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Nonesuch Artists Earn 14 Grammy Nominations, Including Five for The Black Keys

2013 Grammy Award Nominees

Congratulations to all of the Nonesuch artists who were nominated for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, announced last night by The Recording Academy: The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach, Amadou & Mariam, Björk, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ry Cooder, Dr. John, Brad Mehldau, and Pat Metheny. Together, these artists' Nonesuch releases have garnered an astounding 14 nominations this year, including a remarkable five nominations for The Black Keys' latest album, El Camino. You can hear music from all the nominated albums on the new Nonesuch Radio channel "2012 Grammy Nominees."

"The Grammy Awards process once again has produced a diverse and impressive list of nominations across multiple genres," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This year's nominees truly represent an exceptional and vibrant creative community that exemplifies some of the highest levels of artistry and excellence in their respective fields."

The five Grammy nominations for The Black Keys this year include two for El Camino, for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album, and three for the album's first single, "Lonely Boy," which has been nominated for Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song, that last songwriting award for Black Keys band mates Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney as well as Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse). Released December 6, 2011, El Camino was produced by Danger Mouse and The Black Keys and was recorded in the band’s new hometown of Nashville. The record debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and was certified RIAA Platinum this fall; “Lonely Boy,” reached #1 on the Alternative and AAA radio charts and is certified RIAA Gold.

Dan Auerbach has been nominated as well as Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, both for his work in The Black Keys and for producing Dr. John's Nonesuch debut album, Locked Down, and Hacienda's album Shakedown and single "Savage."

Locked Down, the latest album from storied musician, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and five-time Grammy winner Dr. John—Mac Rebennack—has also been nominated for Best Blues Album. This startling album is an entirely new approach for the iconic Dr. John, featuring as it does his collaboration with Auerbach and a band of young musicians Auerbach hand-picked to make Locked Down at his Nashville studio. It has been named among the 50 Best Albums of 2012 by Rolling Stone, Mojo, Uncut, and Paste.

Björk's album Biophilia, released in October of 2011 on One Little Indian / Nonesuch Records, has been nominated for two awards: Best Alternative Music Album for Björk and Best Recording Package for art directors Michael Amzalag & Mathias Augustyniak (aka M/M Paris). Biophilia, which was inspired by the relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena, has been described as "astounding" by NPR. The BBC calls it "an amazing, inventive and wholly unique eighth album from an artist without peer."

Amadou & Mariam's latest album, Folila, released on Because Music / Nonesuch Records this past April, is up for Best World Music Album. The Malian duo's new album, which was just named among Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2012, was helmed by longtime producer Marc-Antoine Moreau and epitomizes the duo's embrace of collaboration, with contributions by Santigold, TV on the Radio, Nick Zinner, Theophilus London, Bassekou Kouyate, and others.

Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose 2010 Nonesuch debut album Genuine Negro Jig earned the band a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, have now been nominated for Best Folk Album for their latest album, Leaving Eden, which was release in February. The album features original compositions, covers, and traditional songs and was produced by Buddy Miller.

Also nominated for Best Folk Album is Ry Cooder, for his new album Election Special, released on Perro Verde/Nonesuch Records in August, just in time for the 2012 US election, which it addresses. On the album, which he produced, Cooder plays mandolin, guitar, and bass and wrote all of the songs, co-writing one with Joachim Cooder, who plays drums on the record. Uncut names Election Special among the year's 50 Best Albums. Ry Cooder has won six Grammy awards, including one for the Buena Vista Social Club.

Brad Mehldau has been nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his performance on the title track to Ode, the first of two albums the pianist/composer released with his Trio in 2012. On Ode, the Trio performs 11 previously unreleased songs composed by Mehldau, many written as tributes, or “odes,” to real and fictional people. The Financial Times calls it "benchmark piano-trio jazz."

Pat Metheny's latest album, Unity Band, is up for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Unity Band introduces a new Metheny ensemble of the same name with Chris Potter on sax and bass clarinet, longtime collaborator Antonio Sanchez on drums, and the up-and-coming Ben Williams on bass, marking the first time since his 1980 release 80/81 that Metheny has recorded with a band that features tenor saxophone. The album features nine new Metheny compositions, "each one exquisitely performed and uniquely absorbing," says the Observer. All About Jazz says Unity Band is "unequivocally one of Metheny's finest—an album that's sure to find its way to 'best of' lists for 2012." Metheny has previously won 19 Grammy awards, most recently for his 2011 Nonesuch solo album, What's It All About.


Finally, congratulations also go to a few additional artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal who have been nominated for projects on other labels, including Punch Brothers' Chris Thile, whose album with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, and Edgar Meyer, The Goat Rodeo Sessions (Sony Classical), is up for two awards, and Noam Pikelny, whose solo album on Compass Records is up for Best Bluegrass Album, as well as Audra McDonald, who, along with her fellow Broadway cast members in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, is up for Best Musical Theater Album, as is Stephen Sondheim's Follies.


The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on "Grammy Sunday," February 10, 2013, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on CBS from 8 to 11:30 PM ET/PT. For more information, including a complete list of the nominees, visit


Brothers is the very definition of a greowr. Today, I could pick a different Black Keys album as my favorite. However, I wouldn't be surprised if five years from now, I go back to Brothers more than any of the others.

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