known for secular material." The New York Post called it "hip yet timeless."

Griffin is currently touring the world as a member of Robert Plant's Band of Joy. The album Band of Joy received two Grammy nominations, one for "Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance" for the song "Silver Rider," which heavily features Griffin on vocals.






Other nominated EMI Music artists include The Beatles, Norah Jones, Keith Urban, Rosanne Cash, The Chemical Brothers, David Guetta, Little Big Town, Juan Luis Guerra, Alice In Chains, Patty Griffin, Chris Tomlin, TobyMac and Danger Mouse

Lady Antebellum and Katy Perry were among the major nominees for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards to be held in Los Angeles on February 13th, 2011. Dierks Bentley, Gorillaz, Goldfrapp, VaShawn Mitchell and Forever Jones were all named multiple nominees for the awards show, as EMI Music artists picked up a total of 46 nominations.

EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon commented: "I'm delighted to see the passion, creativity and determination of the artists we work with being recognized in this way, and proud to see such broad representation across all genres and categories. I'm sure that this is going to be another great Grammy Awards."

Lady Antebellum have grabbed six nominations for next year's awards, including nods for the top three categories of Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year as well as Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Best Country Song and Best Country Album. Lady Antebellum's sophomore album, Need You Now was recently certified triple platinum in the United States, with sales of more than three million and three consecutive #1 singles. The Capitol Records Nashville band has picked up two nominations at each of the previous two Grammy Awards, winning Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "I Run to You" at last year's ceremony. The latest nominations come just one month after the band took home two awards for Vocal Group of the Year and the Single of the Year at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards for their smash single "Need You Now."

Capitol Records artist Katy Perry picked up four nominations including a nod for the coveted Album of the Year, along with Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, and Best Pop Vocal Album. Perry followed up on the huge success of her 5x platinum debut One of the Boys with the release of her second studio album Teenage Dream earlier this year. Teenage Dream debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts in August and has since spawned two consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 singles with the summer smash "California Gurls" feat. Snoop Dogg, and title track "Teenage Dream". Her current hit "Firework" sits at the #1 slot this week for both biggest selling digital song and music video.

Dierks Bentley has three Grammy nominations this year, including Best Country Album for Up OnThe Ridge and two in the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals category for "Bad Angel" and "Pride (In The Name Of Love)".

The world's most famous animated band and previous Grammy winner Gorillaz notched two nominations for their album Plastic Beach, including Best Short Form Music Video for their groundbreaking video for "Stylo" starring Bruce Willis that was directed by Jamie Hewlett. "Orchestral Intro" from Plastic Beach was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, while Damon Albarn's band Blur was nominated for Best Long Form Music Video for No Distance Left To Run.

Goldfrapp also grabbed two nominations, with the 2010 album Head First receiving a nomination in the Best Electronic/Dance Album category, and the track "Rocket" being nominated for Best Dance Recording. This is the second time that the band have scored a double nomination at the Grammys, with previous album Supernature and the single "Oh La La" being recognized in the same categories in 2007.

EMI Gospel and Christian Music Group artists performed strongly in the nominations, picking up an astonishing sixteen nods. Forever Jones scored two nominations, with "He Wants It All" recognized for Best Gospel Performance, and debut album Get Ready featuring in Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. VaShawn Mitchell also picked up a double nomination, for Best Gospel Performance ("Nobody Greater") and Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album (Triumphant).

Amy Grant's "It's What I Do" and Chris Tomlin's "Our God" both earned nominations in the Best Gospel Song category, while David Crowder Band and Switchfoot were each nominated for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. Three EMI artists were recognized in the Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album (Steven Curtis Chapman, Sanctus Real and TobyMac), while Jeff & Sheri Easter scored a nod in Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album for Expecting Good Things. EMI artists also dominate the Best Traditional Gospel Album category, with nominations for Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Patty Griffin and Karen Clark Sheard, while Aaron Sledge's eponymous album was nominated for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album.

