Austin legend Willie Nelson received Grammy nominations for both of the albums he released in 2018, topping a short list of locals up for consideration when the Recording Academy presents its annual awards show in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.
The title track of "Last Man Standing," which consists entirely of songs Nelson wrote with producer Buddy Cannon, is up for Best American Roots Performance. And "My Way," Nelson's album of standards associated with Frank Sinatra, was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Arrangers Matt Rollings and Kristin Wilkinson received a nomination for Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals for their work on "It Was a Very Good Year" from the "My Way" album.
Austin conjunto band Los Texmaniacs, which won a Grammy for Best Tejano Album in 2010, is up for Best Regional Mexican Music Album for their "Cruzando Borders" record. And a first-time nominee, in the Best Bluegrass Album category, is Austin band Wood & Wire, for "North of Despair."
Prominent Texans nominated include Fort Worth's Leon Bridges, for Best R&B Album ("Good Thing") and Best Traditional R&B Performance ("Bet Ain't Worth the Hand"); and Dallas-raised St. Vincent, whose "Masseduction" is up for Best Alternative Album. That album's title track, co-written with Jack Antonoff, is nominated for Best Rock Song.
Three Nashville acts born and raised in Texas also received nominations. East Texas native Kacey Musgraves, who lived in Austin for a short time a decade ago, is up for Album of the Year and Best Country Album for "Golden Hour," plus Best Country Song ("Space Cowboy") and Best Country Solo Performance ("Butterflies"). Lee Ann Womack, from Jacksonville, received nominations for "The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone" (Best Americana Album) and "All the Trouble" (Best Americana Roots Song).
And Maren Morris, from Arlington, is up for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "The Middle," her collaboration with Zedd and Grey, as well as Best Country Solo Performance for her cover of Elton John's "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for "Dear Hate" with Vince Gill. That song, which Morris co-wrote, also is nominated for Best Country Song.
Another nomination with an Austin connection: Nashville singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier's "Rifles & Rosary Beads," up for Best Folk Album, was created in conjunction with the nonprofit Songwriting With Soldiers, founded by Austin songwriter Darden Smith.
The Austin-area Old Settler's Music Festival may have gotten a big boost for its April 2019 event thanks to six nominations for Brandi Carlile, who recently was announced as one of the fest's headliners. Carlile's nominations include three major categories: Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "The Joke," and Album of the Year for "By the Way, I Forgive You."