New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint and a list of New Orleans nominees came up short Sunday in the Grammy awards competition, though a Louisiana artist - Terrance Simien - did win in the regional roots category, beating the local favorite, Hot 8 Brass Band.
Toussaint was up for two Grammys this year, topping a list of local nominees that includes jazzman Terence Blanchard, the Hot 8 Brass Band and a father and son: Bishop Paul S. Morton and his son, PJ Morton.
Toussaint earned two nominations, in the Best Americana Album category - for his album “Songbook,” and for a song on that same Rounder CD – “Shrimp Po-Boy, Dressed.” It was nominated for Best American Roots Song. Singer-songwriter Steve Earle, an early cast member of the HBO series “Treme” is also nominated in that song category. Edie Brickell and Steve Martin won in the song category and Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, in the album category.
Though he has won scores of music industry awards, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Toussaint has never earned a Grammy. He was honored with a special Recording Academy Trustee award in 2009 and has been nominated before.
A local favorite, the Hot 8 Brass Band, was a first time nominee, picking up a nomination in the Best Regional Roots Music Album for their album “The Life & Times Of…The Hot 8 Brass Band.” Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience won in that category.
New Orleans native Terence Blanchard earned a nomination but was passed over in the category of Best Improvised Jazz Solo, for the song “Don’t Run,” a track from his “Magnetic” album on Blue Note Records. Blanchard has won four previous Grammys.
An album by New Orleans native Andrew Duhon was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The singer-songwriter's folk pop album "The Moorings" was released in April and earned a nomination for the team of Trina Shoemaker and Eric Conn. But their work did not earn an award Sunday.
New Orleans-based Bishop Paul S. Morton, of the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, earned a nomination in the best gospel album category. His son, songwriter PJ Morton, earned a nomination as well for “Only One,” the track he wrote for Stevie Wonder, which is nominated in the category of Best R&B Song. The song was produced in part by the Cash Money label, founded in New Orleans.
Unfortunately, neither man won the Grammy.
Singer-songwriter Bobby Rush, a native of Claiborne Parish in north Louisiana, earned a nomination, but not a win, in the Best Blues Album category for “Down in Louisiana.”
Louisiana native Hunter Hayes, of Breaux Bridge, earned a nomination for Best Country Solo Performance this year.