Rosanne Cash has been nominated for Best Americana Album for The List. This is Cash's eleventh career nomination, including a nomination last year for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for "Sea of Heartbreak," a duet with Bruce Springsteen that appears on The List. She won a Grammy Award in 1985 for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female for "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me." The List also won Album of The Year at the 2010 Americana Music Honors and Awards Show in September. Cash's first-ever covers album, The List is a collection of 12 classic songs she selected from a list of "100 Essential Country Songs" that her legendary father Johnny Cash gave her when she was a teenager.

The Best Male Country Vocal Performance category features a nomination for Keith Urban for "'Til Summer Comes Around", taken from his 2009 studio album Defying Gravity. Urban has won the Best Male Country Vocal Performance twice before, winning in 2008 for "Stupid Boy" and earlier this year for "Sweet Thing". Keith Urban's latest album Get Closer was released on November 16th, and follows two previous consecutive Billboard country and pop #1 albums, as well as five previous solo efforts all of which have been certified platinum or multi-platinum.

Little Big Town are nominated alongside labelmates Lady Antebellum in the Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group category, for "Little White Church" from the chart topping album The Reason Why. In their career to date, the group has earned three Grammy nominations, seven ACM nominations, and eight CMA award nods.

Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) was nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his standout production work on albums including his collaboration with Sparklehorse on Dark Night of the Soul, as well as Broken Bells and The Black Keys. Danger Mouse's forthcoming album Rome will be released on Capitol in spring 2011.

The Chemical Brothers continue a successful Grammys track record, with the recent album Further picking up a nomination in the Best Electronic/Dance Album category. The band have previously won three Grammy awards, with "Galvanize" (Best Dance Recording) and Push The Button (Best Electronic/ Dance Album) winning in 2006, and We Are The Night also winning Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2008.

Alice In Chains are nominated in the Best Hard Rock Performance for "A Looking In View". This is the seventh time the band has been nominated for a Grammy award, and follows last year's Best Hard Rock Performance nod for lead single "Check My Brain," the No. 1 hit from the band's gold-certified album, Black Gives Way To Blue. The album entered Billboard's Top 200 Albums Chart at No. 5, with first-week sales exceeding 126,000 copies.

Iron Maiden, whose career-long association with EMI Music has now reached 30 years, are nominated in the Best Metal Performance category for "Eldorado" from their latest album The Final Frontier. The album was released by EMI worldwide outside of the USA in August, and reached number one in over 20 countries.

Nine-time Grammy Award winner Norah Jones received a nomination in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category for "Chasing Pirates" from her platinum selling album The Fall. Jones has sold over 40 million albums worldwide to date.

The Beatles followed their successful digital launch on iTunes last month with a nomination in the Best Historical Album category for The Beatles (The Original Studio Recordings) stereo box set. The band is a seven times Grammy winner, with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band having notably picked up the Best Album award in 1967.

Alaska-born mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux has been nominated in the Best Classical Vocal Performance category for her Vivaldi album on Virgin Classics. Pyrotechnics - Opera Arias features numbers from a dozen of operas and includes five arias receiving their first recording. Released in 2009, it has already been awarded the prestigious 2010 Echo Klassik prize in Germany.

Multi-platinum artist Juan Luis Guerra 4.40 received a Grammy nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album for Asondeguerra. The Dominican superstar recently dominated the Latin Grammys, taking home three awards for Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Tropical Album, and Best Topical Song.

EMI Music superstar DJ/producer/artist David Guetta was nominated for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for his One Love Club Remix of Madonna's "Revolver." Last year Guetta was nominated in five categories including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for his production work with The Black Eyed Peas and won the award for Best Remixed Recording for his remix of his breakthrough international hit featuring Kelly Rowland "When Love Takes Over" from his hit album One Love. Guetta will release a re-package of One Love called One More Love on Jan. 25th which includes his latest track "Who's That Chick" featuring Rihanna. One Love was originally released in August, 2009 and has since sold over 2 million albums and 10 million singles worldwide.


The Atlantic Records Group has been honored with an impressive selection of nominations for the upcoming 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. Atlantic Records Group artists and recordings earned 38 major nods, reflecting the label group's success in a remarkably varied range of categories.

