Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
New Orleans musicians were largely shut out of the Grammy Award nominations announced Wednesday night, though local legend Dr. John did earn a nod in the blues category, and two artists with Louisiana roots, Hunter Hayes and Frank Ocean, picked up multiple nominations, including best new artist.
Dr. John’s album “Locked Down” was nominated for best blues album. Black Keys guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach, who produced the critically-acclaimed album, was nominated for his work on the project, along with other work, in the producer of the year category. If he wins, this would be Dr. John’s sixth Grammy award.
Click here for the full list of nominees.
The category of regional roots music was the area where Louisiana artists were most expected to have a showing. Rebirth Brass Band won the Grammy in the category last year, the first time it was presented. But the only Louisiana nominees this year were Cajun artists Wayne Toups, Steve Riley & Wilson Savoy, for their project “The Band Courtbouillon.”
Two of the best new artist nominees do have Louisiana connections: R&B singer-songwriter Frank Ocean and country singer Hunter Hayes.
Hayes was born in Breaux Bridge and first gained fame playing his toy accordion in his hometown in southwest Louisiana. Early media appearances included a WWL-TV interview where he was billed as “the squeezebox kid.” On Wednesday, Hayes also earned Grammy nominations for best country album and best country solo performance.
Ocean, nominated this year for best new artist, record and album of the year, grew up in New Orleans, even attending the University of New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina prompted him to relocate to Los Angeles, where his career took off. He was also nominated Wednesday for best urban contemporary album.
Comedian and New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres is nominated in the category of best spoken word album, for her comedy album “Seriously…I’m Kidding.” Other nominees in the category include audio books recorded by President Bill Clinton, Rachel Maddow and Janis Ian.
The 55th annual Grammy Award winners will be announced Feb. 10 in a ceremony broadcast on CBS and WWL-TV Channel 4.