Elektra recording artist Bruno Mars is the year's second most-nominated artist with seven total nods, paying tribute to his diverse talents as performer, songwriter, and producer. Mars got two nominations in the "Record of the Year" category, for both his featured role on B.o.B's "Nothin' On You (Feat. Bruno Mars)" as well for his production (as a member of The Smeezingtons) on Cee Lo Green's "F*** You." Both tracks also earned Mars nods for his work as a songwriter, with "F*** You" named in the "Song of the Year" category and "Nothin' On You" listed among the "Best Rap Song" nominees. A gifted performer in his own right, Mars received a "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance" nomination for his own solo single, "Just The Way You Are," as well as a "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" nod for "Nothin' On You." As if all that weren't enough, Mars - with his Smeezingtons partners, Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine - is also in the running for the "Producer of the Year, Non-Classical" award.

Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic recording artist B.o.B received five nominations, with "Nothin' On You (Feat. Bruno Mars)" noted in three categories: "Record of the Year," "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration," and "Best Rap Song." In addition, "Airplanes, Part II (Feat. Eminem and Hayley Williams of Paramore)" scored a "Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals" nod, while his full-length debut, "B.o.B PRESENTS: THE ADVENTURES OF BOBBY RAY," is among the candidates for "Best Rap Album."

Elektra recording artist Cee Lo Green picked up four major nominations, all honoring his groundbreaking hit single, "F*** You." The track was named in two of the Grammys' most prestigious categories, "Record of the Year" and "Song of the Year," as well as "Best Urban/Alternative Performance" and "Best Short Form Music Video."

Home Grown/Big Picture/Atlantic & Southern Ground/Atlantic recording group Zac Brown Band also received four big nominations. The winners of last year's "Best New Artist" trophy got the nod for "Best Country Album" for "YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE," while "Free" was named as "Best Country Song" and "Best Country Performance, Duo Or Group." What's more, "As She's Walking Away (Feat. Alan Jackson)" was nominated for "Best Country Collaboration With Vocals."

Atlantic's own Jaheim picked up three nominations, including "Best R&B Album" for "ANOTHER ROUND" and "Best R&B Song" and "Best Male R&B Vocal Performance," both for "Finding My Way Back."

Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy/Atlantic recording artist Janelle Monáe was celebrated with a pair of impressive nominations. "Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi)" was named in the "Best Urban/Alternative Performance" category, while her acclaimed full-length debut, "THE ARCHANDROID," received a nod as "Best Contemporary R&B Album."

Two Atlantic releases were named in the "Best Compilation Album For Motion Picture, Television, Or Other Visual Media" category, including Summit Entertainment/Chop Shop/Atlantic's "THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE - ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK" and Elektra's "TRUE BLOOD - MUSIC FROM THE HBO ORIGINAL SERIES VOLUME II." The latter collection is highlighted by "Kiss Like Your Kiss," written by Lucinda Williams, which was nominated as "Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television, Or Other Visual Media."

Fox Music/Atlantic's "AVATAR: MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE" received a nomination as "Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television, Or Other Visual Media," while the film's end title song, "I See You (Theme From Avatar)" - written by Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell & James Horner - was also named in the "Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television, Or Other Visual Media" category.

Fueled By Ramen recording group Paramore's "The Only Exception" was acknowledged in the "Best Pop Performance, Duo Or Group" category, with the band's Hayley Williams also among the featured artists on B.o.B's aforementioned nomination, "Airplanes, Part II."

Atlantic's own Stone Temple Pilots' "Between The Lines" was nominated for "Best Hard Rock Performance," while Atlantic/Credential recording group Switchfoot earned a "Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album" nod for "HELLO HURRICANE."

Grand Hustle/Atlantic's T.I. received a "Best Rap Solo Performance" nomination for "I'm Back," with the multiple Grammy-winning rapper also among the nominees for "Best Rap Performance, Duo Or Group," marking his featured role on Drake's "Fancy (Feat. T.I. and Swizz Beatz)." Also, Atlantic recording artist Tank - whose label debut arrives in stores on December 14th - received a "Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals" nom for his collaboration with Chris Brown, "Take My Time (Feat. Tank)," while Atlantic's own Musiq Soulchild earned a nomination in the "Best Male R&B Vocal Performance" category for his featured role on Kirk Whalum's "We're Still Friends (Feat. Musiq Soulchild)."

A number of Roadrunner recording groups received nominations, including Korn and Megadeth, both of whom were nominated in the "Best Metal Performance" category - honoring respectively, "Let The Guilt Go" and "Sudden Death." Roadrunner's Porcupine Tree received a "Best Surround Sound Album" nod for "THE INCIDENT" while Roadrunner/Loud & Proud's Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band picked up a "Best Contemporary Blues Album" nomination for "LIVE! IN CHICAGO."

In addition, a pair of "Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical" nominees were honored for work including Atlantic-released recordings: Rob Cavallo (for, among others, Paramore's "BRAND NEW EYES" and Top Dog/Atlantic recording artist Uncle Kracker's "HAPPY HOUR") and Dr. Luke, for tracks including B.o.B's "Magic (Feat. Rivers Cuomo)."

Last, but most certainly not least, congratulations to Anthem/Atlantic recording group Rush, whose acclaimed documentary film, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, is among the nominees as "Best Long Form Music Video."

Hank Williams: The Complete Mother's Best Recordings.....Plus!

One of the most heralded and monumental projects of the decade, Hank Williams: The Complete Mother Best Recordings....Plus!, was honored last night with a Grammy nomination for Best Historical Album. The nominee announcements for the 53rd Grammy Awards were in Los Angeles and the awards show will air live on Sunday, February 13, 2011 8:00 - 11:30 pm (ET/PT) on CBS.

"It is both humbling and so very rewarding to have my daddy nominated by the Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album," says Hank's daughter, Jett Williams. 'The nomination alone, almost 60 years after his death, proves the timelessness of his awesome talent. All the nominees are winners but we are sure proud to have this labor of love among them. What a journey from his red clay 'Bama origins to a Hollywood Grammy nomination. He would be so proud. I know we are."

"I want to give a big ole thanks to the Grammy voters, as Daddy's music is a part of music history," adds Hank Williams, Jr. "These songs are real, they are original and they show why Hank's music lives on!"

"We are delighted at the Grammy nomination for this unique box set," says Mike Jason, Senior Vice President of Retail, Time Life and Producer of the Hank Williams box set. "We are especially honored to be a part of presenting a truly 3-dimensional view of a great American artist and icon."

Hank Williams: The Complete Mother Best Recordings....Plus! has received strong support from press in all music genres that has included such outlets as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Spin, Huffington Post, USA Today, New York Daily News, All Things Considered, Country Weekly, CMT.com and Blogcritics.org which said, The Complete Mother's Best Recordings....Plus! is a fantastic and important piece of history that allows listeners a glimpse of the past. Country radio has also been a strong supporter with on-air giveaways and Jett Williams interviews. Brian Hatfield, Music Director at WKSF-FM in Ashville, NC exclaims, "This is a treasure. It's almost as good as having Hank back!!"

Looks like Noah, Dylan & The Wave are at it again with "Four Days A Week"

...and finally, a word from Razor & Tie's Cliff Chenfeld on music, 2010-style:

Just in time for the holidays, here is the 8th annual list of music that you may have missed and might like. For me, 2010 was a good year for music, better than 2009, with plenty of quality releases. As in previous years, this list is meant for those who want to hear new music but don't get a chance to discover as much as they'd like. Yes, there are a few albums here from late 2009 that I missed last year, my apologies to the purists. I generally don't include artists who have received a good deal of attention or music that might be too inaccessible for those with limited time. Safe and happy holidays to all, here we go....

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes Up From Below
This troupe of free spirited hippie types made perhaps the loosest, catchiest and most enjoyable album on the list. In a perfect world, they'd be on the top of the charts and everyone would feel a little happier.

Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid
Could be the most exciting new artist of the year, she is a real talent with a great voice, blending all kinds of genres from hip hop to disco to rock to funk to cabaret in this futuristic concept album. Her ambition and reach make me think of Prince and Outkast.

Mumford and Sons Sigh No More
This British import of new, almost anthemic songs filled with banjos, mandolins, horns and rich harmonies that sound ageless and fearless. Sort of sounds like the movie "There Will Be Blood" looks....

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
If late '60s in her prime Tina Turner and '70s bluesy pre- Nick of Time Bonnie Raitt had a baby, it would be Grace Potter. Rockin', soulful songs from one of the best performers around.

The Sadies Darker Circles
I guess they would be called alt-country but they are more interesting than that with a psychedelic, spacey side (I say that in a very complimentary way) that could have been caused by one of their ancestors playing 8 Miles High over and over again.

Broken Bells Broken Bells
James Mercer of the Shins and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley fame) join forces to create the vibiest album of the year. Mercer's cool vocals and smart songs backed by Danger Mouse's subtle beats, soft orchestral touches and off-beat instrumentation sound like a couple of groovy guys letting you into their secret party.

Gaslight Anthem American Slang
Yes, they sound like Bruce, have played with Bruce, are from New Jersey and wear their Asbury Park influence on their tattooed sleeves... but they mix it up with enough inspired hooks and intensity to not make me feel guilty for liking it.

Cory Chisel Death Won't Send A Letter
The lead track "Born Again" is one of my favorite songs, an organ-driven folk-rock about faith (I think), among other things. The rest is very good, drawing from John Prine, Peter Himmelman, Cat Stevens and Steve Forbert, among others.

Julian Casablancas Phrazes For The Young
The Strokes' front man delivers a dense solo album that has more range than some Strokes' albums and will have you tapping your foot and humming along to some very dark sentiments.

Brandon Flowers Flamingo
The Killers are one of the few bands to emerge in the 2000s to release a number of albums that were both popular and very good. Their leader's solo album leans more towards the band's pop side and that's fine with me. A great singer with memorable songs.

Arcade Fire The Suburbs
They are probably well-know enough at this point to not be on this list but if you haven't heard them, their new album is a good place to start. Intense marches that evoke U2, The Talking Heads and Springsteen and have plenty to say about modern life and settling in and down.

Citay Dream Get Together
This is one of the coolest records of the year. They play long somewhat jammy instrumentals that stretch out, sometimes to the point of prog and then follow those with beautiful ballads with harmonies that evoke non-shticky early Fleetwood Mac songs. I know that doesn't sound like it makes sense but it realy works.

A Day To Remember What Separates Me From You
If you want to hear what the kids who rock are listening to in 2010, then check them out. They may scream a bit too much for those who listen to NPR, but jumping out from the double kick drums and the breakdowns are great rock songs, occasionally uplifting lyrics with hooks galore and straight from the heart singing.

Two songs that I love:

Wild Light "California On My Mind"
White Rabbits "Percussion Gun"

Quick Takes:

Gemma Ray Lights Out Zoltar
Melodies that often sound like classic girl-groups hits from the 60s with atmospheric production and instrumentation that brings it into the 21st century.

Band of Horses Infinite Arms
Melancholy, great singer, music in the tradition of the Jayhawks, The Band,

Fitz And The Tantrums Pickin' Up The Pieces
A great retro soul record, not particularly original but fun songs and fresh performances.

Reckless Kelly Somewhere in Time
Country-rock with the focus on country but none of the silliness or corniness of much of contemporary country. Lots of ass kicking.

Jenni Rivera La Gran Senora
One of the biggest stars in Mexican music, her most recent album stays true to roots yet is fresh and accessible.

Black Keys Brothers
They rock, they funk, they blues, they soul, they dirty, they serious.

Deer Tick The Black Dirt Sessions
Quiet, intense, Americana-ish songs, raw and real

Sufjan Stevens The Age of Adz
Ambitious, spacey, electronic, horns, flutes, quite a trip

Punch Brothers Antifogmatic
They get classified as "modern bluegrass" but the music has more variety, edge and quality songwriting than that term would suggest


The National - Brooklyn's finest
Cee Lo Green - contemporary r&b from lead singer of Gnarls Barkley
Jamey Johnson - serious, take no prisoners new country
Minus The Bear - catchy, synthy songs
Trombone Shorty - fun new music from New Orleans

Have fun...

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